Thursday, 13 December 2012

Maha Kumbh Mela 2013: Largest Pilgrim Gathering in the World

One of the largest pilgrim gathering in the world, Maha Kumb Mela takes place at four sacred Hindu destinations in the gap of four years. The four sacred destinations where the conglomerate of devout Hindu pilgrims takes place are Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain. However, each destination hosts this auspicious occasion during the 12 year cycle. If the past statistics of the Kumbh Mela are anything to be believed, devotes more than 3 times of the entire population of Australia participate in this India Pilgrim tour.

There is a mythological legend, according to which, a tug of war took place between demi-gods and demons millions of years back. The reason for the battle was the nectar of immortality, obtained from the churning of the milk ocean. During the tug of war, few drops of the immortality nectar spilled from the Kumbh at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.

Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 is just few days away from us and the pilgrimage tour package is given on the website of  India Pilgrim Tours. The major purpose of Kumbh Mela is to bathe at the point of confluence of three sacred rivers- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati- also known as Sangam. A team  of astrologers determines the dates that are auspicious for mass bathing.

It is believed that the water at these four locations turn into the nectar, cleansing the sins of your lifetime and also of your 88 generations, releasing you from the cycle of re-birth. Though there is a disparity in the status of the pilgrims who visit this place as some travel on foot and others hop on airplanes, however, God does not make any distinction and equally bless pilgrims who bathe here.

The star attraction of the Maha Kumbh Mela is the sadhus (holy men) who arrive at this sacred place in thousand numbers. They camp in groups and are the representatives of different Hindu sects (Shaivism & Vaishnavism) The holy festival lasts for around 3 months (12th January 2013 to 12th March 2013) and attracts huge media coverage from all over the world. Let me give you a brief information regarding the activities that took place during the Maha Kumb Mela 2013 Allahabad.

  • ·   Shahi Snan- It is the ritual bathing at the banks of the river Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati and the highlight of the event.

  • ·    Shahi Peshwai- It marks the arrival of the sadhus (holy men) from different sects. All the members of a particular sect including the bare-bodied Naga sadhus.

  • ·  Ceremonial Procession of Nagas- It is also an auspicious sight wherein the Mahant of Naga Sanyasis is honored on the gold / silver throne, atop of ornamented elephant. He is followed by hundreds of Naga sadhus, bare-bodied & smeared with ashes on foot.


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