Kumbha Mela and Magha Mela

Kumbha Mela is a major pilgrimage and festival in Hindu Dharma, celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years at four River-bank pilgrimage centres – Prayagraj (confluence of Ganga-Yamuna-Saraswati Rivers), Haridwar (Ganga), Nashik (Godavari) and Ujjain (Shipra). The festival is not only marked by a ritual dip, but is also a celebration with numerous fairs, spiritual education, religious discourses by Saints, mass gatherings of Ascetics, etc. The seekers believe that bathing in these Rivers is a means to atone for the past mistakes and that it cleanses them of their sins.

The Magha Mela of Prayag is probably the oldest among the four modern day Kumbha Melas. It dates from the early centuries CE, given it has been mentioned in several early Puranas.

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