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Kumbh Mela

Date : 15 Aug – 13 Sep, 2015 (Nashik)
Highlights : Holy Dip, Devotional singing, Spiritual discussions, Religious gatherings, and mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor

Kumbh Mela assumes immense importance among the people in India and is the only festival that occurs once every twelve years. The festival is one of its only massive gatherings of human beings, who join in faith, and where millions of people gather to be freed of their sins by taking a dip in the holy period based on planetary alignments in the holy river Ganges. Apart from ritual bath, other major highlights of the festival includes devotional singing, spiritual discussions, religious gatherings, and mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor. This is one of the biggest gatherings of devout Hindus, monks, ascetics, sadhus from across the country and the globe. The gathering has arisen of an age old belief that one needs to shed their sins or past karma in order to attain moksh or enlightenment, and it is believed that by attending this pious ritual, one can wash away past sins.

Ancient mythology has it that during a war between demons and demigods over taking over nectar or the promise of eternal life, the droplets fell on four different spots called Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. These drops have been hailed having mystical power hence so do the places which were recipient of the same. The festival occurs four times, every twelve years at all the four different locations at different intervals. Each twelve year cycle includes Maha Kumbh mela at Prayag (Allahabad) and others are termed as Ardh (Half) Kumbh Mela. The last such main Mela was held in 2013 and it attracted worldwide media attention and many people from cross the world attended to partake in the holy gathering.