Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
Location: Macau, China
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer based in Macau, China, that focus his work mostly in South East Asia. Previously he worked for several years in South America. He graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo (ESJ)... read on
Public Story
Credits: eduardo leal
Date of Work: 01/11/19 - 03/04/19
Updated: 05/28/19
Location: Prayagraj, India
India’s Kumbh Mela is considered the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. Just on the last Kumbh, that finished on Prayagraj last March, it is estimated that approximately 220 million people attended, according to the festival organization.

In the whole festival, there is no more auspicious place than the Triveni Sangam, commonly referred as Sangam (meaning in Sanskrit confluence of three rivers), where the pale-yellow waters of the Ganges river meet the blue waters of the Yamuna and the mythical Sarawswati river.

The legend says that a drop of the nectar of immortality fell in four places of India during a mythological battle between gods and demons, turning the waters of Sangam extremely sacred and auspicious when astrology dictates.

So every twelve years, devout Hindus from all over the world come to the Kumbh Mela on a religious pilgrimage and brave the cold weather during the early hours of dawn, when purification is essential,  to take a holy dip in the icy waters. It is believed that bathing in the Sangam not only expiates sins but also frees one from the cycle of birth and death. Only after the purification, they are allowed to offer prayers to the gods.
In the end, this place is not only a confluence of holy waters, but it is also the confluence of happiness and celebration, friendship and confrontation, meditation and self-realization. 

By Eduardo Leal —

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