It is believed that bathing in the holy rivers during Kumbha Mela cleanses a person of all sins. A girl is shown here bathing in the river.
Kumbha Mela is a sacred Hindu event or fair in which thousands of devotees gather and take dip in the holy river. There are four cities in India were Kumbha Mela is organized – Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik, Ujjain. The festival happens on the banks of river Ganga in Haridwar and Allahabad, river Godavari in Nashik, and river Shipra in Ujjain. Kumbh Mela is related to the legen of Samudra Manthan or the churning of ocean of milk (Kshir Sagar). When Devas (demi gods) and Asuras (demons) churned the ocean of milk and the elixir of life, Amrit, emerged, Garuda – the celestial eagle and animal mount of Hindu God Vishnu, flew away with the pot of Amrit to keep it away from the Asuras. It is believed that he spilled the amrit at these four places. At any place, Kumbha mela is held once in 12 years.