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Pictures | Mon Jan 14, 2013 | 3:44am EST

Millions of Hindus take to the Ganges at largest festival

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Sadhus or Hindu holymen attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. During the festival, Hindus take part in a religious gathering on the banks of the river Ganges. "Kumbh Mela" will again return to Allahabad in 12 years. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Sadhus or Hindu holymen attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. During the festival, Hindus take part in a religious gathering on the...more

Sadhus or Hindu holymen attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. During the festival, Hindus take part in a religious gathering on the banks of the river Ganges. "Kumbh Mela" will again return to Allahabad in 12 years. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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A Hindu devotee holds a prayer bead on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. During the festival, Hindus take part in a religious gathering on the banks of the river Ganges. The "Kumbh Mela" will return to Allahabad in 12 years. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A Hindu devotee holds a prayer bead on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. During the festival, Hindus take part in a religious gathering on the banks...more

A Hindu devotee holds a prayer bead on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. During the festival, Hindus take part in a religious gathering on the banks of the river Ganges. The "Kumbh Mela" will return to Allahabad in 12 years. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees take part in the morning prayers on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take part in the morning prayers on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take part in the morning prayers on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees walk on the banks of the river Ganges amidst the fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees walk on the banks of the river Ganges amidst the fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees walk on the banks of the river Ganges amidst the fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, walks on the banks of the river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, walks on the banks of the river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, walks on the banks of the river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, performs morning prayers on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, performs morning prayers on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, performs morning prayers on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees take a holy dip in the waters of river Ganges amid fog ahead of the "Kumbh Mela" (Pitcher Festival) in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, arrive to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, arrive to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, arrive to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees pray as they attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees pray as they attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees pray as they attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Hindu devotees gather to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees gather to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Hindu devotees gather to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, run to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, run to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, run to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
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Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, arrive to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, arrive to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

Naga sadhus, or Hindu holymen, arrive to attend the first 'Shahi Snan' (grand bath) at the ongoing "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash
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A female Hindu pilgrim dries sarees, a traditional cloth used for women's clothing, after taking a dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, January 13, 2013. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making their annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of "Makar Sankranti" on January 14. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A female Hindu pilgrim dries sarees, a traditional cloth used for women's clothing, after taking a dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, January 13, 2013. Hindu monks and pilgrims are...more

A female Hindu pilgrim dries sarees, a traditional cloth used for women's clothing, after taking a dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, January 13, 2013. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making their annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of "Makar Sankranti" on January 14. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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Hindu pilgrims pray to the Sun God before taking a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, January 13, 2013. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making their annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of "Makar Sankranti" on January 14. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Hindu pilgrims pray to the Sun God before taking a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, January 13, 2013. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making their annual trip to Sagar Island for the...more

Hindu pilgrims pray to the Sun God before taking a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, south of Kolkata, January 13, 2013. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making their annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of "Makar Sankranti" on January 14. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
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