The Kumbh Mela happens once in every 12 years across four of the holiest cities in India- Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. The Mela is held by the banks of rivers Ganga, Sangam (confluence of Yamuna, Saraswati and Ganga), Godavari and Shipra, respectively. This means, rotationally, it takes place every three years in each site.
Perhaps, the largest religious and spiritual gathering in the world, Hindus from all over the country flock to the designated holy site to take the holy dip or join in the holy bath in an attempt to wash off their sins. The dates of the event are dependent on various astrological readings and religious considerations.
I was lucky enough to visit Haridwar in 2010 during the Kumbh Mela. Taken aback from the number of pilgrims and visitors, I continue to be in awe of this gigantic event. These photographs were taken on an evening when we gathered by the Ganges for the evening Aarti. And even though it did not coincide with any of the auspicious bathing dates, the crowd continues to baffle me!
Will you be visiting the Kumbh Mela in Nashik this year?