New Delhi Jagran Lifestyle Desk: On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sakranti, lakhs of devotees, pilgrims and tourists will gather in the ancient city of Haridwar for the Mahakumbh Mela starting from 14 January. The social event highlights India’s diverse culture and spreads the message of harmony and national unity.
The Kumbh Mela is celebrated in a cycle of about 12 years in four cities: Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain. However, this time, the festival is taking place after 11 years instead of 12 due to planetary movements. The festival will last for about three months, culminating with the Chaitra full moon bath on 27 April. Before the festival starts, here you have to know about the history and importance of this festival.
There is no historical literary evidence of the Kumbh Mela prior to the 19th century, although the credit for this festival goes to Adi Shankara and the eighth century Hindu philosopher, who are credited with uniting the main streams of thought in Hinduism. The word ‘Kumbh Mela’ is not found in ancient and medieval texts, however, mentions of the bathing pilgrimage have been found in a supplement to the Rigveda. It is also mentioned in Pali cannons of Buddhism.
The festival lasts for one to three months and gathers millions of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world. In 2001, around 60 million people gathered for the festival. The social program exposes the diverse culture of India and spreads the message of harmony and national integration. The Kumbh Mela has been listed by UNESCO in its “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” list. In 2017.