Kumbh Mela

  • KumbhMela is held every four times every 12 years at four different locations across central and northern India.
  • It  is the largest religious congregation and largest peaceful gathering on planet.
  • This vast celebration attracts tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims, including mendicant nagas.
  • The first written evidence of the Kumbha Mela is mentioned in Bhagvat Purana.
  • Another written evidence of Kumbha Mela is in works of Huen Tsang, who visited India in 629–645 AD, during reign of Harsha.
  • The Samudra manthan episode also has mentioned in Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata, and Ramayana.
  • Kumbh Mela is held every third year at one of four places by rotation:
    • Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand
    • Ujjain on the Shipra in Madhya Pradesh
    • Nashik on the Godavari in Maharashtra
    • Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati in Uttar Pradesh
  • Thus, it is held at each of these four places every twelfth year.
  • Ardha Kumbha Mela, which is next in sanctity, is held only at Haridwar and Allahabad.
  • The rivers at these four places are Ganga at Haridwar, Prayag Sangam at Allahabad, Godawari at Nashik, and Shipra at Ujjain.
  • The largest crowd is held on Mauni Amavasya.
  • India, known for its heritage and cultural diversity has 13 cultural heritages in the UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.
  • “Kumbh Mela” was the latest addition to the list.