Published: September 28th 2011September 28th 2011
Maha Kumbh 2010 - Haridwar
Bathing Dates of Kumbh Mela 2010 of Haridwar
14 January 2010 (Thursday) 15 January 2010 (Friday)
20 January 2010 (Wednesday) 30 January 2010 (Saturday)
12 February 2010 (Friday) 15 March 2010 (Monday)
24 March 2010 (Wednesday) 30 March 2010 (Tuesday)
14 April 2010 (Wednesday) 28 April 2010 (Wednesday)
Kumbh Mela(festival) dates back to ancient civilizations and is held every 3 years in the cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. In 2010, the 42-day long Kumbh Mela was hosted at Haridwar.
During these 42 days, the water in the holy Ganges is believed to turn to ambrosia (amrit). So, millions of believers from all parts of the world flock to the Mela to purge themselves of sins, balance their karma and release themselves from the cycle of rebirth. This year Kumbh Mela was held in Haridwar which is believed to be the gateway to moksha (Liberation/Salvation of the soul).
Haridwar is located at a distance of 214 km from Delhi.
I planned to this trip with one of my friend who stays in Delhi, I joined him from Kolkata on 12th March. We stayed at his place in Palm, near the
Air Force Base. We stayed in Delhi till 13th evening.
I was aware that two of his friends will join us for the trip but his friends were also accompanied by two more friends, so we ended up with fairly big team of 6 people. 13th evening, we took a bus for Haridwar we reached the next morning at around 6-6:30am. No commercial vehicles were allowed inside the city. The bus has to stop outside the city, on a big ground where almost 90-100 vehicles were already parked. We had no choice but walk along-with the other devotees for around 7-8 km to reach ‘Har ki Pauri’ where one of our friends has arranged for 2 rooms in Ashram.
We were amazed to see the arrangements to manage the crowd, the enthusiasm of the people and the beauty of the place. To be totally in their mood we bought ourselves hare-ram printed kurtas. We were really enjoying ourselves and waiting desperately to see the crowd jumping into the water for the Holy Bath (or Shahi Snan) on 15th March 00:00 hrs.
As the night approached, 2 of us choose to stay back in their room the other
2 went to meet naturist family or nude family (according to them they were in Haridwar, staying in forest) and we (me and my friend from Delhi) went to centre point of the Holy Bath (or Shahi Snan).
At 11:50pm we entered that place; sorry I forgot the name but it is the place where the main Aarti takes place. Just after 10 minutes, people stepped into that chilled water with prayers and hope. I was with my camera and had taken only 2-3 shots only when a lady Police stopped me and requested not to take picture in public place if you I am not a reporter.
I was so disappointed that I thought of stepping down into that holy water with hope that they will allow me to take pictures. But God was busy that day, so many devotees you know... I had to leave that place without taking anymore pictures.
On 15th morning, we had a Aalo ka Paratha,Gobi ka Paratha with Dahi & Achar for breakfast. Parathas were literally dipped in butter before served. It was awesome and heavy. That was a good start for the day. We walked down with our luggages
(only a small backpack was with me) to the holy water for Shahi Snan. As the water was very cold at night we had decided to have bath in the morning.
I hope it was not that dirty with sins of the people taken bath that night.
Believe me, the water was still cold and we were shivering inside the water. We were at the Ghat for around an hour and then left to see other things, I really don’t remember what we wanted to see coz we were having fun together we did not bother to decide anything beside the time at which were supposed to reach that very place where the buses were parked coz we had to leave that day for Delhi.
We walked down the city, taken some good pictures saw the parade of the Swamijis in their Sumo, Bolero, Tractors etc. We were reached our buses watching these fancy Swamijis.
Please don’t expect a climax in this story, this the end of our journey to Maha Kumbh 2010.
Hope you enjoyed.
There are more photos below