Kumbh Mela -- Hindu Festival -- Allahabad, India

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Kumbh Mela -- Hindu Festival -- Allahabad, India

The Kumbh Mela is the largest festival in the Hindu calendar, held once every 12 years in the north Indian city of Allahabad.

The Kumbh, Allahabad --  Michel Guntern, TravelNotes.org
The Kumbh -- Allahabad Travel Notes

This ancient festival pays homage to a battle between the gods and demons for a pitcher (kumbh). Legend has it that four drops of nectar fell from the pitcher and landed in Allahabad (Prayag), Hardwar, Ujjain and Nasik. A smaller Kumbh Mela is rotated through the other holy cities every three years.

The 2001 Kumbh Mela ran from January 9th to February 21st. Millions of Hindus made their pilgrimage to the massive tented city beside the River Ganges and immersed themeselves where three rivers meet -- the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati -- together known as the Sangam.

To the believers, bathing in the river is said to purge them of their sins and break the cycle of birth and death. Even non-hindus journey to Allahabad for the Kumbh Mela; if only to witness the spectacle.

Allahabad --  Michel Guntern, TravelNotes.org
Allahabad Travel Notes

Major Kumbh Mela Bathing Dates -- 2001

9 January -- Paush Purnima
14 January -- Makar Sankranti
24 January -- Mauni Amavasya (main bathing day)
29 January -- Basant Panchami
8 February -- Magh Purnima
21 February -- Mahashivratri

Bathing in the Sangam --  Michel Guntern, TravelNotes.org
Bathing in the Sangam Travel Notes

If you didn't make it to the Allahabad Kumbh Mela in 2001, the mini Kumbh (Magh Mela) is held annually; also between January and February. The Ardh Kumbh is also held six years after a Kumbh Mela and has the same main bathing days and religious significance as the Kumbh.

Kumbh Mela Official Site:
In Hindu.

Indian Festivals:
There are many colourful times to be in India. This list of festivals will give you an idea of what's on where.

UP Tourism:
Tourism in Uttar Pradesh -- from Agra to Varanasi; taking in Allahabad and the Taj Mahal.

Kumbh Mela
Michel Guntern

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