INDIA: At the Three Rivers

The autumnal Ganges floods had receded at Allahabad, baring a five-square-mile mud flat where three sacred rivers join—the muddy Ganges, the blue Jumna, and the Saraswati, which, according to Hindu legend, wells up from underground. At the Triveni Sangam (Meeting of the Three Rivers) last week, a tumultuous tent city had grown up, peopled by 3,000,000 Hindus. By thousands of fires, breech-clouted sadhus (holy men) chanted Vedic hymns. Around the clock a clangor of raucous songs mingled with hymns, flutes with elephant bells, caterwauls with the keening of sacred recitations. The millions had come for the religious festival of Ardh...