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  • Religious tourism is the backbone of Uttarakhand’s economy . Kumbh Mela  is a mass congregation of pilgrims who gather to take a bath/dip in a sacred river.
  • The festival of Kumbh is not a festival of market or fair, instead it is a festival of knowledge, asceticism and devotion.
  • After 100 years, this time the kumbh Mela was hosted earlier because of specific auspicious dates. Generally, it is celebrated once in 12 years and the previous kumbh in Haridwar was held in 2010, while next one was to be held in 2022.

About Kumbh Mela

  • Kumbha is a Sanskrit word for pitcher, referred to as Kalasha, it is also a zodiac sign in Indian astrology, the sign under which the festival is celebrated.
  • The elemental meaning of Kumbh says that it’s a confluence of all cultures, and is a symbol of spiritual awakening. While Mela means a gathering or meet or simply, a fair.
  • The pilgrims come from all walks of life, travelling long distances and tolerating many physical discomforts, such as sleeping in the open air in near freezing weather.
  • They undergo such difficulties just to receive the benefit of taking a bath in the sacred river at Kumbha Mela and to meet the great saints.
  • Kumbh Mela is a congregation kalpavasis, sadhus, visitors and aspirants, mostly Hindus.
  • Kumbh Mela is a mass congregation of pilgrims who gather to take a bath/dip (Shahi Snan) in a sacred river.
  • It is celebrated four times every 12 years, the site of the observation rotating between four pilgrimages on the four sacred rivers at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. Ardha (half) Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Haridwar and Allahabad, every sixth year. And a Maha Kumbh is held after every 144 years.
  • The dates for a pilgrimage to the Kumbh Mela are determined according to the Vikram Samvat calendar.

Story Behind Kumbh

  • Kumbh was hosted by Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran, the founding myth of the Kumbh Mela points to the puranas (compilation of ancient legends).
  • It recounts how gods and demons fought over the sacred kumbh (pitcher) of amrit (nectar of immortality) called the Ratna of Samudra Manthan.
  • It is widely believed that Lord Vishnu (disguised as the enchantress ‘Mohini’) whisked the kumbh out of the grasp of the covetous demons who had tried to claim it.
  • As he took it towards heaven, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on four sacred sites, which we now know as Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag.
  • The flight and the following pursuit is said to have lasted 12 divine days, which is equivalent to twelve human years, and therefore, the mela is celebrated every 12 years, staggered at each of the four sacred sites in this cycle.


Mussoorie Times

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