hindu pilgrims sleeping outside at kumbh mela (india)


Many pilgrims arrived the previous day and just slept in the street at the Kumbh Mela 2013 festival near Allahabad (India).­

Hundreds of thousands Hindu pilgrims gather before dawn on the bank of the Ganges river, near the Sangam, The Triveni Sangam is the confluence of the Yamuna and the Ganga (Ganges) rivers, and this is the holiest place to take the ritual baths during the Kumbh Mela.­

This was the early morning of Kumbh Maha Snan or main bathing day, also called Mauni Amavasya, which is the the most auspicious morning for taking the holy bath in the Ganges river.­ After a 7 km night walk, I arrived at the Sangam area at about 2am.­

Kumbh Mela is the largest festival on Earth, taking place once every 12 years, with more than 50 million Hindu pilgrims gathering to pray and bathe in the holy Ganges river.­

camping crowd hindu kumbh maha snan kumbha mela maha kumbh mela mauni amavasya night sleeping street triveni sangam walking
Shastri Bridge, Kumbh Mela Area I, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh 211005, India

Selection of photos taken at the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 festival near Allahabad (India).­

View the complete series here.

Kumbh Mela is the largest human gathering on Earth, taking place during 3 months once every 12 years, with more than 50 million Hindu pilgrims coming to pray and bath in the Ganges river at the Sangam, confluence of the Holy Ganga (Ganges) and the Holy Yamuna rivers.­

Maha Kumbh Mela is a larger Kumbh Mela that happens only once every 144 years.­ 2013 was the year of the Maha Kumbh Mela, a once in a lifetime event.­

Kumbh Mela occupies about 56 Square Kilometers (22 Square Miles) of sandy ground in the Ganges floodplain.­ The "permanent" population is 5 to 10 Million Hindu devotees housed in thousands of temporary Ashrams and tent camps, with an estimated at least 50 Million more pilgrims coming for the ritual baths during the 3 months period of the event.­ By some estimate, more than 100 Million pilgrims attended the 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela.­

The Kumbh Mela infrastructure is provided by the Indian government, and includes taps of drinking water, pit toilets, street lighting, streets paved with metal plates, and very helpful Police and emergency services.­

For more info about Kumbh Mela, read en.­wikipedia.­org/­wiki/­Kumbh_­Mela.

Photos taken in India in 2013

The highlight if this trip was the Maha Kumba Mela Hindu Festival, the largest human gathering on earth, which happens once every 12 years.­

Other regions visited include the springs of the Ganges river, Varanasi, the Konark sun temple.­

See also my photos of Nepal that I took the same year.­