An Instant Megacity

The Kumbh Mela in Allahabad hosts many millions of pilgrims over a roughly eight-week period. To serve this massive influx, the religious festival must provide all the food, health care, and basic amenities of a major urban center. Construction on the floodplain can’t get under way until November, after the waters have receded from the previous year’s monsoon. Organizers have just two months to build the temporary megacity before the first inhabitants arrive in January.
John Tomanio, NGM STAFF; Farhana Hossain, Satellite Images; DigitalGlobe
Sources: South Asia Institute, Harvard University; Allahabad Kumbh Mela Administration