The Hindu Kumbh Mela festival, an event held once every 12 years and thought to be the biggest gathering of people anywhere on earth, began today in India.
During the festival, Hindu pilgrims bathe in the water where the revered Ganges river meets the Yamuna river at Allahbad. According to Hindu tradition, everyone who takes part in the festival and bathes in the water will be cleansed of their sins and will be granted salvation. At least 10 million people are expected to bathe in the waters in just the first day of the celebration. More than 100 million people are expected to attend the 55 day event in total.
The last Kumbh Mela festival in 2001 say more that 40 million pilgrims gather in just one day, setting the current world record for the biggest ever human gathering.