Photo gallery: Pilgrims flock to the Ganges for world's biggest festival

ALLAHABAD, India (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims led by naked ash-covered holy men begin entering the sacred river Ganges on Monday at the start of the world's biggest religious festival.

The Kumbh Mela in the Indian town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million Hindus gather over the next 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.