Kumbh Mela: The legacy and relevance of grand fair in Indian culture

Kumbh Prayagraj Mela is the largest gathering of humanity in the world. It is a Hindu festival celebrated four times in every 12 months.
Kumbh Prayagraj mela is the largest gathering of humanity in the world. It is a Hindu festival celebrated four times in every 12 months.

Kumbh Prayagraj mela is the largest gathering of humanity in the world. It is a Hindu festival celebrated four times in every 12 months.

Prayagraj Kumbh Mela, a three-day festival, is celebrated from 14 to 16 January this year… Millions of people have already started to gather in the city.

Kumbh Mela evidently gathers the largest number of the human population together at one place.

Prayagraj District administration has closed all educational institutions up to 12 standards for 14, 15 and 16 January.

What is Kumbh Mela?

Kumbh Prayagraj mela is the largest gathering of humanity in the world. It is a Hindu festival celebrated four times in every 12 months.

Prayagraj Kumbh Mela attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. A large number of saints and sears also keep reaching to take holy dip on the first bathing festival of Makar Sankranti at the Sangam of river Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.

The Kumbha Mela is held four times over the course of 12 years, in rotation between four Hindu pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers, including the Ganga River in Haridwar, Shipra River in Ujjain, the Godavari River in Nashik and at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati in Prayagraj.

This fair is held in the month of Magh of Hindu calendar when Jupiter is in Aries and Sun and Moon are in Capricorn or Jupiter is in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn.

Difference between Ardh Kumbh and Maha Kumbh:

The Kumbh and the Maha Kumbh were earlier known as the Ardh Kumbh (half Kumbh) and Kumbh.

The Uttrakhand Pradesh government has announced this year in 2019 that the Ardh Kumbh will be known as Kumbh and the Kumbh will be known as Maha Kumbh.

History of Kumbh 

As per the Hindu legend, the gods and the demons fought over a pot of immortality elixir. During the fight, the elixir dropped in four places, and those four places are where the Mela presently takes place.

The name Kumbh derived from the astrological signs Kumbha (Aquarius). The legend of Samudra Manthan tells about the battle of Devas and Asuras for Amrit (immortality elixir). The elixir was produced and kept in a Kumbh (pot).

As per the Hindu legend, the gods and the demons fought over a pot of immortality elixir. During the fight, the elixir dropped in four places, and those four places are where the Mela presently takes place.

The earliest mention of any Mela at the current location of Kumbh Mela is by Xuanzang around 644 CE.

The name Kumbh Mela was first mentioned in Khulasat-ut-tawarikh and Chahar Gulshan that described the fairs held at Haridwar, Allahabad and Nashik.

Kumbh in Haridwar is the original Mela that is held according to the astrological sign Aquarius, and the Kumbh in Prayagraj is the oldest without being called Kumbh Mela.

Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/kumbh-mela-the-legacy-and-relevance-of-grand-fair-in-indian-culture-1430672-2019-01-14

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