Timings: Held in every 12 Years. Major Airports: Bamrauli Airport or Allahabad Airport(Domestic Airport) Best time: October to March
Tale behind the Kumbh Mela
Mythological significance of Kumbh begins with the story of the Samudra Manthan (ocean churning) which was done by both gods and the demons to earn the jewels and the amrita (nectar of immortality). Lord Shiva consumed the first churned venomous poison, after this, he was called as the Nilkantha(blue neck). The churning continues and emerged Kamdhenu, Jayanta, the son of Lord Indra, caught sight of the Amrita Kalasa (the pot filled with nectar), snatched it from the hands of God Dhanvantari.
As the god of demons, Shukracharya alerted others and chased the Jayanata. As he kept running for 12 days to preserve Amrit Kalash ( 12 days were equal to 12 years as the divine counting, one day of god is similar to the one year of mortal begins) from the demons.
The four sites of Kumbh Mela are believed to be the locations where drops of Amrita fell from its Amrit Kalash (pot of nectar) while it was carried by a Jayanata Deva, to protect it from the hands of the Demons. The four drops fell onto Prayag, Haridwar, Nashik and Ujjain, giving these sites mystical properties. The nectar pot was saved from the demons by God Brihaspati with the help of Lord Sun and his son Lord Shani and Lord Moon who saved the nectar (Kumb) from getting damaged.
Since then Kumbh Mela has been celebrated in each of the four places. The Kumbh Mela is held every 3 years. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is held every six years at Haridwar and Allahabad (Prayag) while the Purna Kumbh Mela takes place every twelve years, at four places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik, based on planetary movements. The Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Prayag after 144 years (after 12 ‘Purna Kumbh Melas’).
As per Hindu Astrology, this festival is celebrated on the basis, of the position of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. The Jupiter is considered as the Guru of Gods. As it takes 12 years for Jupiter to transverse the whole zodiac, Kumb is organized with the accordance of one place. When the position of Jupiter places in Taurus and the position of Sun and the Moon are in Capricorn , the kumb will held at Prayag.
In 2019 in Allahabad Ardh Kumbh Mela will commence from January 15, 2019, the auspicious day of Paush Purnima, and it will end on March 4, 2019, at the day of Maha Shivratri. The Prayagraj Mela Authority will facilitate all the amenities to the pilgrims, and they have issued the Bathing schedule too, as mentioned below
15 January 2019- Makar Sankranti
21 January 2019- Paush Purnima
04 February 2019- Mauni Amavasya
10 February 2019- Basant Panchami
19 February 2019- Maghi Poornima
04 March 2019- Maha Shivratri
Held in every 12 years. Next will be organized in the year of 2019.