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A pigrim with a typical North Indian headgear at the Ardh Kumbh Mela, Prayag, in Allahabad. Prayag incidentally is the confluence of India's three holiest rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. You can catch a glimpse of other pictures in this series here.
The most sacred of all Hindu festival, Kumbh (meaning pot) Mela (meaning fair) is expected to attract pilgrims exceeding 70 million. The observance of Kumbh Mela is based upon the following story : thousands of years ago, perhaps in the Vedic period, gods and demons made a temporary agreement to work together in obtaining amrita (the nectar of immortality) from the Milky Ocean, and to share this equally. However, when the Kumbh (pot) containing the amrita appeared, the demons ran away with the pot and were chased by the gods. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the gods and demons fought in the sky for the possession of this pot of amrita. It is said that during the battle, drops of amrita fell on to four places : Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Thus, Kumbh mela is observed at these four locations where the nectar fell.

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Additional Photos by Sabyasachi Talukdar (sabyasachi1212) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3140 W: 281 N: 5210] (19779)
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