The Kumbh Mela

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of India  , Uttarakhand,
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Woke Lady E with a cup of Chai in bed at 06:00 in order to avoid the mid day sun and peak mentalness / crushing etc. A wonderful peaceful morning stroll all the way along the Ghats watching the first bathers get stuck in. Lots of lecture tents with lots of Holymen and free food everywhere we just wish we could speak a bit of Hindi to understand a bit more of what is going on. 

One man with a bright orange face wanted to paint my face orange as well but I opted to stay freckled as I couldnt make out if he wanted money (again my usual communication issues).

The walk down to the main bathing area was lovely before the real heat came on and it was rather peaceful considering. The main bathing area was busy but we could still get down to all the main areas. It was here we bumped into our friends from the train (the ones that i was convinced fancied the camera) who looked delighted to see us down there.

Back to the hotel to get the lunchtime serving. We are not allowed to eat buffets due to the bacteria breeding in 'warm food' however if we are waiting when it comes out we can smash in a quick eat as much as you can. Then again we havent eaten for 24 hours so we are kind of peckish. 

This may also be an opportune moment to let you know that Lady E and I are both vegetarians and tee total. Yes just to recap we are non drinking vegetarians, no seriously we are! Or we have been for 4 days now. Haridwar is a permanently dry city due to its holy nature and the lack of 'restaurants' and bars / off licenses in Delhi mean that we havent drunk either. Next we are going to another big temple so we wont drink there either. Its kind of fun this.... "Oh 2 more lamb bhunas and 8 kingfisher over here cock, and make it snappy". 

We set off for the main event down on the Ganges at about 17:30 and watched the ceremony in a very busy but athmospheric area. The sun set and the hindus prayed and chanted before being blessed all around by wafting sacred fire around and almost inhaling it to bless themselves a lot of pushing and shoving but all in all a very interesting experience. Our man from Ashton Avi gave us some really good detailed info about Hinduism beliefs, culture and different outfits etc and answered all the questions we had from the day. e.g. we are not only vegies we are root free vegetarians at the moment, so we dont eat onions or garlic, this is because certain strands of the hindu faith believe that eating root vegetables is taking away from the earth i.e (almost they are alive). Why do some men wear white and some wear orange and so on and so on.

Decided to eat in the hotel tonight, ooohhh the bean curd masala was a treat!!!!!
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M&D on

what a fantastic sight. enjoy the tee total, vegetarian time! Our journey now is virtually ended. Liked the episode reminiscent of Malaysia. Hope Lady E coped with you.

salt@vinegar on

doubt it very much unless she has become a stepford wife!!!!!!!!

Gregg & Graeme on

Er......tee total........vegetarian.......?!?!?!??!?! What have you done with Eggsie and Andrew?!?!?!

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