Legends of Origin of Kumbh Mela
The origin of Kumbh Mela dated back to the time when Gods (Devtas) and Demons (Asuras) lived on earth. Several years ago Devas and Asuras were kept in a ferocious battle for dominance. The Gods had lost their power as Sage Durvasa had cursed them. After that they approached Lord Vishnu and requested him to give them the immortality fortunate elixir.
Devtas were under the influence of a curse which produced fear in them eventually making them weak and coward. Brahma (the creator) advised them to stir up the milky ocean to obtain the elixir of immortality. The Mandara Mountain acted as the churning rod and Vasuki (king of serpents) was used as a rope for churning. Kumbh was the pot which consist the elixir of immortality and was recovered from Samudra Manthan.
Devtas asked the help of Demons for this strapping task to complete with mutual agreement of sharing the elixir of immortality evenly. They churned the ocean for 1000 years, where demons were holding Vasukis head and Gods were holding its tail. Finally after this complete churning process, Dhanwantari appeared with Kumbh in his palms. To put off the Amrita (elixir of immortality) from Demons, its security was entrusted to God Brihaspati, Surya, Shani and Chandra. After knowing the plan of the Devtas, Demons turned cruel and attacked them. Devtas knew that Demons enjoyed more power and can easily beat them. Devatas ran away with the Kumbh to hide it away and they were chased by Asuras. For 12 days and 12 nights the Gods were chased by Demons for the ownership of Amrita. These 12 days of Gods are equivalent to 12 years of Humans. During this chase for the elixir of immortality, the drops from Kumbh fell at four places - Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik.
According to some mythological scriptures, it is mentioned that the battle between Gods and Demons in the sky lasted for 12 days. To remember this sacred event Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated in every 12 years at the 4 sacred places where the drops from Kumbh were fallen. It is believed that the river turns itself into purity spots filled with prehistoric Amrita at the historic moment of the Maha Kumbh Mela. The pilgrims get once in a lifetime chance to bathe in the spirit of holiness, auspiciousness and deliverance.