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The Maha Kumbh Mela

The Maha Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth is held every 12 years on the banks of the ‘Sangam’- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and holiest of them. The Mela is attended by millions of devotees including Sadhus. A holy dip in the sacred waters is believed to cleanse the soul. The Sangam comes alive during Kumbh and Maha Kumbh with an enormous temporary township springing up on the vacant land on the Allahabad side of the river. The legend goes thus- the gods and the demons fight for a pot of nectar (Amrit Kumbh): the nectar of immortality. 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, Nasik, Haridwar and Ujjain. Since then, the Kumbh Mela has been held in all these places, alternatively, every 12 years.

  • Kumbh – every 6 years
  • Maha Kumbh – every 12 years

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