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February 1, 2012
Magh Mela festival 2012
Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus bathe at the confluence of the Ganges River in India during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as 'Magh Mela.' The pilgrims take dips in the river, some hoping to wash away sins and others to secure a fine spouse, during the festival.
(34 images)



Indian Hindu holy men perform a ritual by burning dried cow dung cakes in earthen pots overhead in their quest for salvation at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchmi festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh


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Hindu pilrims arrive at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP /



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Indian Hindu holy men perform rituals inside a circle made of dried cow dung cakes at Sangam, confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Sadhu, or a Hindu holy man, takes a dip at Sangam, confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian women offer prayers at the 'Sangam', the confluence of the Ganges Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian Hindu holy men perform rituals inside a circle made of dried cow dung cakes at Sangam, confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, smokes marijuana at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges,Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Hindu holy man drinks tea at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges,Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Hindu couple offers prayers at the 'Sangam', the confluence of the Ganges Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian women offers prayers at the 'Sangam', the confluence of the Ganges Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees arrive at Sangam amidst morning fog to offer prayers on the banks of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. Basant Panchami, the fifth day of spring is celebrated by worshipping Hindu Goddess of knowledge and wisdom, Saraswati . AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees offer prayers after a holy dip at the 'Sangam', the confluence of the Ganges Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A shopkeeper waits in his shop as Hindu devotees arrive at the 'Sangam', the confluence of the Ganges Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees gather to offer prayers and a holy dip at the 'Sangam', the confluence of the Ganges Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Basant Panchami festival that falls during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Makeshift tents of Hindu devotees are seen at the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, during the annual Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Hindu holy man waits for alms while lying down on the banks the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees pray and take bath at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan.27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees take bath at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A boy sells flowers at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian Hindu women prostrate themselves as others offer prayers before taking a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu pilgrims arrive on tractors for a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian holy men queue for food after completing their morning prayer at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees pray at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Friday, Jan.27, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees cross a newly constructed temporary bridge on the Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati during the annual month-long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India , Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Married Hindu women perform rituals near a Banyan tree during the Magh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A child looks on after taking a dip in the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Hindu holy man applies vermilion on a Hindu devotee at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A woman weeps as she searches for her son in the massive crowd gathering at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees congregate to take ritualistic dips in Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Hindu devotee offers prayers to the Sun god on Mauni Amavasya, or new moon day, third and the most auspicious date of bathing during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hindu devotees offer prayers to the Sun god on Mauni Amavasya, or new moon day, third and the most auspicious date of bathing during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Pilgrims wait to make their offerings at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian woman tries to make her way through the massive crowd making offerings at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the annual month long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Hundreds of tents of Hindu devotees, participating in the annual Magh Mela festival are erected at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna, in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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