Kumbh Mela

India, Uttarakhand, Haridwar, April 2010

Kumbh Mela is the largest pilgrimage festival known to man, it occurs after every 12 years in Haridwar, India. In 2010 Haridwar Maha Kumbh bathing dates fall when Venus & Jupiter coincides with Aquarius Sun & Moon is on the Aries and Sagittarius, respectively. It’s widely believed that taking a dip at any of the Holy Rivers like Ganges, Yamuna & celestial Sarawati at Parayag (Sangam at Allahbad) offers purity, wealth, and fertility and wash away the sins of those who bath in it. The main and common reason for one to attend the holy festival of Kumbh Mela is to take dip in Holy Ganges. It is said that a holy dip in sacred rivers during such Kumbh festival takes human out of the circle of life & death (Moksha).
The origin of the Kumbh is very old and dates back to the mystical time when the demigods and demons assembled together on the shore of a mythological ocean of milk and churned the sea to produce the nector of immortality (the Amrit). It was agreed to be shared equally between them afterwards. The mystical Mandara Mountain was used as churning rod and Vasuki, the mythological king of all serpents, became the rope for churning. With the demigods at Vasuki’s tail and the demons at his head, they churned the ocean for 10,000 years and produced one pot of nectar. The demigods were fearful of what would happen if and demons drank their share. So they stole away the pot and tried to hide it. This resulted into a great and prolonged chase which lasted 12 symbolic days and nights during which the demigods and demons went round the earth. The demigods put nectar pot (Amrita Kalasha) at Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik, where such Kumbh Melas are organized periodically to commemorate this holy event.