Blog

Sharing my experiences of this beautiful world that we live in through photography. And some geeky tech photo stuff.

Kumbh Mela at the Ganges River

March 6, 2013  -  Festivals

The Ganges river is the primary source of attraction during the Kumbh Mela festival. It is more than a river truly. For pilgrims it is what they’ve been waiting to be with for months and years. For the millions that come, traveling miles on foot, bus, trains, planes and more, it is place to let go of unwanted burdens and receive an inflow of loving change. Those who approach the river with the right attitude and mind set get the biggest rewards. Yet, there are others who come unwilling to dip in the Ganges and fall victim to her magical ways, end up taking a dip and are never the same.

A kumbh (pot) lays abandoned on some rocks on the banks of the Ganges River during the Kumbh Mela festival.

A kumbh (pot) lays abandoned on some rocks on the banks of the Ganges River during the Kumbh Mela festival.

Humans are not the only ones that can do the tree pose.

Humans are not the only ones that can do the tree pose.

Pilgrims arrive in droves for the largest festival on earth.

Pilgrims arrive in droves for the largest festival on earth.

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Kumbh Mela, scenes from pre-dawn

February 10, 2013  -  Festivals

For sure one of the most amazing experiences in my life was to attend the Kumbh Mela festival on the main bathing day on February 10th. To be amongst 30 million pilgrims was humbling and the lessons learned invaluable.

Here are some images from pre-dawn. I was up at about 3:30am and headed out to the main bathing area. It was tough shooting in the conditions present….crowds, low light (no light), and organized chaos. But here’s what I got. Some of the photos were taken at the Sangam, the meeting point, a sandy bank, where the Yamuna and Ganges river meet. Here’s where millions have come to bathe on the most auspicious day of the festival.

Boatmen making their way through early morning mist to the banks of the Yamuna river to ferry passengers to the sangam.

Boatmen making their way through early morning mist to the banks of the Yamuna river to ferry passengers to the sangam.

Thousands of people are continuously ferried by hundreds of boats to the sangam.

Thousands of people are continuously ferried by hundreds of boats to the sangam.

Pilgrims arrive at the sangam. The water is shallow here and you are able to stand safely. Most pilgrims bathe here.

Pilgrims arrive at the sangam. The water is shallow here and you are able to stand safely. Most pilgrims bathe here.

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At another sandy bank nearby thousands or millions I should say dip in the cold waters. It's crowded even at 4am.

At another sandy bank nearby thousands or millions I should say dip in the cold waters. It’s crowded even at 4am.

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Along the Ganges River, Varanasi

February 8, 2013  -  Cities, Towns & Villages

Another great day it was today in India. Though I have been to Varanasi numerous times I love it every time I am here. The traffic is another story altogether but by the ghats it’s absolutely divine if you pick the quiet spots. For the less quiet areas you’ll be asked if you want to hire a boat or a priest about a hundred times before you are even able to finish your chai. That said I had a lovely day taking photos from dusk to dawn. Yes, not dawn to dusk.

I hope you enjoy them.

Rajasthani ladies stand on a boat and dry their saries in the wind after taking a dip in the sacred Ganges river.

Rajasthani ladies stand on a boat and dry their saries in the wind after taking a dip in the sacred Ganges river.

A priest is showered by marigold petals that he threw into the air at the nightly Ganga Aarti ceremony.

A priest is showered by marigold petals that he threw into the air at the nightly Ganga Aarti ceremony.

An elderly Hindu lady worships the Ganges river at dawn.

An elderly Hindu lady worships the Ganges river at dawn.

At 5 frames per second the Nikon D600 is able to catch this sadhu washing out his mouth along the Ganges River.

At 5 frames per second the Nikon D600 is able to catch this sadhu washing out his mouth along the Ganges River.

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