Stampede in India

This item appears on page 15 of the September 2015 issue.

In southeastern India’s Andhra Pradesh state, a stampede of worshipers on the banks of the Godavari River on July 14 left at least 27 people dead. The stampede occurred in Rajahmundry on the first day of the 12-day Maha Pushkaralu festival, during which Hindus believe that bathing in the river will cleanse them of sin. What triggered the stampede is unknown.

Godavari Pushkaram festivals occur every 12 years. This year’s was particularly auspicious, as it was promoted to be a Maha Pushkaram, which occurs once every 144 years.