Pushkaralu festival: 27 killed, several injured in stampede at bathing ghat

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At least 27 people have reportedly died in a stampede at the ‘Maha Pushkaralu’ festival in Andhra Pradesh, while several others have been injured. The religious festival, which celebrates rivers, takes place once every 144 years and a smaller version of it is held every 12 years.

The fresh tragedy took place in the Rajahmundry district, where huge crowds from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were present to attend the festival.

Like other pilgrims, Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana bathed in rivers considered holy this morning.

The mass pilgrimage at the Pushkaralu festival is often compared to that in the Kumbh Mela, as devotees take a dip in holy rivers.

Meanwhile, the Kumbh Mela has started today in Nashik. The event, which is held every third year, is rotated between the four Hindu holy sites.

At Nashik too, organisers are desperate to avoid a deadly stampede to the like of what happened 12 years ago when 39 were killed and dozens injured in 2003.