K u m b h - m e l a
Kumbha Mela is the largest religious meeting in the world: it takes place in the propitious day, when up to fifteen million people are simultaneously present to take the purifying bath in the sacred river.
According to the Hindi mythology, during the creation of the world an epic battle was fought along twelve days among the deva (gods) and the asura (demons). The fight was for the possession of a jug (kumbha) containing a magic nectar (amrita) producing immortality. The fleeing demons lost four drops of the precious liquid and these fell on four points on Earth, where four holy cities were built. These are: Prayaga (the actual Allahabad), Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar. These are the four places where, in turns, every twelve years the Kumbha Mela take place.
The one in Allahabad has always been considered the most important, because the city is located at the confluence of three sacred rivers. Two of them (Ganges and Yamuna) are real, while the third is the mythical Saraswati, the invisible “River of Enlightment”.
Photographer took the images you are about to see during the 2001 Maha Kumbha Mela of Allahabad. This meeting, being the first in the new millennium, is considered particularly sacred and propitious. With these pictures I mean to present you an inside look of the partecipation of the common people, in every aspect: the ablutions, the prayers, the enthusiasm and devotion for the several representatives of the various cults and also the meals or particular moments of tension or relax. All in all, what makes of the Kumbha Mela the largest, extraordinary and enthralling mass happening worldwide.