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January 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm #1003214
Why is Kumbh Mela held in only four cities – Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, Ujjain?? Any reason behind this?January 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm #1003236
These towns are venues for kumbh mela because of mythology. After the samudra manthan (ocean churning) for a pot of amrit (nector of immortality), there was a fight between gods and demons.
Lord Vishnu, disguising himself as an enchantress (Mohini), seized the nectar from the demons. Lord Vishnu passed the nectar to his winged mount, Garuda. The demons finally caught up with Garuda and in the ensuing struggle, a few drops of the precious nectar fell at Allahabad, Nashik, Haridwar and Ujjain.
Another story says that during the fight for the pot of nectar, it was kept on the ground at Allahabad (Prayag), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik. And the kumbh mela at these places signifies immortality of soul and prayer to the gods.
Devotees believe that by bathing in the Ganga zone one is freed from their past sins (karma) and thus one becomes eligible for liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This holy event with such tremendous faith can be found in ancient texts of the world.
Famous traveler Huen Tsang of China was the first to mention kumbh mela in his diary. It mentions the celebration of 75 days of Hindu month of Magha (January-February), which witnessed half a million devotee including sadhus, common man, the rich and the kings.January 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm #1003405
Statistics of Kumbh Mela 2013
As per the Financial Times..
To understand the scale of the event, consider this: Kumbh Mela takes place over 55 days on 1,900 hectares of land. The UK’s Glastonbury Festival, the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world, hosts 177,500 revelers on 350 hectares of land for just five days.
In 2013, the Maha Kumbh Mela is bigger than ever so it presents a special organisational challenge. The area covered by the tent city has risen from 1,500 hectares in 2001, the last time the Maha Kumbh Mela was held, when it lasted 44 days. This year there are 99 parking lots on site, up from 35 in 2001. There are 12,461 state police personnel at the festival, up from 9,965 in 2001. And 85 CCTV cameras have been installed; back in 2001, there were none.
Some 200,000 ration cards have been distributed, while 1.62m kilogrammes of wheat and 400,000 litres of milk have been allotted. There are 43,840 toilets on site, and 14 allopathic, 12 homepathic and 12 ayurvedic hospitals. (The number of allopathic facilities is unchanged from 2001 but more hospitals offering alternative medicine have been added.)December 24, 2016 at 10:26 am #1141797
The Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years. There is a difference of around 3 years between the Kumbh Melas at Haridwar and Nashik; the fairs at Nashik and Ujjain are celebrated in the same year or one year apart. The exact date is determined according to a combination of zodiac positions of the Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon. At Nashik and Ujjain, the Mela may be held while a planet is in Leo (Simha in Hindu astrology); in this case, it is also known as Simhastha. At Haridwar and Allahabad, an Ardha (“Half”) Kumbh Mela is held every sixth year; a Maha (“Great”) Kumbh Mela occurs after 144 years.
The priests at other places have also claimed their local fairs to be Kumbh Melas. For example, the Mahamaham festival at Kumbakonam, held once in 12 years, is also portrayed as a Kumbh Mela.
The exact age of the festival is uncertain. According to medieval Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu dropped drops of Amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places, while transporting it in a kumbha (pot). These four places are identified as the present-day sites of the Kumbh Mela. The name “Kumbh Mela” literally means “kumbha fair”. It is known as “Kumbh” in Hindi (due to schwa deletion); in Sanskrit and some other Indian languages, it is more often known by its original name “Kumbha”.
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