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A major place of pilgrimage (tīrtha) in Uttar Pradesh, standing at the confluence (saṃgama) of three rivers: the Gaṅgā, the Yamunā, and the mythical Sarasvatī. The site is ancient—in the Mahābhārata it is said to be the foremost of all tīrthas, the most sacred in the three worlds (lokas). The most important of the four Kumbh(a) Melā sites, in 2001 Prayāga hosted the Mahā (‘Great’) Kumbha Melā, the final festival in a cycle of twelve (i.e. the conclusion of a 144 year cycle). This resulted in what has been called the largest human gathering in history, with a crowd of over 30 million (according to some, 70 million, over 44 days).

Subjects: Hinduism.

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