Niranjani akhara peshwai at Mahakumbh mela 2010, Haridwar Photo journal

Anisha Sharma
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Niranjani Akhara is one of the 13 akharas in Haridwar.

The Mahakumbh mela at Haridwar  is part of a longstanding tradition where millions of spiritual seekers and teachers come together at the banks of River Ganga.

Niranjani Akhara is one of the 13 akharas in Haridwar. All akharas have a parade in Haridwar on a day each to themselves. The parade is welcomed by seekers on the roads of Haridwar.

Niranjani Akhara parade or peshwai started from Kankhal and ended at Niranjani Akhara at Niranjani Akhara Road on 7th February 2010. Udasin Akhara's preshwai/parade will take place on 12th March 2010.

Niranjani Akhara Road is on the banks of River Ganga. It has many ashrams and guest houses. It is close to the railway station and popular for its reasonable accomodation facilities with private bathing ghats and changing rooms.

Safe Parking at Niranjani Akhara Road, converted into a camp/chhavani for sadhus attending Maha Kumbh 2010

Safe Parking at Niranjani Akhara Road, converted into a camp/chhavani for sadhus attending Maha Kumbh 2010

Niranjani Akhara Panchayat

Niranjani Akhara Panchayat, Haridwar

Sri Hanuman temple in the premises of Niranjani Akhara Panchayat

Sri Hanuman temple in the premises of Niranjani Akhara Panchayat, Haridwar

Waiting for the peshwai to arrive…

Maha Kumbh, Haridwar

A lady guru at Niranjani Akhara peshwai

A lady guru at Niranjani Akhara peshwai, Haridwar

Slogans against dowry, infanticide, illiteracy and deforestation

Maha Kumbh 2010, women at Niranjani Akhara peshwai, Haridwar

Sadhus, Maha kumbh, 2010, haridwar

Naga sadhus saying Alakh Niranjan in the Niranjani Akhara peshwai

Naga sadhus saying Alakh Niranjan in the Niranjani Akhara peshwai, Haridwar

It was past sunset when the parade came towards the finish point, and a sprinkling of rain announced that the gods were happy. The city administration and police were happy too. The day long parade involving lakhs of people over a 10 km stretch was a well-organised event.

As an onlooker, I celebrated the festive spirit in the air. There were a lot of smiling people in Haridwar. Most people seemed to be smiling to themselves. Maha Kumbh is a special time for seekers of divinity. Sadhus have travelled from all over the country and beyond. They are camping in places allotted for them. The administration has organised this mega-event with due attention to details. Life guards, extra bridges, painted buildings, clean roads, clean camps, abundant food and firewood for sadhus…

Maha Kumbh peshwai, Haridwar

The end of the parade.

A peek inside Niranjani Akhara camp

Niranjani akhara Chhavani, Haridwar maha Kumbh 2010

It was time for evening arti, and the sadhus were preparing for it. In the picture we see the deities that individual sadhus worship and have brought together on a common platform as they share a tent, experiences and worship. Guru Dattatraya is the guru of Niranjani Akhara and Kartikeya, the elder son of Shiva, their Commander-in-Chief.

Photo credits: Anisha Sharma




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