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hindu women bating in the ganges river at sangam - kumbh mela 2013 (india)

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Hindu women bathing in the Ganges river at dawn, near the Sangam, during the Kumbh Mela 2013 festival near Allahabad (India)

The wooden poles in the water are a safety fence, as most of the Hindu pilgrims can't swim!

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.

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.

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