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The Kumbh Mela 2010, Haridwar

The Great Indian Bathing Festival

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Over a million Hindus pilgrims and people from around the world took a holy bath in the freezing cold waters of the sacred Ganges in Haridwar on January 14, 2010, the auspicious Makar Sankranti day, which marked the opening of Kumbh Mela - the 3-month long bathing festival.

About the Festival

Arguably the world's largest religious gathering and communal bathing activity, the Kumbh Mela or 'pitcher fair' is a festival held every 12 years at four holy places in India: Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Nasik in Maharashtra.

Lean more about the Kumbh & Ardha Kumbh

The Bath of a Lifetime

The 2010 Kumbh Mela at Haridwar is drawing huge crowds as people of all sect, color and clan throng to the holy city in northern India situated on the banks of the sacred river - the Ganges or Ganga to take a dip amidst Vedic chants, sound of conch shell and temple bells and wash away their sins and a chance to attain salvation or 'moksha'.

View Slide Show (BBC)

Top 10 Bathing Dates for Kumbh Mela 2010

  • January 14, 2010 - Makar Sankranti
  • January 15, 2010 - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (solar eclipse)
  • January 20, 2010 - Vasant Panchmi
  • January 30, 2010 - Magh Purnima (full moon)
  • February 12, 2010 - Maha Shivratri
  • March 15, 2010 - Somvati Amavasya
  • March 24, 2010 - Ram Navmi
  • March 30, 2010 - Chaitra Purnima (full moon)
  • April 14, 2010 - Baisakhi
  • April 28, 2010 - Shakh Purnima (full moon)

Safety & Security

According to official estimates, over 50 million people are expected to converge in Haridwar between mid-January and late April. In addition, more than 20,000 police and security personnel, lifeguards, bomb disposal squads and even army troops will take care of the safety of the pilgrims on the spot.

About Haridwar

The holy city of Haridwar, which lies at the foot of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, is one of the seven holiest places in the Hindu mythology, and is known for the Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh fairs that are held very 12 years. Cited as 'Mayapur' in the ancient Hindu scriptures, Haridwar is famous for its rich ancient religious and cultural heritage.

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