The Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which the faithful gather to plunge into a sacred river and purify their souls.
Families, young people, old people, children of all India, of all the caste, poor and rich, come together to participate. The event also brings sadhus, priests, ascetics to the famous Naga Sadhu who live and turn naked covered only by ashes.
The Purna Kumbh Mela ("Complete" Kumbh Mela) is celebrated in four main places every three years, in rotation, while the Ardh Kumbh Mela (this of 2019) every six years. In January 2007, more than 16 million Hindus participated in the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Prayag.
The Maha Kumbh Mela ("Great" Kumbh Mela) is celebrated in Allahabad every 12 years. Approximately 60 million people participated in the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2001, according to some sources, about 100 million people participated in the Maha Kumbh Mela of Allahabad in 2013.
Kumbh or Kumbha the jug, jar symbolizes the womb, the generating force identified with the mothers goddesses. In ancient times, pots containing cereals were brought to certain places along the banks of the river, immersed and filled with other seeds to ensure an abundant harvest.
Legend has it that from the ocean the gods and demons fought for a vase that contained the nectar of immortality Amrit Kumbh. The god Vishnu, disguising himself as an enchantress Mohini, stole nectar from the demons and fled on his winged horse, Garuda. In the struggle that ensued, a few drops of the precious nectar fell into four places and since then, the Kumbh Mela has been celebrated in these places.
The first testimony of this gathering dates back to the seventh century, when the emperor Harsha of Kanauj (606-648), invited the Chinese pilgrim Hseun-Tsang to assist you.