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3 Jan, 2007 01:05

Millions of pilgrims gather in India to cleanse sins

Millions of pilgrims gather in India to cleanse sins

Millions of Hindu pilgrims have gathered at the holy Sangam in Northern India to start a festival to cleanse them of their sins. It is believed to be one of the largest gatherings of people on Earth.

Ash-smeared and naked Hindu saints led devotees in an early morning dip in freezing temperatures to wash away their sins.

More than 3 MLN bathed in the first six hours alone and around 70 MLN are expected to take part in the 45-day festival. 

Police have set up extensive security measures to prevent stampedes and stop pilgrims getting lost.