Some of my readers keep urging me to write more about India and Indians. I am trying my best to and here is help from an unexpected source for which I am very grateful.
My friend Sandeep, yes the same one currently in hibernation at Qatar, is in awe of numbers and particularly mass meetings of Indians.
He has this to say about the latest Kumbh Mela held at Haridwar.
The Kumbh Mela in India is the largest gathering of people in one place, anywhere in the world. It occurs every three years, and its current edition, in the Himalayan mountain town of Haridwar (25 kilometres downstream from Rishikesh) has drawn ten million pilgrims. Ten million!
“The Kumbh Mela derives from Hindu mythology, which holds that gods and demons struggled over a pitcher, or kumbh, containing the drink of immortality. As the gods raced toward heaven, drops of the sacred nectar spilled out onto four locations on the river: Allahabad, Ujjain, Nashik and Haridwar. Today, the Kumbh Mela is held every three years, rotating among the four cities, meaning that each hosts every 12 years.”
He then goes on to give a link to an article in the New York Times which is what prompted that creative piece of writing. The article is worth a read.
Gaelikaa who many of you know as another keen blogger with two blogs, has been hearing about Haridwar and is quite keen to go for a visit. I only hope that she goes when it is not Kumbhmela time.