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Indian town gears up for world's largest religious festival

11 January 2019

The Indian government said about 100 to 150 million people, including one million foreign tourists, are expected to attend the Kumbh Mela festival over an eight-week period beginning on January 15. Organizers were erecting temporary bridges, 600 mass kitchens, more than 100,000 portable toilets, and vast tents, each sleeping thousands of pilgrims at a time, in a pop-up city on the banks of the two rivers.

Devout Hindus believe that bathing in the waters of the Ganges absolves people of sins and bathing at the time of the Kumbh brings salvation from the cycle of life and death. The Kumbh Mela -- directly translates as pot festival -- is traditionally held every three years in one of four cities along India's sacred rivers.