The world’s largest festival has begun in India

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Haridwar, a sleepy city on the shores of the Indian holy river, the Ganges, is regarded as one of the seven holiest places in the country. In Hindi, Haridwar means Gateway to God, ‘Hari’ meaning God and ‘dwar’ meaning gate.

Haridwar, a sleepy city on the shores of the Indian holy river, the Ganges, is regarded as one of the seven holiest places in the country. In Hindi, Haridwar means Gateway to God, ‘Hari’ meaning God and ‘dwar’ meaning gate.

© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaHaridwar, a sleepy city on the shores of the Indian holy river, the Ganges, is regarded as one of the seven holiest places in the country. In Hindi, Haridwar means Gateway to God, ‘Hari’ meaning God and ‘dwar’ meaning gate.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
1/11
Haridwar, a sleepy city on the shores of the Indian holy river, the Ganges, is regarded as one of the seven holiest places in the country. In Hindi, Haridwar means Gateway to God, ‘Hari’ meaning God and ‘dwar’ meaning gate.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaThe world’s largest festival, Purna (complete) Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage held every 12 years at one of four specified locations in India. This year it is held in Haridwar on the Ganges, where millions of pilgrims have come despite the cold.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
2/11
The world’s largest festival, Purna (complete) Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage held every 12 years at one of four specified locations in India. This year it is held in Haridwar on the Ganges, where millions of pilgrims have come despite the cold.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaAt night temperatures drop to 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), and the pilgrims are glad for any chance to get warm before dipping into the river.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
3/11
At night temperatures drop to 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), and the pilgrims are glad for any chance to get warm before dipping into the river.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaAt dawn, the crowds move toward Har-ki-Pauri on the city’s main embankment, where bathing enclaves are erected for the pilgrims.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
4/11
At dawn, the crowds move toward Har-ki-Pauri on the city’s main embankment, where bathing enclaves are erected for the pilgrims.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaThere are Brahmins and ‘sadhus’ (holy men) among the pilgrims.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
5/11
There are Brahmins and ‘sadhus’ (holy men) among the pilgrims.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaThe Hindus believe that going in the river during the holy festival will help them understand the spiritual essence of Man and receive redemption. The festival, which began on January 14, will run through April 28.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
6/11
The Hindus believe that going in the river during the holy festival will help them understand the spiritual essence of Man and receive redemption. The festival, which began on January 14, will run through April 28.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaMany view the holy ritual as a tribute to the Great River, which starts in the Himalayan glaciers and is never more than several degrees Celsius warm. But this does not intimidate the true believers.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
7/11
Many view the holy ritual as a tribute to the Great River, which starts in the Himalayan glaciers and is never more than several degrees Celsius warm. But this does not intimidate the true believers.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaThis temple to Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges, located in an ancient square near the embankment is one of the sites the pilgrims visit.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
8/11
This temple to Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges, located in an ancient square near the embankment is one of the sites the pilgrims visit.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaBefore leaving, pilgrims take water from the holy river in plastic canisters.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
9/11
Before leaving, pilgrims take water from the holy river in plastic canisters.
© RIA Novosti . Evgeny BezekaMeadows around the city become multicolored when Indian women hang their traditional clothing, sari (or shari), out to dry.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
10/11
Meadows around the city become multicolored when Indian women hang their traditional clothing, sari (or shari), out to dry.
Pilgrims set up camp to get warm, rest, cook and dry their clothes. Many of them will return here several more times until the festival ends in late April.
The world’s largest festival has begun in India - Sputnik International
11/11
Pilgrims set up camp to get warm, rest, cook and dry their clothes. Many of them will return here several more times until the festival ends in late April.
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