India is recognised globally as a country that celebrates its traditions and cultural heritage. And Kumbh Mela, which is the largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims on the planet, is one such event that marks the celebration of Hindu heritage. The Kumbh Mela is held every three years in Haridwar, Prayagraj, Ujjain, and Nasik. The mela returns to each of these cities after 12 years.
The Kumbh Mela (the festival of the sacred pitcher) is anchored in Hindu mythology. It is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith, anywhere in the world. The Mela draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of approximately 55 auspicious days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Sarasvati. Primarily, this congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis, and Pilgrims from all walks of life.
Kumbh Mela is a religious pilgrimage that is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years. The geographical location of Kumbh Mela spans over four locations in India and the Mela site keeps rotating between one of the four pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers as listed below:
- 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.
Each site’s celebration is based on a distinct set of astrological positions of the Sun, the Moon, and the Jupiter. The celebrations occur at the exact moment when these positions are fully occupied, as it is considered to be the holiest time in Hinduism.