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Kumbha Mela: The Largest Gathering on Earth

The world's largest gathering of people occurs at the Kumbha meta, a cyclical series of month-long spiritual fairs in India. The earliest historical records of this event may be found in writings of the Chinese traveler, Hiuen-Tsang, who visited Prayag (now Allahabad) in 644 A.D. He witnessed a spectacular mel a attracting half a million people, where the magnanimous king gave away all his acquired possessions to the assembled brahmansand monks of each faith. The mythical origin of the Kumbha mela is discussed in the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas, ancient Hindu scriptures.

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