As many as 8.5 million people bathed at the Sangam in Allahabad on Makar Sankranti day on January 14, which marked the beginning of the 55 day Kumbh festival. Unofficial estimates put the number of devotees who offered prayers at the ghats at over 10 millionPhotographs by: Avikal Somvanshi
What the teeming crowds left behind after washing off their sinsPhotographs by: Avikal Somvanshi
Sadhus and common people thronged the ghats throughout the dayPhotographs by: Meeta Ahlawat
Boats wallow in the muck left behindPhotographs by: Avikal Somvanshi
Not wishing to be left behind, residents of the host city also joined the crowdsPhotographs by: Meeta Ahlawat
As the sun set, artificial lights hid much of the filth from sight, though not the stenchPhotographs by: Meeta Ahlawat
The safai karamcharis on duty proved insufficient at the end of the dayPhotographs by: Meeta Ahlawat
Prayer for salvationPhotographs by: Avikal Somvanshi
Awaiting another sunrisePhotographs by: Avikal Somvanshi
Boatmen say there was a time when it was difficult to move the oars because of the presence of large number of migratory birds at the Kumbh. This year there were hardly any birds to be seenPhotographs by: Meeta Ahlawat
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.