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 –  

HaridwarGangaJupiter in Aquarius, Sun in AriesChaitra (March–April)
Prayag(Allahabad)Ganga and YamunaJupiter in Aries, Sun and Moon in Capricorn; or Jupiter in Taurus and Sun in CapricornMagha(January–February)“Magh Mela”, called the “mini Kumbh Mela”, is held annually
TrimbakNashikGodavariJupiter 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
UjjainShipraJupiter in Leo, Sun in Aries; or Jupiter, Sun, and Moon in Libra on Kartik AmavasyaVaisakha (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 –

YearPrayag (Allahabad)HaridwarTrimbak (Nashik)Ujjain
1980Kumbh MelaKumbh Mela
1983Ardh Kumbh Mela
1986Kumbh Mela
1989Kumbh Mela
1992Ardh Kumbh MelaKumbh MelaKumbh Mela
1995Ardh Kumbh Mela
1998Kumbh Mela
2001Kumbh Mela
2003Kumbh Mela
2004Ardh Kumbh MelaKumbh Mela
2007Ardh Kumbh Mela
2010Kumbh Mela
2013Kumbh Mela
2015Kumbh Mela
2016Ardh Kumbh MelaKumbh Mela
2019Ardh Kumbh Mela
2022Kumbh 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 SignRiver
1MeshaAriesGanga,(Ganges)Ganga PushkaramApril 22 – May 5, 2023
2VrishabhaTaurusNarmada, Narmada PushkaramMay 1-13, 2024
3MithunaGeminiSaraswati, Sarasvati PushkaramMay 15–26, 2025
4KarkaCancerYamuna, Yamuna PushkaramJune 2–13, 2026
5SimhaLeoGodavari, Godavari in Maharashtra Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.Godavari Maha PushkaramJune 26 – July 7, 2027
6KanyaVirgoKrishna, Krishna in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated at the Sangu Theertham tank at Vedagiriswarar temple.Krishna PushkaraluAugust 12–23, 2028
7TulaLibraKaveri, Kaveri PushkaramSeptember 12–23, 2029
8VrishchikaScorpioBhima, Bhima in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated on the banks of Tamraparni (Thamirabarani) river.Bhima PushkaramOctober 12–23, 2018
9DhanusSagittariusTapti, (Pushkaravahini). In Assam, the festival is celebrated on the banks of Brahmaputra river.Tapti PushkaravahiniMarch 29 – April 9, 2019
10MakaraCapricornTungabhadra, Tungabhadra PushkaraluMarch 30 – April 10, 2020
11KumbhaAquariusSindhu (Indus), Sindhu PushkaramApril 6–17, 2021
12MinaPiscesPranhita (Parineeta), Pranahita PushkaraluApril 13–24, 2022


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