Ujjain Kumbh Mela, Madhya Pradesh

The Ujjain Kumbha Mela is held once in every 12 years in Ujjain on the banks of Shipra river in the Madhya Pradesh.

Although the two Kumbha Melas at Haridwar and Prayag find mention in many predated traveller records, the Nashik event is traditionally known as Nashik Simhastha and owing to the huge popularity of the Nashik Simhastha the prevailing royalty of that period, Ranaji Shinde, invited ascetics from Nashik to Ujjain in the 18th century to perform a similar ritual cleansing event there and made it a pilgrimage like it is conducted in its present format today. The initiation was quite appropriate as the location “Ujjain” chosen for the pilgrimage as it marks one of the greatest jyotirlinga’s “Mahakaleshwar” or self evolved phallus shaped idols of Lord Shiva, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, housed in a temple and the whole event culminates in order for the numerous pilgrims, visitors and ascetics to pay reverence to the great residing deity, Lord Shiva.

The Ujjain event is known as Ujjain Simhastha and is a fairly recent tradition in its present format originating only as early as the 18th century. Its nomenclature is indicative of its time format, as Simhastha is a period when the planet Jupiter aligns itself with the Zodiac position of Leo which is known as Simha in Hindu astrological terminology. Held once in every 12 years the Nashik Simhastha usually occurs during the months of April to May in the Roman Calendar.

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