Future Kumbh Melas in India

Incredibly Massive Event

The “world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims”, Kumbh Mela is such an incredible event, which should be seen to believe to watch millions of devotees taking a holy dip in the sacred water, traditionally believed to be astrologically charged with certain divine properties that has a potential to remove even karmic bad effects of the past lives. The Hindus believe that taking three holy dips at any Kumbh Mela may wash away all their sins and may free them from the cycle of rebirth and death.
The pilgrims get once in a lifetime chance to bathe in the spirit of holiness, auspiciousness and salvation.
The Search of Salvation
According to ancient Hindu religious scriptures the gods and demons were engaged in a 12 celestial days long tussle to gain the ownership of a Kumbha(pitcher) full of the elixir of immortality, ‘amrit’, it fell to earth from the pitcher. The Kumbh Mela is celebrated at the places where the droplets fell from the heavens. The Kumbh Mela rotates among the four holy sites every 12 years.
Four Kumbh Mela Places
shiv-gangaMost of the people know that the Kumbh Mela is celebrated in India at four places – Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. At Haridwar (Uttarakhand), it is celebrated every 12 years, at the place where the holy Ganges enters the plains from the mighty Himalayas. Similarly it’s celebrated at the sacred Prayag, in Allahabad at Sangam, the confluence of Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. It’s also celebrated on the banks of Kshipra River at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and on the banks of Godavari River at Nasik in Maharashtra.
Astrological Significance
The Kumbh Mela in its different forms alternates between Haridwar, Prayag, Nashik and Ujjain every third year, in such a manner that coincides with the astrological conjugation of the planets. It’s celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) and the sun.
1- Haridwar:  When the Sun passes through Aries and Jupiter is in Aquarius (Kumbh Rashi) it is celebrated at Haridwar.
2-Prayag (Allahabad): When the Jupiter is in Taurus (Vrishabha Rashi ) and the Sun and Moon both are in Capricorn (Makar Rashi) Kumbha Mela is celebrated at Prayag
3-Ujjain: When Jupiter and the Sun are in Scorpio (Vrishchik Rashi) the Mela is celebrated at Ujjain.
4   4-Nasik (at Trimbakeshwar) : When Jupiter and the Sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi) it is held in Nasik.
Purna Kumbh? Maha Kumbh? And Ardh Kumbh?
Every Kumbh Mela, organized after 12 years at the above mentioned places, may also be called a Purna Kumbh Mela, And like its bigger version Kumbh or Purna Kumbh Mela or the smaller one, Magh Mela (local bathing event), every six years an Ardh Kumbh Mela is also organized at the above mentioned places. The purpose of organizing Ardh Kumbh Mela is to commemorate the legend of the struggle between the gods and demons over the Amrita Kumbha (the legendary pot of nectar) and draws innumerable crowds who believe in the Hindu Puranas and come in quest of purifying their soul before entering the realm of god. After 12 Kumbh Melas a Maha Kumbh Mela is held especially at Haridwar and Prayag, every 144 years.
Future Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh Mela
Each of the above four Kumbh Mela site’s celebration dates are calculated in advance according to a special combination of the above mentioned zodiacal positions of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter.
Ardh Kumbh
Ardh Kumbh
Ardh Kumbh
Ardh Kumbh
Ardh Kumbh
Kumbh Mela In Nasik (Trimbakeshwar) 2015
The Nasik (Nashik) Kumbhmela is a celebration that is held once every 12 years in Nashik – it is scheduled for 2015-2016.
Nasik is one the major city in Maharashtra, located 200 kms from Mumbai and Pune. The city has gained immense popularity owing to its pleasant climatic conditions, beautiful architecture, temples and caves.
Trimbakeshwar is a holy town that houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. It also is the origin of the river Godavari and is situated 38 kms away from Nasik. The Sinhasta Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years in Nasik and Trimbakeshwar. The Kumbh Mela is marked by millions of devotees’ plunge into the river Godavari that is believed would cleanse their souls leading to salvation. A ritual bath at a predetermined time and place is the major event of the festival. The annual festival of Shivratri is also celebrated with great pomp and show inviting thousands of pilgrims.
It would last for a whole year and would draw millions of devotees and tourists from all over the country and the world.
Nasik Kumbh Mela 2015-2016 Special Dates
The dates of the next Kumbh Mela of 2015 have now been officially announced by the religious sects namely the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad or the ABAP.
1- The flag hoisting of the main ceremony would be held on 14 July 2015 at Ram Kunda
2- The flag hoisting of the Akhara would be on 19 Aug 2015 at Sadhugram.
3- The first Shahi Snaan (Royal Bath) will be held on August 29, 2015, at Ram Kunda.
4- The second Shahi Snaan on September 13, 2015.
5- The third and the last Shahi Snaan of Nasik Kumbh Mela would be on September 18, 2015
Kumbh Mela in Ujjain 2016
‘Ujjain’ (the city of victory) is located on the western boundary of Madhya Pradesh, 55 km from Indore, situated on the banks of Shipra River. It  is one of the holiest cities in India. Ujjain is considered as one of the seven sacred moksa-puris or sapta-puris (cities of salvation). The others are Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kashi (Varanasi), Kanchipuram, and Dwarka. It is said that Lord Shiva killed the demon Tripura at Ujjain.
The historic city of Ujjain would host the Kumbh Mela during 22 April – 21 May 2016.
Ujjain Kumbh Mela Special Dates
Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABVP) shall decide about the following possible bathing dates. The auspicious bathing calendar  for general public would remain the same but there may be lesser number of the Shahi Snan (Royal Bath) days for the saints of various sects.
These dates are:
22 April 2016      Friday                 Chaitra Purnima Hanuman Jayanti (First Royal Bath)
03 May 2016       Tuesday              Varuthini Ekadashi (Second Royal Bath)
08 May 2016       Sunday                 ParashuRam Jayanti (Third Royal Bath)
09 May 2016       Monday               Akshaya Tritiya (Fourth Royal Bath)
12 May 2016        Thursday            Ganga Saptami (Fifth Royal Bath)
14 May 2016        Saturday             Vrishabha Sankranti
15 May 2016        Sunday                 Sita Navami (Sixth Royal Bath)
17 May 2016        Tuesday               Mohini Ekadashi
20 May 2016       Friday                  Narasimha Jayanti
21 May 2016        Saturday             Buddha Purnima (Last Royal Bath)
Attention Media Fraternity
I consider myself a fortunate person who have had the opportunity to serve at four Ardh Kumbh and three Kumbh Mela’s during my 32 years of career as a PR and Media Chief at Uttar Pradesh and OSD to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. I am managing the present Kumbh Mela 2013 organized at Allahabad as well as a Nodal Officer and Incharge Kumbh Mela Media Center  Although I have accommodated almost every journalist in the past but I feel it’s becoming more difficult to continue doing so.
The reasons:

The mounting pressure on our security agencies and the typical preferring the sensational over the sensible content sort of media attitude all over the world. To get more hits, more TRPs and more circulation the media fraternity has started ignoring the media ethics to a great extent.
The Director of Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Allahabad Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi adds,                            ‘According to ancient Vedic Hindu belief the community bathing at the confluence of holy Ganges, Yamuna and mythological Saraswati is a secret form of holy rivers’ worship and nobody is allowed to expose it to others. Similarly the Naga sadhus, who invariably are chased by the lens men from all over the world take it as an offense and on several occasions have reacted violently on such media exposures. Unshaken and unfazed by such religious beliefs the media person carry on their operations ruthlessly, which have resulted into hovocs on various occasions.

Recently a French photographer was taken into custody after he was found flying in a private chopper dangerously low over the main bathing area at Allahabad Kumbh that its rotors created ripples in the bathing waters of the confluence of holy Ganges and the Yamuna. Not only such media stunts which threatens the safety and security of the pilgrims, some other bad actions like taking snaps of bathing ladies, women changing clothes, shooting around the prohibited areas and causing traffic issues by unnecessarily attracting curious public around a certain place; irritate the administration. It should be noted that main focus of the administration remains to organize the event without putting public life in danger. The crazy, to some extent autocratic and irresponsible attitude of the visiting journalists may ignite local public’s anger to an unconquerable proportion. So that must be kept in mind. This is the main reason that stops authorities to cooperate the visiting media.
On the other hand most of the media fraternity from abroad doesn’t acquire J-Visa while coming to India to cover such mega events. It creates a lot of problems. The MEA guidelines make J-Visa compulsory for Non-resident journalists. The other journalists must possess either a valid press accreditation card issued by PIB of government of India or a card issued by any State’s Information and Public Relations Department. The local free lancers should either produce substantial acceptable accreditation proofs or be ready to get their applications rejected. It’s always better to apply in advance and remain in touch with the officers who manage such mega events, it would help you complete the formalities, get assistance and occasionally special treatment as well.

In case of any media related query anyone from anywhere may contact me at admin@ashokkumarsharma.in, I feel privileged to help media fraternity. Happy reporting!

About Ashok Kumar Sharma

5 National, 3 State Awards. PR, MarCom, Lobby, & Content. Expert.Faculty.29 Best Sellers. Chairman prsilucknow.in.Chief Strategist digitalcafe.in

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