Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kumbh Mela 2010

This is the crazy Kumbh Mela.

The Kumbh Mela was going on for 3 months, from end of January til the end of April. There are main dates or baths to be there for the holy baths. A bath is simply dipping in the River Ganga, which, it is said, to cleanse ones self of all sins. I'll need to take many baths for this feat.

Before heading to the main ghat, where the majority of people take their baths, we, the group from the ashram, took a bath in a more peaceful and, hopefully, cleaner area of the River Ganga. After our dip, we all sat in a semi-circle to meditate.
After our meditation session, we performed tikka, or said a prayer, at the River Ganga and softly placed flowers in the river as an offering.I don't know this guy, but anyone dressed in orange with face paint is a sadhu. The face paint resembles him being a devotee to a certain god, in his case, the lines across his face are meant to be for Shiva.

And of course, we arrive at the main ghat where all the craziness happens. The main bath occurred on April 14, but I did not make it then because all the trains and buses were sold out well in advace. This made sense to me when I learned that over 60 million people were here in Haridwar that day to take a bath. I only heard of its madness. That day several people were killed, due to being trampled or from being hit by a car of sadhus. But it is said that people wish to die during the Kumbh Mela as it is a holy festival and a very spiritual act to die during this period. I arrived in time for the last bath on April 28, which only hosted several million.
You can just see the madness of the many people taking sin cleansing baths here. Simply craziness!

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