Kumbh Mela – World’s largest religious congregation
What is it?
Taking place every 4 years in either Ujjain, Harwar, Prayag or Nasik, the Kumbh Mela sees 40million people gather to celebrate in the greatest religious gathering on earth. Each setting is a holy site for the Hindu faith as in ancient history, a few drops of sacred nectar fell at each location, a gift from the gods. Hindu religion has a strong belief in this story and its followers worship these sites by heart. Kumbh Mela brings tourists and pilgrims together in one place and celebrates a peaceful occasion.
Where is it held?
The Kumbh Mela rotates around 4 locations as all are located on sacred rivers. Each site hosts the festival every 12 years.
- Ujjain at Shipra river
- Haridwar at Ganges river
- Nashik at the Godavari
- Prayag at the joining of three sacred rivers the Sarasvati, the Ganges, and the Jamuna.
What happens at the Kumbh Mela?
During the Kumbh Mela, people come to take a holy dip in the sacred rivers. The royal bath or dip is more than just a normal bath in freezing cold waves of the river. It becomes comforting and satisfying. After taking a bath in the holy water, people are free from bad thoughts and have fresh energy to start a new beginning.
This congregation of people is a mark of unity, integrity and happiness. Apart from Hindus, many people from other religions take part in Kumbh Mela and attend all the rituals and performances with a whole heart. This attracts many tourists as well because it is the chance to watch the devotion of Hindus towards god and his existence. Everyone is most welcome and encouraged to take part in all aspects of the mela.
People participating in the Mela are from different walks of life but they all have one thing common which is to lead a pure life showing the power of humanity.
More than tens of millions of pilgrims every year arrive to take part. In 2001, around 40 million people attended to make it one of the biggest celebrations of the Hindus' faith. In 2013, around 100 million visitors came. The most recent Kumbh Mela took place in a 45 km area of Prayag. Saraswati Koop and Akshayavat were also open for visitors for the first time in 450years.
Hindu priests from around the world arrive to mark their presence at this auspicious occasion. Many religious activities and rituals are performed during the period to make it one of the most engaging moments for the attendees. The next Kumbh Mela will be held in 2021 in Haridwa. This is a chance to see India at its finest and should not be missed.