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Allahabad Nagar Nigam

Government of Uttar Pradesh

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Allahabad Kumbh Mela

Prayag Kumbh

Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: the Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Allahabad Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha and the Ujjain Simhastha, although priests at other places have also claimed their local fairs to be Kumbh Melas. These four fairs are held periodically at one of the following places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayaga), Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak) and Ujjain. The main festival site is located on the banks of a river: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar; the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati at Allahabad; the Godavari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all sins.

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At any given place, the Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years. There is a difference of around 3 years between the Kumbh Melas at Haridwar and Nashik; the fairs at Nashik and Ujjain are celebrated in the same year or one year apart. The exact date is determined according to a combination of zodiac positions of the Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon. At Nashik and Ujjain, the Mela may be held while a planet is in Leo (Simha in Hindu astrology); in this case, it is also known as Simhastha. At Haridwar and Allahabad, an Ardha ("Half") Kumbh Mela is held every sixth year; a Maha ("Great") Kumbh Mela occurs after 144 years.

Prayag Kumbh is considered to be the most significant of all as it marks the direction of wisdom or light. This is the place where the sun, symbolizing wisdom, rises. Creation of the universe is supposed to have originated here and it is supposed to be the center of the earth. Prajapati Brahma, the God of Creation, is said to have created the Universe after conducting the Ashwamedh Yagna at the Dashashwamedh Ghat here. The Dashashwamedh Ghat and the Brahmeshwar Temple still exist here as if as symbols of that holy yagna, and that is another reason for the special significance of the Prayag Kumbh. In fact Prayag and Kumbh are synonymous to each other.

The literal meaning of Kumbh is a pitcher, but its elemental meaning is something else. Even as a symbol of pitcher, Kumbh is synonymous with holy activities as in daily life a pitcher (or kalash) is an integral part of all sacred activities in Hindu culture, and this pitcher is a symbol of Kumbh.
Holy scriptures say that in a pitcher, its mouth (opening) symbolizes the presence of Vishnu, its neck that of Rudra, the base of Brahama, all goddesses in the center and the entire oceans in the interior, thus encompassing all the four Vedas. This itself establishes the significance of the Kumbh as symbolized by the pitcher.

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Know More: Kumbh Mela Allahabad Official Site