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It's Kumbh Mela time!

According to astrologers, the 'Kumbh Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the sun enters Aries. Kumbha (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage which takes place in the Indian cities of Prayag, Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh), Haridwar(Uttarakhand), Ujjain(Madhya Pradesh) and Nasik (Maharashtra). And yes, if you are wondering, the Pot Festival does involve copious amounts of green smokery floating about.

This is the biggest religious gathering on the planet, bigger even than the Pope’s visit to Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 1979. In 2010 it is at Haridwar, at the foot of the Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand. The fest starts this week and runs until 28 April, so you've got plenty of time to get there.

Now you could check out the website offered by the Indian government, kumbh2010haridwar.gov.in but the best thing is to read Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald, a helpful cynic's guide to all things Indian, and proof that you just can’t plan for what’s ahead if you decide to go there.

For organized trips for the Mela – check out transindus.co.uk.

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