Kumbha Mela 2001 Photo Gallery - Page 17

Photos taken  January 24, 2001, Mauni Amavasya, the most auspicious bathing day with the largest gathering of people ever assembled in one place for one purpose. The official estimate by the Kumbh Mela administration is that 30 million people attended this day but I also heard 22 million somewhere. 

Stepping into the waters of the Ganges at the Sangam. 12.55pm

* *

It is 10.15am and the police are not permitting pilgrims to cross the first six pontoon bridges across the Ganga to the Sangam area. Hence the squeeze here at the entrance to the seventh bridge. I held the camera high in my hand and clicked this photo.



The squeeze and the rush was managed by mounted police and their other colleagues armed with big sticks. Many lost their footwear in this crush. By evening, there was a huge pile of footwear gathered by the side of the bridge. I was surprised to see very old and lame people as well as very small babies among us in here. For these pilgrims, the actual Sangam area is the place to be and they are going to get there no matter what.

*

12.25pm in the water in the Treveni Sangam. This is ground zero on the Greatest Day of all. Time to have fun while elevating the Spirit – moving fast also helps to keep the body warm in the cold water.

* *

For Desiree Llewellyn from London, a dream and a promise has finally been fulfilled here today. She is seen here with old school friend Pankaj Patel, offering her mother Rosmarie’s ashes at the Treveni, to the Holy Ganga. "I’m doing this on behalf of the whole family" she says. "It took us sixteen years almost to the day to fulfill our mother’s wish. She wanted her ashes in the Ganga. She must have been blessed to find her ashes merging here at this time and place." I have been requested to post this picture here on zenzibar.com to enable members of her family in New Zealand, France, Britain and Austria to participate collectively in this act of great significance to them all.

On the Shastri bridge at 5.10pm. The long march back home while some still arrive.










*
. ….and for some the journey does not stop at the ghat on the bank at the Sangam….it continues onward in the very cold water to the Centre, to the Treveni, to where the two rivers meet and mix. It is like climbing Everest – the summit is here. The top of the World.
Previous Photos             Back to Kumbha Mela Home Page           Next Photos

Brought to you by Zenzibar Alternative Culture
All photographs by
Tony Fernandes
Please feel free to use them and share them with others.
If you use them please credit us with a link to zenzibar.com.