- Religion and Philosophy
Maha Kumbha Mela-"An event of a lifetime"
One of the largest congregation on plant earth called Maha Kumbha which started on 14th Jan 2010 in Haridwar will end on April 28th 2010.So i thought of sharing some information with all my hub friends regarding this mega event which occurs after 12 long years. This year it is held in Haridwar (Gateway to god ) which is in Uttaranchal (India)
There are many stories based on which this mega gathering is observed but “SAMUNDRA MANTHAN (Churning of ocean )” is the main episode which is widely conferred in all hindu mythological books. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Bharma (God of creation) advised all the gods to drink AMRITA or AMRIT (nectar of immortality ) to get rid of their weakness, caused during the creation of earth. Amrita was stored in an ocean, and could only be dug out by churning the ocean. In obtaining the kumba (Pot) containing AMRITA from ocean Devtas (GODS) agreed to work together with Asuras (Demons) and in return they agreed to share Amrita equally.A mountain, Meru, was used as churning stick. Mythical snake, Vasuki was used as rope to move the mountain.
When Amrita appeared from the ocean fight started for possession of the Kumbha containing amrita.This fight lasted for 12 days and nights (equivalent to 12 human years). During the fight drops of amrita fell at four places on earth. These are the places that is where Kumbha Mela is observed today.
1.Prayag (near the city of Allahabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three rivers Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and Saraswati)
2.Haridwar (in the state of Uttaranchal/Uttarakhand) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas
3.Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of Ksipra river, and
4.Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.
There is a belief that taking a dip in the holy water of river Ganga (Maa Ganga as we call it) can liberate mankind from its sins.
This spiritual mega event “Maha Kumbha Mela” is attended by millions of people on a single day. A ritual bath at a predetermined time and place is the major event of this festival. Other activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men/women and the poor, and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardized. Kumbha Mela (especially the Maha Kumbha Mela) is the most sacred of all the Hindu pilgrimages. Thousands of holy men/women (monks, saints, sadhus) grace the occasion by their presence.
According to astrologers, the 'Kumbh Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries.
Following days are believed to be auspicious for taking a bath in holy water of MAA GANGA.
14 January 2010 - Makar Sankranti Snan – First Snan (Holy Bath)
15 January 2010 - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) – Second Snan
20 January 2010 - Basant Panchmi Snan – Third Snan
30 January 2010 - Magh Purnima Snan – Fourth Snan
12 February 2010 – Maha Shivratri – Pratham Shahi Snan – First Royal Bath
15 March 2010 - Somvati Amavasya – Dvitya Shahi Snan – Second Royal Bath.
24 March 2010 – Ram Navmi – Fifth Snan
30 March 2010 – Chaitra Purnima Snan
14 April 2010 - Amavasya of Krishna Paksh of Baisakh – Pramukh Shahi Snan (Main Royal Bath).
28 April 2010 - Shakh Purnima – Snan.
Haridwar is considered as one of the seven holiest places which all hindus must visit in their lifetime. Haridwar means Gateway to God. (Hari means “GOD” and Dwar “means gateway”. The Ganga leaves the mountains and enters the planes with Haridwar being the first major town on the planes. Hari ki pauri (“footsteps of god”) is the main ghat (meaning bathing areas on riverside) which becomes of center of all activity during Maha Kumbha mela.
Other main places which should be on your must visit list are :
Mansa Devi (3.5 kms)
This temple is dedicated to Maa (mother) Mansa (one of the avatar of goddess Durga). It is believed that whoever visit the this temple , his/her wishes are fulfilled by maa Mansa.
The temple can be reached by the ropeway or one can take the normal trekking route to the top. The top of the hill gives you an excellent view of Haridwar. The trolley ropeway route to Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi, is breath taking.
Chandi Devi (6 Kms)
Chandi Devi temple is one of the most ancient temples situated in uttaranchal.It is on the top of a hill called the Neel Parvat which is on the other side of the river Ganga. The King of Kashmir, Suchat Singh, constructed the temple in 1929 AD. Chandi Devi is a three km trek from the Chandi Ghat. This place marks the spot where a demon was slain by goddess Chandi.
Maya Devi (0.5 Kms)
The Maya Devi Temple holds great religious importance for the follower of Hindu religion. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying his wife Sati, who had burnt her self to keep the honour of her husband, then the heart and navel of Sati had fallen at this place.It is one of the Shaktipeeths in India. This ancient temple of Maya Devi is also the Adhisthatri deity of Haridwar.
Daksha Mahadev Temple (4 kms)
As per mythology King Daksha Prajapati, father of Sati (Lord Shiva 's first wife ) performed yagya at this place. Daksha Prajapati did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati felt insulted . Therefore she burnt herself in the yagya Kund . This incident provoked the disciples and followers of Mahadev who killed King Daksha, but later on Lord Mahadev brought him back to life. Daksha Mahadev temple is thus a tribute to this legend .
How to reach Haridwar
Haridwar is well connected to the major cities, it lies on the National Highway no. 58 and road network is good. There are regular buses from Delhi in every 30 minutes.
The distances in km from some cities are -
The major trains are -
055/2056 New Delhi-Dehradun
Nearest Airport to reach haridwar is Jollygrant at Dehradhun which is 35 Kms away from Haridwar. It is well connected to the major cities like Delhi etc. Regular flights are available by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.
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