The Reading Experience ILLUSTRATED Sir Mark Tully holds many titles. Currently an author and journalist, he worked at BBC for 30 years, during which he held the position of Chief of Bureau, BBC, New Delhi for 20 years. His writings reflect a unique understanding of India and its workings, and reveal his appreciation of the great mythical and spiritual tradition of India. Swami Nikhilatmanandji is a devout proponent of the Ramakrishna Mission and is part of the Puri sect. He was with the mission in Nagpur and Raipur, followed by a long stint in Allahabad which started in 1990 and continues till date. The essence of the Ramakrishna Mission movement has seeped into his very being as he intricately weaves the connect between service, sainthood and salvation. Andrew Turner is as much at home in the bustling Kumbh as he is in an avocado and blueberry farm, tucked away in a scenic village of New South Wales, Australia. Comboyne is home to Andrew’s family of six and his initiative called Sustainable Timber Frames. His life decisions reflect his tendency to take the road less travelled, hoping to encounter deep and diverse experiences and enjoy the ride while getting there. “In the crowd there are professors and actors,they come very quietly and are drawn to the Ganga. There are rich people, famous industrialists, teachers and people from all casts , creeds and colours, from different regions, religions and nations.Whenever everyone takes a holy dip, there is a feeling that we all are one.” Krishnanandji is a septuagenarian priest and a descendant of the largest surviving family in the Gaur community. He took up learning the sacred writings of Hinduism at an impressionable age and treaded the path of his fathers and forefathers into performing religious rites . The famed Durga Shivir camp that helps house numerous people during the Mela is organized by his family. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji spearheads an organization called the Ganga Action Parivar and the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. Even though he is the quintessential guru, his clean Ganga campaign and celebrity Ganga aartis set him apart. Like the Sangam, he envisions a life and time of oneness, a union of minds and methods.