Kumbh Mela is the largest spiritual gathering in the world. During this Mela, participants take a dip in the sacred rivers. Indians, who are a firm believer in spirituality, believe that by bathing in the holy waters, one is freed from sins and thus liberates their soul from the cycle of birth and death. It is undoubtedly a huge festival that we Indians celebrate to find salvation. This year it has started from 14th January and will continue till 4th March.
UNESCO: Kumbh Mela is an intangible cultural heritage
UNESCO, United Nations Organization, has given Kumbh Mela an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Moreover, UNESCO says that this humongous fair is the most peaceful religious gathering on earth. People from different classes participate without any discrimination.
The Maha Kumbh Mela takes place every 12 years at four locations-Prayagraj (Allahabad), Ujjain, Haridwar, and Nashik. Furthermore, the semi or Ardha Kumbh Mela held every six years in Haridwar and Prayagraj (Allahabad). The usual Kumbh Mela held after every three years, and it switches between four different locations – Haridwar (river Ganga), Prayag (Triveni Sangam of Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati), Ujjain (river Kshipra), and Nasik (river Godavari).
Devotees from all over the world visit this festival
Devotees come from all over the country and around the globe to attend the Kumbh Mela. Naga Sadhus (holy men), who remain naked year-round and practice the most severe physical discipline also visit this Mela. The Kumbh Mela is one such festival which is a pilgrimage of faith for Hindus who wash their past sins by taking a holy bath in the sacred rivers during the Kumbh.
In 2019, we are going to witness the Ardha Kumbha Mela which occurs every six years. In 2013, the Ardha Kumbh Mela that was held in Prayagraj attracted a record crowd of approximately ten crore people. This time the area of this Mela has doubled. In 2013, the Kumbh Mela used to be spread over an area of 15-20 km, but now the Mela is spread over an area of 45 km.
Some pictures of Kumbh Mela
Devotees in a large number for the religious festival
Sandhya Aarti during Kumbh Mela