Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Kumbh Mela ("festival of the pot of nectar of immortality") is held every three years in each of four different locations, returning to each of four places every twelve years. An Ardh (half) Mela (festival) takes place six years after the Purna (full) Kumbh in each location.

Kumbh Mela is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage and bathing festival that takes place at the following 4 locations of India:

-Prayag (near the city of Allahabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three rivers Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.

-Haridwar (in the state of Uttaranchal Pradesh) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas.

-Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of Ksipra river.

-Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.

Dates for the Kumbh Festival
(every 12 years in 4 locations)

-In 2010, March-April, Kumbh Mela will be held at Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas. The main bathing date for Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, is April 14, 2010.

-In 2013, Maha Kumbh Mela will be held in Allahabad (Prayag), Jan. 27 to Feb. 25. Main bathing date: Feb. 10.

-In 2015, Kumbh Mela will be held Aug. 15 to Sept. 13. Main bathing date: Sept. 13.

-In 2016, Kumbh Mela will be held April 22 to May 21. Main bathing date: May 21.

Major Dates for the next Kumbh Festival in Haridwar:

14 January 2010 (Thursday) - Makar Sankranti Snan - First Snan (Holy Bath)
15 January 2010 (Friday) - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) - Second Snan
20 January 2010 (Wednesday) - Basant Panchmi Snan - Third Snan
30 January 2010 (Saturday) - Magh Purnima Snan - Fourth Snan
12 February 2010 (Friday) - Maha Shivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath
15 March 2010 (Monday)- Somvati Amavasya - Dvitya Shahi Snan - Second Royal Bath.
24 March 2010 (Wednesday)- Ram Navmi - Fifth Snan
30 March 2010 (Tuesday) - Chaitra Purnima Snan
14 April 2010 (Wednesday) - Amavasya of Krishna Paksh of Baisakh - Pramukh Shahi Snan (Main Royal Bath).
28 April 2010 (Wednesday) - Shakh Purnima - Snan.

Shahi Snaan (Royal Bath) for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects: March 15, March 30, and April 14, 2010

The basic point of the Kumbh Mela is for pilgrims to bathe at certain sacred spots on certain auspicious days. A large tented city is erected and pilgrims stay at tents owned by Pandas (religious and spiritual guides) and at various ashrams and hotels. Others will just camp on the ground or visit for the actual bathing day. Some of these bathing days are designated "royal." On all the 10 major bathing dates, the naga sadhus (naked mendicants) will parade and bathe. On all other days there will still be people bathing, other events, and random processions

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