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Maha Kumbh Mela: the Greatest Festival on Earth

The Kumbh Mela happens on a scale that is vast. The last Mahakumbh Mela at Allahabad in 2001 was the largest gathering of humans that there has ever been on the planet.

The Kumbh Mela happens in four different places over a twelve year cycle. The largest is in Allahabad every twelve years, and every twelve Allahabad Kumbhs is designated a Mahakumbh - the most auspicious time in Hinduism in 144 years. Steve photographed the Mahakumbh for Geographical Magazine, and has also visited the Haridwar and Ujjain Kumbh Melas.

As well as countless pilgrims, the Kumbh attracts legions of naga sadhus who walk around naked, sporting great drealocks and covered in the ash from fires.

You can see a story Steve wrote for Great Festivals of the World here.