Benares, India. Pilgrims performing self-purification through bathing at a ghat. Whilst the Ganges has been at the center of worship at Benares for thousands of years, the Hindu shrines currently used in the city date mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries, after the decline of the Muslim empire in northern India.

Source: "Pilgrimage: past and present in the world religions", by Simon Coleman & John Elsner, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1995.