Haridwar festivalsBeing a place of intense religious significance, Haridwar also hosts several religious festivals throughout the year; popular among them are the Kavad Mela, Somvati Amavasya Mela, Ganga Dashara, Gughal Mela, in which around 20-25 lacs (2-2.5 million) people take part.
Apart from this, there is the Kumbh Mela which takes place once in every twelve years, when the planet Jupiter (Brihaspati) comes into the sign Aquarius (Kumbha). First written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese traveller, Huan Tsang or Xuanzang (602 - 664 A.D.) who visited India in 629 AD. According to The Imperial Gazetteer of India, an outbreak of cholera occurred at the 1892 Mela at Haridwar, which lead to the rapid improvement of mela arrangement by the authorities and the formation of 'Haridwar Improvement Society', and in 1903 about 400,000 people attended the fair. A stampede took place near Har-ki-Pauri, during the Kumbh Mela in 1980s, in which 600 people were killed and scores injured. The 1998 Maha Kumbh Mela saw over 80 million pilgrims visiting this city, to take a dip in the holy river, the Ganges
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