Kumbh Mela: A Major Pilgrimage Destination in Hinduism (2021)
Introduction To Kumbh Mela: A Major Pilgrimage Destination in Hinduism
The event of Kumbh Mela is India’s face when we take the most significant religious festivities around the world. The Kumbh Mela of Prayag is one of India’s biggest pride, which is dedicated to the mythological scriptures of Hinduism. Prayag is a place that witnesses the most massive influx of pilgrims, tourists, and devotees who visit the town to wash off all their sins and find the location of rebirth in Kumbh Mela.
The renowned religious festival of Kumbh Mela is a decennial duo festival that only happens at an interval of 12 years. The Ardh Kumbh Mela, which means the half is celebrated at a range of every six years. During Kumbh Mela, millions of devotees gather in the city of Prayag at the point of Triveni Sangam, where the three sacred rivers of the country, Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati, converge.
The land worships one of the most important deities of Hindu Mythology, Lord Shiva. The belief is that taking a bath at the Triveni Sangam during the occasion of Kumbh Mela will cleanse off all your sins, not only the ones you have committed in your previous lives, but also those in the present life.
Where Does Kumbh Mela Take Place?
The sacred festival of Kumbh Mela takes turns and is held at four different pilgrim destinations of religious prominence. The four divine cities include Prayag or Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh, Haridwar of Uttarakhand, and Nashik of Maharashtra. Even though the Kumbh Mela of Prayag is considered prominent, all these sites receive an almost regular influx of devotees and tourists during the Kumbh Mela.
According to the Hindu Mythology, the rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati have played a vital role in the scriptures. It is one of the primary reasons they are worshipped twice every day, and all the religious festivities of the region are associated with these rivers. The several Ghats of the state of Uttar Pradesh is famous for its majestic view, which is located adjacent to the prominent temples.
The river is worshipped from these Ghats twice every day. The renowned Triveni Sangam is among the Ghats where the Kumbh Mela is celebrated.
When Does Kumbh Mela Take Place?
The occasion of Kumbh Mela is celebrated at an interval of 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela at an interval of 6 years, exactly halfway between the real Kumbh Mela. This decennial duo festival is the major attraction of Allahabad. The same goes for the other cities, too, who host the Kumbh Mela at an interval of every 12 years.
The Kumbh Mela of Allahabad is also referred to as the Maha Kumbh Mela for a reason. Since the city of Allahabad is the only destination which witnesses the convergence of the three holy rivers of the Hindu religion, the Kumbh Mela held there is also widely known as the Maha Kumbh Mela.
At the same time, the Ardh Kumbh Mela is celebrated in just two cities, Allahabad and the other destination being Haridwar. Therefore, in short, the Hindu religious festival of Kumbh Mela arrives at an interval of every three years, and it happens in four different pilgrim destinations of India. Therefore, in each of those destintion, it occurs at a range of 12 years and is called a decennial duo festival that witnesses the world’s largest gathering at a religious site.
The next Kumbh Mela will be held at Haridwar in 2021 from 14th of January to the 27th of April. The following would be the much-awaited Maha Kumbh Mela, which will be held at Allahabad in 2025 and the next at Nashik in 2027.
The dates of the Kumbh Mela depend on the stars and the planets’ position and rely entirely on astrology and the religious scriptures.
The Story Behind Kumbh Mela
There is an interesting mythological story behind the festival of Kumbh Mela. To attain the boon of immortality, both the gods and demons decided to churn the ocean constituted by milk. They used the royal serpent Vasuki to churn the sea, and both gods and demons received a lot of blessings and boons from the process.
The goal was to attain the pot full of elixir, which will provide them with the boon of immortality. Once the pot came out, a brutal fight broke out between the gods and the demons that went on for twelve years, and nobody was winning. The companion of Lord Vishnu took the pot of elixir and flew away. Simultaneously, the drops of elixir fell on the top of these cities, where the Kumbh Mela is now celebrated.
The name Kumbh refers to the pot in Sanskrit, and the term refers to the festival or fair. It means for the cities which are celebrating the joy of being blessed by the pot of elixir.
Various Rituals Performed in Kumbh Mela
Apart from the various rituals and the puja ceremonies, the pilgrims consider taking a bath at these holy waters during the time of Kumbh Mela as sacred. They believe that the waters of these holy rivers will cleanse the evil from them, wash off their sins they have committed in their past lives, and also the present one.
How to Reach Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj?
The city of Allahabad is well connected via road to all of the major cities and towns of Uttar Pradesh, and most importantly, they are even connected to other major cities like Agra, Delhi, etc. The railway station of Allahabad is a significant railway central of Uttar Pradesh, which connects to almost all parts of the country.
The Bamrauli Airport of Allahabad connects to all major airports of India, and you can also reach out to the Lucknow or Delhi airport, which have broader immigrations.
Allahabad or Prayagraj is a city well known for its temples, historical monuments, and most importantly, the decennial duo festival of Kumbh Mela. It is the most significant religious gathering in the world, and every devotee of Hindu deities wishes to visit this sacred land at least once in a lifetime.
The Kumbh Mela is the most auspicious occasion to visit Allahabad.