Around 220 million people descended on sleepy Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) for the 50-day Hindu festival. The cleanup could take months

As the sun sets over the Ganges, Vikas Kumar drives his garbage truck through the streets of Prayagraj, a historic Indian city of 1.1 million that was until last year known as Allahabad. “All this stuff people have been eating, drinking and throwing away,” he says, gesturing at piles of food waste, discarded water bottles and mud-spattered flowers. “It will take three or four months to clear.”

Over a 50-day period this normally sleepy city has been visited by around 220 million people for the Kumbh Mela – a 50-day Hindu pilgrimage dubbed the world’s largest human gathering.

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