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Maha Kumbha Mela-"An event of a lifetime"

Updated on June 25, 2012

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.

Pictures of Samundra Manthan  Courtsey sagarworld
Pictures of Samundra Manthan Courtsey sagarworld

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.

Statue of LORD SHIVA at haridwar
Statue of LORD SHIVA at haridwar
People performing Aarti at haridwar
People performing Aarti at haridwar
Pilgrimes taking bath in ganaga
Pilgrimes taking bath in ganaga
City of haridwar is glittering with lights of diya
City of haridwar is glittering with lights of diya

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 .

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mansa Devi TempleRopeway to Mansa Devi TempleRopeway to Chandi Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple
Ropeway to Mansa Devi Temple
Ropeway to Mansa Devi Temple
Ropeway to Chandi Devi Temple
Ropeway to Chandi Devi Temple

How to reach Haridwar

By Road

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 -

By Rail

The major trains are -
  055/2056 New Delhi-Dehradun 
  4309/4310 Ujjain-Dehradun 
  9019/9020 Bombay-Dehradun 
  4041/4042 Delhi-Dehradun 
  4265/4266 Varanasi-Dehradun 
  3009/3010 Howrah-Dehradun 
  2017/2018 Delhi-Dehradun 
  4113/4114 Allahabad-Dehradun 
  2687/2688 Dehradun-Chennai 

By Air 

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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    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from MUMBAI

      Denise thank you for visiting this thread. i really feel proud that you like Indian culture and follow Indian mythology.Also bit very sad as you were unable to complete your quest due to your mom's ill health. Hope she is fine now.Thanks again

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful photos and interesting information. I love following Indian religious history and mythology and have often speculated that I have had a previous life living in India. I began my spiritual quest many years ago and it brought me to the teachings of Ramana Maharhshi. I came close to visiting the Ashram of R.M. in 2004, but my mother became ill and I did not go.

      Thanks for this beautiful hub. :)

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from MUMBAI

      I'm really glad that my this little article brought back all your old sweet memories of childhood..... thank you for reading this hub....

    • profile image


      8 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Hi! Mahesh

      Very Nice article and pleasing pictures. I had forgotten this story that at these 4 places Amrit had fallen during Samudra Manthan. Enjoyed remembering it back.

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from MUMBAI

      Peggy No that's not usual. As per our mythology it was done to obtain pot of nectar from the ocean and all GODS and DEMONS participated in this event. From one side mountain named MERU was churned by team of GODS and from one side team of DEMONS. Btw thank you very much for dropping by.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      The stories from Hindu mythology were interesting and those photos were amazing. The one showing that white robed bather in the water surrounded by people on the that typical? Only one bather at a time? I would have thought that the water would have been filled with people. Thanks for introducing this to us.

    • maheshpatwal profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from MUMBAI

      Thanks a ton caspar and micky for dropping by.........

      caspar...... if you get a chance in your lifetime to visit this place i would suggest you not to miss that opportunity..........

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      Very nice! I enjoyed the pictures and info.

    • caspar profile image


      9 years ago from UK

      Excellent hub - very interesting thank you. It all looks very beautiful, I'd love to go to Haridwar one day.


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