Photo of the Week: Naga Sadhu

Naga Sadhu (naked holy man) at Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, India

Naga Sadhu (naked holy man) at Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, India

Naga Sadhu at the Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, India

I took this photo in the Naga Sadhu’s camp during the Kumbh Mela in April 2010. I went into Haridwar for the day with two men who were also staying at Aurovalley Ashram — Lalit and Jean-Pierre. We spent an amazing day together, hanging out with the sadhus, swimming in the Ganges and having a lot of fun. I could never have had these experiences without the help of Lalit, who is a large, gregarious Punjabi man who speaks Hindi (and English and French). We spent a long time in this camp, where I bonded with this incredibly sweet young man (but I don’t remember his name!). I wrote about another Kumbh Mela day — the main bathing day — in Alone, and at home, at the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering on earth.

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10 Responses to Photo of the Week: Naga Sadhu

  1. chrissy July 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    excellent photo!

  2. Devaraj Muralidharan July 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Dear Mariellen Ward,

    Nice photo, but I am sure you must have shot several others at Haridwar. Would love to see them too. Alongwith your impressions of the holy place.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Dev, Kuala Lumpur, malaysia.

  3. Mariellen July 20, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    Hi Dev,

    I wrote about the Kumbh Mela on this blog and I have uploaded lots of pictures to my Flickr account, which you can access from the LOOK FOR ME sidebar, on the right. Cheers.

  4. marylouise July 25, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    I have just found your your Blog on India.I am a confirmed lover of India, having travelled there many times. I now plan to read all of your blogs and look at your photos as I find this entry, today, to be exceptional. We know all the positives and negatives about India and its a pleasure to find an author who understands the beauty and joy of India, despite many pitfalls. Thank you, Marylouise

  5. Mariellen July 25, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Marylouise, Thank you so much for your comment. It really means a lot to me. I really do see beauty when I am in India, and I really do love being there. It is not a trial for me, the way it is for so many travelers and tourists. It really feels like a home.

  6. prakash December 11, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    wonder full photo

  7. Ashish December 30, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    Hi Mariellen,

    Thank you for your interest in Indian culture. I would recommend you to visit Western Parts of India too (Maharashtra State) if not visited. It has wonderful mix of western and Old Indian heritage. There are lot of forts, Old British Buildings, wonderful rivers, Hill stations, US based MNCs,, Call Centers.

    Additionally the climate in Pune is also beautiful. I would love to meet you here soon. I am working for a US based MNC in Pune.

    Waiting for your reply!


  8. unioin January 14, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    nudity and drugs in the name of religion; what the hell.
    i am you know that is an integral part of kumb mela.

  9. santosh January 20, 2013 at 10:59 am #


  10. Rachit Aggarwal November 18, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    Horrible sadhu.

    I don’t know how much it is true but it is said that most of the Blue films are shot in Ashrams of Haridwar.

    Without fire, there is no smoke and thus i also think to some extent, this is true.

    I belong to Saharanpur, 60 km from haridwar and went to rishikesh/haridwar every summer.
    Rachit Aggarwal recently posted..MahaShivratri celebrations at Brahma Kumaris, Shanti SarovarMy Profile

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