Taking a bath is usual a personal matter but not in the Ganges when the Kumbh Mela is in full force. In fact, in this river that is considered to be a goddess, some 30 million pilgrims took a dip in these waters on Feb. 10. Indeed, according to CBS, this gigantic festival in India is arguably the largest gathering ever to take place in the history of the world.
That said, the crowds this year were so intent on getting wet in this religious ritual that stampedes threatened all the happiness. In fact, some 36 people were sadly trampled to death after their experience in the Ganges when too many people tried to boards trains to go home all at the same time.
Hundus have come together for the Kumbh Mela for thousands of years, but this year the gigantic celebration was even bigger than initially expected. The 2013 festival was certainly a time for personal space to be forgotten as pilgrims did their best to stay comfortable while waiting for the given time to take their morning plunge into the sacred waters.
According to CBS, the mass Hindu pilgrimage, which takes place over a period of 55 days, is an ancient tradition during which Sunday is considered the most important day of the event. That is because Hindus consider this particular time to be the most auspicious for bathing in the Ganges, the waters of which are considered to offer special powers.
According to Hindu belief, bathing during the Kumbh Mela can wash away sins and free the soul to escape reincarnation. Certainly, this is a possibility among so many believers as evidenced by the 30 million or so who took a bath in the Ganges on Sunday during this most recent celebration in utterly amazing India.