Kumbh Mela (the festival of the sacred Pitcher) is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth, during which participants bathe or take a dip in a sacred river. Devotees believe that by bathing in the Ganges one is freed from sins liberating her/him from the cycle of birth and death.
The Kumbh Mela is held every three years, and switches between four different locations –
- Haridwar (river Ganga)
- Prayag (Triveni sangam of Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati)
- Ujjain (river Kshipra)and
- Nasik (river Godavari).
The mela returns to each location after a span of 12 years.
Apart from this, there are three other types of Kumbh.
- The Ardha Kumbh Mela: This is held in Haridwar and Prayagraj once in 6 years.
- The Purna Kumbh Mela: This is held only at Prayagraj once in every 12 years.
- The Maha Kumbh Mela: This is held only in Prayagraj once in every 144 years.