Kumbh Mela is said to be the largest gathering and one of the most anticipated fairs in the world. The Hindu devotees take this fair to be an opportunity to take a dip in the water at four principle cities in India (Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik). In 2016, we will have the chance to witness the Ardh Kumbh (Kumbh fair occurring after 6 years) in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Like always, we expect this Ardh Kumbh to be attended by a large mass of devotees. For many years now, Kumbh Mela/Fair has been getting a lot of media attention and thus has been a case of curiosity amongst foreign travellers as well. Therefore, it is likely that a major chunk of foreign as well as curious local tourists will be attending Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar.
Here is some important information that might help if you are planning a visit to Haridwar Ardh Kumbh Mela 2016:
Occurring after every 6 years, Ardh Kumbh in India will be organized between 14th January 2016 and 22nd April 2016. According to Hindu mythology, ‘Ardh Kumbh Mela’ takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries.
The Ardh Kumbha 2016 will be organized at Haridwar, which is situated in the northern state of Uttarakhand. Haridwar is a famous sacred city in India and is situated on the bank of holy river Ganga. Throughout the year a large number of Hindu devotees visit here to take a dip in its water and submerge the ashes of their deceased loved ones.
For bathing in the water of holy Ganges during the Ardh Kumbh, these dates are quite important:
|14 January 2016 (Thursday) – Makar Sankranti|
|12 February 2016 (Friday) – Vasant Panchami|
|22 February 2016 (Monday) – Magh Purnima|
|07 March 2016 (Monday) – Mahashivratri|
|07 April 2016 (Thursday) – Chaitra Amavasya|
|08 April 2016 (Friday) – Chaitra Shukla Pratipada|
|14 April 2016 (Thursday) – Mesha Sankranti|
|15 April 2016 (Friday) – Ram Navami|
|22 April 2016 (Friday) – Chaitra Shukla Purnima|
Situated on the bank of Ganga River, Haridwar has several ghats, on which large number of devotees assemble to take bath. The most important ghats during the Ardh Kumbh will be:
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport closest to Haridwar, one can take a cab or a bus to Haridwar . Dehradun is 53kms from Haridwar.
By Rail: Haridwar has its own Railway Station that is well connected with major cities in India.
By Road: Haridwar is well connected by roads to all major cities and towns, so one can choose as per his choice and comfort to either take a bus or drive himself. This distance chart can be of some help:
|Destinations||Average Time||Average Distance|
|Delhi to Haridwar||4 Hours||205 km|
|Chandigarh to Haridwar||4 Hours||206 km|
|Dehradun to Haridwar||1 Hours||53.0 km|
|Lansdowne to Haridwar||2.30 Hours||102 km|
|Shimla to Haridwar||5.30 Hours||278 km|
|Haldwani to Haridwar||4 Hours||220 km|
|Almora to Haridwar||5.30 Hours||287 km|
|Kinnaur to Haridwar||9.00 Hours||517 km|
|Kurukshetra to Haridwar||3.00 Hours||145 km|
|Ghaziabad to Haridwar||3.30 Hours||186 km|
|Ranikhet to Haridwar||5.00 Hours||261 km|
Haridwar has hotels ranging between luxury and budget. There are several ashrams as well that require advance booking. Special tents are also pitched during Kumbh, thus one can also book them.