The Largest gathering on the planet
Would you believe there is a gathering of around 70 million people and you have never heard of it? How come such an important event does not draw more attention?
The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu pilgrimage taking place every 12 years, it is known as the Purna (complete) Kumbh Mela; every 6 years the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated.
The most important event, known as the Maha Kumbh Mela which happens every 12 Purna Kumbh Mela’s or once every 144 years. The dates are set depending on the planetary positions of Jupiter and the Sun. The Last Maha Kumbh Mela was celebrated in 2001.
What is the Kumbh Mela?
The origins of the Kumbh Mela are based on ancient religious texts, the Puranas. It is told that the demigods and demons were trying to steal the nectar of immortality from the deities. A huge fight broke out, which lasted 12 divine days and 12 nights, which equal to 12 human years. During the fight 4 drops of the nectar fell on earth exactly where Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain are situated. Prayag is known nowadays as Allahabad.
The pilgrims believe that bathing in the Ganges River will purify their sins. Many of them are taking on a long journey to take part of this event:
“Pilgrims plodded for months to get here, worn, poor and hungry, but sustained by unwavering faith.”
Mark Twain, Kumbh Mela 1895
We can only imagine how the Kumbh Mela was like back in 1895 when Mark Twain was attending. In the past years it has been a massive gathering of pilgrims aiming the ritual bathing, participating in religious and spiritual discussions, witnessing miracles, truthful devotional singing and most of all it has been a massive celebration.
A celebration of life itself as a miracle
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” Thich Nhat Hanh
When and Where is Kumbh Mela 2013 – 2015 – 2016
The upcoming Purna Kumbh Mela will be held in Allahabad in 2013 (January 27th to February 25th), Nasik in 2015 (August 15th to September 13th), and Ujjain in 2016 (April 22nd to May 21st).
Here are the details of the bathing dates during Purna Kumbh Mela Festival in 2013:
27th January 2013 – Paush Purnima
6th February 2013 – Ekadashi Snan
10th February 2013 – Mauni Amavasya Snan (Main Bathing Day)
15th February 2013 – Basant Panchami Snan
17th February 2013 – Rath Saptami Snan
21st February 2013 – Bhisma Ekadashi Snan
25th February 2013 – Maghi Purnima Snan
Witness the Purna Kumbh Mela in Allahabad in 2013 and you will participate in the largest gathering of the planet!