Devotees take sacred dip during India's Magh Mela
Dateline: 27 February 2021
Date: 02/27/2021 04:13 PM
Prayagraj - 27 February 2021
1. Various aerials of flower petals being thrown from helicopter on people bathing
2. Aerial of view from helicopter of tents and temporary bridges
3. Wide of people bathing
4. Women praying
5. Various of worshippers performing Hindu rituals
6. Pan of people bathing and praying
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Millions of people have taken part in a 45-day Hindu bathing festival in the northern Indian city of Prayagraj.
Pilgrims attending the annual Magh Mela offer prayers and enter the holy waters where the Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers meet.
They bathe at Sangam, the sacred confluence of the rivers, on certain days considered to be auspicious in the belief they will be cleansed of all sins.
In Hinduism, this period is called Kalpvas and the devotees who choose to stay for the entire time are known as Kalpvasis.
They give up their daily routine and instead camp in rows and rows of colourful tents at the site, living on frugal meals and performing rituals.
Authorities took months to build the tented city on the river banks.
Police patrol the site and floating bridges help people get from one side of the river to the other.
Boats ferry pilgrims from the bank of the Yamuna to the Sangam, where they bathe in the holy water and offer their prayers.
The festival is being held even though COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country are rising after months of steady decline.
India has confirmed 11 million cases and over 150,000 deaths.
Health officials told local media they had tested tens of thousands of pilgrims for the virus since the festival began on 14 January.
Magh Mela is set to end on 27 February.