Simhastha Kumbh Mela – The Pride of Ujjain
Kumbh mela is an active fair that occurs every 12 years in specific destinations around the country. Also known as ‘Kumbha mela”, this fair is similar to a typical Hindu mass pilgrimage where people gather to bath in the sacred rivers. The occasion has now taken the form of a huge fair and is quite a striking event in the country. The very recent Kumbh Mahaparv (or the Great Kumbh Mela) took place in Ujjain in April-May and has many as 7.5 crores of pilgrims, devotees and even foreigners took part. It was declared an immediate success by UP Government.
There are basically four main fairs that are broadly recognised as the Kumbh. They are namely, Haridwar Kumbh, Allahabad Kumbh, Nashik Simhastha and the most popular, Ujjain Simhastha. Every 12 years, the Kumbh mela is organized in one of the four places which, in turn, makes a difference of 3 years between any two places with respect to their occurence. Although the fairs at Nasik and Ujjain are usually held in the same or consecutive year, their dates are actually determined by zodiac positions of planets, sun and moon.
The nightly beauty of Kumbh Mela by -.-Paul-.-
The words “Kumbh” and “Simhastha” are derived from medieval Hindu myhtology. When a fight took place between the Gods and Demons for the elixir of life – Amrit, Lord Vishnu transported the elixir in a pot or Kumbh to a safe place. During this travel, four drops of Amrit fell at four different places where the Kumbh Mela is organized now. It is also believed that Ujjain was the main place where the elixir churned. The fairs at Ujjain and Nasik are determined by the postion of Brihaspati (Jupiter) in Simha (Leo) and hence, they are known as Simhastha.
The Ujjain Simhastha takes place beside river Shipra and attracts millions of pilgrims from all over the country and the world. It was first majorly celebrated by the Maratha ruler, Ranoji Shinde in the 18th century. The main act of the fair is the Royal bath or the Shahi Snan which is done on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month (April-May). During the early years of the fair, the Peshwa ruler made rules for the Sanyasis and Bairagis to bathe on separate sides of the river. During the British era, Ujjain was not directly under the British rule and hence, was organised by the local ruler, unlike the other places. Post independence, the 1992 Ujjain Simhastha is perhaps the most famous of all Kumbh Mela gatherings because of the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign that was held after the demolition of Babri masjid.
Varied atendees in the Kumbh Mela by Roshan Travel Photography
The Simhastha starkly upholds the ethos of Sanatham dharma. Pilgrims or Sadhus from different places take the dip in the holy waters along with several other normal people and devotees. The fair ground forms a spectacular sight from both an aerial and ground view. Kumbh Mela is a striking example of the religious unity of the country and is considered as the World’s largest congregation of religious piligrims. It showcases the tradition and culture that are deep rooted into the minds of the Indians. The whole place generates a sacred atmosphere that is essential for both the mind and body. People from different walks of life come here to attain salvation. It is truly a marvellous display of faith uniting people and is, thus, worth a visit.
Kumbh Mela in Haridwar by -.-Paul-.-
The next Kumbh Mela ill be held in Haridwar in 2022 but Allahabad is going to organize an Ardh Kumbh in 2019. So, if 2022 seems to be a lot far away from your excitement, you can hit the Allhabad Ardh Kumbh in 2019. No matter where the fair takes place, the local Government takes the best possible measures to ensure that the fair and the royal bath are well operated throughout the course of the event even if the crowd turnout is very high. It doesn’t matter whether you are a devotee or not but as a lover of the country’s unity, the Kumbh mela is surely a great event to attend. The huge gap in between its occurrence makes it even more special!
Featured Photo by Roshan Travel Photography