AP PHOTOS: Hindus in India and Nepal mark auspicious day

Nepalese devotees wait to offer prayer during Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. During this festival, devotees recite holy scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to find a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
A young Nepalese devotee collects water to offer a prayer at the banks of the Hanumante river during Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. During the festival devotees recite holy scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to find a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Indian Hindu devotees warm themselves around a bonfire after taking ritualistic dips at "Sangam," the meeting point of Indian holy rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna, on the auspicious day of "Paush Purnima" during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus are expected to take holy dips at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as Magh Mela. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
A Hindu devotee lights an oil lamp and offers prayers after taking ritualistic dips at "Sangam," the meeting point of Indian holy rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna, on the auspicious day of "Paush Purnima" during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus are expected to take holy dips at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as Magh Mela. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Indian Sadhus, or Hindu holy men, perform rituals after taking ritualistic dips at "Sangam," the meeting point of Indian holy rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna, on the auspicious day of "Paush Purnima" during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus are expected to take holy dips at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as Magh Mela. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Nepalese Hindu devotees roll on the ground as a part of a ritual during the Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. During the festival, devotees recite holy scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to find a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
A Hindu holy man offers prayers after taking ritualistic dips at "Sangam," the meeting point of Indian holy rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna, on the auspicious day of "Paush Purnima" during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus are expected to take holy dips at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as Magh Mela. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Hindu devotees take ritualistic dips at "Sangam," the meeting point of Indian holy rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna, on the auspicious day of "Paush Purnima" during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus are expected to take holy dips at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as Magh Mela. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Nepalese Hindu devotees offer prayers along the banks of the Hanumante river during the Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. During the festival, devotees recite holy scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to find a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
A Hindu devotee offer prayers to the Sun God after taking a ritualistic dip at the "Sangam," the meeting point of Indian holy rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna, on the auspicious day of "Paush Purnima" during the annual traditional fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus are expected to take the holy dips at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 45 days celebrated as Magh Mela. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
A Nepalese devotee lights an oil lamp on the bank of the Hanumante river during the Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. During the festival, devotees recite holy scriptures dedicated to the Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to find a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

ALLAHABAD, India — Some 200,000 Hindu pilgrims arrived at the confluence of two major Indian rivers Tuesday on the first major bathing day of a 45-day annual ritual known as the Magh Mela.

Many stay in makeshift houses or tents in the northern city of Allahabad, where the Yamuna river meets the Ganges as well as the mythical Saraswati river. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus are expected to take a dip in the holy waters on astronomically auspicious days.

In neighboring Nepal, Hindus offered prayers along the banks of the Hanumante river as the monthlong Madhav Narayan festival started in the city of Bhaktapur. Devotees recite holy scriptures, and women fast for a month to pray for the longevity of their husbands.

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