Indians are very religious and God fearing people. As such, in the normal day-to-day life, you will find many people engaging themselves in some or other religious acts, like visiting the temple, watering the holy Tulsi plant, feeding the cow, etc. Apart from upholding the Indian tradition, other reasons behind their passionate devoutness could be selfless love or fear of God or a mix of both. While there are varied religious activities which Indians observe, perhaps the one considered most sacred is bathing in the waters of holy rivers.
There are many sacred rivers in India, like the Ganga, Yamuna,
Saraswati, and so on. But the one considered the holiest is the Ganga,
personified as a Goddess in the Indian mythology. The river is also
mentioned in the Rig Veda, one of the earliest Hindu scriptures.
According to Hindu beliefs, a holy dip in the Ganges on certain
festivals, by any person, will lead to the forgiveness of all his/her
sins and also help in attaining salvation. Many others believe that
taking a holy dip in the sacred waters of Ganga, anytime, will have the
As such, Indians - old and young, come to participate or bathe in the
sacred rivers during certain holy bathing festivals like the Kumbh Mela
and Chhat Puja. Often, people also immerse the ashes of their kin in the
Ganga waters so that their soul may rest peacefully in heaven. Apart
from these spiritual baths, many also carry the water of the sacred
rivers home, in copper pots, as it is considered to be very auspicious.
Those on the verge of dying are usually given drops of this holy water
to drink in order to free them of all their sins.
Any talk of holy or spiritual bathing in India will remain incomplete
without the mention of the Kumbh Mela. It is a Hindu bathing festival or
pilgrimage which occurs once in every 12 years at four fixed located in
India - Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik and is attended
by millions of people on a single day. Said to have been initiated by
King Harshvardhana of Ujjain, the precise dates of the Kumbh Mela are
astronomically determined, based upon precise calculations of the
positions of the Sun, the Moon and Jupiter.