On Monday, March 19 – the fifth day of the month Chaitra according to the Nepalese calendar Vikram Sambat – began in Lokaha in the district of Navalparasi, 60 km from the Chitwan National Park in the south of Nepal a popular Hindu festival Parasar Pratik Kumbh Mela. The event will last until April 8.
As the organizers admitted, the festival was organized to raise the attractiveness of Nepal as a destination for religious pilgrimages, to renew the ancient Hindu culture and to consolidate the magnificent tradition of wandering sages.
The event will include many different programs, including yoga meditation schools, common practices of Hindu devotees, knowledge symposia in the knowledge of the books of the Vedas, the Ayurvedic campus as well as a special program for children.
For pilgrims coming to the festival from around the country and from abroad, a large hall and sanitary space will be built. There will also be a great urn containing water from 252 sacred places of Hindu worship. According to one of the main organizers, Swami Sajjad Maharaj is also planning to construct a shaligrama temple, that is, a temple containing fossils of sea shells symbolizing Vishnu. The festival will also include the promotion of Ayurvedic teachings, which will include the creation of a center for the collection and processing of herbs.
The Kumbh Mela Festival has been organized for hundreds of years in various holy places, gathering Hindu pilgrims. The word ‘kumbh’ means a holy bath and during the festival the participants gather over the holy river to cleanse their karma there. Kumbh Mela is organized every few years mainly in the holy places of India, however Hindu people who live in other countries also organize festivals of this genre.
The sacred places of the Kumbh Mela festival in Nepal are the Sapta Koshi river valley in the Sunsari district, Panauti in the Kavre district, and – from this year – Lokaha in Kawasoti Muncipiality in the Nawalparasi district.