It is one of the biggest congregation and spectacles of the world and it happens just once in 12 years! The Ujjain Kumbh is on right now, and if you haven’t thought of heading there you just may be the biggest loser ever! We tell you why
Ujjain is located at the bank of Shipra River in western region of Madhya Pradesh and is seen as one of the most sacred places in India. The Poorna Kumbh is held at Ujjain once in every 12 years when the zodiac sign Scorpio (Vrishchik Rashi) indicates the presence of Jupiter and Sun. The Simhastha Kumbh Mela will be on till may 21, 2016.
Ujjain has been a source of inspiration to ancient Indian sages, poets, dramatists, social commentators and scholars since times immemorial. The city has also nurtured cultural, literary, Vedic and educational institutions. But, if all this sounds Latin to you here are some fantastically funky reason why you cannot afford to miss this mega event:
A mesmerising spectacle
Forget malls, technology and development. At the Kumbh Mela you get so see India as the land of story books. Here elephants roam the streets, snake charmers mesmerize crowds, and strange haunting melodies emerge from musical instruments never seen in urban India.
They all have different basic beliefs and classifying them into their varied categories can be great fun. Here is a basic ready reckoner to get you started.
Nagas: naked sadhus who smear their bodies with ash and have long matted hair. Constant exposure to the weather makes them resistant to temperature extremes. Their eyes are bloodshot from constantly smoking charas (marijuana), which they believe aids enlightenment.
Urdhwavahurs: who have emaciated bodies from rigid spiritual practices.
Parivajakas: who have taken a vow of silence.
Shirshasinse: who remain standing, sleep with their heads resting on a vertical pole, and meditate standing on their heads.
Kalpvasis: who remain by the river banks and devote their time to meditating, performing rituals, and bathing numerous times a day million pilgrims
This Kumbh Mela is one of those rare occasions when saints from all of the thirteen akhadas have come to participate. You can wander in the chawni or camp of each akhada and learn more about the lives of these ascetics. There are sadhavis there too. So keep your eyes open
Some funky signages
The biggest community bath ever!
With about 4.5 million pilgrims visiting Ujjain this year, you will be able to see thousands taking their holy dip at the same time. A rather busy bath time!
The most innovative marketing lessons real time
Marketers in India rush in to embrace the hinterland. You might find rotis with a hygiene message, find splash bars from drink giants. And if you are a woman, a female attendant will escort you to a special changing room while handing you samples of products.
And here is the cool new Kumbh app!
If you can’t live without technology, download the Kumbh mela app and start planning your journey. There are a number of apps to choose from. To download the official app of the Madhya Pradesh government, click
And if you still can’t make it to the coolest event this May…
If you cannot make it to Ujjain for this Kumbh Mela, just download the TMVR app, India’s first virtual reality app and be at Mahakaal temple and witness the holy Bhasam Aarti.