Kumbh Mela 2010
According to astrologers, the 'Kumbh Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. Kumbha (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage. It takes place at the following four locations of India:
Prayag,Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) , Haridwar(Uttarakhand) , Ujjain(Madhya Pradesh) , Nasik (Maharashtra)
History: The origin of the Kumbh is very old and dates back to the time when Kalasha (pot of nectar of immortality) was recovered from Samudramanthan (during the churning of the primordial sea), for which a tense war between Devtas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) ensued. To prevent the Amrita Kalasha being forcibly taken into possession by Asuras, who were more powerful than Devtas, its safety was entrusted to the Devtas Brahaspati, Surya, Chandra and Shani. The four Devtas ran away with the Amrita Kalasha to hide it from the Asuras. Learning the conspiracy of Devtas, Asuras turned ferocious and chased the 4 Devtas running with Amrita Kalasha. The chase, lasted 12 days and nights during which the Devtas and Asuras went round the earth and during this chase, Devtas put Amrita Kalasha at Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik.
To commemorate this holy event of the Amrita Kalasha 12 years.According to other Pauranic legends, actual fight in the Amrita Kalash being knocked, out of which Amrita being put at 4 places, Kumbh is celebrated every took place between Devtas and Asuras resulting (Nectar) fell down at the above 4 places.
Importance: The festival is religiously most important for the Hindus. At every Kumbh occassion, millions of Hindus take part in the celebrations. During 2004 Kumbh at Haridwar, more than 10 millions devoteed gathered at the site. Saints, priests, and yogis from all corners of India, gathered to participate in Kumbh. Haridwar is considered very holy, due to the fact that Ganga enter plains from mountains here itself.
The festival is visited by the most amazing saints from all across India. The Naga Sadhus are one such, who never wear any cloth and are smeared in ash. They have long matted hairs and are not at all affected by the extremes of heat and cold. Then there are the Urdhwavahurs, who believe in putting the body through severe austerities. There are the Parivajakas, who have taken a vow of silence and go about tinkling little bells to get people out of their way. The Shirshasins stand all 24 hours and meditate for hours standing on their heads. Spending the entire month of Kumbh on the banks of Ganga, meditating, performing rituals and bathing thrice a day, are the Kalpvasis.
It is believed that bathing during Kumbh cures the bather of all sins and evils and grants the bather, salvation. It is also believed that at the time of Kumbh Yog, the water of Ganga is charged with positive healing effects and that water at the time of Kumbh is charged positively by enhanced electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and the Jupiter, the flux of which also varies in accordance to positions and the phases of the moon, and also by the + and - signs of the sun spots.
The following table shows the positions of the planets when the Kumbh Fair is held at four different places in India.
Bathing Ghats: The main & common reason for one to attend the holy festival of Kumbh Mela is to take dip in Holy river, It is said that a holy dip in sacred rivers during Maha Kumbh or Ardh kumbh takes human out of the circle of life & death ( stage known as Moksha ). Pilgrims & Sadhus in great numbers from around the world visit here to liberate themselves. Holy rivers like Ganges , Yamuna & celestial Sarawati at Parayag ( Sangam at Allahbad ) is age old symbol of Indian Culture & Civilization. These river offers purity, wealth, fertility and wash away the sins of those who bath in it. There are many bathing ghats at Haridwar the main ghat is Har Ki Pauri.
Bathing Dates: Ardha Kumbha and Maha Kumbha are the occasions when millions of people gather to take holy dip in the sacred waters. This is main reason for one to attend the Maha Kumbha and the Ardha Kumbha festival. It is believed that a holy dip in sacred rivers during Maha Kumbh or Ardh kumbh takes human out of the circle of life and death and one attains Moksha. Devotees, saints/sadhus turn up in great number from all over the world to take a dip in the holy waters of rivers like the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati at Parayag (Sangam). According to traditions these holy rivers offers purity, wealth, fertility and wash away the sins of all those who take bath.
Bathing Dates for Haridwar Maha Kumbh 2010
14 January 2010 - Makar Sankranti Snan - First Snan (bath)
15 January 2010 - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) - Second Snan
20 January 2010 - Basant Panchmi Snan - Third snan
30 January 2010 - Magh Purnima Snan - Fourth Snan
12 February 2010 - Maha Shivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath
15 March 2010 - Somvati Amavasya - Dvitya Shahi Snan - Second Royal Bath
24 March 2010 - Ram Navmi - Fifth Snan
30 March 2010 - Chaitra Purnima Snan
14 April 2010 - Baisakhi - Pramukh Shahi Sanan - Main Royal Bath
28 April 2010 - Shakh Purnima - Snan