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Kumbh Mela 2019: Here's a glimpse of what's happening in the Hindu religious festival

Updated : 2019-02-05 14:21:38

The Kumbh Mela is a series of ritual baths by Hindu sadhus and other pilgrims at Sangam that dates back to at least medieval times. Pilgrims bathe in the river believing it cleanses them of their sins and ends their process of reincarnation. The event, which UNESCO added to its list of intangible human heritage in 2017, is the largest congregation of pilgrims on earth. Some 150 million people are expected to attend this year's Kumbh, which runs through early March.

A Naga Sadhu leaves after taking a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
A Naga Sadhu leaves after taking a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naked ash-smeared Naga Sadhus run to take a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naked ash-smeared Naga Sadhus run to take a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Devotees bathe their Guru at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Devotees bathe their Guru at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Women devotees seek blessings from a Naga Sadhu at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Women devotees seek blessings from a Naga Sadhu at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus leave in a procession to take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus leave in a procession to take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, February 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
A Naga Sadhus leaves in a procession to take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
A Naga Sadhus leaves in a procession to take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Thousands of Hindu devotees take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Thousands of Hindu devotees take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men returns to their camps after taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men returns to their camps after taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Indian women watch the procession of Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men walking towards Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Indian women watch the procession of Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men walking towards Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Members of Kinnar Akhara, the monastic order of the transgender community arrive for holy dip on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Members of Kinnar Akhara, the monastic order of the transgender community arrive for holy dip on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Members of Kinnar Akhara, the monastic order of the transgender community arrive for holy dip on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Members of Kinnar Akhara, the monastic order of the transgender community arrive for holy dip on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
A Hindu holy woman blows a conch shell before a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
A Hindu holy woman blows a conch shell before a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
An ariel view from a helicopter is seen as thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
An ariel view from a helicopter is seen as thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Thousands of Hindu devotees take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Thousands of Hindu devotees take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Naked ash-smeared Naga Sadhus or Hindu holy men arrive for a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naked ash-smeared Naga Sadhus or Hindu holy men arrive for a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naked ash-smeared Naga Sadhus or Hindu holy men arrive for a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naked ash-smeared Naga Sadhus or Hindu holy men arrive for a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
An ariel view from a helicopter is seen as thousands of Hindu devotees walk for a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
An ariel view from a helicopter is seen as thousands of Hindu devotees walk for a dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
This photo released by the Uttar Pradesh state government information department shows thousands of Hindu devotees gather to take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or auspicious new moon day, during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (Uttar Pradesh state government via AP)
This photo released by the Uttar Pradesh state government information department shows thousands of Hindu devotees gather to take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or auspicious new moon day, during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (Uttar Pradesh state government via AP)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men shout slogans before taking dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men shout slogans before taking dip at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Naga Sadhus or Naked Hindu holy men take dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
An Ariel view of thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
An Ariel view of thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam, the confluence of three sacred rivers the Yamuna, the Ganges and the mythical Saraswati, on Mauni Amavsya or the new moon day, the most auspicious day during the Kumbh Mela or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
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