Kumbhamela (Kumbh Mela) is the greatest religious festival in the world. It takes place every 12 years at the banks of the sacred Triveni Sangam, near Allahabad for at least fifteen hundred years (perhaps much longer). Year 2013 celebration was attended by more than one hundred million people. That is, every seventieth inhabitant of the planet. The festival has become the largest documented gathering of homo religiosa in one place in the history of humanity.
The myth of Kumbh Mela
Once the gods have decided to churn the Primordial ocean to extract the elixir of immortality from it. But the gods had become weak and unable to complete this feat themselves and they asked help from Asuras (demons). For a thousand years they churned the Ocean, using the serpent king Vasuki as a rope wrapped around the axis of the world, a gigantic mountain Mandara. The first to appear from the foam was a terrible poison that threatened to destroy all the worlds. Then Lord Shiva drank the poison to save the universe.
After that there appeared various miraculous creatures and treasures, and finally the bowl (Kumbh) with the nectar of immortality, Amrita. For possession of Amrita a terrible war crashed out (more…)
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