The largest mass bathing gathers more than 30 million pilgrims at the Kumbh Mela festival
The culmination of the Kumbh Mela religious festival in India is a ritual bath, which collected on 10 February 2013 more than 30 million pilgrims at Sangam, in the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna near the northern city of Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Hindus believe that the ritual bath washes away sins and helps to save the soul.
The ceremony lasts for 6 days and is considered the largest gathering of people in the world. Importance of the festival reinforces the fact that the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years, and the current, known as Maha Kumbh Mela is held every 144 years. Therefore, the observers believe that for all 55 days of the festival (14 January — 10 March 2013) in the holy waters of the river will swim about 100 million people.
There are three types of pilgrimage to Kumbh Mela: Ardh Kumbh (half) takes place every 6 years in two places. Purna Kumbh (full) takes place every 12 years in four places. The cycle of Maha Kumbh Mela is 12 full or 144 years of worship and celebration is held only in Allahabad.
According to legend of Hindu mythology, the gods and the demons were engaged in a fight for the cup of nectar, a few drops fell in the places where today is located Allahabad, Nashik, Ujjain and Haridwar. These are the four places where centuries of religious festivals Kumbh are held.
The district of ritual ablutions around Allahabad covers an area of about 20 square km. The authorities take all possible measures to protect the order and the lives of millions of pilgrims since the incident in 1954, when a stampede killed 800 people. The control is hampered by the fact that many people remain after bath to watch sadhus – the half-naked men covered in ash-ascetics thousands of whom gather here in cold Saturday night.
To ensure the safety and protection of the grand event, 30,000 police and military personnel, more than 240 physicians and 14 hospitals were attracted. To avoid accidents and the spread of contagion in the region are equipped with 18 swimming areas, 35,000 bathroom cabs are located and 80 million liters of drinking water is delivered.
According to Mass Media materials