Welcome by Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director, CSMVS Museum
Introductory remarks by Vikram Gandhi, Harvard South Asia Institute Advisory Council Member; Founder, Asha Impact
Diana Eck, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Harvard Divinity School
Devesh Chaturvedi, Divisional Commissioner, Allahabad, at the 2013 Kumbh Mela
Satchit Balsari, Weill Cornell Global Emergency Medicine Division; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Alok Sharma, Inspector General of Police, Allahabad, at the 2013 Kumbh Mela
Facilitated by Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Since its inception early in the first millennium CE, the Kumbh Mela has become the largest public gathering in the world. Today it draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of a few weeks. Among the pilgrims at the 2013 Kumbh Mela was a team of some 50 people – faculty, students, and researchers from Harvard University. The team was making an in-depth study of a gathering that is not only a remarkable religious experience, but also a remarkable exercise in urban planning, public health, government administration, security, and commerce.
Launched in 2015, the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition consolidate research findings and serve as an example of interdisciplinary research conducted at Harvard. The faculty leaders and Kumbh administrators will discuss their experience studying the world’s largest festival, and lessons learned for future research.
Cosponsored with the Asia Society India Centre and the Harvard Club of Mumbai