Kumbha Fair 2010

The holy river Ganga at Hardwar
The holy river Ganga at Hardwar
Hardwar, the gateway to the Himalayas
Hardwar, the gateway to the Himalayas
The holy dip at kumbha 1
The holy dip at kumbha 1
The holy dip at kumbha 2
The holy dip at kumbha 2
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar 1
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar 1
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar 2
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar 2
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar 3
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar 3
Sadhu 10
Sadhu 10
Sadhu 9
Sadhu 9
Four sadhus
Four sadhus
Sadhu 8
Sadhu 8
Sadhu 7
Sadhu 7
Sadhu 6
Sadhu 6
Sadhu 5
Sadhu 5
Sadhu 4
Sadhu 4
Sadhu 3
Sadhu 3
Sadhu 2
Sadhu 2
Wow! What a puff of cannabis!
Wow! What a puff of cannabis!
Pilgrim 4
Pilgrim 4
Sadhu 1
Sadhu 1
Pilgrim 3
Pilgrim 3
Pilgrim 2
Pilgrim 2
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar at dawn
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar at dawn
The holy beggars
The holy beggars
A foreign touch at Kumbha, Hardwar
A foreign touch at Kumbha, Hardwar
Pilgrim 1
Pilgrim 1
The Ganga at Hardwar 2
The Ganga at Hardwar 2
Fighting the chilly Himalayan wind; at Hardwar during Kumbha fair
Fighting the chilly Himalayan wind; at Hardwar during Kumbha fair
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar at night
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar at night
The sunset fly by
The sunset fly by
The flower sellar
The flower sellar
Taking rest; at kumbha fair
Taking rest; at kumbha fair
Pilgrims throng the streets of Hardwar at night
Pilgrims throng the streets of Hardwar at night
The sunset take off
The sunset take off
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar at dawn 2
Har Ki Pauri, the main bathing spot at Hardwar at dawn 2

 

Kumbh mela (Kumbha fair) is the largest & the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage, a mass pilgrimage which draws millions of Hindus to have a holy dip in the sacred waters of one of the three holy rivers, viz. the Ganga, Godavari  or  Kshipra. It is held after every 12 years and rotates among 4 locations : Prayag (Allahabad) at the confluence of the Ganga & Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, Hardwar (Haridwar) by the Ganga  in Uttarakhand, Nasik by the river Godavari in Maharashtra & Ujjwain  by the river Kshipra in Madhya Pradesh.

According to the Indian Astrology, it is celebrated when the planet Brihaspati (Jupiter) moves into the Zodiac  sign of Aquarius or Kumbha.

Hindus believe that the waters of Ganga (or the other rivers Kshipra & Godavari) turns into nectar (Amrit) on the auspicious occasion of Kumbh Mela., & a holy dip in the water of these rivers eliminates all the evil & past sins from an individual’s life. Thousands of holy men & women (Sadhus of various types) attend the Kumbh Mela, & thye auspiciousness of the festival is in part attributable to these holy persons. The sadhus include various sects & a large number of them are Naga Sannyasis who remain nude throughout their lives!

Millions of people from all parts of the world attend these festivals, with various intentions, mostly to get a chance to be free from sins of this & the past lives. The other important activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, religious assemblies, mass feeding of & distribution of clothes to  poor people.

 This festival of Kumbh Mela is recognized by the Guinness Book of world Records as the largest human gathering at one site.

This year (2010) the Kumbh Mela is being celebrated at Haridwar (or Hardwar) in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand from 10 January to 28 April. The important dates in which sadhus & devotees take a holy dip in the Ganga are called “Snaan” dates, some of these in this Kumbha Mela are as follows : 14 January (Makar Sankranti), 15 January (Mouni Amabasya), 12 Feb (Maha Shivratri –the first Sahee snan or the first Royal bath), 15 March (Somavati Amabasya, the second Sahee Snan or Royal bath), 24 March (Ram Navami), 30 March (Chaitra Purnima), 14 April (Mesh Sankranti – Mukhya Sahee snan or the Chief Royal Bath) & 28 April (Vaishakha Purnima).

 

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