Maha Kumbh

The mother of all melas

Print edition : March 22, 2013

Late in the evening, a play of lights at the sangam.

A long trek with a heavy load.

Sadhus perfoming puja at the Kumbh city.

Putting a religious mark after the dip.

A relaxed afternoon at the akhara.

An akhara head with his entourage.

A group of Naga Sadhus with a newly initiated one full of religious fervour.

The ritual of donating a cow.

A Naga Sadhu giving his blessings.

Mendicants and their music.

A boatman at work.

Meals being prepared in makeshift kitchens.

Pilgrims in boats at the confluence.

A pre-dawn gathering near the sangam.

A Naga Sadhu ecstatic after a dip in the sangam

Visitors from other countries.

Kumkums of different colours on sale.

Pilgrims bathing at the sangam while others wait.

A lone security guard keeping a watchful eye on the crowd at the sangam.

Waiting for the dip before dawn.

Taking a dip at the Triveni sangam

A Naga Sadhu ecstatic after a dip in the sangam

Religious fervour at the sangam

Members of a sect keeping pace with the guru's chariot.

Rituals at the river.

The Kumbh Mela at Prayag, hosting the largest gathering of human beings on the planet, is as fabulous a spectacle as can be.

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