How much do you really know about the world's largest auspicious gathering that takes place in India - the Kumbh Mela? In case you don't know much, here are a few interesting facts that you should know about Kumbh Mela that attracts over millions of devotees from across the globe.
1. The story behind this mela dates back to the time when the gods used to reside on earth. It is believed that Sage Durvasa's curse had weakened the gods and caused havoc in the world.
2. The Kumbh Mela is held every three years. This event takes place in 4 different locations- Haridwar (Ganga river), Prayag (Triveni sangam of Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati), Ujjain (river Kshipra), and Nasik (river Godavari).
3. 'Kumbh' actually means nectar. And in order to restore peace, Lord Brahma advised all the gods to churn out the nectar of immortality with the help of the demons.
4. When the demons got to know of the gods' plan of not sharing the nectar, they chased them down for 12 days. It's during this chase that some of the nectar fell at the 4 different locations mentioned above.
5. This mela is held on the dates when the waters of these scared rivers are said to turn into nectar. Basically, the auspicious dates are calculated according to the zodiac positions of Jupiter, the Sun and the Moon.
6. It is believed that those who take a dip in the sacred waters during the Kumbh are blessed by the divine.
7. Hindus believe that one's sins are washed away and they come one step closer to salvation after taking a dip in the holy waters.
8. Holy men from different Hindu sects attend this mela to perform sacred rituals pertaining to their respective groups.
9. In 2013, this mela attracted a record crowd of about 120 million people from all over the world.
10. This festival is about 2000 years old and the first written evidence can be found in the accounts of Xuanzang, a Chinese traveller who visited India during the reign of King Harshavardhana.
This time the Kumbh Mela is being held in Allahabad. Click here to know the dates.