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Kumbha Mela details

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Kumbha Mela
Kumbha Mela
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About Kumbha Mela
The Kumbha Mela, which can also be referred as religious congregation of people including both men and women, is the largest religious gathering in the world. During the festival, Lakhs of people gather to have holy baths, especially on certain auspicious days, in the holy water of the river by the side of which this Mela is held. Apart from having holy bath, people gather to have Darshan of the Sadhus who come down to the Mela from Himalayas as well as from other parts of India.

The Kumbha Mela is held at four different locations by turn and continues for about a month. The time and place for holding this unique Mela is decided, unlike other solar festivals, not only on the position of the Sun in a Rashi division but also that of the planet Jupiter, also known as Brihaspati. The rules of holding Kumbha Mela are elaborated in following table.

Sl. No. Place of holding the Mela Position of Jupiter and Sun in Rashi division Approx. date for start of the Mela Kumbha Mela Type
1 Haridwar Sun entering Mesha Rashi when Jupiter is in Kumbha Rashi Mid April Purna Kumbha on the bank of river Ganga
2 Allahabad (Prayag) Sun entering Makara Rashi when Jupiter is in Vrishabha Rashi Mid January Purna Kumbha on the bank of river Ganga
3 Allahabad (Prayag) Sun entering Makara Rashi when Jupiter is in Vrishchika Rashi Mid January Ardha Kumbha on the bank of river Ganga
4 Ujjain Sun entering Mesha Rashi when Jupiter is in Simha Rashi Mid April Kumbha on the bank of river Shipra
5 Nasik Sun entering Simha Rashi when Jupiter is in Simha Rashi Mid July Simhastha Kumbha on the bank of river Godavari
6 *Haridwar Sun entering Mesha Rashi when Jupiter is in Simha Rashi Mid April Ardha Kumbha on the bank of river Ganga
*When Kumbha Mela is held at Ujjain, at the same time an Ardha Kumbha Yoga is considered to happen at Haridwar, but this Kumbha is given less importance compared to the other Kumbha. This is apparently due to the fact of holding a Kumbha Mela at Ujjain at the same time and that at Nasik only at difference of few months.

Hence to summarize the above table
  • Kumbha Mela – held at all four places every 3 years
  • Ardha Kumbha Mela – held at Haridwar and Allahabad every 6 years
  • Purna Kumbha Mela – held only at Allahabad every 12 years
  • Maha Kumbha Mela – held only at Allahabad every 144 years
Auspicious bathing days, except the one on Vaisakhi day at Haridwar, are normally determined on the basis of lunar days like Purnima and Amavasya, etc.

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