Had the good fortune of being at Ujjain for the Simha hasth kumbha mela last week. What amazed me most was the the way things are organized in a seemingly chaotic arrangement. As I drove from Bhopal to Ujjain, saw hundreds of vehicles from all over the country heading to Ujjain.
While most western systems follow the pure solar calendar, the Indian system uses the luni-solar system where the position of the moon and sun are equally significant. The Sun spends a month in a constellation and the moon spends about 2.5 days in a Rasi.
Kumbh mela happens in four locations in India: Haridwar, Nasik, Ujjain and Prayag. The date of the Kumbh Mela is decided based on the position of Jupiter, Sun and Moon. At Ujjain, since the Leo constellation is involved it is called Simhahasth. It happens when Jupiter in Leo, Sun in Aries; or Jupiter, Sun, and Moon in Libra on Kartik Amavasya. 2016 is a Purna Kumbh mela at Ujjain and since it happens once in 12 years, it is a significant opportunity to be part of this mega-event.
Ujjain is a place filled with Shiva temples and the beautiful sacred Shipra river flows through Ujjain. The Ujjain Mahakali temple is where Poet Kalidasa got his boon. The Tropic of Cancer passes through Ujjain and it is believed to be the starting of time in India. The birth place of Lord Mangalnath, Mars is also Ujjain. Sandeepani Rishi’s ashram where Shri Krishna and Balarama were trained is also located in Ujjain.
The main deity of Ujjain is Mahakaleswar. Mahakaleswar is a swayambhu Jyotirlinga. Of the 12 Jyotrilingas, 2 are located in Madhya Pradesh. One in Ujjain and the other in Omkareshwar. Various kings have worked towards the construction of the temple that we see today. As one enters the temple street, the daily aarathis can be seen on the big screen. The Bhasma aarathi is of immense significance.
With a brief halt at Ujjain, drove back to Bhopal and then took a 26 hr drive with my sisters to Rishikesh . Finished the trek to Tunganath and now heading to Guptakashi. Har Har Mahadev!
Will share pics in the coming days!
Pic source: simhasthaindia.com