Mahakumbh: Men in Orange ( Part-2 )

I gave my overview of Maha Kumbh in the last post. How I started my journey from Delhi? How and where I spent my time with ‘Sadhus’? It was full of excitement and new experience. I travelled with Rahul, Jolly and Pratul. Rahul lost his cell phone at the time of entering into Railways Station. We were at the entrance. Someone pushed him back in the crowd and stole his cell phone. He came to know this fact at the very moment. We ran towards the entrance but it went in vain. We could not spot any suspect. The excitement ended for a while. Rahul was smiling and we were thinking “how we should react?” We tried to console him by saying that we will chip in and buy him a new cell phone. Interestingly, we did not… 🙂

Anyway, the train was on time at the right platform! We boarded the train and settled in our berth. I took out my camera and started looking for some shots. Jolly and Pratul started playing cards. Rahul had no option left so he started playing cards too with Jolly and Pratul. Likewise, the excitement and fun started again.

We reached Allahabad on time. It was very busy at the Railway Station. Firstly, we visited Rahul’s uncle and had lunch there. After a long conversation we left for Sangam where the Maha Kumbh was organized. We were greeted and welcomed by Sadhus at Niranjani Akhada. We checked into the camps and had a high tea.

Mahakumbh Mela Images

Mahakumbh Entrance Gate

Mahakumbh Entrance Gate

Naga Sadhus Mahakumbh

A ascetic has been standing on one leg only for the last 10 years.

We went for a walk in the night. We had a conversation with Sadhus or Saints and ascetics. It was very well managed in terms of Mela’s sanitary arrangements; good food and water with free ventilation in the camps with convenient conservancy arrangements. Of course! The whole was being kept in order by efficient Police Force. We could see police patrolling unit frequently. At one point of time, I realized that I am on another part of India. Men in orange were the attraction for every camera man. Thousands of shots were not even enough. Likewise, I also captured some shots during the night. I tried to capture it with blur or motion blur purposely.

Mahakumbh Mela Pictures

mahakumbh mela pictures

Mahakumbh mela during night

mahakumbh mela images

mahakumbh mela allahabad images

kumbh mela night picutres

mahakumbh pictures

mahakumbh tents

Pandal (Tents) of Akhada (Ascetic bands)

ascetic bands of juna akhada

Ascetic bands of Juna ascetics

mahakumbh meal 2013

Sadhus are beating the cold during night at camp

The next morning was a bit cold. I wanted to capture some shots during the morning. Pratul and me woke up early. Make shift toilets were busy with a queue. Some toilets were choked with human excreta .We had to defecate in the open field.

It gives contrast to the life when you capture the moments during the morning and then you compare it with other day time. I carried my cam there too. It was foggy near the river.

camps of mahakumbh

Camps at Niranjani Akhada

mahakumbh mela pictures

Morning at Mahakumbh Mela

mahakumbh mela camps

Morning tea is served at camp

I and Pratul had tea after getting fresh. The tea, lunch and dinner were served by the ‘Sadhus’ every day. We left for sangam (where three holy rivers converge). The sight was full of shots and moments. There were considerable numbers of camera holders. Some of them were professionals and representing the National Geographic Channel, BBC and Indian media. I captured moments there.

sangam allahabad

Devotees at Sangam, Mahakumbh

mahakumbh mela 2013 devotees

kumbh mela 2013 pictures

A man is printing photos for making money at the sangam, Allahabad.

sadhus at kumbh mela

A ‘Sadhu’ is waiting to take a dip into holy river.

It was the day before Shahi Snan. The common people were taking dips, little kids were looking for coins in the water, middle aged people were offering prayer with the help of their spouse or children. Hawkers were selling nuts with Chana by adding lemon in it.

mahakumbh sun set

Kids are looking for coins in the water thrown by devotees as a part of custom.

kumbh mela pictures

mahakumbh mela images

A life saver guard at the sangam

holy river at mahakumbh

A devotee is taking dip into the holy river

kumbh mela allahabad images

mahakumbh mela men in orange

A devotee is offering prayer at sangam

mahakumbh prayer

mahakumbh mela customs

A man is getting his head shaved off as a part of custom.

mahakumbh mela pictures

performing a part of custom

Little kids were posing as lord ‘Shiva and Parvati’. Every camera man was curious to capture these kids. Every time they were captured, and they asked for donation from the camera man. Women were drying their sari after taking holy bath into the river. I spend my whole day there. Jolly and Rahul also joined us later on. At one point of time, Jolly, Rahul and Pratul were into deep thought after having experienced of such an event. Trust me; it makes you to push into deep thought when you are at Maha Kumbh. If you sit silently, you will ask from yourself that we humans are a strong race. What we are and what we were? Some start finding nit pickings in the actions of life and some start finding positive and strong aspect of it.

To Be Continued…

mahakumbh mela images 2013

Little kid is dressed up a kind of Hindu lord.

kumbh mela 2013 photography

sangam ghat at allahabad

‘Sadhus’ is asking for money from devotees at sangam.

kumbh mela 2013 images

Women are drying their ‘sari’ after a holy bath

mahakumbh mela pictures

street hawkers at kumbh mela 2013

A hawker is selling nuts and ‘chana’.

posing lord shiva at kumbh mela

A little kid is dressed up as lord Shiva

mahakumbh women drying sari

kumbh mela pictures

kumbh mela tents

Tents at Kumbh mela Allahabad.

mahakumbh meal images

Lord Saturn

hawkers at mahakumbh mela

Hawkers are selling stuffs related to lord Saturn

camps and lunch at mahakumbh 2013

Lunch is being made for devotees.

hawkers at mahakumbh mela 2013

A hawker is selling threads or beads.

sunset mahakumbh mela pictures

Sunset at sangam, Allahabad during Mahakumbh Mela 2013

By: Siddharth Malkania
Travel Photographer, Cosmic Travel Hub