The Largest Pilgrimage in the World You Never Knew About

Every 12 years in Allahabad, India, Hindus from all walks of life cross the sacred Ganges River to a makeshift metropolis, built for their faith’s most imortant event: the Kumbh Mela. They come to bathe in the Ganges River, to wash away their sins and purify their souls.

With nearly 80 million people making this pilgrimage in 2013, the Kumbh Mela was not only the biggest religious event on earth, it was the largest gathering of human beings in the history of the world.

To prepare for a record number of visitors, the Indian government built a city from the ground up, on land that is normally barren. It is an area that is roughly the size of Manhattan, which during the pilgrimage saw more than 30 times the population.

Watch what it took for the city to be built, including 35,000 toilets, 22,000 street lights, 38 hospitals, 30 police stations and 18 pontoon bridges.

Tune in for the series premiere of Belief Sunday, October 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.
Published 10/07/2015
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