I'm currently in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. Yesterday was the last day of the Kumbh Mela. This place is about three - four hours from Allahabad, and all of these people (and many, many, many, many more) are either going to the Kumbh or waiting for a train to go back home.
There were policemen only at AC compartments, making sure people with no reservations could get in. They had lathis and weren't afraid to use them. All of the other compartments (general, sleeper, whatever) had hundreds of people in them, on them, around them, hanging from them. This picture is from 6 AM, but I was stuck in that station till 7.30 PM.
The waiting rooms (especially for reserved trains) were worse than the platforms!
It was absolute madness, to say the least. It made me ask all sorts of mean and elite questions of the Mela, but in asking these questions, it made me ask questions of myself for asking those questions.
Is all this worth it? For taking a dip in three really polluted rivers? Even at the price of going to heaven?