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What is Kumbh Mela? - The Sacred Holy Pilgrimage in Hinduism

Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela is a sacred holy pilgrimage in Hinduism and takes place at four holy locations in IndiaAllahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. Earlier, it used be a gathering of Holy men and Sadhus to discuss about Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). Today, pilgrims from around the world take part in Kumbh Mela.

‘Kumbh’ means pot and ‘Mela’ means fair. 

The Kumbh Mela lasts for more than a month and is determined by astrological calculations.
Each location – Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar – will have a Mahakumbh Mela or Kumbh Mela once in 12 years.

At Allahabad in the Hindu month of Magha (January-February) - 1989, 2001, 2012, 2024….
At Haridwar in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) - 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022….

At Nasik in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (August-September) - 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027…

At Ujjain in the Hindu month of Vaisakha (April-May) - 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028…

During the twelve year cycle, there is an Ardh Kumbh Mela. You may call it the half Kumbh Mela as it takes place during the sixth year of the cycle.

The Ritual
The most important ritual during the Kumbh Mela is the bathing ritual. There are some important days for bathing during the period of a Kumbh Mela. These days are calculated astrologically.

Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar
Allahabad is also known as Prayag, Prayagraj and Teertharaj. It is located in Uttar Pradesh at the confluence of three holy rivers - Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and the mythical river Saraswati. This holy confluence is also known as ‘Sangam.’

Haridwar is another important Hindu pilgrim center in the state of Uttaranchal. The holy river Ganga (Ganges) enters the plains from Himalayas at Haridwar.

Ujjain is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh and lies on the banks of the Shipra River.

Nasik is located in the state of Maharashtra and lies on the banks of the Godavari River.

Legend of Kumbha Mela