Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bathing Day At The Kumbh, Part 1

People come to the Kumbh to bathe in the holy waters at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers. That special bath is what the pilgrimage to the festival is all about. And bathing on one of the big, auspicious holy bathing days is the ultimate cleanse.

There are a handful of big bathing days throughout the two-month festival, days astrologers have selected as the holy of holy. It's on these days that sadhus organize themselves for dawn group bathings. The atmosphere is beyond intense as pilgrims want to witness the sadhus bathing and share the holy water.

Here's the Sangam bathing area on the big day, before the sadhus come and bathe. It's about 3:30 am.

A little later, the police have cleared the area of general pilgrims in anticipation of the sadhus arriving together.

And there they go, a giant mosh of sadhus and related family members filling the area and bathing together.

Bathing is a life-memory event and the bigwigs get themselves videotaped. A sadhu, re-applying ash after the holy bath.
More important sadhus arriving, including women. You best give room.

What the morning is all about, triumphant sadhu emerging before the heathens.

One more look at a regal sadhu and a regular heathen.

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