Images: Despite stampede, many throng Kumbh Mela

 

 A Naga Sadhu at one of the akhadas at Maha Kumbh, 2013, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. ‘Naga’ is derived from Sanskrit word ‘nagna’ which means naked. The number of Akhadas have grown to 13 from the original seven declared by Adi Shankacharya in the 8th century AD. Naga sadhus are found in all 13 akhadas.

A Naga Sadhu at one of the akhadas at Maha Kumbh, 2013, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. ‘Naga’ is derived from Sanskrit word ‘nagna’ which means naked. The number of Akhadas have grown to 13 from the original seven declared by Adi Shankacharya in the 8th century AD. Naga sadhus are found in all 13 akhadas. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

A naga nun at the mela. For the first time, Juna Akhada, one of the 13 Akhadas in the Hindu religion, has sanctioned a separate enclosure and an anointed leader to its women members. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

A naga nun at the mela. For the first time, Juna Akhada, one of the 13 Akhadas in the Hindu religion, has sanctioned a separate enclosure and an anointed leader to its women members. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Italian national Thomas says he is at the Maha Kumbh 2013 to get inspiration for the book he is writing on India. “Serene” is his description of the fair. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Italian national Thomas says he is at the Maha Kumbh 2013 to get inspiration for the book he is writing on India. “Serene” is his description of the fair. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Seventeen years old Sudeesh is from Bihar’s Chhapra district. He sells flutes for a living. After Maha Kumbh, he says, his next stop will be Pushkar mela in Rajasthan in November. In the interim, he will do odd jobs. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Seventeen years old Sudeesh is from Bihar’s Chhapra district. He sells flutes for a living. After Maha Kumbh, he says, his next stop will be Pushkar mela in Rajasthan in November. In the interim, he will do odd jobs. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Horst, a German national first visited India in 1977. As predicted by a fortune teller, he says, his life changed when he turned 45 as he wrapped up his business in Germany to become a monk in India. Now known as Datta Bharti, he is a disciple of Hari Bharti, a monk at of one of the 13 juna akhadas in India. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Horst, a German national first visited India in 1977. As predicted by a fortune teller, he says, his life changed when he turned 45 as he wrapped up his business in Germany to become a monk in India. Now known as Datta Bharti, he is a disciple of Hari Bharti, a monk at of one of the 13 juna akhadas in India. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

A transgender performing Raslila (stories of Lord Krishna) in one of the camps at the fair. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

A transgender performing Raslila (stories of Lord Krishna) in one of the camps at the fair. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

 Sanjay Nishaad, 15, collects coins which devotees throw in river Ganga as part of worship at Maha Kumbh. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Sanjay Nishaad, 15, collects coins which devotees throw in river Ganga as part of worship at Maha Kumbh. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Rajesh Yadav is a constable with Uttar Pradesh police. Yadav is a trained swimmer and is one of the many life guards deployed at the banks of river Ganga at Maha Kumbh, 2013. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Rajesh Yadav is a constable with Uttar Pradesh police. Yadav is a trained swimmer and is one of the many life guards deployed at the banks of river Ganga at Maha Kumbh, 2013. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

 Gulaab Bai is from Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh. She sells home- made chillums (smoking pipes) for Rs 5 and 10 at Maha Kumbh 2013, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Chillums are popular with monks and their disciples at the fair. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Gulaab Bai is from Sagar district, Madhya Pradesh. She sells home- made chillums (smoking pipes) for Rs 5 and 10 at Maha Kumbh 2013, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Chillums are popular with monks and their disciples at the fair. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Raja Ram Tiwari has been running the lost and found camp at the Kumbh fair since 1946. He claims to have united more than 10 lakh people. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Raja Ram Tiwari has been running the lost and found camp at the Kumbh fair since 1946. He claims to have united more than 10 lakh people. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Ram Singh with his fortune telling birds at Maha Kumbh, 2013 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Singh charges Rs 10 for letting one of his birds choose a card which he claims reveals one’s fate. With the government’s crackdown on caged birds, number of fortune tellers like Singh is dwindling every passing year. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Ram Singh with his fortune telling birds at Maha Kumbh, 2013 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Singh charges Rs 10 for letting one of his birds choose a card which he claims reveals one’s fate. With the government’s crackdown on caged birds, number of fortune tellers like Singh is dwindling every passing year. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Hoardings like this one flank the fair site in Allahabad. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Hoardings like this one flank the fair site in Allahabad. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

A Naga Sadhu at Maha Kumbh. Held every 12 years, the fair is considered one of the largest gatherings of people on earth. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

A Naga Sadhu at Maha Kumbh. Held every 12 years, the fair is considered one of the largest gatherings of people on earth. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

 

Allahabad resident Aditya Avasthi is a civil services aspirant. He is a history tutor to students of senior secondary level. At the Maha Kumbh, he has set up a tea stall which he manages during the day before his tuition classes in the evening. Danish Raza/ Firstpost

Allahabad resident Aditya Avasthi is a civil services aspirant. He is a history tutor to students of senior secondary level. At the Maha Kumbh, he has set up a tea stall which he manages during the day before his tuition classes in the evening. Danish Raza/ Firstpost


Published Date: Feb 11, 2013 10:08 pm | Updated Date: Feb 11, 2013 10:08 pm

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