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Indian city gears up for world's largest religious festival

  11
17:00 14-01-2019
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 Pilgrims from across the world are gathering in India for the Kumbh Mela, a heady mix of spirituality, politics and tourism that begins on Tuesday, garnering extra attention ahead of a general election in the Hindu-majority country this year Reuters reports.

During the eight-week festival at Prayagraj in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, authorities here expect up to 150 million people, including a million foreign visitors, to bathe at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and a mythical third river, the Saraswati.

Devout Hindus believe that bathing in the waters of the Ganges absolves people of sins and bathing at the time of the Kumbh Mela, or the “festival of the pot”, brings salvation from the cycle of life and death.

“Kumbh is a conglomeration of spiritual consciousness and cultural heritage,” Mahesh Sharma, who heads the culture ministry, said in a statement.