The festival can be traced to Hindu mythology. It is believed that when gods and demons fought over a pitcher of nectar, a few drops fell in the cities of Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjai and Haridwar.
Hindus bathe in the rivers during the occasion, believing that it will cleanse them from their sins and help bring salvation.
It is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, and more than 40 million people attended the main bathing day of the festival in 2001.
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