As part of the Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar in April, 2010, millions of Hindu pilgrims gathered as did sadhus, holy men, from all over India. There are numerous sects and branches within Hinduism the naga being among them. I was walking along one of the streets of Haridwar when I noticed some movement in the crowd ahead of me.
A naga sadhu, naked except for his sandals, body smeared with ashes was making his way along the street. I took several photos of what was a somewhat chaotic scene as the devout gathered around him seeking blessing. People, mostly women, were placing offerings at, and touching, his feet whilst a follower/attendant dutifully gathered up the offerings.
The sadhus lead an austere life based in part on meditation and, it must be said, the smoking of hashish. For a more comprehensive explanation of their role in the Kumbh Mela festival: “Sea of humanity in Haridwar”
The following slideshow contains a small selection of photos from this brief encounter. Please proceed with caution if nudity offends!
Rebuilding blog archives.
A brief apology for the lack of updated content on the blog just at present, but trying to get a few things sorted out. Those who found me via Windows Live Spaces will be aware that I’ve been blogging there for quite some time and that WLS is now in the process of closing down. Before they pull the plug, I’m trying to recover my content from there and add it into the archives here.
It’s turning into a time consuming process as I manually transfer stuff across. This blog is now at about 130 entries with a backlog of about 100- 120 more to transfer. Given that my WP blog is a standalone (not hosted by WP) there doesn’t seem to be a quick automated way of doing it.
Many comments that people so kindly left when the entries were first published may be lost in the changeover…Sorry! I have made a point of transferring comments for some specific entries where there was further relevant or particularly interesting information or discussion on given topics.
For those who are new to this blog and who might like to check out material that they missed during the WLS era, try the archives for August to December, 2009.
As they used to say on TV, “we apologize for the loss of transmission and hope to return to normal programming shortly” ….