People bathe in the Ganges river for Maha Kumbh

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Mass pilgrimage

Hindu devotees bathe in the waters of the holy Ganges river in Allahabad, India on Jan. 14, the auspicious bathing day of Makar Sankranti, which signals the start of the Maha Kumbh Mela.

The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu pilgrimage organized every 3 years, rotating between the cities of Allahabad, Nashik, Haridwar and Ujjain. The pilgrimage begins on Jan. 14 with Hindus washing themselves of sin at the Sangam, which is the meeting place of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Sarasvati.

Expected to attract over 100 million people, the pilgrimage is touted as the largest religious gathering on Earth.

* * * 
 
Women release flowers in the Ganges river for Maha Kumbh

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Offering of flowers

A Hindu devotee pushes an offering into the waters of Sangam on Jan. 15 in Allahabad, India.

* * * 
 
People bathe in the Ganges river for Maha Kumbh

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Washing sins away

A Hindu man whips his hair out of the Ganges river on Jan. 14 while observing the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India.

* * * 
 
People bathe in the Ganges river for Maha Kumbh

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Naked wandering monks

Naga sadhus dash into the waters of the holy Ganges river on Jan. 14 in Allahabad, India to celebrate the beginning of the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage. Sadhus are ascetic Hindu monks that live on the edges of society for the purpose of focusing on their own spirituality.

* * * 
 
Women hold sarees out to dry by the Ganges

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Drying sarees

Hindu women hold out sarees to dry on Jan. 13 after bathing on the banks of the Ganges River before Maha Kumbh in Allahabad, India.

* * *