Despite hardships, kalpvasis go back from Kumbh ‘in bliss’: Indo-British study

Prof N Srinivasan, head of the Centre for Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, said: "We put the kalpvasis through two types of cacophonous sounds — one from the mela, which included bhajans — and the other was that of the city sounds. The kalpvasis liked the previous sounds, feeling bliss."

What started out as Indo-British collaboration on the subject in 2005 later gave way to a full-fledged research between 2007 and 2012. A sample size of around 400 kalpvasis, before, during and after the Magh Mela (and the Ardh Kumbh Mela of 2007), was studied. The team also studied over 100 of those who did not attend mela as kalpvasis. According to Prof Srinivasan, collating the data generated from two sample sizes, the researchers were in a position to say that the kalpvasis went back with a better sense of well-being. Some of the findings of the research have been published in reputed journals like Lancet.

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