Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite has taken a detailed color photograph of the largest human gathering in the history of the world, the Maha Kumbh Mela, a spiritual event held every 144 years in Northern India. The festival is expected to attract 70 million people to a sacred location on the Ganges River, 15 km from Allahabad, for more than a month of bathing rituals. The IKONOS image, which was collected the day before the most sacred and busiest bathing day on Jan. 24, is available for free to the media.

Reporters can access the image on PR Newswire’s Photowire ( A “before” image showing the area prior to the event is available for downloading from Space Imaging’s media Web site ( Both images may be used for illustration and publishing purposes with the credit of “”

The one-meter resolution image of the Maha Kumbh Mela was collected by Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite, which travels four miles per-second in an orbit 423 miles above Earth. The spectacular image is the first high-resolution satellite image ever taken of such an event. The image shows the sacred site at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers where millions of Hindu worshippers bathe to wash away their sins and hasten the Hindu people’s progress toward nirvana.

About Space Imaging

Space Imaging is a leading supplier of space imagery, aerial photography, mapping services, and derivative geographic information products and services. The company launched the world’s first and only one-meter resolution, commercial imaging satellite, IKONOS, on Sept. 24, 1999. Space Imaging also collects and/or distributes Earth imagery from the Indian Remote Sensing satellites, the U.S. Landsat, Canada’s RADARSAT and the European Space Agency’s ERS satellites. The company also delivers aerial-derived imagery products collected by its own Digital Airborne Imaging System. For more information about Space Imaging, visit

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