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Pictures | Thu Feb 11, 2010 | 11:35am EST

Holy festival, holy city

<p>A Hindu devotee bathes in Ganges river during "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 9, 2010, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus take part in the religious gathering on the banks of the river in the holy city of Haridwar at the festival, which is held every 12 years in different Indian cities. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

A Hindu devotee bathes in Ganges river during "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 9, 2010, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus take part in the religious gathering on the banks of the river in the...more

A Hindu devotee bathes in Ganges river during "Kumbh Mela", or Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 9, 2010, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus take part in the religious gathering on the banks of the river in the holy city of Haridwar at the festival, which is held every 12 years in different Indian cities. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Musicians rest as they wait to take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

Musicians rest as they wait to take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Musicians rest as they wait to take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Musicians rest as the wait to take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

Musicians rest as the wait to take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Musicians rest as the wait to take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Hindu devotees warm themselves on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

Hindu devotees warm themselves on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Hindu devotees warm themselves on the banks of the river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A Hindu devotee holds to a security chain after he slipped in the strong waters during his bath in the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

A Hindu devotee holds to a security chain after he slipped in the strong waters during his bath in the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

A Hindu devotee holds to a security chain after he slipped in the strong waters during his bath in the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, whose followers say have not moved his arm and cut his fingernails for 32 years, sits in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river, during "Kumbh Mela" in the northern town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, whose followers say have not moved his arm and cut his fingernails for 32 years, sits in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river, during "Kumbh Mela" in the northern town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard...more

A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, whose followers say have not moved his arm and cut his fingernails for 32 years, sits in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river, during "Kumbh Mela" in the northern town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Hindu devotees take holy dip in the waters of river Ganges during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 14, 2010. Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges during the festival days cleanses them of sin. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

Hindu devotees take holy dip in the waters of river Ganges during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 14, 2010. Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges during the festival days cleanses them of sin. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi...more

Hindu devotees take holy dip in the waters of river Ganges during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 14, 2010. Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges during the festival days cleanses them of sin. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Children, one dressed as a demon (L) and one as a Hindu god, take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

Children, one dressed as a demon (L) and one as a Hindu god, take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Children, one dressed as a demon (L) and one as a Hindu god, take part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>A Hindu devotee prepares to take a holy dip in the waters of the river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

A Hindu devotee prepares to take a holy dip in the waters of the river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A Hindu devotee prepares to take a holy dip in the waters of the river Ganges ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, smokes hashish in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, smokes hashish in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, smokes hashish in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 10, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Hindu devotees change clothes on the banks of the river Ganges after taking a holy dip during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 13, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

Hindu devotees change clothes on the banks of the river Ganges after taking a holy dip during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 13, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Hindu devotees change clothes on the banks of the river Ganges after taking a holy dip during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 13, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A boy has his face painted as he takes part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

A boy has his face painted as he takes part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

A boy has his face painted as he takes part in a parade during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Hindu devotees pray on the banks of the river Ganges before taking a holy dip ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

Hindu devotees pray on the banks of the river Ganges before taking a holy dip ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Hindu devotees pray on the banks of the river Ganges before taking a holy dip ahead of "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, sits in his tent in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010.  REUTERS/Reinhard Krause </p>

A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, sits in his tent in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, sits in his tent in a camp near the banks of the Ganges river during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar February 11, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

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<p>Hindu devotees pray on the banks of river Ganges amidst heavy fog during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 15, 2010. At least half a million men, women and children braved chilly winds to bathe in the icy waters of the Ganges in the holy Himalayan town of Haridwar at the Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years in different cities. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi </p>

Hindu devotees pray on the banks of river Ganges amidst heavy fog during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 15, 2010. At least half a million men, women and children braved chilly winds to bathe in the icy waters of the...more

Hindu devotees pray on the banks of river Ganges amidst heavy fog during the "Kumbh Mela" in the northern Indian town of Haridwar January 15, 2010. At least half a million men, women and children braved chilly winds to bathe in the icy waters of the Ganges in the holy Himalayan town of Haridwar at the Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years in different cities. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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