Kumbh Mela Festival
Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world. Kumbh Mela is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage that occurs four times every twelve years and rotates among four locations of India: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, Nasik.
There are many interesting legends about the origin and celebration of the Kumbha Mela. The story revolves around the fight between demons and Gods for the nectar of immortality. The origin of Kumbh Mela can be traced back to the Vedic period, when the deities and demons arrived at a consensus to work together in the task of churning “amrit”, i.e. the nectar of immorality from the Ksheera Sagara (the primeval ocean of milk). It was decided that the nectar would be shared amongst all on an equal basis. To know the complete story, read further.
When the Kumbh or the pitcher full of amrit appeared, the demons played a mischief and they escaped the place with the nectar. The Gods also followed them and fought with demons in the sky for acquiring the pitcher of amrit.
Though all the Kumbh Melas enjoy almost similar quantity of devotees but the name of Haridwar comes at the top of all Indian pilgrimages. Hence the Kumbh Mela of Haridwar enjoys exceptional media coverage and Tourist traffic. The place is termed as the gateway to heaven in Hindu mythological scriptures. The Myth behind the celebration of Kumbh Mela goes like this, after the Deva-Asura war, which went on for quite some time, both the involved parties came to a conclusion that they instead of fighting should come together and churn the milky ocean to obtain the Elixir. The sea was churned and elixir was obtained but it was not meant for the Asura or the demons hence the god who appeared from the sea with the Kumbh or the pitcher of elixir ran from the chasing Asuras. In this chase a few drops fell on earth and now at these four places the Kumbh Mela is conducted.