Greatest Show on Earth

Adult males, wandering itinerants, sadhus, saints, the spiritually inclined, and preachers congregate at the KumbhMela, the largest gathering of human beings on planet Earth. The setting offers a rich palette of imagery for photographers that wish to capture the sheer energy emanating from the Hindu religious event. Multiple sessions of worship, river bathing, inductions into monastic orders, individual prayers for the souls of human beings, and other religious practices mark the days of the KumbhMela, an event that attracts much media attention. Tourists and hordes of the faithful arrive at the location. The KumbhMela is organized every three years at Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. The Mela returns to each location after 12 years. Rich seams of Indian mythology enrich the grand narrative of the Mela; these include tales of Gods and Demons. The faithful believe in their hearts that bathing in the holy rivers at each location absolves human beings of their sins and brings them closer to salvation. All this results in an outsized event that grips the human imagination in modern India.

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