On the 10th February 2013, 30 million Hindu devotees gathered at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers. They came to celebrate the Kumbh Mela, a pilgrimage of faith that takes place in Allahabad once every 12 years. It is believed to be the largest temporary gathering of human beings on the planet.
Over the 2 months the festival ran it is estimated that between 80 and 100 million pilgrims passed through the vast makeshift camp. The pilgrims come for one purpose, to bathe at the point where the rivers meet, Sangam. This, they believe, will wash away their sins. Some have waited their whole lives for this moment, many travelling for thousands of miles.
The festival is renowned as a gathering place for India’s devout Holy Men or Sadhu’s but for me the colour and character of the greatest show on earth came not from them but the overwhelming joy of the everyday pilgrims reaching their goal.
These photos are a very small cross section of those people and their journey.