Ganges - something for everyone

The banks of the river Ganges is a wonderful place for a travelling photojournalist - there are seemingly endless documentary images to be made and stories to be told wherever you look.  At last years Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad this was the case even more so than normal.  Wherever you looked there were people - literally millions of people - doing something in or alongside the river, whether bathing, making offerings or simply trying to make a living.  While people were throwing small coins into the river as offerings - children were there with their trousers rolled up towing powerful magnets through the shallow waters in the hope of catching any small coins they could attract.  Coconuts bought from vendors on the banks would be gently placed in the river and prayers given by devotees as they floated away downstream - only to be netted from strategic vantage points 100 yards away and sold back to the vendors in order that they could then be sold back to worshippers at a profit.  In many respects this fits perfectly with many of the beliefs of Hinduism - endless cycles of creation, preservation and reincarnation.

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KUMBHMELA_1578