10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela

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Photo of 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela by Jaiveer Yadav

The Kumbh Mela is the largest of all human gatherings that takes place anywhere around the world. Millions of people assemble at the banks of the sacred river Ganges to take a dip in its holy waters and get rid of the cycle of birth and death.

Kumbh Mela is traditionally referred to a gathering of devotees. However, it’s much more than gathering or fair.

It is a festival, a cultural retreat, a celebration of life over death, virtue over sins and is a festive celebration of divinity and spirituality.

It is a gathering transcending narrow boundaries of state, nationality, age, sex and religion.

Just the sight of millions of devotees seeking holy blessing gives you a sense of the diversity of culture and beliefs.

The gathering is held every three year at four places – Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain – in rotation.

This religious and cultural event was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2017 for its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

While one may not be a follower of mythology or religion, Prayagraj Kumbh Mela is an experience that goes beyond the realm of religion and beliefs.

Dates of Prayagraj Kumbh Mela : 15th January 2019 to 4th March 2019

So, if you still haven’t packed your bags, read about these Top 10 reasons why a visit to the Kumbh Mela is a must.

1. Witness the Largest Human Congregation Ever

The Kumbh Mela presumably witnesses the biggest human gathering that takes place anywhere around the world. You’ll be surprised to know that in the 2013 Kumbh mela, 100 million people visited the Kumbh.

Photo of Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

It is estimated to be 120 million in the Prayagraj Kumbh 2019. As per The Hindu newspaper, nearly 50 million people took a dip in the holy Ganges on the occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya Shahi Snan' on 4th February 2019.

The attendance is so large that there are no exact measures to even note down the number of people coming in to pay homage to the mighty River Ganges.

2. Divine Intervention for The Religious Souls

Photo of 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela by Jaiveer Yadav

Kumbh is one of the holiest festivals in India and the divinity of it is something beyond explanation. Millions of devotees hoping to take a dip in the holy Ganga and the chants of Hindu prayers make the fair site a religious pilgrimage for more than 2 months.

3. Witness the Tranquility of Sangam

Photo of Sangam-prayag Mid Of Sangam, Chak Sayad Arab Darvesh, Uttar Pradesh, India by Jaiveer Yadav

Prayag is also famous amongst the travellers for its ‘Sangam’ which is a confluence of three holy rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. It is one of the holiest sites in the Hindu religion.

4. The Sacred Bath

The main purpose of people coming to the Kumbh Mela is to take the scared bath. And while, the whole one and a half month of the Mela is considered auspicious, there are certain days that are more royal and scared than the others.

Photo of 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela by Jaiveer Yadav

On the royal days, you’ll see the Naga Sadhus, bathing and parading the banks of the rivers. These Sadhus are also called the naked merchants, who don’t wear a single piece of cloth over their body for the bath and parade.

Then comes the new moon day, one of the most auspicious days, when Sadhus and Nagas gather at the banks before sunrise and compete for the first dip.

5. Experience Life in a Tent

Although you can opt to stay at private hotels or home stays, the best experience is stay at one of the several tents along the river bank.

Photo of 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela by Jaiveer Yadav

This will not only give you an insight into the lives of the sadhus, but is also an opportunity to learn more about the Hindu religion, the importance of events like Kumbh Mela, and how to sustain this religious awakening when you leave the place and return to your normal lives.

6. Surrender Yourself to Peace

Only on attending the mela in totality can give you an irreplaceable experience.

Besides taking a dip in the water thrice every day, you can attend special yoga classes, attend lectures, participate in cultural programs and attend aartis that will enlighten your soul and uplift your spirits, immersing you in an absolute state of peace and well-being.

It’s the one chance to meet many learned Hindu spiritual leaders, preachers and sadhus, all in one place.

7. Mystical Charm of Kumbh

While in the simplest forms the word Kumbh means ‘a Pitcher’, there is more depth to the word. The Kumbh is synonymous with the sea, the earth, the human body, the sun and Vishnu.

Photo of 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela by Jaiveer Yadav

Seas, rivers, and ponds are synonymous with the Kumbh as they are covered with land on all sides, and similarly, the sky covers the earth, earth is covered by the sun; the human body is covered by cells and tissues, and so everything has a pitcher around it.

The meaning goes deeper than what can be imagined, and maybe a visit to the Kumbh will reveal it all.

8. The Kumbh Mela is ‘Ancient’

Taking place at the Sangam, or the confluence of holiest rivers – the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati – Kumbh Mela carries with it the memories of the ancient past.

It is believed that the ashram of the learned Bharadwaja, where Lord Ram and his younger brother Lakshman and wife Sita had stayed, was situated at the Sangam.

Also, other learned saints like Shankaracharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have visited the Kumbh Mela in the past. These events place the Kumbh in high reverence and the most people wish to attend the event at least once in their lifetime.

9. It is more than a festival; it is an opportunity to find oneself

The Kumbh is not a festival like Diwali, Id or Christmas. Its importance goes far beyond imagination. People look up to the event in the highest regards. They come here to wash off their sins and get rid of any form of penance.

Taking a bath in the holy waters of the Ganges at the time of the Kumbh is believed to liberate people from their continual sufferings and miseries.

This is the reason why, despite all the odds, Indians from even the most remote regions come here to attend the mela and find their true selves all over again.

10. Internationally Acclaimed Festival

The Kumbh Mela depicts the intensity that religious passion can produce in its followers.

Photo of 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Kumbh Mela by Jaiveer Yadav

The world has always been left amazed at the sheer magnitude of an event like this. Foreigners often plan their trip to India during the time of the Kumbh, only to witness the most spectacular sights of mass gathering where a pinhole of space is difficult to find.

Read my Kumbh Mela 2019 experience

Story of the Starting of Kumbh 

The founding myth of the Kumbh Mela points out to the Puranas (compilation of ancient legends).

It recounts how Gods and demons fought over the sacred pitcher (Kumbh) 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 heavenwards, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on the four sacred sites we know as Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag.

The flight and the following pursuit is said to have lasted twelve divine days which is equivalent to twelve human years and therefore, the Mela is celebrated every twelve years, staggered at each of the four sacred sites in this cycle.

The corresponding rivers are believed to have turned into Amrit at the cosmic moment, giving pilgrims the chance to bathe in the essence of purity, auspiciousness, and immortality.

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