Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India Fast, Fairs and Festivals of India
Location : Trimbakeshwar, Nasik, Maharashtra.
Celebrated : Once in Twelve Years.
Festive Days : August 14th and 25th, September 8th and 20th.
Kumbh Mela is a religious festival that is celebrated once in 12 years, in four major pilgrim centres around the country. In Maharashtra, the festival is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. The Nashik Kumbh Mela is generally considered to be the most sacred of all the festivals.
The Nashik Kumbh Mela is a mammoth affair with over three and a half million people attending it. Thousands of sadhus and holy men and millions of pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy Ramkund and Kushavarta reservoirs. The peak festival days are August 14th and 25th and September 8th and 20th.
During the Kumbh Mela, Nasik city and Trimbakeshwar are in a fantastic festive mood. The festive and religious mood makes people get away from their daily chores and experience the spiritual ecstasy.
The Rituals
There are different dwelling places for different sects and they are called "Akhada". Leaders of the different sects arrive at a consensus to follow a specific sequence for taking bath. In Trimbakeshwar, first Niranjani Gosawi will take bath and after they leave Kushawarta Teertha, Nirvani Gosawi will take bath. After them the old "Udasee" Sadhu followed by new Udasee Sadhus will take bath.
Legend Behind Kumbh Mela
In Kruta Yuga, Durwas Rishi saw Indra, the King of Gods sitting on the elephant Airawat. Durwas was pleased to see Indra and presented him a chain. Indra did not accept the present. Durwas Rishi got upset and cursed Indra. As an effect of the curse, all gods lost their powers and had to often lose a battle against Danavas (Demons). So all gods including Brahmadeva surrendered themselves to God Vishnu to get back their power.
Vishnu suggested them to approach 'Danavas' and persuade them to perform Samudra Manthana (churning of the sea). He said Samudra Manthana will bring out Amrit (nectar), which will bring back your power and Danavas will not defeat you. So Samudra Manthana was carried out, resulting in the pot of nectar.
Lord Vishnu, disguising himself as an enchantress ('Mohini'), seized the nectar from the demons. While fleeing from the evil ones, Lord Vishnu passed the nectar on to his winged mount, Garuda. The demons finally caught up with Garuda and in the ensuing struggle, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on Allahabad, Nashik, Hardwar and Ujjain. Since then, the Kumbh Mela has been held in all these places, every 12 years.
Amrit had to be saved from Danavas (demons). So Gods had to hide it at different places - Swargalok, Mrityulok and Patal lok. Gods were on Mrityulok (earth) for twelve days. Gods twelve days are equal to 12 years for Mrityulok. Thus Gods were on earth for 12 years with Amrut. Hence Kumbha Mela is celebrated once in 12 years at the four places, where a few drops of Amrut had fallen.