• Short Summary

    Some four million devout Hindus bathed in the waters of the Ganges at the Northern Indian town of Hardwar on Sunday (14 April) climaxing the ancient festival of Kumbh Mela (Fair of the Pitcher).

  • Description

    Some four million devout Hindus bathed in the waters of the Ganges at the Northern Indian town of Hardwar on Sunday (14 April) climaxing the ancient festival of Kumbh Mela (Fair of the Pitcher).

    The week-long festival is held every 12 years and dates back to the seventh century A.D. Pilgrims from all over India took the plunge in the cold waters of the Ganges at one of the designated bathing places in the belief that the sacred waters would wash away their sins and those of their ancestors for 88 generations. The holiest of the bathing periods was heralded early in the day when several thousand Holy Men waded into the river to the chanting of prayers by the milling crowds. It was only several hours after the Holy Men had finished their bathing that the laity were allowed to take the plunge.

    The millions of Hindus at Hardwar had started collecting two weeks ago, arriving on foot, in bullock carts, by train or by road. Some of the Holy Men were carried the final stretch to the River on litters. The town of Hardwar itself often resembled a massive camping round. However, in spite of the vast numbers, anti-epidemic and security precautions were successful, and there were some 25,000 policemen on duty alongside thousands of volunteers. The only incidents reported were the death of 11 pilgrims in a bus accident while on their way to Hardwar and a wall collapse in the town in which 10 people were injured.

    In 1954 nearly a thousand people were trampled to death in a stampede when a procession of Holy Men on elephants got out of control.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4D5YS75NYGST3FP8B66USWCX
    Media URN:
    VLVA4D5YS75NYGST3FP8B66USWCX
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    15/04/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:34:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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