Luxury tents a hit amongst tourists at Allahabad Maha Kumbh Mela
Foreign visitors at the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad have praised the luxury camps that have been offered to them with facilities such as heating and other comforts.
Tourism Department official Rajesh Giri said: "The tourism department wanted to give a different look, because before these, there were only normal tents for the mela. Their (new tents) performance has been very good. The guests have highly appreciated staying in these Swiss cottages. We have constructed King size Swiss Cottage in a large area."
"These are proper Swiss Cottage tents with the proper height of an actual Swiss Cottage. These have drawing rooms, bedrooms, a dressing room and toilets with flush, European toilets. We have also provided them with blowers, geysers. We have given them all the comforts and all the facilities," Giri added.
The Maha Kumbh has been timed to match an auspicious planetary alignment, when believers say spiritual energy flows to earth.
The festival has its roots in a Hindu tradition that says Lord Vishnu wrested from demons a golden pot containing the nectar of immortality.
In a 12-day fight for possession, four drops fell to earth, in the cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Every three years a Kumbh Mela is held at one of these spots, with the festival at Allahabad the holiest of them all.
More than 2,000 years old, the festival is a meeting point for the Hindu sadhus, some who live in forests or Himalayan caves, and who belong to dozens of inter-related congregations. The sects have their own administration and elect leaders, but are also known for violent clashes with each other.