(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

Even if faith didn’t bring you all the way to Allahabad’s Kumbh Mela to wash away your sins, a visit to the largest religious congregation on earth can be overwhelming and surprisingly rejuvenating.

But faith does move millions…

Devotees walk for miles to reach the mela complex from the Allahabad railway station, believing that a dip at the sangam (confluence of holy rivers) would drown a lifetime of sins.

It’s easy to spot the naked, intoxicated, ash-smeared sadhus. They are everywhere.

But you cannot miss the irony. The water in the so-called cleanser of human sins has been deemed unfit for bathing.