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Extraordinary sights, profound personal connections and a sense of awe

culminate in the ultimate pilgrimage known as, the Kumbh Mela. The Kumbh Mela,
which happens every twelve years, is considered the most holy pilgrimage and
takes place where the two holiest rivers in India intersect. This intersection becomes
home to tens of millions of people during the festival, each one seeking their own
spiritual path to awakening. Connection with a higher being is a goal all religions
seek; the diversity displayed at this holy festival shows that there are many ways to
achieve the same goal. One might say the Kumbh Mela is a festival for all.
Anything done in India is done on a large scale, and the Kumbh Mela is no
exception. You do not need to be Hindu, you do not need to be Indian, you only
need to seek a higher understanding of the divine. This fact has helped make the
Kumbh Mela the longest running religious festival in history. Spanning thousands of
years, the festival has grown to enormous proportions and is currently the largest
gathering of humans ever recorded. This mass gathering is neither orchestrated nor
funded, yet it all comes together because of a common bond among Hindus. People
from all continents and all walks of life seek out this holy pilgrimage, if only once in
their lives. Spiritual leaders arrive from all corners of the globe, each one spreading
their message of tolerance and love. It is a message that needs to be spread and
the Kumbh Mela is gaining more and more pilgrims every year. It is a privilege to
witness the sheer magnitude of the festival and all the interesting people in
attendance. It is a sight you are not likely to see again.
As you walk through the festival, your nose is overcome by the small of
pungent smoke, your ears ring with musical vibration and your eyes are in disbelief.
It is truly a bombardment of the senses. Nowhere else will you experience such
amazing sights, sounds and smells than here. Without any real agenda, you can
meander endlessly and never see the same thing twice. At any given moment,
small groups emerge and begin dancing and chanting in the street, as if overcome
by pure spiritual energy. Parades march relentlessly, beating their drums and
blowing their horns to any and all who will listen. Children run and play,
interweaving between the adults who themselves chant their mantras into the
night. These displays of devotion extend beyond just the followers. Enter any one of
the thousands of tents and witness yogis performing incredible feats of willpower,
such as walking on nails or being buried alive. New experiences wait around every
corner. There are new lessons to be learned and new insights to be gained by all.
Those who experience the Kumbh Mela will leave far richer than when they arrived.
Those who attend the holy festival find that connections and a sense of
oneness often extend beyond just the spiritual. Although most who make the
pilgrimage are in search of a higher connection to their spirituality, the smaller
connections are sometimes just as important. Take for example, the instant
attraction between Swami Krishnanand and Dyan Summers. Two different religions
and two completely different lifestyles had little impact on the immediate
connection they made with each other. By the end of the festival, after being
together the entire time, Krishnanand states, I think I have spent a million lives
with herI am no more swami, I am something else. Deep interactions like these
are evident among those living the path of peace and love and are easily obtained

at the Kumbh Mela. All you have to do is look. From the spiritual connection of a
yogi and his followers, to the personal connection of one to another and even the
political connections between two spiritual leaders, this is a place that all can enjoy
and come together as one.
The Kumbh Mela will ensnare your senses, expand your mind and open your
heart. This one of a kind festival is a sight to behold and the connections made here
can last a lifetime. All religions share a core belief of love and peace and the Kumbh
Mela spreads that message to an ever expanding world. It is a universal message
that all humans strive to understand just a little bit better. The scale of this festival
is testament to how these beliefs are held sacred and passed down through the
generations. It is a once in a lifetime pilgrimage for millions of people across the
world. Although the devotion shown by Hindus may seem extreme by western
standards, the freedom and variety offered by the Kumbh Mela proves that it is truly
a festival for all.