Kumbha (pitcher) Mela (fair),is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage.The festival is religiously most important for the Hindus.The motive of Kumbh Mela is to take dip in the Holy river,to come out of the circle of life &and death to get the Moksha(Salvation).Pilgrims and Sadhus in millions,from around the world gather to liberate themselves.
The Kumbha Mela is held at four sacred places in India-Haridwar,Prayag,Kashi and Ujjain.Haridwar is considered very holy, due to the fact that Ganga enter plains from mountains here itself.
The Naga Sadhus,having long matted hair, never wear any clothes and are smeared in ash.There are the Urdhwavahurs, who believe in putting the body through severe austerities.The Parivajakas,who have taken a oath of silence.
The Shirshasins,standing on their heads, meditate for hours together.The Kalpvasis spend the entire month of Kumbh on the banks of the river Ganges,meditating, performing rituals and bathing thrice a day.
The Holy Sangam of the rivers,Ganga,Jamuna and Saraswati,at Allahbad, is an age old symbol of Indian Culture & Civilization,which offers purity,fertility and wash off the sins of those who take a dip into it.
It is also believed that at the time of Kumbh Yog, the water of Ganga is charged positively by the enhanced electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and the Jupiter and their effects varies as per the positions and the phases of the Sun and the Moon.
The following table shows the positions of the planets when the Kumbh Mela is held at four sacred places in India.
The origin of the Kumbh is very old and dates back to the time when Kalash (a pot of nectar of immortality) was recovered from Samudra Manthan (churning of the primordial sea), for which the Gods and Demons had a tense war.
The Devtas Brahaspati, Surya, Chandra and Shani were given the responsibility of protecting this Kalas from the Demons.who were stronger.The four Devtas ran away with the Amrita Kalash to hide it from the Demons.
The angry Demons chased the Devtas,who were running with the Amrita Kalash.The chase,round the earth, lasted for 12 days and nights,when Devtas placed the Amrita Kalash at Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik(India).In the battle between the Devtas and Demons the nectar fell at this four places.
There are many bathing ghats in Haridwar and the main ghat is Har Ki Pauri whereas other famous ghats are Asthi Parwah Ghat , Subhash Ghat and Gau Ghat.
Har Ki Pauri
It is believed that Bhartrihari,the brother of the king Vikramaditya(sixth century AD),came to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the holy river Ganges.On his death, his king brother constructed a Ghat in his name which is known as Hari-Ki-Pari and also known as Brahmakund ghat.
During the Ganga Arti ceremony ,the reflection of golden shades of floral lamps, in the river water, is the a special attraction during twilight.
Asthi Parwah Ghat
This ghat is on the south of the main Ganga temple.The ashes of the dead persons are immersed in the river Ganges,with the belief that the soul will get Moksha(salvation).
This ghat is adjacent to Har-Ki-Pairi and the there is the statue of Netaji Subhashchandra Bose.There are organisations here,who help the pilgrims.
Gau means cow.This ghat is on the South of Subhash Ghat.Here people seek atonement for the sin of cow-slaughter.The sin of killing a cow is "equal to the sin of killing a Brahmin".