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Ujjain Kumbha (Simhastha)
Ujjain Kumbha Simhastha Festival is a Hindu religious festival and fair held every 12 years in the Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh, India. In Hindi, the Mela or fair is also called Simhasth or Sinhasth. The name derives from the information that it is held when the Planet Jupiter is in Zodiac Sign Leo (Simha in Hindu astrology). It is the four fairs traditionally known as Kumbha Melas, and is also famous as Ujjain Kumbh Mela. The fair attracts masses of pilgrims.
Importance of holy dip during Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv
According to Indian mythology, holy dip in the Kshipra river in Ujjain is very important during during Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv. Holy dip in this river can be taken at other places too, however, during Ujjain Simhasth Kumbh taking it in Ujjain has a special meaning.
माधवे धवले पक्षे सिंह जीवत्वेजे खौ।
तुलाराशि निशनाथे स्वातिभे पूर्णिमा तिथौ।
व्यतिपाते तु सम्प्राप्ते चन्द्रवासर -संचुते।
कुशस्थली -महाक्षेत्रे स्नाने मोक्षमवाच्युयात्।
Madhve Dhawle Pakshe Simha Jivatveje kho.
Tularashi Nishanathey swatibhey Purnima Tithou.
Vyatipatey Tu Sampraptey Chandravasar-Sanchute.
Kushsthali-Mahakshetre Snane Mokshmavachyuyaat.
(One gets Moksha (salvation) after taking a holy dip in the Kshipra river when the Hindu month is Vaishakh, Shukla Paksha and Lord Jupiter is in Leo, Moon in Libra, Sun in Aries, and Vyatipath Yog in Swati Nakshatra).
Legend says that churning of the ocean (samudra manthan) by the Devas (Gods) and the Danavas (Demons) yielded fourteen gems : Shri, Vish, Rambha, Varuni, Shankh, Amiya, Taru, Gajraj, Dhanu, Dhanwantari, Chandramaru, Dhenu, Mani, Baji. The churning of Ocean also yielded a jar (Kumbh) full of Amrit (nectar). Devas (Gods) did not wish to share it with demons.
Vishnu dropped a few drops of amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places, corresponding with Prayag, Ujjain, Haridwar and Nasik on the earth. To commemorate the drop of amrita into the sacred waters of Kshipra river, the Kumbha (Simhastha) Mahaparv festival is celebrated with great zeal in Ujjain. Major attraction of this special festival is ‘Shahi Snan’ (royal bath) happens on the full moon day in Vaisakha Hindu month. It is believed that those who take ‘Shahi Snan’ in sacred Shipra River on this occasion washes their sins of all previous and present life
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