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A boatsman rows a boat on river Ganges past holy ghats (banks) in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, December 16, 2007. Credit: REUTERS/Arko Datta

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A man fishes at the banks of river Ganges in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, July 1, 2009. Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Sadhus,

Sadhus, Hindu holy men, run in to India's holiest river, the Ganges during the Maha Kumbh Mela, or Great Pitcher Festival, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, January 14, 2001.

Indian

Indian washermen are seen washing clothes on the banks of river Ganges, through the simmering vapour of a burning pyre next to a cremation ground in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, June 13, 2007.

Hindu

Hindu devotees gather to offer prayers on the banks of river Ganges during the Karthik Purnima festival on the occasion of Dev Deepawali at Dasasumerghat in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, November 2, 2009.

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A Hindu woman devotee offers prayers after taking a holy dip in the waters of the river Ganges in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, May 4, 2009.

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A tourist boat goes past the burning flames of a pyre at a cremation ground on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi, June 12, 2007. Credit: REUTERS/Arko Datta

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A fisherman casts his net in the waters of the River Ganges in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, July 7, 2007. Credit: REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

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A boy plays on the banks of river Ganges at the outskirts of the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, March 3, 2009. Credit: REUTERS/Parth Sanyal

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A boy jumps off a promenade into the river Ganges in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, July 21, 2009. Credit: REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw

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A Hindu devotee bathes her infant after taking a holy dip in the Sangam, the confluence of three rivers, the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati, in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, June 22, 2009.

Hindu

Hindu devotees worship the Sun god on the banks of the river Ganges on the occasion of Chhat Puja in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, November 4, 2008.

Boys

Boys jump from a boat into the river Ganges in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, June 12, 2007. Credit: REUTERS/Arko Datta