- Intersection of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers Allahabad
Lonely Planet review for Sangam
This is the point where the shallow, muddy Ganges meets the clearer, deeper Yamuna. Hindu pilgrims come all year to bathe and take a boat out to the auspicious spot where the two rivers meet. A rowing boat should not cost more than Rs 30 per person if you share, but boat-owners are desperate to get foreign tourists on board at inflated prices. A private boat for a half-hour trip is about Rs 200. The number of pilgrims increases during the annual Magh Mela (mid-January to mid-February).
Astrologers calculate the holiest time to enter the water and draw up a 'Holy Dip Schedule'. The most propitious time of all happens only every 12 years when the massive Kumbh Mela takes place. Ardh Mela (half-mela) is every six years. Both of these attract millions of sadhus and pilgrims. In the early 1950s, 350 pilgrims were killed in a stampede to the soul-cleansing water (an incident recreated in Vikram Seth's novel A Suitable Boy).
The most recent Ardh Mela was in 2007, while the next Kumbh Mela here is 2013.