Kumbh Mela Beyond Naga Sadhus: A Photo Story

“Sea of People” and the “Naga Sadhus”, these two iconic visuals become vibrant when it comes to Kumbh Mela. I have just come back, attending the Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 in Prayagraj, and it was an overwhelming experience. There were people and people all around, irrespective of their age, cast and creed, who had come from different walks of life, to attend the world’s largest peaceful religious gathering. On the auspicious occasion of Mauni Amavarsya, more than 4 million people had taken a holy dip at the Triveni Sangam to get rid of the cycle of birth and death. The sense of time seemed irrelevant when I saw families, kids, and aged people taking a dip in the freezing cold, before dawn. It was flooded with pilgrims, devotees, sadhus and tourists all over. I had never seen such celebration of faith, spirituality and humanity anywhere else but in Kumbh. This was a sight to behold. Standing at the jetty point for the boat to take me to the Sangam, I looked around and had understood the enormity and significance of the Mela for the people by then.

Kumbh Mela sees the arrival of not just people in general, but especially saints, philosophers, religious Gurus, scholars, ascetics, and recently the Kinnars, who come here to celebrate spirituality, share wisdom, and practice old tradition. Out of all, one of the major attractions of Kumbh Mela is the Naga Sadhus. The elusive saints carry a kind of mysticism around them, which attracts millions of people to just see them in person. Smeared with holy ash, mostly in their Akharas, these holy men have abandoned the worldly possessions to live a life of oblivion. Nomadic in character, they are the cynosure of all eyes in the Kumbh Mela. But the sacred fair is not only about them, as portrayed by the social media these days. Kumbh Mela is also about celebrating the highest faith in the religious practice and age-old tradition by the people. One has to come and experience it to understand it in its entirety. Though I was trying to register every single observation , but what was really fascinating to watch were the faces of the devotees. The excitement before taking the dip, a sense of accomplishment after taking a holy dip, happiness for being a part of the large congregation and even those people who were looking lost in the crowd, each emotion on their faces was priceless to watch.


I have tried capturing a few of those unforgettable faces into my lens.

 

Read More: Kumbh Mela 2019: A Must Have Experience At Least Once in a Lifetime


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The  reproduction of any of the content, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer, is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.

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12 Comments

  1. arunjeet

    What an incredible work! Not only it was informative but also nicely written. To the point.Would like to read more from this space.

    Reply
  2. bokep hd

    your skill in photogrpahy is amazing !!!, seem you come in better time… just want to say good luck and i ll keep follow your post. india is great country

    Reply
  3. Yukti

    You have taken nice portraits during Kumbh Mela. Kumbh Mela apart from religious significance is a great place to see many cultures and ages of people coming together. I loved the ladies in their colorful attire and also the sadhus. All are looking very content in their lives. God Bless them.

    Reply
  4. blair villanueva

    I would like to commend your amazing skills in photography. Sometimes it is quite a challenge to me to capture faces, especially the candid shots. You made these images very alive and tells a lot of stories, and seeing their genuine smiles.

    Reply
  5. umiko

    Nice shots you have here! I would say you got to present people from all walk of life during Kumbh Mela. You captured their happiness being there! Their smile, eyes, and gestures tell us all about it.

    Reply
  6. Sinjana Ghosh

    I loved your narration and your photography. Indeed the Kumbh mela is an experience of a lifetime. The expression on the faces you captured are priceless. 4 million people took a dip in the Triveni Sangam ! That’s just mindblowing.

    Reply
  7. Kavita Favelle

    I have seen Khumb Mela on television and been impressed, but a bit too nervous about the crowds to attend it myself. I love that you were able to appreciate the actions and expressions of the devotees and capture their faces. Really loving your photo collection on this event.

    Reply
  8. Annick

    You really captured the spirit of Kumbh Mela. Your photos show the diversity present during this religious event. What a wonderful pilgrimage to see in person!

    Reply
  9. Jane Dempster-Smith

    Your photos of the devotees are amazing. It is such a huge religious festival – 4 million people I just can’t imagine it. Bathing in the cold water and their sense of accomplishment after it would have been really interesting to watch as a bystander.

    Reply

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