“Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges river. The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 3 years, the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Prayag, the Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years, at four places (Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik). The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela which comes after 12 “Purna Kumbh Melas”, or 144 years, is held at Allahabad.
The last Ardh Kumbh Mela was held over a period of 45 days beginning in January 2007, more than 70 million Hindu pilgrims took part in the Ardh Kumbh Mela at Prayag, and on January 15, the most auspicious day of the festival of Makar Sankranti, more than 5 million participated. The previous Maha Kumbh Mela, held in 2001, was attended by around 60 million people, making it at the time the largest gathering anywhere in the world in recorded history”. – Wikipedia
Photo: Sadhus (holy men) smoke at their camp near the ritual site at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Ardh Kumbh Mela festival (Half Pitcher festival) January 18, 2007 in Allahabad, India. Millions of Hindu pilgrims have flocked to the largest religious gathering in the world which lasts for 45 days in northern India. The festival commemorates the mythical conflict between gods and demons over a pitcher filled with the “nectar of immortality”. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges at this time washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)