Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
   
Sangam
Location: Porto
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer usually based in Macau, China. Previously he worked for several years in South America. He graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo (ESJ) and has a Masters in Photojournalism... MORE
Public Story
Sangam
Copyright Eduardo Leal 2022
Date of Work Jan 2019 - Mar 2019
Updated Apr 2020
Location Prayagraj, India
Topics Celebrations, Documentary, Editorial, Faith, Hinduism, Joy, Photography, Portraiture, Religion, Spirituality, Travel, Water
India’s Kumbh Mela is considered the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. Just on the last Kumbh, which finished on Prayagraj last March, it is estimated that approximately 120 million people attended, according to the festival organization.

In the whole festival, there is no more auspicious place than the Triveni Sangam, commonly referred to 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. 
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