Immense crowd of Hindu pilgrims gathering before dawn on the bank of the Ganges river, near the Sangam, during the Kumbh Mela 2013 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.
The Ganges river is on the left side of the photo, and the string of lights far-away on the left are on the other bank of the river.
This photo was taken around 6am, about one hour before sunrise. 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.