SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners trek to sacred sites visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.
Every twelve years, tens of millions of men, women and children gather on the flood plain of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in Allahabad, India, for the largest gathering of humanity for religious purposes on the planet, and host Bruce Feiler is there. This is the Kumbh Mela, the great Hindu festival where pilgrims come from across India, and around the world, to bathe in the water where two sacred rivers meet.
Host Bruce Feiler travels to the Kumbh with a group of spiritual seekers from across America, first stopping in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, downstream from Allahabad, to take part in traditional rituals on the Ganges, India’s most sacred river that is worshipped by Hindus as a goddess. Bruce and the pilgrims travel on by bus to the vast tent city built on land that was underwater just months earlier and will be flooded again in just a few months more. Bruce and the American pilgrims settle into camp, surrounded by millions of other pilgrims, holy men, gurus and ash-covered naga babas, the naked ascetics who are the most visible symbol of the Kumbh Mela. They join millions of fellow pilgrims and holy men and women who are bathing at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in a ritual that Hindus believe washes away sins and breaks the endless cycle of reincarnation.