World’s largest religious gathering from space – Kumbh Mela

The world’s largest gathering, the Kumbh Mela was captured from space by India’s high resolution earth imaging satellite CartoSat 2. The pictures were of Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj. The images were taken on wednesday and released by the space agency ISRO the following day.

The black and white images from the satellite show the ‘Sangam’, the merging of three holy rivers the Ganga, the Yamuna and a mythical third river called Saraswati.

The holy dip takes place every six years, and continues for about three months. The festivities started on Tuesday, and the first bath was attended by close to 2.25 crore people. The Kumbh will conclude on the 4th of March.

Elaborate security arrangements were in place, also 40,000 LED lights were used to illuminate the temple town and the ghats.

The Kumbh is spread over 32 square kilometers and is bigger than the Vatican city Rome. The bathing ghats extend 5 kilometers. The government has spent close to US$ 400 million to upgrade the infrastructure for this festival.