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Kumbh Mela 2019: Devotees Take Holy Dip in Sangam on Shivratri

India | Associated Press | March 4, 2019, 12:00 pm
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 Devotees gather to take a holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Devotees gather to take a holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A man carries an elderly relative as they arrive to take a holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A man carries an elderly relative as they arrive to take a holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees gather to take a holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Devotees gather to take a holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees offer prayer and take holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Devotees offer prayer and take holy dip on the occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri' festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 A Sadhu lies on a bed of thorns at Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

A Sadhu lies on a bed of thorns at Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 Devotees offer prayer and take holy dip on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Devotees offer prayer and take holy dip on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri festival during the ongoing Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

Devotees arrive to take a holy dip at the Sangam on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 PM Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

PM Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 PM Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during Kumbh festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

PM Narendra Modi takes a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during Kumbh festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 PM Narendra Modi returns after taking a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

PM Narendra Modi returns after taking a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 PM Modi speaks after taking a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

PM Modi speaks after taking a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Hindu devotees take the holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Maghi Purnima' during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Hindu devotees take the holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Maghi Purnima' during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A sadhu offer prayers at Sangam on the auspicious 'Maghi Purnima'. (Image: PTI)

A sadhu offer prayers at Sangam on the auspicious 'Maghi Purnima'. (Image: PTI)

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 A sadhu chants hymns after taking a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Maghi Purnima' day during the Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

A sadhu chants hymns after taking a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Maghi Purnima' day during the Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 BJP President Amit Shah, accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Dy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, takes a holy dip at Sangam during his visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

BJP President Amit Shah, accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Dy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, takes a holy dip at Sangam during his visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 BJP President Amit Shah, accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Dy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara Sri Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj, performs 'aarti' after taking a holy dip at Sangam in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

BJP President Amit Shah, accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Dy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of Juna Akhara Sri Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj, performs 'aarti' after taking a holy dip at Sangam in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 BJP President Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath take a holy dip at Sangam during their visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

BJP President Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath take a holy dip at Sangam during their visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 BJP President Amit Shah takes blessings of Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Avdheshanand Giri at Juna Akhara ashram during his visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

BJP President Amit Shah takes blessings of Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Avdheshanand Giri at Juna Akhara ashram during his visit to Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 BJP President Amit Shah, accompanied by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, meets the sadhus at Juna Akhara ashram in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

BJP President Amit Shah, accompanied by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, meets the sadhus at Juna Akhara ashram in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Sadhus arrive at Sangam to take a holy dip on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Sadhus arrive at Sangam to take a holy dip on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga sadhus on their way to take holy bath at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga sadhus on their way to take holy bath at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga sadhus return after taking holy bath at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga sadhus return after taking holy bath at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga sadhus return after taking holy bath at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga sadhus return after taking holy bath at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A sadhus dries up his hair after taking a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A sadhus dries up his hair after taking a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami festival during the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and others offer prayers after taking the holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and others offer prayers after taking the holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari arrives at Sangam to take a holy dip during Kumbh Mela 2019. (Image: PTI)

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari arrives at Sangam to take a holy dip during Kumbh Mela 2019. (Image: PTI)

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 Newly-initiated Naga Sadhus perform Diksha ritual at the bank of Ganga river during the ongoing Kumbh Mela festival 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Newly-initiated Naga Sadhus perform Diksha ritual at the bank of Ganga river during the ongoing Kumbh Mela festival 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Newly initiated Sadhvis of the Juna Akhara attend the Diksha ritual on the banks of the river Ganges during the ongoing

Newly initiated Sadhvis of the Juna Akhara attend the Diksha ritual on the banks of the river Ganges during the ongoing "Kumbh Mela" in Prayagraj. (Image: Reuters)

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 Newly initiated Naga Sadhus of the Juna Akhara attend the Diksha ritual on the banks of the river Ganges during the ongoing

Newly initiated Naga Sadhus of the Juna Akhara attend the Diksha ritual on the banks of the river Ganges during the ongoing "Kumbh Mela" in Prayagraj. (Image: Reuters)

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 Newly initiated 'Naga Sadhus' perform a ritual on the banks of River Ganga during Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Newly initiated 'Naga Sadhus' perform a ritual on the banks of River Ganga during Kumbh Mela 2019, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Newly initiated 'Naga Sadhus' participate in a ritual on the banks of River Ganga during Kumbh Mela 2019. (Image: PTI)

Newly initiated 'Naga Sadhus' participate in a ritual on the banks of River Ganga during Kumbh Mela 2019. (Image: PTI)

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 Hundreds and thousands braved the cold and fog and took a holy dip in the Sangam, the trinity of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, on the occasion of '<em>Mauni Amavasya</em>'. According to officials, over 1.81 crore people had taken the holy dip till 9 a.m.<br /><br />Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Hundreds and thousands braved the cold and fog and took a holy dip in the Sangam, the trinity of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, on the occasion of 'Mauni Amavasya'. According to officials, over 1.81 crore people had taken the holy dip till 9 a.m.

Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Government officials throw flowers from a helicopter on to thousands of Hindu devotees taking dips at Sangam during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 A sadhu holds a trident as he takes a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A sadhu holds a trident as he takes a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Pilgrims arrive for second royal bath 'Mauni Amavasya' part of the ongoing Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Pilgrims arrive for second royal bath 'Mauni Amavasya' part of the ongoing Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Transgender rights activist and Kinnar Akhada chief Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and other members take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Transgender rights activist and Kinnar Akhada chief Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and other members take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga Sadhus arrive to take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga Sadhus arrive to take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees take a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers, during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: Reuters)

Devotees take a holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers, during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: Reuters)

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 Naga Sadhus take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga Sadhus take a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Hindu pilgrims walk through a pontoon bridge on the eve of Mauni Amavasya, an important bathing day, at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Hindu pilgrims walk through a pontoon bridge on the eve of Mauni Amavasya, an important bathing day, at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 A Sadhu takes a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A Sadhu takes a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious 'Mauni Amavasya' day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A holy man walks with a pair of mouse on his headgear on the eve of Mauni Amavasya during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

A holy man walks with a pair of mouse on his headgear on the eve of Mauni Amavasya during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Hindu pilgrims walk through a pontoon bridge on the eve of Mauni Amavasya, an important bathing day, at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Hindu pilgrims walk through a pontoon bridge on the eve of Mauni Amavasya, an important bathing day, at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Devotees offer prayers to the Sun god after taking a holy dip on the eve of Mauni Amavasya during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Devotees offer prayers to the Sun god after taking a holy dip on the eve of Mauni Amavasya during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Devotees gather on the eve of Mauni Amavasya during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Devotees gather on the eve of Mauni Amavasya during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Devotee performs rituals on the eve of Mauni Amavasya, an important bathing day, at Sangam, the confluence of rivers the Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Devotee performs rituals on the eve of Mauni Amavasya, an important bathing day, at Sangam, the confluence of rivers the Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 A holy man carrying firewood walks through a pontoon bridge on the eve of Mauni Amavasya in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

A holy man carrying firewood walks through a pontoon bridge on the eve of Mauni Amavasya in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said attempts are being made to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by breaking the society for political benefits and that Hindus need to be united to foil such attempts at Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' during the Kumbh Mela 2019. There is a massive conspiracy against Hindutva and Hindus, he added. (Image: PTI)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said attempts are being made to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by breaking the society for political benefits and that Hindus need to be united to foil such attempts at Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' during the Kumbh Mela 2019. There is a massive conspiracy against Hindutva and Hindus, he added. (Image: PTI)

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 Baba Ramdev and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat attend Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' during the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Baba Ramdev and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat attend Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' during the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Baba Ramdev and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' during the Kumbh Mela 2019. (Image: PTI)

Baba Ramdev and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at Vishva Hindu Parishad's 'Dharm Sansad' during the Kumbh Mela 2019. (Image: PTI)

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 The Uttar Pradesh cabinet met outside the state capital for only the second time in history, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath chairing a meeting at Prayagraj -- the venue of the Kumbh. (Image: Special Arrangement)

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet met outside the state capital for only the second time in history, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath chairing a meeting at Prayagraj -- the venue of the Kumbh. (Image: Special Arrangement)

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 The Chief Minister was flanked by his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma at the meeting held at the sprawling tented complex on the banks of the holy trinity of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers. (Image: Special Arrangement)

The Chief Minister was flanked by his deputies Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma at the meeting held at the sprawling tented complex on the banks of the holy trinity of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers. (Image: Special Arrangement)

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 Before the meeting, Adityanath prayed at an iconic temple of Lord Hanuman where he was greeted by Narendra Giri, the priest. He took part in an 'aarti' and performed rituals. (Image: Special Arrangement)

Before the meeting, Adityanath prayed at an iconic temple of Lord Hanuman where he was greeted by Narendra Giri, the priest. He took part in an 'aarti' and performed rituals. (Image: Special Arrangement)

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 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offer prayers as he takes a holy dip in the water of River Ganga at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela-2019, in Allahabad. (Image: Special Arrangement)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offer prayers as he takes a holy dip in the water of River Ganga at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela-2019, in Allahabad. (Image: Special Arrangement)

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 Heavy security was enforced at the Kumbh for the high-profile visit and a vast area near the Sangam was thrown out of bounds for the pilgrims. (Image: Special Arrangement)

Heavy security was enforced at the Kumbh for the high-profile visit and a vast area near the Sangam was thrown out of bounds for the pilgrims. (Image: Special Arrangement)

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 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offer prayers as he takes a holy dip in the water of River Ganga at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela-2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offer prayers as he takes a holy dip in the water of River Ganga at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela-2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath takes a holy dip in the water of River Ganga at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela-2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath takes a holy dip in the water of River Ganga at Sangam during the ongoing Kumbh Mela-2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees light oil lamps in the evening during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

Devotees light oil lamps in the evening during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 A Sadhu performs religious rituals at his camp during the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

A Sadhu performs religious rituals at his camp during the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AFP)

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 Devotees take a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Paush Purnima' during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Devotees take a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Paush Purnima' during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees light oil lamps in the evening during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Devotees light oil lamps in the evening during Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Foreign devotees take a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Paush Purnima' during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Foreign devotees take a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Paush Purnima' during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A devotee blows a conch shell after taking a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A devotee blows a conch shell after taking a holy dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A Sadhu holds a trident as he takes a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Paush Purnima' during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A Sadhu holds a trident as he takes a holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of 'Paush Purnima' during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 A foreign devotee takes ritualistic dips with others at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

A foreign devotee takes ritualistic dips with others at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Devotees take ritualistic dips at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Devotees take ritualistic dips at Sangam during Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 A Sadhu takes a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious Makar Sankranti day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

A Sadhu takes a holy dip at Sangam on the auspicious Makar Sankranti day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Pilgrims from across the world will arrive in Prayagraj as the Kumbh Mela begins amid a heady mix of spirituality, politics and tourism. Devotees take spiritual-cleansing dips in the Sangam during the Kumbh Festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Pilgrims from across the world will arrive in Prayagraj as the Kumbh Mela begins amid a heady mix of spirituality, politics and tourism. Devotees take spiritual-cleansing dips in the Sangam during the Kumbh Festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga Sadhus take holy dip on auspicious Makar Sankranti day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga Sadhus take holy dip on auspicious Makar Sankranti day during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Sadhus march in a procession to participate in spiritual-cleansing baths in the Sangam at the Kumbh Festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

Sadhus march in a procession to participate in spiritual-cleansing baths in the Sangam at the Kumbh Festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 Naga Sadhus take holy dip on auspicious Makar Sankranti day during the Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Naga Sadhus take holy dip on auspicious Makar Sankranti day during the Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees take a holy dip during Kumbh Mela Festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: Reuters)

Devotees take a holy dip during Kumbh Mela Festival, in Prayagraj. (Image: Reuters)

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 A Devotee prays during the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

A Devotee prays during the Kumbh Mela festival in Prayagraj. (Image: AP)

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 A sadhu from Juna Akhara poses for a photograph at Kumbh Mela venue, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

A sadhu from Juna Akhara poses for a photograph at Kumbh Mela venue, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 A Sadhu blows a conch shell at Sangam on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti during Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. (Image: PTI)

A Sadhu blows a conch shell at Sangam on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti during Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. (Image: PTI)

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 Devotees march in a procession to participate in spiritual-cleansing baths in the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati at the Kumbh Festival, in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

Devotees march in a procession to participate in spiritual-cleansing baths in the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati at the Kumbh Festival, in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

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 An illumined view of a campsite established along the banks of River Ganga on the eve of Kumbh Mela, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

An illumined view of a campsite established along the banks of River Ganga on the eve of Kumbh Mela, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Security personnel take the oath to execute their duties honestly after offering prayers at Sangam on January 13, 2019.Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation called Kumbh festival that runs for a period of over a month starting from January 15. (Image: AP)

Security personnel take the oath to execute their duties honestly after offering prayers at Sangam on January 13, 2019.Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation called Kumbh festival that runs for a period of over a month starting from January 15. (Image: AP)

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 Security personnel take the oath to execute their duties honestly after offering prayers at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna ahead of the Kumbh Festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

Security personnel take the oath to execute their duties honestly after offering prayers at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna ahead of the Kumbh Festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

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 Indian police personnel march through a pontoon bridge at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna as part of security arrangements for the Kumbh Festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

Indian police personnel march through a pontoon bridge at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna as part of security arrangements for the Kumbh Festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

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 Indian police personnel patrol on horses at Sangam. Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation called Kumbh festival that runs for a period of over a month starting from January 15. (Image: AP)

Indian police personnel patrol on horses at Sangam. Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in the large religious congregation called Kumbh festival that runs for a period of over a month starting from January 15. (Image: AP)

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 Hindu holy men sing bhajans at Sangam. (Image: AP)

Hindu holy men sing bhajans at Sangam. (Image: AP)

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 A sadhu is seen smoking while sitting inside his tent at Sangam. (Image: AP)

A sadhu is seen smoking while sitting inside his tent at Sangam. (Image: AP)

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 A Sadhu or a Hindu holy man watches a religious ceremony ahead of the

A Sadhu or a Hindu holy man watches a religious ceremony ahead of the "Kumbh Mela", or the Pitcher Festival, in Prayagraj, previously known as Allahabad. (Image: Reuters)

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 Naga Sadhus chant slogans during a religious procession towards the Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, as part of the Kumbh festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

Naga Sadhus chant slogans during a religious procession towards the Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, as part of the Kumbh festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

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 Naga Sadhus participate in 'Peshwai' ceremony at the bank of river Ganga for the upcoming Kumbh Mela 2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Naga Sadhus participate in 'Peshwai' ceremony at the bank of river Ganga for the upcoming Kumbh Mela 2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga Sadhus of the Anand Akhada group, participate in a religious procession towards the Sangam as part of the Kumbh festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

Naga Sadhus of the Anand Akhada group, participate in a religious procession towards the Sangam as part of the Kumbh festival in Allahabad. (Image: AP)

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 Actor Ashutosh Rana takes part in a Peshwai procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Actor Ashutosh Rana takes part in a Peshwai procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Naga Sadhus of the Nirvani Akhada march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

Naga Sadhus of the Nirvani Akhada march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

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 Sadhus of Shri Panchayati Niranjani Akhada during the Peshwai procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Sadhus of Shri Panchayati Niranjani Akhada during the Peshwai procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Sadhus march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

Sadhus march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

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 Naga Sadhus of the Nirvani Akhada march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

Naga Sadhus of the Nirvani Akhada march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

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 Sadhus of Shri Panchayati Niranjani Akhada during the Peshwai procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Sadhus of Shri Panchayati Niranjani Akhada during the Peshwai procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019 in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Sadhus march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

Sadhus march through Allahabad as they prepare to enter the Kumbh Mela premises. (Image: News18)

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 Prime Minister Narendra, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth perform rituals at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges and Yamuna, at Allahabad. Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in a large religious congregation called 'Kumbh Mela' in January 2019. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth perform rituals at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges and Yamuna, at Allahabad. Millions of Hindu pilgrims are expected to take part in a large religious congregation called 'Kumbh Mela' in January 2019. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath, BJP UP Chief Mahendra Nath Pandey, UP Governor Ram Naik, UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and others during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 works at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath, BJP UP Chief Mahendra Nath Pandey, UP Governor Ram Naik, UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and others during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 works at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Ganga 'Aarti', in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs Ganga 'Aarti', in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief MinisterYogi Adityanath and BJP President Mahendra Nath Pandey perform 'Ganga Pujan' at Sangam, during their visit to Kumbh region, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief MinisterYogi Adityanath and BJP President Mahendra Nath Pandey perform 'Ganga Pujan' at Sangam, during their visit to Kumbh region, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Akshayvat, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Akshayvat, in Prayagraj. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is garlanded during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 works at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is garlanded during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 works at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath, BJP UP Chief Mahendra Nath Pandey and others during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 works at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath, BJP UP Chief Mahendra Nath Pandey and others during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 works at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief MinisterYogi Adityanath and BJP President Mahendra Nath Pandey perform 'Ganga Pujan' at Sangam, during their visit to Kumbh region, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief MinisterYogi Adityanath and BJP President Mahendra Nath Pandey perform 'Ganga Pujan' at Sangam, during their visit to Kumbh region, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 work at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath during the unveiling and inauguration of Kumbh Mela 2019 work at Jhushi, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Panch Dashnam Atal Akhara sadhus during their 'Nagar Pravesh' procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Panch Dashnam Atal Akhara sadhus during their 'Nagar Pravesh' procession for the Kumbh Mela 2019, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Niranjani Akhara sadhus perform 'Bhumi Pujan' to set up their tents at the bank of river Ganga ahead of Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

Niranjani Akhara sadhus perform 'Bhumi Pujan' to set up their tents at the bank of river Ganga ahead of Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad. (Image: PTI)

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 Indian labourers construct a pontoon bridge over the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). A 45 days festival starting from January 2019, where millions of Hindu devotees are expected to attend with the belief that taking a dip in the waters of the holy river will cleanse them of their sins. (Image: AP)

Indian labourers construct a pontoon bridge over the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). A 45 days festival starting from January 2019, where millions of Hindu devotees are expected to attend with the belief that taking a dip in the waters of the holy river will cleanse them of their sins. (Image: AP)

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 A Sadhu waits to meet officials of Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad (Prayagraj). Millions of Hindu pilgrims and holy men are expected to attend the festival, starting from January 2019. (Image: AP)

A Sadhu waits to meet officials of Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad (Prayagraj). Millions of Hindu pilgrims and holy men are expected to attend the festival, starting from January 2019. (Image: AP)

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 Labourers carry an iron beam for constructing a pontoon bridge across the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

Labourers carry an iron beam for constructing a pontoon bridge across the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

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 A Hindu holy man takes rest on the banks of the river Ganges in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

A Hindu holy man takes rest on the banks of the river Ganges in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

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 Labourers pull a pontoon buoy as they build a floating pontoon bridge over the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

Labourers pull a pontoon buoy as they build a floating pontoon bridge over the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

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 Labourers carry heavy rope for pulling a pontoon buoy as they build a floating pontoon bridge over the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

Labourers carry heavy rope for pulling a pontoon buoy as they build a floating pontoon bridge over the river Ganges for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival, in Allahabad (Prayagraj). (Image: AP)

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