Kumbh Mela is made up of two-words Kumbh and Mela. The name Kumbh is derived from the immortal pot of nectar which the Devatas and the demons fought over (Samudra Manthan) as described in ancient Vedic scriptures. Mela, as we all are familiar, is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’ or ‘to meet’.
It is believed that, a few drops from the Kumbh fell at four places – Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik.
According to the EPIC – Puranic Literature , there are three popular stories related to the kumbh . According to the first story Rishi durvasa presented a holy garland with special powers to Indra,
The king of Devtas . Indra placed it on Iravat’s head who threw on the floor,and crushedit with his feet.Durvasa got furious and cursed him, which led to a hue and cry in the world,followed by drought and disaster on earth.To tackle this situation,Samudra manthan was done. Goddess Lakshmi appeared bringing rain with immense joy and relief to the farmers.Then the pot of immortal nectar which was hidden in naglok wasb brought by Garun.Before reaching Ksheersagar,he kept it at four destinations which subsequently are the places where the Kumbh Mela is held.
The Second story deals with the two wives of Prajapati Kashyap,named Kadru and Vinita.There was a dispute between them,as to whether Surya’s horses are white or black. It was decided that the one who shall be proved wrong,would serve as a maid.Kadru’s son was Nagraj Vasukiand vinita’s son was Vaintaiya Garun.Kadru ,with the help of the nagas covered Surya’s horses.So Vanita lost.When she saw her son working as a servant,she decided to free him.Then Kardu made a condition stating that if Garun succeeded in getting the pot of immortal nectar from naglok,he would be set free .Garun brought it successfully and flew towards Gandmardan parvat .Vasuki mentioned this to Indra attacked Garun four times,and the immortal nectar spilled at four places on earth.