The Kumbh Mela is one of the most extraordinary human gatherings on the planet. Held in India, the fair commemorates the legendary Samudra Manthan event in Hindu Mythology. The fair takes place only once in every twelve years for twelve days which are equivalent to the twelve years of the Hindu gods in the mortal world. The banks of river Ganga at Haridwar, river Godavari at Nashik, the confluence of river Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at Allahabad and river Kshipra at Ujjain serve as the venues for this huge carnival.
The Kumbh is held every three years in one of the four cities, Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain. The last Kumbh Mela was held in Ujjain in 2016. The next Kumbh Mela will be held in Ujjain in 2028.
Kumbh Mela is a Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus and people from all over the world gather together at a place to bathe in a sacred river. From ancient times, four fairs are widely recognised as the Kumbh Melas: the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Allahabad Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha and the Ujjain Simhastha. These four fairs are held periodically at one of the four places by rotation. The main festival site is located on the banks of the river Ganga at Haridwar, Sarasvati at Allahabad; the Godavari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain. Bathing in these rivers is believed to clean people of all sins.
The Ujjain Kumbh Mela is a pompous and colourful event and is a treat for travellers. It is an enriching experience which immerses the attendees of the fair in the colours of spirituality and old world charm. One is never too young or too old to attend the Kumbh Mela. A ceremonial bath in these holy rivers is considered to be the essence and most significant ritual of this festival. It is believed that a holy dip in these rivers cleanses the soul of individuals and frees them from all their sins, as the rivers turn into the areas of sanctity during the favourable time of the Kumbh Mela.
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