India 2013 Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela

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India. Uttar Pradesh state. Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela. Three men, all street cleaners, are collecting plastic and garbages floating on the Ganges' river on the day of Royal bath on Mauni Amavasya Snan (Dark moon). The ritual "Royal Bath" is timed to match an auspicious planetary alignment, when believers say spiritual energy flows to earth. The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering is held every 12 years on the banks of the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The belief is that bathing and taking a holy dip will wash and free one from all the past sins, get salvation and paves the way for Moksha (meaning liberation from the cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth). The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela, which comes after 12 Purna Kumbh Mela, or 144 years, is always held at Allahabad. Uttar Pradesh (abbreviated U.P.) is a state located in northern India. 10.02.13 © 2013 Didier Ruef