If you fancy doing something a little different on holiday, a visit to Kumbh fair could be just the ticket. This article explores the highlights of this magical event which transforms a whole town into a riot of colour and celebration.
Photo from Flickr
The Kumbh Fair is a Hindu festival that takes place four times in every twelve year period and switches between four different locations. 2013 sees the town of Allahabad host the fair. Situated between three major rivers, the Ganges, Saraswati and Yamuna, Allahabad can expect to see millions over visitors during the course of the Fair. The next Kumbh Fair will take place in Nashik in 2015.
Translated literally, Kumbh Fair means ‘pot fair’ and has been taking place for many thousands of years. It is based on the ancient tale of demons and Gods fighting in the sky over a pot of nectar. During the course of this battle, nectar fell from the pot in four different places. These locations of Allahabad, Ujjain, Nashik and are the towns which host the Pot Fair today and on one of the adventure travel trips available, you can be a part of the Fair yourself.
The most famous event of the festival is the bathing ritual which takes place at the river banks of the town the Kumbh Fair is being held in. Televised around the world, the sight of many thousands of people bathing in the river at the same time is an amazing spectacle to observe. Bathing takes place on several occasions and most adventure travel trips will plan their itinerary to allow you to witness the most important days.
As well as the bathing, there are many religious discussions and debates held over the course of the Kumbh Fair. Ancient traditions, such as the daubing of the skin with Vibhuti ashes, are still observed.
Indian is widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest cuisines and there is no better time to sample traditional dishes and delicacies than during the Kumbh Fair. Street vendors flock to the Fair to join in with the celebrations and provide sustenance to worshipers and tourists alike. The food will depend on the setting of the Kumbh Fair, with Indian regions having strong cultural identities and their own cuisines.
While the Kumbh Fair is likely to be the highlight and the focal point of your trip, remember to allow time for sightseeing and visiting nearby places of interest. India is a magnificent country with a fascinating cultural history so wherever the Kumbh Fair is taking place, you will never be far away from a host of attractions and historical sites.
A visit to the Kumbh Fair is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. The sights, sounds and smells of this fantastic pilgrimage will stay with you for years to come. The many carefully planned adventure travel trips available today allow you and your family to be a part of this amazing event and enjoy an experience you will never forget.