horse police patrolling the crowd of hindu pilgrims gathering at kumbh mela 2013 (india)

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Police on Horses patrolling the Sangam at Kumbh Mela, where hundreds of thousands Hindu pilgrims are gathering before dawn on the bank of the Ganges river, near Allahabad (India)

Many policemen were also patrolling on foot, blowing incessantly in their whistles and asking people to not loiter and leave the area quickly after the bath, to make room for the coming crowd.­ The horse police was used for crowd control, and they could get a better view of the area.­

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 in this gigantic crowd.­ 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.­

For more photos and info about the Kumbh Mela festival, read the album description.

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India 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela 2013
Kila Marg, Kumbh Mela Area I, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh 211005, India