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A Naga sadhu, or naked Hindu holy man, poses for a picture after taking a holy dip in the Godavari River during Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik, India, Sunday, September 13, 2015. Hindus believe taking a dip in the waters of a holy river during the festival, will cleanse them of their sins. (Photo by Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo)

A Naga sadhu, or naked Hindu holy man, poses for a picture after taking a holy dip in the Godavari River during Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik, India, Sunday, September 13, 2015. Hindus believe taking a dip in the waters of a holy river during the festival, will cleanse them of their sins. According to Hindu mythology, the Kumbh Mela celebrates the victory of gods over demons in a furious battle over a nectar that would give them immortality. (Photo by Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo)
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14 Sep 2015 13:31:00
A naked Hindu holy man arrives to bath in the Godavari River during Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik, India, Saturday, August 29, 2015. (Photo by Rajanish Kakade/AP Photo)

A naked Hindu holy man arrives to bath in the Godavari River during Kumbh Mela, or Pitcher Festival, at Trimbakeshwar in Nasik, India, Saturday, August 29, 2015. Hindus believe taking a dip in the waters of a holy river during the festival, will cleanse them of their sins. According to Hindu mythology, the Kumbh Mela celebrates the victory of gods over demons in a furious battle over a nectar that would give them immortality. (Photo by Rajanish Kakade/AP Photo)
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30 Aug 2015 11:34:00
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
Naga Sadhus or Hindu holy men, smeared with ash, drink tea inside their makeshift camps near the confluence of river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, ahead of Makar Sankranti festival at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata January 13, 2015. (Photo by Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

Naga Sadhus or Hindu holy men, smeared with ash, drink tea inside their makeshift camps near the confluence of river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, ahead of Makar Sankranti festival at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata January 13, 2015. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making their annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of “Makar Sankranti” on Wednesday. (Photo by Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)
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14 Jan 2015 12:22:00
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 man dressed as Hindu goddess Kali, the goddess of power, performs with a burning camphor tablet on his tongue during a religious procession ahead of the “Kumbh Mela”, or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 6, 2013. During the festival, hundreds of thousands of Hindus take part in a religious gathering at the banks of the river Ganges. The festival is held every 12 years in different Indian cities. (Photo by Jitendra Prakash/Reuters)

A man dressed as Hindu goddess Kali, the goddess of power, performs with a burning camphor tablet on his tongue during a religious procession ahead of the “Kumbh Mela”, or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 6, 2013. During the festival, hundreds of thousands of Hindus take part in a religious gathering at the banks of the river Ganges. The festival is held every 12 years in different Indian cities. (Photo by Jitendra Prakash/Reuters)
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14 Jan 2013 10:54:00


“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