India is an incredible land full of diversity, cultures, religions, fair and festivals. Kumbh Mela is made up of two words, Kumbh means Urn and Mela means fair. So Kumbh Mela is the festival of urn that pours out the nectar of immortality. It is one of the most significant and revered Hindu pilgrimage. It is held once in every twelve years where the waters from the sacred rivers the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati meet below the wall of Allahabad. According to the popular legend the Kumbh Mela originates when the Hindu deities asked for help to demons to churn the ocean to centrifuge the Amrit or Nectar. When the nectar came out the gods and demons fought for it and the fight among them ensured for twelve days. During this fight four drops of nectar spills from the pitcher at four places named Haridwar, Nasik, Ujjain and Prayag at Allahabad. These places now hold the Kumbh Mela after every three years and the cycle completes after twelve years and Maha Kumbh is held at Allahabad.
The Kumbh Mela draws an incredible spectrum of humanity under the same umbrella. Yogis, sadhus, Naga hermit, holy men, locals and people from all around the world gather to be a part of this age old holy gathering of people. On the occasion of Kumbh Mela various religious orders especially the Akharas arrive in the township. They enter in pompous parades carried palanquins, ride on elephants and wear fine robes along with brass bands and traditional musicians. Kumbh Mela is the only place where these Akharas still show the splendor of their past glory. During the Kumbh Mela sadhus meet again exchange views, give religious discourses and the decisions about promotions and ranks are taken. During religious discussions and conferences, conflicts between the religious orders are solved. The major attraction of Kumbh Mela is Shahi Snan (bath) on three main bathing dates. The whole atmosphere is filled with religious zeal where lakhs of devotees come together to engage in the collective bathing ritual. Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world. It showcases the mammoth fair of saints and devotees. People from all corners of the world spotted busy in religious discussions, devotional singings, mass feeding and religious assemblies at different places. Saffron wrapped sheets adorned with ashes the sadhus are among the major attractions of Kumbh Mela.