God is in the details

Jan 16, 2013, 01:31 IST | Dhara Vora

Apart from the fact that three rivers meet at the Sangam, it also appears as if all of humankind has converged at the Kumbh Mela, touted as the biggest assembly of people in the world. This 55-day festival, which began on January 14, is held every twelve years. Visited by those in search of peace and salvation, the Mela is almost always remembered for its unmistakeable chaos. To highlight these paradoxes further, iconic Indian lensman Raghu Rai, who is at the Mela this year

What is the Kumbh Mela?
According to Hindu mythology, to attain immortality, the demi gods and the demons churned ocean to obtain Amrita (nectar of immortality). When the Kumbha (pot) of Amrit appeared, gods and demons battled for it. During this, Lord Vishnu escaped with the pot in one of his incarnations. Four drops of it fell at four locations of the Mela: Allahabad, Ujjain, Nashik and Haridwar.

30,000
The approximate number of policemen deployed at the Mela to man the crowds this year. 

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