a long time ago. the gods lost their strength under a curse. brahma, the creator, advised them to churn the milky ocean to obtain amrit, the elixir of immortality. in order to achieve this goal the gods needed the help of their enemies, the demons. so they made an agreement to share the amrit equally.
but after 1000 years of churning the ocean, the gods finally decided to prevent the demons from getting amrit. this made the demons so furious that they attacked the gods. for twelve days, there was a war in the sky between the gods and the demons for the possession of amrit. during this fight, four drops of the elixir of immortality fell down to earth.
today, every twelve years kumbh mela is celebrated at these four sacred places in order to commemorate this holy event. according to hindu believe, during these sacred days the rivers here turn into sanctity spots filled with amrit. whoever takes a bath in the river will be purified in body and soul. therefore millions of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy water for salvation and to wash away their sins.
kumbh mela is the largest spiritual gathering in the world. in 2010, nearly 40 million people attended the kumbh mela at haridwar in india.