New Delhi: The Prayag Nagari is once again bustling with crores of devotees from across the world. The wharfs of the holy river Ganga, Yamuna and  mythical Saraswati (commonly known as Sangam) is once again full of life with thousands of boats waiting for the disciples to take a holy ride during month long Maha Kumbh Mela.  

The banks of the Sangam will once again be bustling as millions of devotees and commoners alike will make the place their temporary homes. The sands will once again dazzle with the sight of Sadhus, the guardians of the faith; Naga Babas, covering their naked bodies with ash; and Mahants for almost a month.

After 12 long years, the wait is finally over as the Maha Kumbh is once again back to where it belongs – Allahabad, also known as Prayag.

People from across the world come here for bathing in the river Ganges as it is believed that bathing here will free one from all their sins, thereby liberating him from the cycle of life and death.
The Kumbh Mela is celebrated once every 12 years at four different places depending on the position of the planet of Brihaspati (Jupiter) and the sun.

When Jupiter and the sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi) it is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik; when the sun is in Aries (Mesha Rashi) it is celebrated at Haridwar; when Jupiter is in Taurus (Vrishabha Rashi ) and the sun is in Capricorn (Makar Rashi) Kumbha Mela is celebrated at Prayag; and Jupiter and the sun are in Scorpio (Vrishchik Rashi) the Mela is celebrated at Ujjain.

Nasik will host the Kumbha Mela in 2015 (August 15 to September 13) while Ujjain in 2016 (April 22 to May 21).

The Kumbh Mela that is held in Allahabad is considered to be the largest and holiest of all the four destinations and is believed to be the most auspicious.

The most auspicious days and dates for bathing during Maha Kumbh Festival and their importance
January 14, 2013 (Monday) – Makar Sankranti - A Holy bath during this period carries special significance. Those who take a holy bath in the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri acquire pious credits.
January 27, 2013 (Sunday) – Paush Purnima - The day occurs when the moon is full in the Hindu month of Paush. This is the last full moon of winter. By this time, the sadhu and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive at the Kumbh Mela.

February 6, 2013 (Wednesday) – Ekadashi Snan

February 10, 2013 (Sunday) – Mauni Amavasya Snan (Main Bathing Day) - For the holy men and women, this is the main bathing day. New members to various holy monastic orders receive their first initiation on this day.

February 15, 2013 (Friday) – Basant Panchami Snan - This is the fifth day of the luminous half of the lunar month and is the beginning of spring in North India.

February 17, 2013 (Sunday) – Rath Saptami Snan - Rath Saptami festival is observed on the seventh day of Shukla Paksha in the Magh Month (January – February) in the traditional Hindu calendar.

February 21, 2013 (Thursday) – Bhisma Ekadashi Snan - On this day, Bhishma Pithamaha, the oldest, wisest, most powerful and most righteous person belonging to the Kuru dynasty (approx. over 5000 years ago), narrated the greatness of Lord Krishna through Sri Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishtira, the oldest brother of Pandavas.

February 25, 2013 (Monday)
– Maghi Purnima Snan

Raghwendra Shukla/JPN

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