History and Legend of Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela is considered as the most auspicious period of India. The origin of Kumbh Mela dates back to the time when Gods (Devtas) and Demons (Asura) resided on earth. Devtas were under the influence of a curse which aroused fear in them eventually making them weak and coward. Brahma (the creator) advised them to churn the milky ocean to obtain the elixir of immortality. The Mandara Mountain acted as the churning rod and Vasuki (king of serpents) was used as a rope for churning. Kumbh was the pot which consist the nectar of immortality and was recovered from Samudramanthan.
Devtas asked the help of demons for this sturdy task to complete with mutual agreement of sharing the elixir of immortality equally. They churned the ocean for 1000 years, where demons were holding Vasuki’s head and Gods were holding its tail. Finally after this entire churning process, Dhanwantari appeared with Kumbh in his palms. To prevent the amrita (elixir of immortality) from demons, its safety was entrusted to Gods Brahaspati, Surya, Shani and Chandra. After learning the conspiracy of the Devtas, demons turned vicious and attacked them. Devtas knew that demons possessed more power and can easily defeat them. The Devtas ran away with the Kumbh to hide it away and they were chased by Asuras. For 12 days and 12 nights the Gods were chased by Demons for the possession of Amrita. These 12 days of Gods are equivalent to 12 years of Humans. During this chase for the elixir of immortality the drops from Kumbh fell at four places – Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
Whereas some stories tells us that Demons were chased by Gods for 12 days and nights when the drops of amrita fell down from Kumbh at Allahabad, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. In some mythological scriptures it is mentioned that the war between Gods and Demons in the sky lasted for twelve days for the possession of Amrita. To commemorate this holy event Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated in every twelve years at the four sacred places where the drops from Kumbh were fallen.
Kumbh Mela is the largest spiritual gathering in the world where millions of devotees takes a holy dip in the sacred water.
It is believed that the river turns itself into sanctity spots filled with primordial amrita at the historic moment of the Maha Kumbh Mela. The pilgrims get once in a lifetime chance to bathe in the spirit of holiness, auspiciousness and salvation.
Where is Kumbh Mela Celebrated?
- Haridwar in Uttarakhand where the holy Ganga River enters the plains from the mighty Himalayas.
- The sacred Prayag (confluence) in Allahabad of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati
- On the banks of Ksipra River at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
- On the banks of Godavari River at Nasik in Madhya Pradesh