Kumbh Mela is held at each of the four places namely Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain once in every 12 years. It is known to be a time when spiritual energy travels all around the place during this holy event. It’s a social harmony where you get to see many saints and sadhakas gathering at one place. This event even gives you the chance of seeking the blessings of these pious saints. The position of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter in different zodiac signs determines the location of the Kumbh in each of these places.
Ujjain, one of the most sacred places in India, is located on the banks of the holy Kshipra river in the western region of Madhya Pradesh. Kumbh in Ujjain is held when a rare configuration of planets takes place which happens once in 12 years. When the Sun is in the zodiac sign Aries and Jupiter in the zodiac Leo, it is held in Ujjain. Considering its relevance to the zodiac Leo meaning “Simha” in Sanskrit, the Kumbh is also referred to as “Simhastha Kumbh” or “Simhastha Kumbh Mahaparv.” “Kumbh” in its literal English translation means “jar”, which emerged from the “Samudra Manthan”(Churning of the Ocean) between Gods and Devils. Legend has it that the churning of ocean by the Gods and demons yielded a jar (Kumbh) full of Amrit (nectar). Gods did not wish to share it with demons. At the instance of Lord Indra, the King of Gods, his son Jayanta tried to run away with the jar, but he was followed by some of the demons.
During the struggle for its possession, a few drops of the nectar dropped at four places corresponding with Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Ujjain and Nasik on earth. The drops of nectar were well received by the holy rivers at these places.
It is the great bathing festival which sees lakhs of devotees coming together from across the world to celebrate this month-long congregation. The ceremonial bathing takes place in the holy Kshipra river on the full moon day of Chaitra month and continues in different intervals during the entire month of Vaishakh, culminating on the tenth full moon day. Sadhus are seen clad in saffron robes with Vibhuti ashes smeared on their skin as per the requirements of ancient traditions. Some, called naga sanyasis, may not wear any cloth even in severe winter. It is considered a sign of separation from the materialistic world.
Chief Secretary (CS) Anthony de Sa reviewed the progress of works related to “Simhastha Kumbh 2016” at the Mantralay, Bhopal, in October 2015. Emphasis was laid on the cleaning and rejuvenation of the Kshipra river. The Ujjain Municipal Corporation, Public Health Engineering Department and Water Resources Development department were given instructions to ensure the cleanliness of the river and maintain it.
The chief secretary sought information mainly regarding works being undertaken by Urban Development and Environment, PWD, PHED, Forest and Narmada Valley Development departments. He also reviewed works of Health, Tourism and Culture departments, and Ujjain Development Authority. The CS directed departments and agencies concerned to complete all works by December 2015. The departments concerned gave information about infrastructural works completed for the Simhastha so far. The meeting was informed that construction works are progressing at a rapid pace to ensure flow of clean water in Kshipra river, making ghats convenient and beautiful, construction of roads and bridges, ensure arrangements for urinals and toilets, hospitals, additional rooms in tourist hostels, media centres, exhibition galleries, plantation, repair of temples and other construction works. The Home Department is also making necessary security arrangements for the “Simhastha Kumbh”.