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

Portraits of Sadhus, holy men of the Kumbh Mela

February 2, 2013  -  Festivals, Monks & Priests

As I get ready to leave for the Kumbh Mela festival later tonight I felt inspired to share portraits of some sadhus I had photographed over the years. Sadhus, Hindu holy men, are a big part of the Kumbh Mela festival. Thousands come out of seclusion to bathe in the confluence of the holy Ganges and Yamuna rivers in the town of Allahabad in northern India. I’m eager to photograph as much as I am to pilgrimage to this sacred event.



A sadhu smears ash all over his body and face under the evening sun.

A sadhu smears ash all over his body and face under the evening sun.


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Monk with really long hair

January 22, 2013  -  Festivals, Monks & Priests

Ok, I admit I could have come up with a more creative blog post title but at least it gets straight to the point.

At the Kumbha Mela festival that I attended in Haridwar in 2010 I met a monk with really long hair. He invited me to join him and his devotees around a smoldering log that they were sitting around. After being there for a little while he decided to unwrap his turban. Well, it was not really a turban but a big piece of cloth which seemed to be holding a lot of hair on his head.

He slowly unwrapped the cloth and gently extended his matted hair which extended and extended. It was easily over 6 feet long and beautifully matted over many, many years. He was very proud of it and wanted me to photograph this. I couldn’t really tell where he was from but he looked like he was from either Nepal or Tibet. One of many wonderful experiences that I had at the Kumbha Mela festival.

Note our 2013 Kumbha Mela tour and journey across north India is from the 4th of February to the 16th.

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A pot lies on the banks of the Ganges river during the sacred Kumbh Mela festival in India

The World’s Largest Human Gathering – Kumbh Mela

January 10, 2013  -  People

The spectacular purna Kumbha Mela festival, celebrated once every 12 years, is the worlds’ largest human gathering.

India comes to life in a swirling concoction of color, song and spirituality at the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna. Millions of pilgrims gather to celebrate. Tens of thousands of monks make their way out of seclusion to bathe in the holy Ganges river on the auspicious day of the new moon. It’s a festival of epic proportions and an experience of a lifetime.

This time the festival will be taking place in the city of Allahabad in north-central India. The city is made popular by the confluence of two of India’s sacred rivers and has been the home to the festival for centuries. The biggest day of the festival falls on February 10th and many expect over 40 million people to present on this day alone.

I attended the “smaller” Kumbh Mela festival 3-years ago in Haridwar and that had about 5 to 6 million people on the main bathing day. Small for India it seems. I’m really looking forward to being at this festival for many reasons and certainly one of them is an opportunity to photograph.

A sadhu at the last Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar in 2010.

A sadhu at the last Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar in 2010.

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