Great Gathering - Vignettes of the Kumbh Mela
Every twelve years, a new city appears from the sand in the barren ghats of Triveni Sangam at Prayag near Allahabad, India. At this time leaders of many religious beliefs make this city their home, and with them gather their followers, thousands of naked ascetics, millions of devout Hindus, ordinary men of faith who come here to wash their sins by taking a dip in the confluence of three holy rivers, and swarms of international and national media who are here to just witness this spectacle, this carnival of faith, this the largest gathering of humanity in the world.
The Maha Kumbh Mela that fell in January-February 2013 was the most auspicious in 144 years. Hence, the city of Allahabad welcomed over 100 million people to temporary shelters over 56 days of the festival on the banks of the Sangam -- the amalgamation of three of the holiest rivers in Hindu mythology, the Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. The night the fair began, I, with my parents, traveled from Delhi to experience different moods of the Kumbh Mela and also to capture this unprecedented influx of people. The morning of the very first day of the festival, I saw glory, human diversity, a parade of Nagasadhus with whips, pitchforks and flails, walking barefoot and chanting slogans, the play of extremism, and lots of politics, too.
Photographer POONAM PARIHAR's book "Kumbh" captures this unique experience as the story of these ongoers, in a work of fine art photography. This gallery showcases selected images from the book that weave in their story.
About the photographer
POONAM PARIHAR is an independent traveling photographer and writer with keen interest in environmental issues and fine art. Born in Delhi, India, she is a trained management professional. Poonam started photography in mid-2009, mainly to document her experiences as she traveled between continents for work. Her desire to learn new cultures and her passion for photography has grown ever since.
A natural shooter, Poonam likes to work in available light. An adrenalin junkie and avid trekker, her portfolio continues to feature such diverse subjects as landscapes, wildlife and human emotions with the same creativity and dignity. She lives in New York and is working on her new project @ImagesToTeach, through which she aims to raise awareness about national parks and natural resource conservation.
Visit Poonam Parihar's website
Preview and purchase her photo-book, Kumbh
- vs. NEPNED4th T20IFri, Jul 03, 2015Rotterdam, NetherlandsNepal in Netherlands T20 S...
- NED won by 18 runsvs. NEPNED3rd T20IThu, Jul 02, 2015Rotterdam, NetherlandsNepal in Netherlands T20 S...
- NED won by 103 runsvs. NEPNED2nd T20IWed, Jul 01, 2015Amstelveen, NetherlandsNepal in Netherlands T20 S...
- live match SL 278/10 (89.5 Overs)vs. PAKSL3rd TestLIVECurrent Run Rate 3.09Kandy, Sri LankaPakistan in Sri Lanka Test...
- Upcoming matchvs. SABAN1st T20ISun, Jul 05, 2015Mirpur, BangladeshSouth Africa in Bangladesh...
- vs. SABAN2nd T20ITue, Jul 07, 2015Tue, Jul 07, 2015Mirpur, BangladeshSouth Africa in Bangladesh...
- vs. AUSENG1st TestWed, Jul 08, 2015Wed, Jul 08, 2015Cardiff, EnglandThe Ashes, 2015...
Latest Photo Albums
Action images from the Khan shaheb Oshman Ali Stadium, June 10-14, 2015. [Scoreboard] More » Bangladesh vs India, One-off Test in Fatullah
Mumbai Indians completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the eight-year history of the Indian Premier league by transforming a terrible start to the tournament - they were at the bottom of the table for the first two weeks - into a title win.
More » Action photos: The Mumbai-Chennai IPL final
Royal Challengers Bangalore set up a clash with Chennai Super Kings for a place in the final as they sent Rajasthan Royals out of the tournament. More » IPL8: Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
A timely half-century by opener Lendl Simmons and some quality bowling helped Mumbai Indians secure a place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 final with a 25-run victory over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in … More » IPL8: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
JP Duminy, the Delhi Daredevils captain, elected to bat at the Wankhede Stadium against Mumbai Indians. Duminy felt the wicket wasn't going to change much, and said it might offer "a little bit of turn" in the latter half. His counterpart, Rohit Sharma, sounded pleased with his team's recent run, … More » IPL 8: Mumbai versus Delhi, the highlights in photos
MUMBAI: Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair displayed superb batting skills to help Rajasthan Royals post a challenging 189/2 against Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premer League (IPL) match at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday.
More » IPL8: Rajasthan Royals beat Delhi Daredevils by 14 runs
Opening batsmen Lendl Simmons (71 in 56 balls) and Parthiv Patel (59 in 36 balls) helped Mumbai Indians (MI) register their … More » IPL8: Mumbai Indians thrash Kings XI Punjab by 23 runs
If you thought that the cheerleaders earn a lot during the Indian Premier League games, think again. While the pay may vary from team to team, with franchises like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders paying a bit more than the others, reports say that at an … More » IPL8: Cheerleaders and what they earn in a season
Mandeep Singh worked the magic for Royal Challengers Bangalore who defeated champions Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets with two balls to spare. More » IPL 8: Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kolkata Knight Riders
Mumbai Indians won Match 32 by 8 runs against Rajasthan Royals. More » IPL 8: Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals
Delhi Daredevils beat Kings XI Punjab by 9 wickets. More » IPL 8: Delhi Daredevils beat Kings XI Punjab
Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 2 runs. More » IPL8: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings
Sunrisers Hyderabad (150 for 6) beat Kings XI Punjab 130 for 9 by 20 runs. More » IPL8: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab
Undeterred by looming clouds and the threat of rain, thousands of frenzied fans watch the IPL every year, even as heavy security, frisking at the entrance twice and restriction on carrying bags, umbrellas and other objects into the stands makes it troublesome. Take a look! More » IPL 8: The fans cheer on