Nagas. Maha Kumbh Mela Allahabad India. This was the largest gathering of 40 milj Hindus ever in the world. It takes place every 12 years in Allahabad, India. The purpose of the gathering is the ritual bathing at the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna river on the most prospicious time. This was in Jan-Feb 2001 and the most important day was 24 Jan 01. Very early in the morning the bathing starts with the Nagas opening the way. Nagas are fierce fighters who open the path to the Guru, the spiritual leader, and his disciples. This picture has been taking when those Nagas were waiting around near the Ganga. see also

by Verbeke Jean-Pierre

nagasmaha kumbh mela allahabad indiathis was the l verbeke jean pierre

Gallery: 2001 Jan, India, Maha Kumbh Mela India

Category: Uncategorized

Published: Thursday 15th of November 2001 09:19:54 PM


Stacey DeMarco
Outstanding... Literally. The red is truly "outstanding". It reminds me of the signifigance of the little girl in the red dress in "Schindler's List". What an important and memorable photo. Reminds us of how different our cultures can be.

Maria S.
Nagas Epic can't take my eyes off this picture ... not only the scene but colors ... amazing... and yes, I would crop it a bit differently -- cut out that dressed guy on the left and this way put the central red-dressed man a bit away from the center but he's doing fine walking towards the camera. Gosh, I just can't imagine shooting better in this situation -- I would probably stand there with my jaw wide open, unable to shoot. Great stuff.

Michael Castellano
10, 10 A truly stunning and memorable photo. Perhaps you could tell us something more about the subject matter?

E Karp
Aesthetics 9, Originality 7 I like how the red stands out. Maybe placing him off senter may work a little better. But still a very nice shot.

Jean-Pierre Verbeke
Well.... I really didn't expect to get such positive comments on this picture, and I totally agree with the fact I had to crop some more to the left to get rid of the dressed man. It surely works better as the red dressed monk is better balanced. But whaw, what a reaction. And like Maria suggested I stood there the whole day with my wife with our mouths open amidst that crowd and couldn't believe our own eyes. Every scene changed at the glance of an eye. When I saw a picture I was nearly to late to grasp it on my film. I had to act quickly and at the same time be very carefull not to get in trouble with them. You know this is not some garden party. Some restrain and mostly respect for what is going on there is important. But it is nearly impossible to tell other people about the real atmosphere, you really had to be there to fully feel the magic powers that hang around like feeling the water of the icy Ganga streaming around your feet... I'm really pleased that somehow in this picture some of that magic has come through. Feel free to have a look at the Panorama photo I took at the river, in this same folder. UM, Shanti, Shanti

Frank Mueller
I keep on coming back for several days now to have another look at this picture - beautiful! I agree with everything Maria said about not beeing able to take my eyes off, but also the cropping. I hesitate to rate this picture. Instinctively I want to give it 10/10 because it's the most captivating picture I have seen in a long time. However, it's beauty seems to transcends the given criteria. Is it original? - probably not, I bet hundreds of photographers go to this Hindu meeting every time. How about aestetics? - the composition sure is not perfect. However, the colours and the unbelievable scene capture me. Thanks, Swapan, for the cultural background.

Swapan Sarkar
Nagas I do not want to give any further value judgement to this pictures.My illustrated friends have already done good justice to the picture.However one would appreciate this picture better if they know the concept of the Naga Sect.They are just not a bunch of naked religious fanatics.For many years of hard practice and self denial a Naga monk acquires a state of mind and body which is immuned to all wordly feelings specially lust.Since female nudity( even that of a Hollywood sex symbol) does not affect them , they are totally indifferent towards their own nudity.They consider themselves as a component of divine nature.Mostly they stay in isolation in the high mountains of the Himalayas thriving to attain a state of body and mind which can defy the normal parameters of survival.They are expert in an unique and formidable form of martial art.This skill they have acquired as a protection against mountain bandits.During Kumbh Mela they come down to the plains to take a holy dip in the river Ganges/Jamuna.Naga sect had been in existence in India from ancient times

Matt Milan
Wow. Truely -- this photograph is a glimpse into another world. Simply amazing... Thanks for the image.

Ivo Cimmino
Aesthetics 7, Originality 8 I like your picture, but I also appreciate all the the explaining that you attached with it.

Mikhail Yukhnovskiy
Beautiful, and very out-of-this-worldly...

Markos George Hionos
Excellent, documentary travel photography.....BRAVO

Vinod Nair
amazing i am an indian and i am so surprised to see that this photo coild make people feel about waht the photgrapher might have felt, a truely amazing photo

Kaur Lass

Amazing photo. Being there with good camera is not as easy as it seems. To be there at right moment is amazing opportunity. Truly good photo, that describes a different reality. So alive. So India at its best!

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These agori's are very aggressive and they eat human corpse to purify themselves from sin.

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