Kumbha Mela 2001 Photo Gallery Index

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Jan. 8, 2001



The crowds are pouring in for the the first big day, Paush Purnima, which is tomorrow, Jan. 9. People piled high on horse carriages and rickshaws. Sadhus by the hundreds. The prices are rocketing and Allahabad is beginning to swell from a little over a million to who knows what.

Jan. 12, 2001



All of these photographs were taken between 11am and 4.30pm on 12th January. Two days to Makar Sankranti when seven million are expected to be here for their snan (dip in the Ganga). 


Jan. 14, 2001



Makar Sankranti - I think there were between 4.5 to 5 million pilgrims having their snan on the 14th, Makar Sankranti, and NOT 7 million as the authorities and the papers will have us believe. A lot is perhaps due to the over-reaction of the mela administration to what they thought the numbers would be. 

Jan. 21, 2001



Photos of life as-it-happens at the Kumbha Mela during the days between Makar Sankranti and Mauni Amavasya. Holy men hold meetings, Wood and food are distributed. Pilgrims continue to bathe in the Ganga river, and pilgrims from the West tell their stories of why they are here.

Jan. 24, 2001



Mauni Amavasya - I believe there were in the region of 20 million people, plus or minus a couple of million, on Mauni Amavasya. The numbers flowing in and out were considerable - in the hundreds of thousands every hour. It was truly awesome. There was a kind of dreamlike quality to it all.

Jan. 29, 2001



Basant Panchami - This is the last of the shahi snan days. I believe about 4 million to 4.5 million people had their snan on 29th January. Most of the Akaharas will be packing up to leave within the next few days.

 

Feb. 3, 2001



There is still a lot going on at the mela but this is a quieter time. People are bathing, vendors are selling, and spiritual talks are still attracting crowds. People will start pouring in beginning on the 6th in preparation for Magh Purnima, the next bathing day on February 8th.
Feb. 7, 2001



The day before Maghi Purnima, pilgrims are arriving, bathing, doing puja and preparing for the full moon which marks the beginning of the second to last sacred bathing day of this Kumbh Mela.


Feb. 8, 2001



Maghi Purnima comes at the end of the auspicious month of Magh. It brings to an end the cycle of this Kumbh Mela and, with its conclusion, thousands of pilgrims called Kalpvasis, who have spent weeks here will now be packing up and going home. 

Feb. 19, 2001



As the infrastructure of the Kumbh Mela is being dismantled, pilgrims are arriving for the last day of the Mela, Maha Shivatri. The government of Uttar Pradesh is congratulating itself on a successful event.

Feb. 21, 2001



The Kumbh Mela has ended with Maha Shivratri. Tony took photos not only at the Sangam but also at Shiva temples in the vicinity of Allahabad. The next Kumbh Mela at Allahabad will not be until the year 2013.

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Tony Fernandes
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