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Magh Mela Begins in Allahabad, Pilgrims to Take Holy Dip on Paush Purnima

ALLAHABAD, INDIA - JANUARY 23: Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe at sunrise at the ritual bathing site at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Ardh Kumbh Mela festival (Half Pitcher festival) January 23, 2007 in Allahabad, India. Today is one of the major bathing days of the festival celebrating the first day of spring in North India. Tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims have already attended the 45 day festival in northern India which is the largest religious gathering in the world. The festival commemorates the mythical conflict between gods and demons over a pitcher filled with the 'nectar of immortality'. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges at this time washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

During the entire month of Magh Mela, the pilgrims stay on the banks of Sangam in tents and take early morning bath and take part in other religious duties.

The month-long Magh Mela festival began in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh today with approximately 50 lakh pilgrims, including scores of kalpwasis, expected to take a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of Yamuna, Ganga and mythological Saraswati, on the occasion of Paush Purnima on Thursday.  During the entire month of Magh Mela, the pilgrims stay on the banks of Sangam in tents and take early morning bath and take part in other religious duties.

Elaborate arrangements have also been made for smooth conduct of bathing.  More than three thousand police person have already deployed in the mela area. 12 police stations have been set up in the tent city and 45 CCTV cameras have been stalled on all main roads of sangam area.

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