3/15/2010 | India , Uttarakhand

Kumbh Mela Part V: Somavati Amavasya

Until March 15, 2010 in Haridwar, despite having been to Varanasi and other sacred cities on the Ganga (Ganges) numerous times the extent of my contact with the river had been limited to washing my hands in the icy cold waters at Gomukh, the point at which the Ganges flows from the Gangotri Glacier and starts its journey to the Bay of Bengal.  Frankly the reason for this is that the holy Ganges like all rivers in India is incredibly filthy.  It’s hard to voluntarily put your skin in contact with water that you see garbage, raw sewage, dead animals, and human remains thrown into constantly along its long journey to the sea.  Nevertheless on Somavati Amavasya the auspiciousness day Hindus believe that a dip in a holy river will have especially good karmic results, at the Kumbh Melah which happens once every 12 years in Haridwar, I decided to risk the bacterial invested waters for the chance at a greater karmic reward.  It didn’t hurt matters that water looked refreshingly inviting at Haridwar in the hot afternoon sun.  The swift flowing water at Haridwar is certainly not as repulsive as the stagnate slow moving water at Varanasi, if I was going to take a dip in the Ganga this was the time and place.  So I took my dip and had my friend Robin who I had met up with the day before document the event with my camera for posterity.  Been there done that.

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