April 5th, 2016 by Abhijit Chakraborty

Ujjain Simhasth, the world’s largest congregation of pilgrims, begins later this month. As many as five-crore devotees are expected to visit the city during the month-long Kumbh Mela period. That’s almost 4% of the total population of India and a staggering number in every way.

Kumbh Mela

One of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, the Kumbh Mela (literally, the ‘Pot Fair’) is a festival involving the ritualistic bathing by pilgrims in a holy river. The four universally accepted Kumbh Melas are as follows –

  • Haridwar Kumbh Mela on the banks of Ganga
  • Allahabad Kumbh Mela at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Sarasvati
  • Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhasth on the banks of Godavari
  • Ujjain Simhasth on the banks of Kshipra

The Kumbh Mela is held once in 12 years at any given place. There is a three-year difference between the Kumbh Melas at Haridwar and Nashik whereas the fairs at Nashik and Ujjain are observed a year apart or less.

Ujjain Simhasth

The name ‘Simhasth’ derives from the fact that the planet Jupiter is in Leo as per Hindu astrology. This year, the Ujjain Simhasth will be held from 22 April to 31 May, a one-month period which is expected to witness a footfall of five-crore (50 million) pilgrims! Since the Ujjain Simhasth happens once in twelve years, this is an opportunity that must not be missed.

A sage on a ghat at Kshipra - Ujjain Simhasth
A sage on a ghat at Kshipra – Ujjain Simhasth (Image Source – Apratim Saha)


What Makes The Ujjain Simhasth A Must-Visit

For Pilgrims

According to various legends, the festival began when Amrita was spilled from a pot at four different locations. Therefore, a dip in the holy waters during the Kumbh Mela has added religious significance due to the mythological background attached to it. The Mahakaleshwar Temple, believed which is the abode of Lord Shiva’s Swayambhu Lingam, sees a major surge in the number of devotees during this time.

An ascetic arriving at the Ujjain Simhasth Kumbh Mela
An ascetic arriving at the Ujjain Simhasth Kumbh Mela


The timing is decided based on a line-up of planets and the signs of the zodiac that occurs once in 12 years. River Kshipra witnesses ceremonial bathing on the full moon day of Chaitra month as well as at various intervals during the entire month of Vaishakh till the tenth full moon day.

Aarti at a ghat - Ujjain Simhasth
Aarti at a ghat – Ujjain Simhasth


As per simhasthujjain.in, one gets salvation after taking a dip in the holy Kshipra river in Ujjain when the month is Vaishakh, Shukla Paksha, Jupiter is in Leo, Sun in Aries, Moon in Libra and Swati Nakshatra, Vyatipath Yog.

Taking a dip in Kshipra river - Ujjain Simhasth
Diving into the Kshipra river – Ujjain Simhasth


Temples lining the ghat at Kshipra river - Ujjain Simhasth
Temples lining the ghat at Kshipra river – Ujjain Simhasth


For Tourists

Ujjain is one of the most popular religious cities in India and a popular destination for tourists. The period of the Ujjain Simhasth makes it even more interesting for anyone who has never witnessed such a massive congregation of people before. One does not need to be religious to appreciate the hustle-bustle of the ghats during the Kumbh Mela, or to soak in the sights and sounds of these great gathering of people from different parts of the world. For those with a passion for photography, the Ujjain Simhasth would probably provide more photo opportunities than even the most avid photographer can handle. Not just the fair, but the entire city of Ujjain is a place full of interesting landmarks, including a whopping 84 temples dedicated to Mahadeva (known as Chaurasi Mahadeo).

Check out our blog about Ujjain here to get a better insight into what makes it a must-visit.

Hermits at a tea stall - Ujjain Simhasth
Hermits at a tea stall – Ujjain Simhasth


A baba at one of the ghats at the Kumbh
A baba at one of the ghats at the Kumbh (Source – Siddharth Jain)


Accommodation during the Ujjain Simhasth

True, there would be a large gathering of people in Ujjain during the Kumbh Mela, but visitors need not worry about budget or premium accommodation. OYO has 28 budget hotels and 2 premium hotels in Ujjain to ensure a pleasant stay at an affordable price. These budget and premium OYO hotels are located very close to important attractions such as the Mahakal Temple, the site of the Ujjain Simhasth as well as other popular tourist attractions in Ujjain.

All OYOs come equipped with an AC, Wi-Fi, hygienic washrooms, clean linen and complimentary breakfast. In addition, all of OYO’s hotels in Ujjain are now available at flat 30% off when booked using code UJJ30! These hotels can be booked through the OYO app which can be downloaded from here as well as through the OYO website here.

OYO Rooms Park Palace Ujjain
OYO Rooms Park Palace Ujjain

And as we often say, OYO is everywhere, literally!

Ujjain Simhasth


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