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.VARANASSI, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA - OCTOBER 7, 2005 :  Bengali artists prepare effigies of the Goddess Durga for the Durga Puja festival in the old city of Varanassi. The effigies are made with straws and mud from the river Gange, and will be immersed in the holi river at the end of the celebration . Varanassi, also named Benares or Kachi, is one of the holiest place for Hindus in India, drawing millions of pilgrims every year. They come to prey to along the temples lining the ghats, and purify themselves in the "Holi Ganga". It always has been an auspicious place to die, since expiring here offers 'moksha', liberation of the circle of life and death. (Photo by Jean-Marc Giboux)