India transgender gurus in landmark Hindu procession

_105092493_laxminarayanSource: BBC News

The northern Indian city of Allahabad witnessed a historic procession on Sunday led by a Hindu congregation of transgender people. Photojournalist Ankit Srinivas reports.

Thousands thronged the streets of Allahabad to seek blessings from transgender sadhus (holy people), ahead of the Kumbh Mela festival, which is set to begin in the city on 15 January and will continue until 4 March.

It is one of Hinduism’s holiest events and billed as the world’s largest religious gathering.

It has been taking place every few years over centuries. Four different northern cities, all along the banks of a holy river, take turns hosting it. Hindus believe that taking a dip in these rivers during the Kumbh will wash away their sins and help them attain salvation. So, tens of millions gather at the festival to do just that.

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