The Simhastha Kumbh is a unique celebration in India. The most popular legend regarding the origin of Kumbh Melas is the samudra manthan or ‘churning of the ocean’. Gods and demons competed fiercely in the churning in search of the divine nectar of immortality. During this epic battle to capture the urn (kumbh) containing the nectar, drops of the precious liquid fell on four places- Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Nashik and Ujjain. Hence, river Kshipra became the enhancer of l ife and to celebrate this event since then the grand festival came in vogue. Kumbh Mela, held once every twelve years at these four places attracts millions of devotees.
The Ujjain Kumbh is celebrated when Jupiter ascends into sun sign Leo’s quarter or the Simha constellation of zodiac which is why it is called ‘Simhastha’. The Simhastha is special in Ujjain as it is the seat of divine Mahakal the Lord of all times. The ritual of bathing in the holy waters of Kshipra begins on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) and continues on various dates till the full moon shows up in the following month of Vaishakha. Simhastha 2016 begin on 22nd April and will continue till 21st of May.
Sadhus of various sects from across the county assemble in Ujjain. Holy men mingle with ordinary people as they take their ritual dip in the holy waters of the Kshipra.
Simhastha is not just a practice or a ritual instead it highlights the deep ethos of Sanathan dharms. It is a spectacular sight that amazes the onlookers and compels them to think about the divine force which binds India in one thread of recognitions, traditions and beliefs. During Simhastha, one can notice the power of India’s unity with all the diversities on the ghats of Kshipra. People from different places and various walks of life come to Ujjain to immerse themselves in holy Kshipra-the enhancer of life, with only one ambition of attaining salvation
(Moksha). The Nagas (sanyasis of Shiavite cult) and their Shahi Snan in Kshipra when they are hundreds in number, is an important occasion which is the major attraction of Simhastha. The Nagas are one of the significant branches of Sanathan dharma’s cultural legacy. Their akharas (wrestling arenas) are rare and invaluable proof of their zeal that has kept the practice alive over thecenturies, till date. It is an unusual sight to witness the shahi snan when the Nagas show up in their rustic appearance donning the attire of dhooni, rudraksh and vairagya and decorated with weapons, to take bath in the holy river.
Main dates of holy bath:
• First bath- 22 April 2016 (Friday) Full
• 6 May 2016 (Friday) Vaishakha
• 9 May 2016 (Monday) Shukla Tritiya
• 11 May 2016 (Wednesday) Skukla
• 21 May 2016 (Saturday) Poornima
Apart from this, 17th and 19th May 2016 are also main dates for taking the holy bath.
Places to visit near Ujjain:
Omkareshwar - (116 km fromUjjain): The Omkareshwar Temple,Indore is situated at the confluence of
the Narmada and the Kaveri rivers. Located at a distance of 77 kilometersfrom Indore in Madhya Pradesh, it is alsok n o w n p o p u l a r l y a s t h e S r i Omkareshwar Mahadeo Temple.This isthe second Jyotirlinga of Madhya Pradesh.This is one of the twelve to be found inthe country. The temple is built entirely out of a locally available soft stone which has made possible the elaborate anddecorative detailing in the exterior portion, particularly in the form of friezes in the upper portions of the edifice.
The closet railway station ,Omkareshwar Road, is situated on the Ratlam- Indore- Khandwa roadline. Omkareshwar is only 12 kilometers from the station. Local buses ply on the Indore-Omkareshwar route at regular intervals. Frequent buses operate from Indore. Other main temples of this city are Siddhanth Temple, 24 Avtar, Saptramatrika Temple. Maheshwar - (95 km from Ujjain): Maheshwar is one of the most beautiful places of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated at the bank of Holy River Narmada and is a home place of Lord Shiva. It is the most eminent tourist sport that is why a large number of tourists visit here every year.
Maheshwar is famous for the equitable governance of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar who ruled over there.
Indore - (55 km from Ujjain): Indoreis the largest city in Madhya Pradesh and is one of the fastest growing economic regions in India. The city is a perfect mélange of the old and the new, where old heritage structures coexist with modern multi-storeyed buildings.
Mandu - (145 km from Ujjain): One can find matchless and unique examples of ancient architecture here in the forms of palaces and forts.
Mandsaur - (191 km from Ujjain): The ancient Pashupatinath Mandir issituated here where the eight faced
shivlinga has been enshrined.
Dewas - (37 km from Ujjain): The ancient Devi Chamunda temple and Kalika Devi temple situated here are very
How to Reach:
By Air: Nearest airport is Devi Ahiiya Bai
International Airport at Indore (55 km).
By Rail: Ujjain has its own railway station
which is well connected to major cities
of India. By Road: Regular bus services
connect Ujjain with Indore, Khargone,
Jalgaon, Khandwa, Omkareshwar,
Maheshwar, Dhar and Bhopal.