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Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela (2004)

Unrated | | Documentary | 11 May 2004 (USA)
3:01 | Trailer

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Every 12 years over 70 million pilgrims gather at the meeting of India's holiest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, for a spectacular spiritual festival: the Kumbh Mela. This documentary ... See full summary »
2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Jasper Johal Jasper Johal ... Himself
Justin Davis Justin Davis ... Himself
Swami Krishnanad Swami Krishnanad ... Himself
Pilot Baba Pilot Baba ... Himself
Yog Mata Yog Mata ... Herself
Dyan Summers Dyan Summers ... Herself
Vanessa Ramos Vanessa Ramos ... Herself
Ramarand Puri Ramarand Puri ... Himself
Silu Acharya Silu Acharya ... Herself
Kali Baaba Kali Baaba ... Himself
The Dalai Lama ... Himself


Every 12 years over 70 million pilgrims gather at the meeting of India's holiest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, for a spectacular spiritual festival: the Kumbh Mela. This documentary takes a voyage of discovery through this colorful event through the eyes of several Westerners and an ebullient young Hindu monk, Swami Krishnanand. Featuring encounters with some of India's most respected holy men and exclusive footage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The biggest gathering of people in the history of humanity






Official Sites:

Official site




English | Hindi

Release Date:

11 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,263, 24 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$381,225, 11 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mela Films LLC See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Spiritual pilgrimage to the Ganges
18 June 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

It speaks volumes that millions of people can gather to celebrate this festival that takes place every twelve years without any problems, or casualty. That the Mela takes place in India, a poor country in comparison to the West, is a tribute to how the people there have achieved a state of nirvana. In general, all the different gurus, swamis, and different religious people seem to be honestly involved in the well being of their souls and passing this set of rules of conduct for anyone who wants to become spiritual and leave all the material trappings aside.

Director Maurizio Benazzo, and his collaborator, Nick Day, present us images that are exotic and in sharp contrast with what religion is seen and practiced in this country and others. We are taken to different people who speak directly into the camera and tell us their view about spirituality and how they have arrived at that plateau.

There are many interesting side trips to visit with the Dalai Lama, who made an appearance at the festival. His message is how Buddism can coexist with all religions based on mutual respect for other forms of religion. The documentary makes a point in how Hinduism is an ancient religion practiced since much before Christianity.

The directors make a point to watch through the camera lens but never make any statements or be judgmental about any aspect of the way the people that are attracted to do the pilgrimage worship.

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