India 2013 Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela

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India. Uttar Pradesh state. Allahabad. Maha Kumbh Mela. Royal bath on Mauni Amavasya Snan (Dark moon). The ritual "Royal Bath" is timed to match an auspicious planetary alignment, when believers say spiritual energy flows to earth. Naga (naked) Sadhus celebrate their joy after taking a dip in Sangam and worship the river Ganges. The Naga Sadhus have their bodies smeared with ashes. They were once warriors, that's why they still carry weapons, such as Gada, Trishula with Dumroo and Swords. A gada is an Indian legendary martial art weapon that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver powerful blows. It typically consists of a single strong, heavy metal shaft featuring a ball-shaped head made of metal. The head is used to strike the opponent by holding the shaft. The gada is the main weapon of the Hindu God Hanuman, an avatar (incarnation) of Shiva. A trishula is a type of Indian trident, commonly used as a Hindu religious symbol. The word means "three spear" in Sanskrit. In India, the term often refers to a short-handled weapon which may be mounted on a danda or staff. The trishula is wielded by the Hindu God Shiva. Dumroo is probably the oldest and traditional form of percussion instrument in India. It is most commonly known for its association with Lord Shiva. The sword is the weapon of Kali who is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment. The Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering is held every 12 years on the banks of the 'Sangam'- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. 10.02.13 © 2013 Didier Ruef