Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Tarun Khanna, Director, Harvard South Asia Institute; Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School
The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious fair that occurs every twelve years in India, and has become the largest public gathering in the world. The most recent observance of the festival took place in 2013 in Allahabad, with an estimated attendance of over 80 million people. Because of its size and complexity, the 2013 Kumbh Mela inspired the Harvard South Asia Institute’s flagship multi-year interdisciplinary research project in a number of complementary fields: business, technology and communications, urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, and public health. 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.
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