Back in February I had the opportunity to visit the Maha Kumbh Mela held in Allahabad (India) for 10 days. The Kumbh Mela is a pilgrimage of faith for Hindus’s around the world and a chance for them to bathe in the holy Ganga (Ganges) river.
The Kumbh Mela is held for 55 days, once every 3 years at one of the 4 holy places (Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik and Ujjain) in a cycle of 12 years. The Kumbh Mela is said to be the largest gathering of human beings anywhere on the Earth, and this year (2013) was the largest. During the 55 days, it was estimated that there were a total of 120 million visitors, and on the the most auspicious day, there were about 35 million people at the event. This Kumbh at Allahabad was called the Maha Kubh Mela which translates to the Mother of all Kumbh’s and was said to have been the holiest, one that occurs on the 12 cycle of the 12 years, therefore once every 144 years.
I took photographs to document my experience at the event (there are more on the way), they can be found here. Also, a good friend of mine (Frances Bruchez) has found a video, which I think shows the Kumbh Mela and covers all that is special with this unique gathering.
The 4 holy places are significant as they are all located on 4 rivers (Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godawari at Nashik, and the Shipra at Ujjain). To learn more about the Kumbh, and the reasons for it’s existence have a read of the book “Kumbh Mela: Faith and Hypocrisy” by Akhil Bakshi and is available on amazon.Share on Facebook