|Another sadhu who has seated himself rather comfortably on a bed of nails. One often sees this ritual at the Khumbh Mela gatherings, often referred to as the largest gatherings of mankind on the face of the planet.
Kumbha Mela is a massive pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges river. It is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Jupiter and the sun. When Jupiter and the sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi) it is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik; when the sun is in Aries (Mesha Rashi) it is celebrated at Haradwar; when Jupiter is in Taurus (Vrishabha Rashi ) and the sun is in Capricorn (Makar Rashi) Kumbha Mela is celebrated at Prayag; and Jupiter and the sun are in Scorpio (Vrishchik Rashi) the Mela is celebrated at Ujjain. Each site's celebration dates are calculated in advance according to a special combination of zodiacal positions of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter.
The first written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese traveller, Huan Tsang or Xuanzang (602 - 664 A.D.) who visited India in 629 -645 CE, during the reign of King Harshavardhana but may date to a much earlier period.