The Kumbh Mela in India is as mesmerizing as it is spiritual. This ancient northern Indian festival is a meeting of mystical minds. The largest religious gathering in the world, the Kumbh Mela brings Hindu holy men together to discuss their faith and disseminate information about their religion. It’s attended by millions of people each day.
2021 Kumbh Mela in Haridwar from January 14 to April 27. It’s being held there after 11 years, not the usual 12, due to specific auspicious dates. This is the first time in 80 years that such a phenomenon has happened.
Kumbh means pot or pitcher. Mela means festival or fair. Hence, the Kumbh Mela means festival of the pot. It specifically relates to the pot of nectar in Hindu mythology.
Legend has it that the gods once lost their strength. In order to regain it, they agreed with the demons to churn the primordial ocean of milk for amrit (the nectar of immortality). This was to be shared equally between them. However, a fight broke out, which went on for 12 human years. During the battle, the celestial bird, Garuda, flew away with the Kumbh that held the nectar. Drops of nectar are believed to have fallen in the places that the Kumbh Mela is now held — Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain.