Connect to share and comment
Maha Kumbh Mela saw record 120 million devotees (PHOTOS)
Monday, March 11th, 2013

The 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela, which ended on Sunday, saw a record 120 million devotees wash their sins away in the holy waters near Allahabad.

The festival is celebrated every 12 years, where the Ganga and Yamuna rivers meet the mythical Saraswati. 

More on GlobalPost: India's motivation problem: From the Kumbh Mela to the Jaipur Foot

"Over 60 million people attended the festival in 2001 and this time we believe 120 million people have participated," festival chief Mani Prasad Mishra told Agence France Presse.

"We built a tent city to celebrate the Kumbh Mela and now we are tearing it down."

More on GlobalPost: Maha Kumbh Mela festival, 'greatest show on earth,' draws millions of Hindu pilgrims (PHOTOS)

India maha kumbh mela 1
1

Hindu devotees wait for their train at Allahabad train station, the site of last night's stampede, during the Maha Kumbh Mela on February 11, 2013 in Allahabad, India. According to a government sources report, at least 36 people died in a stampede on a stair case as a train was pulling up on the busiest day of the Maha Kumbh Mela. The Maha Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering on earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of Sangam, the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. The Kumbh Mela alternates between the cities of Nasik, Allahabad, Ujjain and Haridwar every three years. The Maha Kumbh Mela celebrated at the holy site of Sangam in Allahabad, is the largest and holiest, celebrated over 55 days, and was expected to attract over 100 million people.

(Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 2
2

Temporary tents for devotees are pictured at dusk at Sangam, the confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, during the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on February 13, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 3
3

Hindu devotees throng at Sangam, the confluence of the Yamuna, Ganges and mythical Saraswati rivers on the auspicious day of 'Basant Panchami' during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on February 15, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 4
4

Newly initiated Female 'Naga Sadhvis', Hindu holy women, from the Juna Akhara walk to the river to perform rituals on the banks of the Ganga River during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on February 13, 2013. During every Kumbh Mela, the diksha, a ritual of initiation by a guru takes place for new members.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 5
5

Indian Hindu devotees bathe at the Sangam or confluence of the Yamuna, Ganges and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on February 17, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 6
6

An Indian Hindu holy man performs evening prayers as the sun sets on February 17, 2013 during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings. The Kumbh Mela, which ends in March, takes place every 12 years in Allahabad.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 7
7

Indian devotees wait for free food near Sangam or confluence of the Yamuna, Ganges and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad on February 18, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 8
8

An Indian Hindu Sadhu paints his forehead after bathing at the Sangam or confluence of the Yamuna, Ganges and mythical Saraswati rivers at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on February 19, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 9
9

Hindu devotees walk through the dust at Sangam, the confluence of the Yamuna, Ganges and mythical Saraswati rivers and the site of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on February 22, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 10
10

Devotees sleep on the bank of Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on February 25, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad saw up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 11
11

Devotees bathe on the auspicious day of 'Maghi Purnima' in the waters of Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on February 25, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad saw up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 12
12

Devotees bathe on the auspicious day of 'Maghi Purnima' in the waters of Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on February 25, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad saw up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 13
13

An Indian Hindu Sadhu leaves the Kumbh mela after spending a month at the festival in Allahabad, on February 27, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad have seen up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 14
14

An Indian child, dressed as Hindu god Lord Shiva, plays with sand on the banks of the Sangam in Allahabad on March 5, 2013. The Sangam is a holy bathing site during The Kumbh Mela, which runs from January till March, and takes place every 12 years in Allahabad while smaller events are held every three years in other locations around India.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 15
15

Bihari Hindu priests smear coloured powder on each other after the completion of a ritual at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on March 6, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad saw up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 16
16

Bihari Hindu priests run while holding their ears as they perform a ritual at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on March 6, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad saw up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 17
17

Bihari Hindu priests carry holy water from the River Ganges as they perform a ritual at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati during the Maha Kumbh festival in Allahabad on March 6, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
India maha kumbh mela 18
18

Indian Sant Asaram Bapu (unseen) plays Holi with his followers during the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad on March 9, 2013. A record number of 120 million pilgrims have cleansed off their sins after taking a dip in an Indian river during the two-month-long Kumbh Mela festival that draws to an end on March 10.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
Indonesia ramadan 2014 3
It's a lovely thing when shared traditions unite so many different people.
Organizers will now submit their claim for a new record to Guinness World Records, which is expected to rule on it within two months.