Naga Sadhu smoking Chillum

A naga sadhu smoking chillum during the Kumbh Mela 2010 in Haridwar
Naga Sadhu | Kumbh Mela | Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

A Naga Sadhu (wandering Hindu holy man) smoking Chillum during the Kumbh Mela. These Sadhus remain naked all the time, have long dreadlocks, and smear their bodies with ash.

Kumbha (pot) Mela (fair) is the world’s largest religious gathering. Kumbh Mela occurs four times in twelve years and rotates among the following four locations: Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik.

102 Replies to “Naga Sadhu smoking Chillum”

  1. waaat????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this wud be mind blasting for many people who visit ur blog..i didnt know abt all this… spreading the culture thru ur blog .. u took so much trouble to attend this n shoot naked sadhus :P haha

  2. Whoooooo – this is stunning. I like that you took the shot out of his perspective (sitting) – so I can get the impression be inside this scene.

  3. Oh my this is documentary shot, seems back in the old years when Claude Levi-Strauss studied ethnology and discovered unknown tribes & habits that helped opening our so-called civilized (poor) minds. Bravo, superb monochrome with depth of Feeling ;)

  4. That is one powerful photo. He has certainly felt and experienced much in life as he wandered. Today, we are flying to the Appalachian Mountains to begin our 2,500 miles of wandering over six months of time. It will be fun to live and flow with nature again.

  5. The last time I saw a naga sadhu was in Vrindavan. I am so amazing to see that man walking naked in a marketplace and acted so normally. And he was talking to people like a very normal person. I am even more amazed to see locals talking him normally. The only people who found it awkward were the tourists. All I have to say is cultures of India are so mysterious with such huge range of modernism and the extremes in India traditions. And your photographs documents them well.

  6. absolutely incredible capture, joshi. a vivid depiction of customs and practices so foreign to the “Western” world. I have to say that i was always quite shy about taking peoples photos, and when I did, tried to do so from a distance. I am impressive that you were able to capture this.

  7. great use of angle and perspective, and the black and white is just right!
    thanks for the information, we did not know of this – and you are allow to photograph too – great place and surely there must be lots to capture!!

  8. Hi…saw this photograph a few days back and found it stunning. Was at the Kumbh recently and going back again. You’ve captured so much more than just the visual.
    (and thanks for voting for my blog post on indiblogger…that means you READ it :D)

  9. Powerful imagery. I guess nobody interferes with his choice to remain nude, but is there a limit to settings or places he’s allowed to enter?

  10. This photo and information should be picked up by “Life” magazine.
    Your image is graphic but in good taste for the artciles you have written.
    Learning about other cultures is a good part of why I travel. It’s what I look for when I am going to photograph in a foreign location.
    Thanks for posting …
    Great worrk.

  11. Has anybody gone through the mindset while they are having their’ kash on chilm’ or while they are not at it all.

    These people have little attachment either to their body or their relations. This detachment brings in its wake their attachment to our Creator.

    These people are also bereft of any worldly worries. Every moment is just an ecstasy!

    Thanks for sharing.

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