Kumbh Mela (/ˌkʊm ˈmeɪlə/ or /ˌkʊm məˈlɑː/; Devanagari: कुम्भ मेला "kumbh mēlā", Marathi कुंभमेळा) is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is considered to be largest peaceful gathering in the world with over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. It is held every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik and Ujjain. Thus the Kumbh Mela is held at each of these four places every twelfth year. Ardh ("Half") Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Haridwar and Allahabad, every sixth year. The rivers at these four places are: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the Godawari at Nashik, and the Shipra at Ujjain.
In Hinduism, sādhu (skt साधु sādhu, "good; good man, holy man") denotes an ascetic, wandering monk. Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa (liberation), the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of brahman. Sādhus often wear saffron-colored clothing, symbolizing their sanyāsa (renunciation).
This way of life is open to women; the female form of the word is sādhvī साध्वी.