Jayatu Simhasth -Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

A detailed audio-visual documentation project on the Ujjain Kumbh Mela –Jayatu Simhastha (one of the four Kumbhs of the country) was taken up by the INTACH Dhar Chapter with the support of ICH Division in 2016. The aim of the project was to make a documentary film on the why, what and how of the Kumbh Mela which is celebrated at Ujjain every 12 years when the celestial signs are just right  for it to take place, and which amazingly has been attracting pilgrims from across the country for so many years. The film is a detailed documentation of this sacred festival/fair which was again attended by thousands of devotees.

The film showcases the Kumbha Mela  as one of India’s largest spiritual gatherings on the bank of river Kshipra, which officially started during the reign of Maratha Ruler Ranoji Shinde in the 19th century. This important event is held every 12 years in Ujjain. The age-old tradition of taking a holy dip in river Kshipra has its own spiritual and cultural value. Through a number of interviews, it highlights the myriad experience of this event by scholars, spiritual gurus and by general devotees.

The sacred groups represented for example by the Hindu Sanatan Dharm Akhada in saffron robes, or the Naga sadhus, or other religious sects or the general public, all converge at the bank of river Kshipra with their firm beliefs. This amalgamation of spiritual culture, religion and sacred rituals together makes the Kshipra ghat – in their belief – a place of heaven on earth. The short film is an excellent effort by the Dhar chapter to do an in-depth documentation of this event. Steps are being taken for further dissemination to the public through screenings of this film at state and National level so people can understand the significance of this fair and festival.

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