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The Hindu festival, Kumbha Mela, which occurs every 12 years primarily at the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna rivers in North India, attracts millions of pilgrims to the site, which is regarded as the largest regular gathering of humans for any reason anywhere in the world. Religious melas, or festivals, are a fundamental part of every major religious tradition, and arguably, no other religion celebrates more festivals than does Hinduism. From the small village mela to large national events, melas are an integral part of the lives of Hindus. Of all the melas that occur in India, the largest by far is the Kumbha Mela.


Hindu Puranic literature tells of a time when, early in the current cycle of ages, the demonic forces in the ...

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