5 Things to Know about Maha Kumbh Mela

by vineet pal
5 Things to Know about Maha Kumbh Mela

Maha Kumbh Mela is the world’s biggest social event. Maha Kumbh is an event where billions of humans gather in one place, and it only happens in 4 places every four years. 

Have you seen Millions of people at a place at the same time, well I can say that I Experience that, and if you want to experience this unique event, join Maha Kumbh Mela in India? 

I heard and watched in Bollywood movie that how people lose their loved ones in Kumbh Mela and I was thinking that Bollywood is too filmy. It can’t be possible, but I was wrong when I saw the event with my own eyes.

man searching for family in maha kumbh melaPeople keep announcing that they lost love ones in the Maha Kumbh Mela and waiting for them in the lost and found area. Maha Kumbh is that big event that this is the only gathering visible from the space. Maha Kumbh is the largest gathering in the history of the world.

taking bath in ganga maha kumbh mela

In the regular days, the event place is plan ground, but the area converts of Maha Kumbh Event, and you can feel it. The local government places lights, and you can see black plastic drums floating in the river and works kind of a temporary bridge. When you walk with millions of people, it’s straightforward to lose the direction, and I lost a couple of times while walking around.

police on horse in maha kumbh mela

When you cross the bridge and reach the other side of the river is the meeting points of three rivers The Ganga, The Yamuna, and The mythical Sarasvati. Saraswati is a Gupt river that means this river is Mythical, and you can’t see it. This area is Sangam means unite in English.

The best to experience this event is to hire a boat, Normal days, these boats ask very little money, but if you are in Maha Kumbh time, I would love to skip the boat ride as they ask the unbelievable price for one ride.

Do You Want To Know What Is In My Camera Bag? Click Here

fisher in allahabad

Five things you should know about Maha Kumbh Mela.

1 History About Maha Kumbh Mela.

The word Kumbh has a meaning: “A vessel of Amrit” (Amrit means in mythology that A liquid that can make you immortal if you will drink).

In Hindu culture, we believe that during Samudra Manthan, God and the Demons discovered Amrit’s vessel.

The God and Demon both wanted to own it. Lord Brahma, one of the Gods, tired of running away with Amrit. Then the demons also wanted the Amrit, so they ran behind Lord Brahma and tried to snatch the Kumbh. 

This moment the Amrit Spilled in 4 Places:
  • Allahabad
  • Ujjain
  • Nasik
  • Haridwar

 These four cities, or you can say sites become holy sites, Kumbh Mela.

people in allahabad

2 Best time to go at Maha Kumbh Mela

Maha Kumbh Mela is not easy to join as this is a lifetime event for many people, and the full Kumbh Mela is every 12 years, and last time was in 2013 in Allahabad, so we have to wait a lot for this event.

temporary bridge in allahabad

The Maha Kumbh Mela is in the Month of Magh in Allahabad city when the planets’ position is perfect. Taking a Holy Snan in the Ganga river this time of the event means you clean your sins and go to heaven after death.


The next full Kumbh Mela is in 2025. The exact date is in the Hindu calendar. We have a lot of time, at least five more years to plan this beautiful journey, and I am going for sure! Are you planning to join Maha Kumbh Mela? let me know in the comments. I hope we can meet somewhere between 120 million visitors in Maha Kumbh Mela.

indian monk in allahabad

If you can’t wait for five years, don’t worry, Ardh Kumbh Mela is in Haridwar in 2021, and I hope if we are free from this Covid-19 virus, then we can witness this beautiful event.

night time in maha kumbh mela

Here is a schedule for the critical event of Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021

Dates: 14 January 2021 – 27 April 2021

Makar Sankranti (Snan) 14 January 2021
Mauni Amavasya (Snan) 11 February 2021
Basant Panchami (Snan) 16 February 2021
Magh Poornima 27 February 2021
Maha Shivratri (Shahi Snan) 11 March 2021
Somvati Amavasya (Shahi Snan) 12 April 2021
Baisakhi (Shahi Snan) 14 April 2021
Ram Navami (Snan) 21 April 2021
Chaitra Purnima (Shahi Snan) 27 April 2021

3 The river water was freezing in Maha Kumbh Mela

Maha Kumbh was in the winter month, and I still remember that I was roaming around the River Ganga in the night around 10 PM or 22:00 Uhr.

My friends and I decided to take a bath as this means you took a holy bath this time of the year we also followed the tradition, and the next day, I was very sick, and it took me four days to recover from the sickness.

river ganga snan

The Snan or the bath is usually happening early in the morning, and this time the water usually is freezing, and millions of devotees take a bath. Each and everyone goes through this pain, and I wonder if most people get sick the next day like I was after taking a bath. 

4 Monks in Maha Kumbh Mela

Maha Kumbh was the only time when I got a chance to meet Naga Sadhus, (“Sadhu means Monk”) Naga Sadhus are a devotee of Lord Shiva and they follow the strict routine every day, and they live a simple life. Most of Naga Sadhu’s time is for praying to Lord Shiva.

indian monk smoking chillum

I saw Sadhus showing skills with weapons in the Maha Kumbh Mela, and I also saw them wearing ash of a dead human being. It is fascinating to learn about this type of lifestyle as this is entirely different then other sadhus you meet in the Maha Kumbh Mela.

Indian Monk in Allahabad

I was looking for something special, something I can click different from others something close to my point of view, so I was searching for a smoking chillum that I never saw before in real life.

indian monk nomad vineet

I asked too many monks to smoke chillum so I can capture them in my frames, I tried my best and got some clicks it was new for me and believed me I was not aware of what is Portrait at that time, I was not trained in photography what I clicked was self-learned.

5. Making Beautiful Portraits in Maha Kumbh Mela.

Maha Kumbh Mela was a nice learning point for me, I learned about portrait photography from this big event, and I learned more about Hindu Cultures.

indian monk smoking chillum

The Portrait is such a beautiful part of this event as the faces are so lovely. I clicked countless portraits, and I learned how to reach the people, talk to them, Please ask your portrait subject if I could make a portrait of them.

indian monk praying

Never shoot someone without Permission.

I can tell you this for sure that never shoots someone without Permission. What will you feel if someone clicks your pictures without Permission and post on social media? If you like your privacy, then respect other people’s privacy.

street kids of allahbad

You can always reach the people and ask for portraits, and with a smile, if you will ask the people most of the time, they will tell you Yes! Even if they say no, you can a million others to ask. Practice this method, and you will feel very confident after some time.

Maha Kumbh Mela Was A Special Journey

It was February 2013. I was at Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 with millions of people around me. It was a significant journey for my photography life. I was there at Allahabad for two weeks and photographs so many memories.

people in allahabad

From the starting of my day at Maha Kumbh, I was searching for a monk with chillum. Thanks to my friends at Allahabad, they helped me a lot.

street kids in maha kumbh Mela

At night the sky becomes yellow because of thousands of yellow lights. Everywhere people are walking, most of them wearing Indian traditional outfits, and you can see thousands of Indian monks gathered in one place.

I would recommend every one of you that please visit this event at least once to experience something that can’t describe in writing. This blog is an information point, but the experience I had, I don’t think anyone can explain in words.

Sunset in Allahbad

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