Kumbh Mela sees the largest gathering of pilgrims from across the world and this year it was the Maha Kumbh, which occurs every 144 years at Prayag Allahabad, with over 100 million visitors. This year’s Maha Kumbh is lasting a huge 55 days including 6 auspicious bathing days with Shahi processions of Sadhus and Saints and on each of these 6 days the visitors can be anywhere between 10 million to 30 million.
Kumbh Mela occurs every 12 years when the ‘Guru’ planet of our solar system, Jupiter cycles into Aries at the same time the Sun and the Moon are in Capricorn. This period is believed to be very auspicious. Rishi Bhrigu one of the first seven Seers of the ancient Vedic astronomy charted the planetary alignments of our solar system with a treatise â€“ Bhrigu Samhita â€“ of their astrological influences on human life. According to some academics (Prof S B Roy who authored Early Aryans of India) the great astrologer Vessametta, c.3500 BCE, set the first great bath on the new moon in the month of Magh, around Mid-January. Thus even by more secular thinking the bathing tradition goes back to the pre-Harappan Indus Valley civilisation in India.
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