This aerial photo, taken at dawn, shows the Kumbh Mela ground toward the end of the event.
Most of the Hindu pilgrims have left. Camps and Ashrams are being taken down and infrastructure is being dismantled. It looks like a ghost town, and a few weeks later, nothing will remain. A couple of months later, the Ganges river will rise with the monsoon rains and this floodplain will be under about 10 feet of water.
All the street lights that can be seen in the far back are part of the Kumbh Mela "temporary city" built in the flood plain of the Ganges river, near Allahabad.
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,
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.
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.