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“Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges river. The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 3 years, the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Prayag, the Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years, at four places (Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik). The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela which comes after 12 “Purna Kumbh Melas”, or 144 years, is held at Allahabad.

The last Ardh Kumbh Mela was held over a period of 45 days beginning in January 2007, more than 70 million Hindu pilgrims took part in the Ardh Kumbh Mela at Prayag, and on January 15, the most auspicious day of the festival of Makar Sankranti, more than 5 million participated. The previous Maha Kumbh Mela, held in 2001, was attended by around 60 million people, making it at the time the largest gathering anywhere in the world in recorded history”. – Wikipedia

Photo: Sadhus (holy men) smoke at their camp near the ritual site at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Ardh Kumbh Mela festival (Half Pitcher festival) January 18, 2007 in Allahabad, India. Millions of Hindu pilgrims have flocked to the largest religious gathering in the world which lasts for 45 days in northern India. The festival commemorates the mythical conflict between gods and demons over a pitcher filled with the “nectar of immortality”. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges at this time washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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30 Jun 2011 10:27:00
Hindu holy man, or sadhu, applies paint to his forehead at his ashram on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu February 15, 2015. Hindu holy men from Nepal and India come to this temple to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

Hindu holy man, or sadhu, applies paint to his forehead at his ashram on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu February 15, 2015. Hindu holy men from Nepal and India come to this temple to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and holy men mark the occasion by praying, smoking marijuana or smearing their bodies with ashes. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)
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16 Feb 2015 13:12:00
Two Hindu holy men of the Juna Akhara sect  are being take on a motorcycle by their teacher as they got delayed for a rituals that are believed to rid them of all ties in this life and dedicate themselves to serving God as a “Naga” or naked holy men, at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna River during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, February 6, 2013. (Photo by Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP Photo)

Two Hindu holy men of the Juna Akhara sect are being take on a motorcycle by their teacher as they got delayed for a rituals that are believed to rid them of all ties in this life and dedicate themselves to serving God as a “Naga” or naked holy men, at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna River during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, February 6, 2013. The significance of nakedness is that they will not have any worldly ties to material belongings, even something as simple as clothes. This ritual that transforms selected holy men to Naga can only be done at the Kumbh festival. (Photo by Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP Photo)
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07 Feb 2013 10:11:00
A family poses for a picture in front of the carcasses of sacrificed buffalos a day after the sacrificial ceremony of the “Gadhimai Mela” festival held in Bariyapur November 29, 2014. Sword-wielding Hindu devotees in Nepal began slaughtering thousands of animals and birds in a ritual sacrifice on Friday, ignoring calls by animal rights activists to halt what they described as the world's largest such exercise. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

A family poses for a picture in front of the carcasses of sacrificed buffalos a day after the sacrificial ceremony of the “Gadhimai Mela” festival held in Bariyapur November 29, 2014. Sword-wielding Hindu devotees in Nepal began slaughtering thousands of animals and birds in a ritual sacrifice on Friday, ignoring calls by animal rights activists to halt what they described as the world's largest such exercise. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)
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30 Nov 2014 12:35:00
A Naga sadhu, or naked Hindu holy man, pauses inside a tent during Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher festival, at Trimbakeshwar, India, Thursday, August 27, 2015. Hindus believe taking a dip in the waters of a holy river during the festival will cleanse them of their sins. The festival is held four times every 12 years. (Photo by Bernat Armangue/AP Photo)

A Naga sadhu, or naked Hindu holy man, pauses inside a tent during Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher festival, at Trimbakeshwar, India, Thursday, August 27, 2015. Hindus believe taking a dip in the waters of a holy river during the festival will cleanse them of their sins. The festival is held four times every 12 years. (Photo by Bernat Armangue/AP Photo)
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27 Aug 2015 11:24:00
A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, sits beside a fire after smearing his body with ashes at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple, ahead of the Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal February 21, 2017. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, sits beside a fire after smearing his body with ashes at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple, ahead of the Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal February 21, 2017. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting, with sadhus arriving at Pashupatinath to take part in the event, which takes place on February 24. (Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)
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23 Feb 2017 00:01:00
Naga Sadhus or Hindu Holy men leave after taking a dip during the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at “Kumbh Mela” or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, previously known as Allahabad, India, January 15, 2019. (Photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Naga Sadhus or Hindu Holy men leave after taking a dip during the first "Shahi Snan" (grand bath) at “Kumbh Mela” or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, previously known as Allahabad, India, January 15, 2019. (Photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)
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17 Jan 2019 00:03:00
A Hindu holy man with his face smears with ash and vermilion powder adjusts his head gear sitting at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath Temple during Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, March 4, 2019. Shivaratri, or the night of Shiva, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. (Photo by Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)

A Hindu holy man with his face smears with ash and vermilion powder adjusts his head gear sitting at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath Temple during Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, March 4, 2019. Shivaratri, or the night of Shiva, is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction. (Photo by Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo)
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07 Mar 2019 00:03:00