Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation, which falls every 12 years and lasts for a period of over a month, during which devotees wash themselves in the waters of the Ganges believing that it washes away their sins and ends the process of reincarnation. The ceremony in the northern city of Allahabad took place on the most auspicious day of the Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, one of the world's largest religious gatherings that lasts 55 days. Festival official Mani Prasad Mishra said nearly 3 million people had bathed by late morning and 11 million were expected to enter the chilly water by the day's end. Over million people are expected to take a dip at the Sangam, the place where three rivers -- the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati -- come together at the edge of Allahabad in North India. There are six auspicious bathing days, decided by the alignment of stars, when the Hindu devout bathe to wash away their sins and free themselves from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Millions of Hindus plunge into Ganges River in India to wash away their sins
River Bathing, Varanasi, India - Travel Photos by Galen R Frysinger, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Hindu women bathing in the Ganges river at dawn, near the Sangam, during the Kumbh Mela festival near Allahabad India. The Triveni Sangam is the confluence of the Yamuna and the Ganga Ganges rivers, and this is the holiest place to take the ritual baths during the Kumbh Mela. This was the early morning of January 27 a full-moon night, called Paush Purnima , one of the most auspicious mornings for taking the holy bath. After a 7 km night walk, I arrived at the Sangam area at about 3am, early enough to be well positioned to take a few good photos. The yellowish color is caused by the dim sodium-vapor street lights. Kumbh Mela is the largest festival on Earth, taking place once every 12 years, with more than 50 million Hindu pilgrims gathering to pray and bathe in the holy Ganges river. Loupiote Stock Photos.
Millions of Hindus plunge into Ganges River in Indian festival ritual
Thank You Sir Siddhartha Joshi for sharing this wonderful article with your own recommendation. But, I am confused. Is it not possible to take snaps in the Ghats of Varanasi?
I arrived in Varanasi at dawn and made my way to the Ganges as the sun began to cast its glow over the waking city. The sound of music, ringing bells and chanting filled the air as the city came alive in a mad frenzy of devotion. Clearly this was no ordinary river. The old city is formed by a maze of alleyways, thick with the sweet, heady smell of incense. Crumbling palaces and temples give way to the ghats — the steps that lead down to the river and provide the focal point for locals and pilgrims alike.