Kumbhamela vs Pushkaram – C22

Hi all, I thought Kumbhamela and Pushkaram was same until I went to Maha Pushkaram in Thirunelveli couple of months before. I realized Kumbhamela and Pushkaram were completely different as they might resemble similar because of the holy river connection , but both are NOT same.

P.S. Details referenced from Wiki  

Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela is a mass pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: The Prayag Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, The Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha.

These four fairs are held periodically at one of the following places by rotation:

The Kumbh Mela occurrences follow the Hindu calendar

  1. The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 3 years . 
  2. The Ardh(Half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Prayag
  3. The Purna(Complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years at four places( Prayag- Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik . 
  4. The Maha Kumbha Mela which comes after 12 Purna Kumbh Mela or 144 years , is held at Prayag(Allahabad) 

Kumbha Mela –  

Place River Zodiac[37] Month Note
Haridwar Ganga Jupiter in Aquarius, Sun in Aries Chaitra (March–April)
Prayag(Allahabad) Ganga and Yamuna Jupiter in Aries, Sun and Moon in Capricorn; or Jupiter in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn Magha(January–February) “Magh Mela”, called the “mini Kumbh Mela”, is held annually
TrimbakNashik Godavari Jupiter in Leo; or Jupiter, Sun and Moon in Cancer on lunar conjunction (Amavasya) Bhadra(August–September) Also known as Simhastha / Sinhastha, when Leo is involved
Ujjain Shipra Jupiter in Leo, Sun in Aries; or Jupiter, Sun, and Moon in Libra on Kartik Amavasya Vaisakha (April–May) Also known as Simhastha / Sinhastha, when Leo is involved

The Kumbh Mela at Prayag is celebrated after approximately 3 years of Kumbh Mela at Haridwar. There is a difference of around 3 years between the Kumbh Festivals at Prayag and Nashik. Kumbh at Nashik and Ujjain are celebrated in the same year or one year apart.

History of Kumbhamela –

Year Prayag (Allahabad) Haridwar Trimbak (Nashik) Ujjain
1980 Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela
1983 Ardh Kumbh Mela
1986 Kumbh Mela
1989 Kumbh Mela
1992 Ardh Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela
1995 Ardh Kumbh Mela
1998 Kumbh Mela
2001 Kumbh Mela
2003 Kumbh Mela
2004 Ardh Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela
2007 Ardh Kumbh Mela
2010 Kumbh Mela
2013 Kumbh Mela
2015 Kumbh Mela
2016 Ardh Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela
2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela
2022 Kumbh Mela

Pushkaram is an Indian festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers. It is also known as Pushkaralu (in Telugu), Pushkara (in Kannada) or Pushkar.

It is celebrated at shrines along the banks of 12 major sacred rivers in India, in the form of ancestor worship, spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes. The celebration happens annually, once in 12 years along each river. 

Each river is associated with a zodiac sign, and the river for each year’s festival is based on which sign Jupiter is in at the time. Due to regional variations, some of the zodiac signs are associated with multiple rivers

In 2018, Pushkaram Celebration in Tamirabharani river was very special as , it happens once in 144 years and it is called as Maha Pushkaram.

This Maha Pushkaram(occurs once every 144 years) is observed for a period of 12 days from the time of entry of Jupiter into Scorpio rasi . 

Pushkaram Calender – 

Rashi (Hindu zodiac sign)  Zodaic Sign River
1 Mesha Aries Ganga,(Ganges)Ganga Pushkaram April 22 – May 5, 2023
2 Vrishabha Taurus Narmada, Narmada Pushkaram May 1-13, 2024
3 Mithuna Gemini Saraswati, Sarasvati Pushkaram May 15–26, 2025
4 Karka Cancer Yamuna, Yamuna Pushkaram June 2–13, 2026
5 Simha Leo Godavari, Godavari in Maharashtra Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.Godavari Maha Pushkaram June 26 – July 7, 2027
6 Kanya Virgo Krishna, Krishna in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated at the Sangu Theertham tank at Vedagiriswarar temple.Krishna Pushkaralu August 12–23, 2028
7 Tula Libra Kaveri, Kaveri Pushkaram September 12–23, 2029
8 Vrishchika Scorpio Bhima, Bhima in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated on the banks of Tamraparni (Thamirabarani) river.Bhima Pushkaram October 12–23, 2018
9 Dhanus Sagittarius Tapti, (Pushkaravahini). In Assam, the festival is celebrated on the banks of Brahmaputra river.Tapti Pushkaravahini March 29 – April 9, 2019
10 Makara Capricorn Tungabhadra, Tungabhadra Pushkaralu March 30 – April 10, 2020
11 Kumbha Aquarius Sindhu (Indus), Sindhu Pushkaram April 6–17, 2021
12 Mina Pisces Pranhita (Parineeta), Pranahita Pushkaralu April 13–24, 2022


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