Kumbh Mela 2019: Myth and story behind Ardhakumbh

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Kumbh Mela 2019: Myth and story behind Ardhakumbh
Kumbh Mela 2019: Myth and story behind Ardhakumbh

New Delhi : Kumbh Mela 2019: When we talk about festivals, we are sure to mention about fairs and festivals in India. From Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, the land is known for diverse culture and festivals which integrate the people at large. The upcoming Kumbh Mela is one such festival which signifies knowledge, happiness and bliss. It takes place in the month of January till March and marks the beginning of an auspicious year. 

Kumbh Mela is the largest fair in the world which takes place at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and a mythical third river called Saraswati in Allahabad. In short, Kumbh Mela takes place at  Prayag in northern India where devotees visit from across the world and take holy bath in the Triveni sangam. The Kumbh fair is said to be the largest gatherings on earth.

Kumbh Mela myth and story

Besides, there are myths associated with Kumbh Mela. In Hindu culture, the heavenly Sun and moon are representatives of human rational intellect and mind, and Jupiter known as Guru in Sanskrit is the spiritual master. Thus, according to the arrangement of these three planetary bodies Kumbh Mela time and date occurs. It is representative of the philosophy that when the human intellect and mind are aligned with the Guru, the result is the realization of immortality.

Kumbh, Poorna Kumbh or Maha Kumbh is held every twelve years at Haridwar (Uttaranchal), Prayag (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh), Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) and Nashik (Maharashtra).

The fairs at Nashik and Ujjain are called Simhastha Kumbh as Jupiter is located in the constellation Simha (Leo). The Kumbh at Prayag is Vrishastha (Jupiter in Taurus) and the fair at Haridwar is Kumbhastha (Jupiter in Aquarius).

Unlike the Kumbh, there are Ardhakumbh during which sadhus move to Ujjain with their Akharas. 

The Simhastha Kumbh at Nashik and Ujjain generally fall at a year's interval. At both these places, the sadhus and the commoners get together, making these fairs a meeting ground of those who have renounced the world. But the Ardhakumbh at Haridwar is the fair of the grihasthas (householders) only. It is held every six years.

The story goes that in the seventh-century king Harshavardhana who religiously used to give up all his possessions every six years at Prayag. This apparently gave an momentum to the popularity of the Ardhakumbh.