The Kumbh Mela, believed to be
the largest religious gathering on earth is held every 12 years on the banks of
the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi. The Mela alternates between Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and
every three years. The one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in Allahabad is the
largest and holiest of them. The Mela is attended by millions of devotees
including Sadhus. A holy dip in the sacred waters is believed to cleanse the
soul. The Sangam comes alive during Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh with an enormous
temporary township springing up on the vacant land on the Allahabad side of the
The legend goes thus- the gods and the demons fight for a pot of nectar (Amrit Kumbh): the nectar of immortality. Lord Vishnu, disguising himself as an enchantress (Mohini), seized the nectar from the demons. While fleeing from the evil ones, Lord Vishnu passed the nectar on to his winged mount, Garuda. The demons finally caught up with Garuda and in the ensuing struggle, a few drops of the precious nectar fell on Allahabad, Nasik, Haridwar and Ujjain. Since then, the Kumbh Mela has been held in all these places, alternatively, every 12 years.
Ardh Kumbh Mela and Magh Mela
The Ardh or half Kumbh, is held every six years on the banks of Sangam in
Allahabad. Second only to the Kumbh in sanctity, the Ardh Kumbh also attracts
devouts in millions, from all over the world.
Magh Mela is an annual event held at the Sangam.
How to get there
Air : There is no air link at present to Allahabad. However efforts are on to connect Allahabad to air route by the start of Kumbh 2001. The nearest airports are Varanasi (120 Kms from Allahabad) and Lucknow (200 Kms from Allahabad).
Rail: Allahabad is an important rail junction. Trains from all metros and major cities cross Allahabad. Allahabad is well connected by trains with all major cities, viz. Kolkata, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai
Road: Allahabad, on National Highways 2 and 27, is connected to all parts of the country by good motorable all-weather roads. State of U.P. (UPSRTC) runs buses (coaches) from all major cities in U.P. to Allahabad. Travel agencies operating in all major cities can provide cars on rentals with chauffeur at reasonable cost.
Kumbh Mela Photos
Festivals - Uttarakhand