Around 7km from the centre Allahabad, overlooked by the eastern ramparts of the fort, wide flood plains and muddy banks protrude towards the sacred sangam. At the point at which the brown Ganges meets the greenish Yamuna, pandas (priests) perch on small platforms to perform puja and assist the devout in their ritual ablutions in the shallow waters. Beaches and ghats here are littered with the shorn hair of pilgrims who come to offer pind for their deceased parents, and women sit around selling cone-shaped pyramids of bright red and orange tilak powder.

Boats to the sangam, used by pilgrims and tourists alike, can be rented at the ghat immediately east of the fort. On the way to the sangam, high-pressure aquatic salesmen loom up on the placid waters selling offerings such as coconuts for pilgrims to discard at the confluence. Once abandoned, the offerings are fished up and sold on to other pilgrims.

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