© Daniel Berehulak, 2013, Kumbh Mela 2013, Allahabad, India

"The Maha Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of Sangam, at the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Lasting 55 days, it is celebrated at the holy site of Sangam in Allahabad; in 2013, by the time it’s over, around 100 million people will have made the pilgrimage to the festival.

But how does one show the largest gathering of people on the planet in photographs? My photojournalist colleagues and I had been planning for months to try and document the Kumbh Mela, but there seemed to be no concrete information anywhere on the best way to organize our shoots. The most basic questions were difficult to answer:

How would we cover the event? Would we work on the ground? From the water? And, most fundamentally, how would we differentiate our work from the work of countless other photographers covering the gathering? How, in the end, does one convey something so unfathomably vast in pictures?” (Daniel Berehulak, read more)

Check out more stunning panoramas of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on TIME LightBox.

Find more Kumbh Mela photos (also some of mine) in my archives. I have been to the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar in 2010 and it was a life-changing experience. Special thanks to Sunil, Kritika, Pakshalika & Pranayini for the wonderful time, I miss you guys so much…

BURNÉD SHOÉS AND THE ASHES OF THE KUMBH

My friend and part-time niece Sandra asked me several times when I will finally publish more of my India & Kumbh Mela photos. Today I wrote her to check my blog at about 3:15pm CET for a surprise, and I ended the mail with "Namasté."

Hello Sandra! Sorry, you still have to wait a little longer… but as I couldn’t find any ‘Amrita' (the nectar of immortality) in Haridwar, I decided to hurry up and post some of my photos very soon, I swear ;) and remember:

“Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the diamond.”
Kahlil Gibran

Seeing these wonderful panoramas also makes me want to share my work within the next days or maybe weeks (depending on my travel plans) - both digital and analog (I’ve planned to get a decent film scanner soon).