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Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

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!

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