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India. Uttar Pradesh state. Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela. During a puja in Sangam, an ascetic man makes a fire and worships the river Ganges, considered as a deity. An Hindu devotee takes pictures with his mobile phone. Puja (reverence, honour, adoration, or worship) is a religious ritual performed by Hindus as an offering to various deities. The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering is held every 12 years on the banks of the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. In 2013, it is estimated that nearly 80 million devotees took a bath in the water of the holy river Ganges. The belief is that bathing and taking a holy dip will wash and free one from all the past sins, get salvation and paves the way for Moksha (meaning liberation from the cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth). Bathing in the holy waters of Ganga is believed to be most auspicious at the time of Kumbh Mela, because the water is charged with positive healing effects and enhanced with electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela, which comes after 12 Purna Kumbh Mela, or 144 years, is always held at Allahabad. Uttar Pradesh (abbreviated U.P.) is a state located in northern India. 6.02.13 © 2013 Didier Ruef