Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu Pilgrimage that is inscribed on the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The mela draws a lot of devotees from all over India and the world. It attracted a record 10 crore people in Allahabad in 2013. The pilgrimage is held every 3 years and switches between 4 different locations in India - Haridwar, Ujjain, Prayag and Nasik.
Kumbh means nectar. The story behind the pilgrimage goes back to when Gods resided on Earth. The curse of Sage Durvasa has weakened them and the demons (asuras) have caused devastation on Earth. Lord Brahma suggested to churn out the nectar with the help of demons but not share with them. When they got know about it, they chased them fo 12 days. The nectar fell at the four locations where Kumbh Mela takes place. Dates of the Kumbh Mela are calculated by looking at the zodiac positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon. Hindus believe that when they bathe during Kumbh in the sacred waters, all their sins are washed away and they are blessed by the divine. The mela is said to be over 2000 years old and was first written into accounts during the time of King Harshavardhana. The mela creates a huge number of jobs each year. Tight security and medical help is maintained during the meal each year it is held to maintain order.
By: Neha Maheshwari