Tuesday October 16, 2018
Home Religion Kumbh Mela: O...

Kumbh Mela: One of the greatest Pilgrimages in the World

Millions of Hindu pilgrims come either in groups or individually and celebrate the event with great enthusiasm

3
//
456
Kumbh Mela Image: Wikimedia Commons
Republish
Reprint

By Pashchiema Bhatia

Kumbh Mela (‘Kumbh’ means pitcher and ‘Mela’ means fair in Hindi) is hosted in four cities – Ujjain, Allahabad, Haridwar and Nasik and held every third year at one of the four places by rotation. According to Hindu legend, during samudra manthan (churning sea to separate nectar and poison), Gods and demons were having fight over the nectar and then Lord Vishnu flew away with the pot of nectar spilling drops of nectar at four different places; where we celebrate Kumbh Melas. It is considered as one of the largest religious gathering where millions of people arrive and bathe in the sacred rivers – The Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Triveni Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godavari at Nasik and the Shipra at Ujjain. Millions of Hindu pilgrims come either in groups or individually and celebrate the event with great enthusiasm.

Bathing Ghats Of Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
Bathing Ghats Of Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Ujjain, an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, is located on the eastern bank of the Shipra River. It is considered as one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus. People believe that taking a royal bath in sacred Shipra River on the occasion of Kumbh Mela washes all the sins of previous births and hence the pilgrims consider it as an opportunity to get them revived from the never ending birth cycle. The Kumbh Mela hosted at Ujjain is known as ‘Simhastha Kumbh Mela’. (22 April 2016 – 21 May 2016)
Ram Ghat, Ujjain Image: Wikimedia Commons
Ram Ghat, Ujjain Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Allahabad Magh (Kumbh) Mela is held every year on the banks of Triveni Sangam (the confluence of the three great rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. The Magh Mela is also referred as Mini Kumbh Mela as it is actually a smaller version of Kumbh Mela.

   Also Read: Dismantling Hinduism: Is Kumbh Mela next in line?

  • Haridwar is considered as one of the most sacred places in India and it is situated at the feet of Shiva’s hills; Shivaliks. Millions of devotees take dips in bone-chilling cold weather of holy Ganga at the occasion of Ardh Kumbh Mela.
Har ki Paudi Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
Har ki Paudi Ganga Image: Wikimedia Commons
  • Kumbh Mela in Nasik (Trimbakeshwar) is celebrated once in every twelve years and is known as Sinhasta. The Kumbh Mela is marked by millions of devotees’ plunging into the river Godavari that is believed to cleanse their souls leading to salvation.
  • The Simhastha Kumbh Mela at Ujjain is currently on-going. The first Snan (Bathe) on April 22 marked the beginning of the event and the last Snan is scheduled for 21 May on the day of Purnima (Full Moon Night).

Watch This Video to know more about what is happening in the 2016 Kumbh Mela in Ujjain: 

https://youtu.be/AuQ63-EdqKs

Pashchiema is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Pritam Go Green

    One of the most prestigious event organised in Hindu community. People from all over the world should come and take a dip into the beautiful ambiance of this festival.

  • Akanksha Sharma

    Millions of people participate in this event and bath in sacred river to wash away their sins.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    One of the holiest event organised by the Hindu community which invites people around the world to come and wash away their sins

SHARE
  • Pritam Go Green

    One of the most prestigious event organised in Hindu community. People from all over the world should come and take a dip into the beautiful ambiance of this festival.

  • Akanksha Sharma

    Millions of people participate in this event and bath in sacred river to wash away their sins.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    One of the holiest event organised by the Hindu community which invites people around the world to come and wash away their sins

Next Story

BJP Offers Christians a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Is Religious Pilgrimage A New Playground For The Political Parties?

This would not be the first time that India has bankrolled pilgrimages for the Christians. Before this, the government had subsidized the Haj pilgrimage for the Muslim community

0
In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented. Wikimedia Commons
In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented. Wikimedia Commons
  • The political parties (BJP and Congress ) are promising a free trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage in the coming local elections of the eastern states of India
  • The Christian population in Meghalaya and Nagaland is almost 75 percent and 88 percent respectively
  • After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner by 2022

The Campaign promises during the elections times are quite bizarre nowadays, from “I’ll cut your taxes,” to “vote for me, and I’ll set you free.”

In the coming local elections in the Christian- majority state of Nagaland in India the agenda by the rival BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Congress parties are unique: “Vote for us and get either a free or a heavily subsidized pilgrimage to Jerusalem.”

Yes, you read it right. The political parties are promising a free trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage. The offer has been put up by the Prime Minister Modi- led BJP for the upcoming elections. Even the local partners of the Congress party are treading up the same path.

Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons

The BJP has not made it clear yet if it is offering the scheme to all of India’s Christians, or only to Christians in the northeast, or only to Christians in Nagaland. The Christian population in Meghalaya and Nagaland is almost 75 percent and 88 percent respectively. Nagaland is one of smallest states of India, with the population of just under two million people.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel for Haj without Mahram

As per the Tourism Ministry figures, around 58,000 Indian tourists came to Israel in 2017, a 47% increase from 2015.

The elections are scheduled for the February 27 in three northeastern states – Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura – later this month.

The AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also tweeted on the double standard of the government and lashed out at the government for its discriminatory decision, ending Haj subsidy but allowing subsidies to continue for Hindu pilgrimages like the Mansarovar Yatra.

This would not be the first time that India has bankrolled pilgrimages for the Christians. Before this, the government had subsidized the Haj pilgrimage for the Muslim community. But recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. The government cited the reason for the subsidy withdrawal as they wanted to utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls. After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner by 2022.

Also Read: Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

The scheme is a clear cut example of hypocrisy and opportunism, especially considering the cancellation of Haj subsidies. It seems quite contrary, on the one hand, the government is cutting down the benefit scheme for one section of the society and on the other hand, some other community is been offered the same thing. Such moves bring out the double standards of the political parties just for the sake of vote bank. In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented.

In 2011, Nigeria also did something same as that of India. For many years, their government financed a trip to Mecca for Muslims, leading to some 42,000 Nigerians visiting the country. But with the change in the government, subsidies have been cut considerably and now a 12-day pilgrimage costs around 2000 dollars. The change in stance has resulted in 78% decrease from 2011.