Back at the Kumbh

The blog has been a little quiet as Ive been sick, yes again, this time with bronchitis which took me out of action for a few days. But after a course of antibiotics (I hate taking any type of pills) I feel 100% again. I´ve been sick a few times on this trip which is unusual for me normally I´m a pretty healthy specimen of a man, perhaps I´m just getting old.

Anyway back to photography. I returned to Haridwar to shoot the Kumbh mela again as I felt there were a few shots missing from my collection, like the one below.

I´m now in Amristar in Punjab and off later today to shoot the golden temple – sounds good huh? I´ll share the results in the next couple of days.

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    March 2010 wallpaper

    This short, but extremely busy, month nearly caught me out with regards to the monthly wallpaper, I’m normally pretty good as far as being organised goes but having been traveling for so long & with no real routine I seem to be losing track of time some what.

    It was shot at the Kumbh mela a few weeks ago. I should be able to get some more holi pics up on the blog in the next day or 2, but at the moment I’m so busy shooting the festival, so hang tight.

    How do you put this image on your desktop ?? well….

    Click the link below that matches your screen resolution then right click the image and click ‘Set as desktop background’ or ‘Use Image as Desktop Picture” on the Mac. If you want different sizes just let me know.

    1024×768 | 1280×800| 1280×853 | 1440×900 | 2560×1600

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      Kumbh mela – Online gallery

      The observant of you will have noticed that I now have a Kumbh Mela gallery on my site, I’ll be adding more images to this if all goes well.

      Last Friday saw the first of the royal bathing days for the Kumbh mela, this one was called ‘Shivratri’ – the birthday of the Hindu god Shiva. On these sacred days thousands of naked and semi clad naga sadhus proceed to the ghats to bath in the Ganges. Naga sadhus or naga bubas are said to spend most of their lives with out even the most basic of possessions including clothes. In reality most have blankets and jewelery while  a few have mobile phones and some, get this, even have the luxury of  a TV in their tent, my hotel room didn’t even have a TV!! anyway I digress.

      Its really is a spectacular sight to watch these ash coated warriors walk, run & dance to the ghats for bathing, although difficult to shoot as an estimated 2 million pilgrims were in town to watch the procession.

      I’m now in Delhi, sorting out a few personal things, washing my laundry for one, before heading off to khajuraho for a traditional Indian dance festival. If all goes well I’ll share my images with you shortly.

      As always I’d love your comments.

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        Kumbh mela 2010 – just a couple more pics

        Nothing really exciting to report but just wanted to show a couple of  pics from recent days. They show the 2 main events of the mela. The first being morning bathing in the Ganges to purify your body and spirit, the second be the processions by the naked naga sadhus, who are considered the holiest of all sadhus and I’ve found them to be extremely hospitable, inviting me into there camps to share food and tea.

        More photos can be seen in my previous posts :

        Here & Here & Here

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          More ways to connect & more from Kumbh mela

          The observant of you will have noticed an increase in the amount of little coloured square boxes in the menu bar over the last couple of weeks. These are all the different ways you can now keep in touch with me.

          Let me give you a quick run down of what each one is for.

          Rss feed – Use this one to be automatically updated every time I make a new blog post. Try it here. Cool huh?

          Twitter – Instant messaging with a difference. Follow me here

          Facebook – I think we all know what facebook is, if not ….. well don’t worry about it. Become a fan here

          LinkedIn – Business orientated networking tool Connect here

          Skype – make and receive Internet phone calls. Install Skype and call me here – Its free !!

          Google wave – Its not a completed product yet but promises to be massive combining, email, Instant messaging and so much more, it’s by invitation only at the moment, if you’d like an invite just let me know. Or if you’re already on board add me as a contact TomBourdonPhotography@googlewave.com (note: This is not an email address, I know, I know it looks just like one but its not – I’ve tried)

          Meanwhile back at the mela and the crowds here at the Kumbh mela are really squeezing in as pilgrims arrive from all over India for Fridays procession. Already there have been a few smaller processions and here and I thought I’d share a few pics taken earlier in the week. I had afew days away ffrom here but glad to be back.

          If you missed my 2 previous posts on the kumbh mela you can catch up here

          Kumbh mela 2010 – a first look & Kumbha mela 2010

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            Kumbh mela 2010

            Tight restrictions on photographers here in Haridwar have made shooting this event difficult.

            Millions of pilgrims are expected to arrive over the 4 months of the mela to bath in the river Ganges during this auspicious time. However police have prohibited photography in the main bathing ghats and have been enforcing this with vigor. As I stated in a previous post that I’ve had to look elsewhere and shoot the event in a different way than I’d planned. I arrived here with a shot list that included bright saris, splashing in the water, actually getting into the water myself & getting real close as people bath. I’ve managed to shoot a few shots like this including the one below, which was shot before the restrictions came into place, but its difficult to see how I can cross off any more of my shots from the list, at least for the moment.

            The special guests for this Hindu celebration are the sadhu’s. Who according with tradition have renounced all there personal possessions and lead a nomadic life. I’ve been spending many an hour with these colour characters and I’m having possibly some of the best travel experiences of my life. Over 250 000 sadhus are expected to arrive and they’ll all be staying in various akharas (camps sites) dotted around the city and this is where I’ve been concentrating my efforts, in and around the tents, drinking chai & eating meals with the sadhus has given me great access to the shoot the lives of some very interesting people.

            As always comments are open and I’d love you thoughts.

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