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India’s Kumbh Mela Festival Begins

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images(ALLAHABAD, India) -- Over the next eight weeks, more than 100 million pilgrims will pack the Indian city of Allahbad to bathe in the Ganges River. 

Allahabad is roughly the size of Manhattan, NYC.  By comparison, the 2011 population of New York City was just over eight million people.

The festival, which is believed to be the biggest religious gathering in the world, is called Kumbh Mela and it takes place once every 13 years.  The climax is scheduled for Feb. 10, when up to 50 million people are expected to bathe in the river.

Through it all, pilgrims will drink more than 80 million liters of water, use 35,000 toilets and eat 25,000 tons of wheat and rice.  

As for the cleanup, more than 10,000 street sweepers are on hand, ready to pick up as many as 50 tons of trash every day.

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