Maha Kumbh Mela 2013

Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It happens every three years at one of the following cities in India by rotation: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Millions of people then come together, making of the Kumbh Mela the largest pilgrimage and the largest human gathering in the world. Maha Kumbh Mela happens every 144 years, always at Allahabad. Astrology determines most aspects of the festival, including its exact date and length.

Early 2013, the time has come! Maha Kumbh Mela started on January 14. During two months, more than 100 million people came together from all over the world, from all backgrounds, religions, all ways of life, with an open mind and a feeling of sincere welcome. We stayed in Allahabad for ten days, around February 10, the main day of bathing. On that day, 30 million pilgrims took a dip at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Hindus believe a dip at Sangam -where the rivers meet- will cleanse sins and help bring salvation. For us, it was a unique privilege to be there among these millions of people during this pilgrimage, that is, for so many of them, the pilgrimage of a lifetime.