God is the best listener. You don’t need to shout nor cry out loud because He hears even the silent prayer of a sincere heart!
India is the Land of Festivals and Indians every now and then experiences faith and religion in some way or the other. Festivals are part and parcel in the lives of us Indians and people across the nation irrespective of the caste creed and religion celebrate festivals with same enthusiasm and gaiety as they would celebrate the marriage in the family. But if scale and size are taken into consideration then nothing can beat the gigantic or as magnificent a festival as the Maha Kumbh Mela– the Big Daddy of all Melas.
What is Kumbh Mela All About?
Kumbh Mela happens only once in our lifetime, indeed, is the largest Holy pilgrimage of the Hindus and one of the most awaited sacred fairs across the world. The Hindu devotees consider this fair to be a golden opportunity to take a dip in the holy water at four locations in India once in 12 years: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
Historical legends behind the Kumbh Mela
If the legends are to be believed then during the waging war between the Deva-Asura for the possession of elixir of eternal life, few drops of it had had fallen on to four places that are today known as Prayag, Nasik, Haridwar and Ujjain. It is also believed that due to these drops these places also gain mystical powers. It is to make oneself gain on those powers that Kumbh Mela is celebrated in each of the four places since long as one can remember.
Details about when the Kumbh Mela is conducted
The normal Kumbh Mela is held every 3 years. The Ardh Kumbh Mela is held every six years at Haridwar and Allahabad (Prayag). The Purna Kumbh Mela takes place every twelve years based on planetary movements at four places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. The Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Prayag after 144 years i.e., after 12 ‘Purna Kumbh Melas’.
When Ardh Kumbh and Simhastha Kumbh 2016 will be celebrated?
- Ardh Kumbh Mela has begun on January 15, 2016. The important bathing dates are spread over a period of four months. The last important bathing date is on April 22, 2016. As per the Hindu mythology, ‘Ardh Kumbh Mela’ is held when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries.
- Simhastha Kumbh will begin on April 22, 2016, and will continue until May 21, 2016. The Ujjain Kumbh is celebrated when Jupiter ascends into sun sign Leo’s quarter. The ritual of bathing in the holy waters of Kshipra begins on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) and continues until the full moon shows up in the following month of Vaishakha.
Where is the Ardh Kumbh and Simhastha Kumbh 2016 being celebrated?
- Ardh Kumbh– In 2016, India will have the chance to witness the Ardh Kumbh- Kumbh fair occurring after 6 years in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Haridwar is a well-known sacred city of India and is located on the banks of holy river Ganga. All throughout the year Hindu devotees in large number visit here to take a dip in its Holy water and submerge the ashes of their deceased loved ones.
- Simhastha Kumbh– In 2016, India will have the chance to witness the Simhastha Kumbh- Grand Simhastha, on the Ghats of the glorious Kshipra. Ujjain is a well-known sacred city of India. If the legends are to be believed, Ujjain is one of the saptapuris or the seven holy cities of India that grant moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
How to reach Haridwar/ Ujjain?
There are several options one can avail to get to the main bathing site as Haridwar/ Ujjain is well connected to all major cities by air, rail and road.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Haridwar is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. From here one can hire a taxi or a bus to Haridwar.
- By Train: Haridwar has its own Railway Station where maximum trains halt.
- By Road: Haridwar is well connected by roads to all major cities and towns so it completely depends on the traveller whether they want to travel in bus or drive by himself.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Ujjain is Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (IDR) at Indore and Raja Bhoj Airport (BHO) at Bhopal. From here one can hire a taxi or a bus to Ujjain.
- By Train: Ujjain has its own Railway Station where maximum trains halt.
- By Road: Ujjain is well connected by roads to all major cities and towns so it completely depends on the traveller whether they want to travel in bus or drive by himself.
Remaining Dates of Holy Bath in Ardh Kumbh
- March 7 – Mahashivaratri Shahi Snan
- April 7 – Chaitra Amavasi – Shahi Snan
- April 8 – Navasamvatarambh Snan – Hindu New Year
- April 14, 2016 – Mesha Sankranti Shahi Snan Parv – most important
- April 15 – Ramnavami Snan
- April 22, 2016 – Chaitra Purnima Snan/ Vaishnav Akhara Snan
Main Dates of Holy Bath in Simhastha Kumbh
|First Bath at Full Night||April 22, 2016|
|Vaishakha Krishna Amavasya||May 6, 2016|
|Shukla Tritya||May 9, 2016|
|Shukla Panchami||May 11, 2016|
|Poornima||May 21, 2016|
Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
Like always it is expected that a large number of people will be attending the festival this year. Since past few years, Kumbh Mela has gained a lot of media attention and thus has become a case of curiosity amongst the foreign travellers also. Therefore, a major chunk of foreign as well as curious local tourists will attend the Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar and Simhastha Kumbh.
All in all, pull up your socks to have an awe-inspiring experience of the power of faith that drives millions of people from various walks of life to gather at one place to pray and ask for liberation. A once in a lifetime gathering, the Kumbh Mela will surely get you closer to your spiritual self.
Interested! Plan with GeTSHolidays to take the dip in the holy waters. Happy Holidays to you!