Hindus better than anyone in the world know how to celebrate festivals with much enthusiasm and passion. Sometimes they express hope and joy and sometimes placate the gods in the hope of attaining salvation. So welcome the Kumbh Mela, a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus get together to bathe in a sacred river to wash their sins away.
This festival is held every three years, and switches between four various locations— Allahabad or Prayag (Triveni Sangam of Yamuna, Ganga, and Saraswati), Nasik (river Godavari), Haridwar (river Ganga), and Ujjain (river Kshipra). The Mela, which is the world’s largest gathering of its type, draws devotees from all over around the globe and returns to each location after a 12-year span.
‘Kumbh’ means nectar and story behind the fest go back to the time when the gods decided to reside on earth. They were weakened by Sage Durvasa’s curse, and the demons caused chaos in the world. Lord Brahma recommended them to churn out the nectar of immortality. When the demons discovered the plan of gods to assign the nectar, they overhauled them for 12 days. During the chase, some of the nectar fell at the four above-mentioned locations. Hindus believe that people who bathe in the sacred waters during the Kumbh Mela are infinitely blessed. All their sins are let go, and they come a bit closer to salvation.
The Kumbh Mela is held when the waters of those sacred rivers are said to pass into nectar, and the exact dates can be calculated according to a combination of zodiac positions of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter.