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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Friday 19 January 2001 (Day View)

19.01.2001Friday 19 January – Allahabad and the Kumbh Mela

I arrived in ALLAHABAD, after a farcical train trip, which kept getting later and later. I was supposed to arrive at 11:15 AM, but didn’t. Still, I can’t complain too much considering they’re probably moving more people than anyone ever has before.
A five rupee, half hour Tempo ride gets me to the KUMBH MELA – the largest gathering of people in one place ever. It is amazingly big, and amazingly clean. There are millions of lights and lots of smoke and very little air. Breathing is not good, oxygen would be handy. The army has built an entire city out of Hessian and bamboo on a flat sand plain between two rivers. It is unreal. I stayed two hours, which was quite long enough. I’m happy that I got to be part of, and see, the world’s largest gathering – something I’d have missed had I flown home when I was supposed to. I have to hand it to the Indians – no one else could even begin to manage the logistics they deal with every day.
The train that was supposed to leave at 1:15 AM arrived and I headed back to Delhi, with two addresses to write to.

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