» »Ujjain Kumbh Mela: Congregation of Religious Pilgrims

Ujjain Kumbh Mela: Congregation of Religious Pilgrims

By: Akshatha Vinayak

Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela is a spectacular event celebrated every year in India with great significance. Kumbh Mela 2016 has begun in the ancient city of Ujjain, with millions of people ready to take a holy dip in the river Kshipra at Ramghat.

Ram Ghat Ujjain

A View of Ram Ghat
Photo Courtesy: Arian Zwegers

Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Nashik and Ujjain are the four major cities where Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 12 years once. Kumbh Mela relates to various mythologies like any other festivals or fairs. One popular legend being the Samudra Manthan (Churning of the ocean) - a fight that happened between the Gods and Demigods to conquer "Amruta" the elixir of life.

Significance of Kumbh Mela

'Kumbh' means pot and 'Mela' means fair. A holy pot (Kumbh) consisting of Amrita that came out during the churning of ocean . As the quest to obtain the elixir continued between the Gods and Demigods; droplets of Amrita (the elixir) spilled at some places. This auspicious time when the Amrita fell on earth is celebrated as Kumbh Mela and it is believed that a holy dip in the river at this time is considered to be very auspicious

Significance of Simhasth Kumbh in Ujjain

The Kumbh Mela held in Ujjain is known as Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv. Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv gets the name due to planetary changes. The Sun enters the zodiac Aries and the Jupiter into to the zodiac, Leo.

Devotees at Ram Ghat

Devotees at Ram Ghat
Photo Courtesy: Bernard Gagnon

Simhasth Kumbh has already begun from April 22 and goes on till May 21st, 2016. Crores of devotees from different walks of life join at Ramghat to take a holy dip in the river Kshipra.

Many ancient writers talk about the river-side festivals that were followed in India. There are no specific details on when Kumbh Melas started. However, some foreign travellers and Indian scriptures mention the gatherings on the banks of the rivers.

Kshipra river

People taking holy dip in Kshipra River
Photo Courtesy: Bernard Gagnon

Kumbh Mela in Haridwar is said to be the base of all Kumbh. Ujjain Kumbh Mela began during the rule of Maratha ruler, Ranoji Shinde in the 18th century. He is said to have invited yogis and priests to a similar fair in Ujjain.

The greatest celebration of the year has begun and it's good to follow simple measures of safety to make it grand.

1. Be extra cautious about your belongings.

2. Following strict lane discipline may avoid stampedes and any other accidents.

3. Please watch out on your little ones, it may be difficult to trace them once they get lost in the crowd.

4. Please try to have the phone numbers of the police squad or police control in case of an emergency.

5. Carry extra clothes and all the necessary items.

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