THE BLOG
01/13/2015 03:25 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Portraits from India

If you are camping next to a river, where a party with loud music is going all night, you could be in a couple of locations. You could be in California during spring break or you could be in India during the Kumbh Mela. If your neighbors at the river are sober, respectful, Hindu, and there are millions, you are at the Kumbh Mela.

The Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering on earth. I attended this historic event in Allahabad, India. An estimated 120 million attended to bathe at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers over a 55 day period. The Kumbh Mela occurs every 12 years. It marks the most auspicious period for Hindus to wash away past sins for a new beginning.

The religious pilgrims arrived by dangerously overcrowded trains, buses, trucks, cars, camels, and by foot. The people were friendly and focused. These are the photographs of the wonderful people I met.

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Hindu man at dawn just after exiting the Ganges.
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Millions of Hindu pilgrims entering area surrounding Ganges River.
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Millions of Hindus enter the Ganges here and at other sites.
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Couple wades into the cold water of the Ganges River
Photo by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Young man dressed as the Hindu deity Shiva
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Hindu mother with child in one of the camping areas at the Kumbh Mela
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Most of the millions that came to the Kumbh Mela came as families.
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

stephen wallace

Pontoons, seen in the background, are used to float bridges across Ganges River.
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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This is a group of Naga Sadhus. They are an ascetic Hindu group that wear groin clothes and wipe ashes on their skin.
Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.

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Photograph by Stephen Wallace, M.D., J.D.
Oceanside, California
stephenwallace.zenfolio.com
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