The Simhastha Kumbh is an unrivalled celebration in India. The most popular legend regarding the origin of Kumbh Melas is the Samudra Manthan or ‘churning of the ocean’. Gods and demons competed ercely in the churning in search of the divine nectar of immortality. During this epic battle to capture the Urn (Kumbh) containing the nectar, drops of the precious liquid fell on four places – Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Nashik and Ujjain. Hence, river Kshipra became the enhancer of life and to celebrate this event since then the grand festival came in vogue. Kumbh Mela, is held once every twelve years at these four places and attracts millions of devotees.
Grand Simhastha, on the Ghats of the glorious Kshipra
The Ujjain Kumbh is celebrated when Jupiter ascends into sun sign Leo’s quarter or the Simha constellation of zodiac, which is why it is called ‘Simhastha’. The Simhastha is special in Ujjain as it is the seat of divine Mahakal – the Lord of all times. The ritual of bathing in the holy waters of Kshipra begins on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) and continues on various dates until the full moon shows up in the following month of Vaishakha.
Simhastha 2016 will begin on 22nd of April and will continue till 21st of May.
Sadhus of various sects from across the country assemble in Ujjain and mingle with ordinary people as they take their ritual dip in the holy waters of the Kshipra.