Mahakumbh Mela 2013

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Boats. Many pilgrims hire these to go the centre of Sangam. Sangam is where the rivers Yamuna, Saraswati and Ganga meet thus considered holy. Devotees take a dip at the Sangam.

Early morning, before the sunrise on Basant. The ''mahoorat'' on this auspicious day lasted till 9 am, by which an estimated 3 lacs had taken the holy dip in the Sangam. The place was so well lit that it looked like daylight.

Sunset, at the Holy Ganges. To see pictures of where the Ganga starts ie Gaumukh Glacier Click here

The traditional oil lamp is now powered by electricity, and the CFL bulb needs very little of it..

The Naga sadhus have to be the first to bathe. Their bodies are covered with ash only and draw huge crowds esp photographers.

A view of the ghat from the other side of the river, a little after the Naga Sadhus bathed. 3 hours : 3 lacs people! It is amazing how lakhs of devotees move around in perfect discipline, at peace with other no stampede. I call it the power of faith.

The entire shoreline is filled with little shops like this selling colourful trinkets with some religious significance attached.

Sangam in the evening at sundown..

Assurance!! When lakhs of people assemble at one place it is a hand of assurance that helps one walk through the crowds. I call it mutual interdependence. I saw a number of old ladies, perhaps in their late 70''s/80''s being taken for a dip in Sangam by young men who behaved as it was their privilege, part of their dharma.

Some savouries at a roadside stall. I visited Prayag earlier in 2008 and yet relish the puri sabzi plate that we had all for Rs 15/. Never eaten such tasty stuff in years.

Lady selling kurmura, prasad items. Waiting in Hope for buyers!

Pontoon bridges are put up by the administration to let the humanity cross the river safely. Saw lakhs of people walk over them, they stayed firm. I was very impressed with the management of the Kumbh Mela notwithstanding the accident at the Prayag Railway Station which resulted in devotees dying in a stampede. For the days that I was there it reinforced my faith in the adminstrative abilities of the Indian State.

A man walks on the shore with a prayer in his heart..

A man lights up his ''agarabattis'' - the entire atmosphere is awash with colours of real India. People who live in urban areas might not relate to the power of faith, look at it from a materialistic perspective. The concern, care and devotion of those who are less wealthy touched me, made me ponder over how I see people.

The baby waits his turn, as Mother goes for a dip. In old Hindi movies a familiar scene was for brothers to get lost in the Kumbh Mela. Is not shown nowdays. One: the brothers are found even if they get lost; two: lost and found stories are not the current favourite theme ; and three: the Kumbh is hardly shown in Bollywood any longer.

Colours of Sri Ram. To see some more pic of Maha Kumbh 2013 Click here

Faith! It is this unbriddled faith that stirred me and left everlasting memories. Harvard University is enamoured by the arrangements at the Kumbh. Americans have never seen such large crowds and wonder how everything works so smoothly. Read Harvard and the Kumbh Click here

Flower seller on the banks waits for business. To know all about Why and Significance of Kumbh Mela Click here

Smoking a little marijuana on the banks, just before his dip, which will most definitely wash away his sins! To see pictures of Kumbh Mela 2010 Haridwar Click here

Holy Ganga is a playground for these young boys. Read ''I did it - Kumbh Poornima'' by Seema Burman Click here