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Washed in the Water

Early morning seekers come at 5 a.m. to the Shipra River in India for a spiritual cleansing. The river, which flows into the Ganges River, was busy twenty-four hours a day with people, but the more devoted came at sunrise. Millions of people, like this mother and daughter, streamed into the holy city of Ujjain in search of spiritual cleansing during the Kumbh Mela, an ancient Hindu festival. They believe the water will wash away their sins and purify their hearts.

Header image for “Holy Ground: Hindus and the Ganges River”

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Bath Time

Boy takes a bath in the Western Fulani village of Dancandu in Niger.

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Holy Water

People bathe in the lake surrounding the Golden Temple, the holy worship site for Sikhs. The water is believed to be holy.

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Prayers

While bathing in the pool surrounding the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, a man prays for healing and forgiveness from sins.

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Bathing in a Pool

While bathing in the pool surrounding the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, men pray for healing and forgiveness from sins. The teachings of the Sikh gurus did not condone the practice that has become common as a means of earning forgiveness and healing.

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Forgiveness from Sin

While bathing in the pool surrounding the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, a man prays for healing and forgiveness from sins.

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Preparation for Prayer

Men prepare for prayer with a ritual washing to cleanse themselves before going into the mosque.

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