We were lucky to our lives having visited the city of Allahabad during the Kumbh fair. Our driver Varun, who was driving the rented car, had to deliberately charge us extra money apart from what we were paying him for the scheduled destination spot list in the city. At first he was a bit shilly-shally and hesitated to take us there, but later the plan proceeded towards a grand success. For once, I thought he might have had an elder brotherly feeling for my kids, who were all around him and dirtying his car to some extent with their chips and munchies.
I wanted to see the Shahi Snan but it was already four in the evening and many other places were still left to be visited. I was desperate to witness the largest holy gathering. The Kumbh Fair, as known, takes place in four places, which are Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. It takes place on a rotational basis every third year and thousands of Hindu pilgrims can be seen desperate to take the holy dip in the sacred river. On the other hand, Ardha (half) Kumbha Mela is held only in Allahabad and Haridwar. On the occasion of Mauni Amavasya, thousands of pilgrims experience the Shahi Snan or Shahi Snanam. The term Kumbh meant a pot and Mela meant fair. For certain reasons, mostly because of the safety of my kids, I could not consciously penetrate within the mass gathering.
However, whatever I saw and experienced was out of the world and that was what true meaning of divinity can be in one’s life and the significance it holds. When I had a closer look, I saw the sadhus were actually performing their rituals and maintaining them with utter patience and out of the world dedication. There were different types of sadhus such as the Nagas, Urdhwavahurs, Kalpvasis present. They were naked and their bodies were covered with ash and long hairs. I met a person who was standing a bit away from the mob madness visiting with his brother-in-law. He updated me that the Nagas were such due to their daily life habits as they had the capacity to withstand all temperatures. They consume some heavy amount of Marijuana and believe that it helps them to get enlightened. My experience at the Kumbh Fair Allahabad was really out of words and explanation.