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At the Sangam: Is that the Saibaba I see?

December 12, 2014 11:56 IST

Images from the Sangam in Allahabad. Text and photographs: Rajesh Karkera/

The Sangam Triveni

The Sangam is where the Ganga, Yamuna and the legendary Saraswati meet. Considered holy by millions of Hindus, a visit here is a must in their lifetime.

Women take a dip on the banks of the Sangam

Also called the Triveni Sangam, a bath here is said to wash away all of one's sins.

Boats anchored by the locals at Sangam

This is where the muddy pale yellow waters of the Ganga merges with the blue waters of the Yamuna. And the Saraswati flows quietly, below the radar.

Boats connected by a platform at the Sangam Triveni

At the point where all the rivers meet, devotees can take a dip using platforms erected by connecting boats, plied by locals who make their living out of it.

Taking a dip in the Sangam
For devotees who don't mind sharing the same boat the cost is anything between Rs 10 and 30 per head.

Hiring a boat will cost you anything between Rs 500 and 1,000 depending on your bargaining power.

Siberian migratory birds give the devotees company

Siberian migratory birds provide the devotees company. These birds make the wetlands their home and announce the arrival of winter. They come here to breed and by March they fly back.

Siberian migratory birds being fed by the devotees

The local boatmen welcome the birds as they make some extra money selling bird food to devotees.

A sadhu on the banks of the Sangam

The Kumbh Mela, held once every 12 years on the banks of the Sangam, attracts millions of devotees.

Kanta Prasad from Satna, Madhya Pradesh, plays the ektara

Some gather to seek alms; others claim to have come down from the Himalayas for the Kumbh Mela.

Sadhus come for a dip in the Sangam

Oblivious to his surroundings

Sadhus make the banks of the Sangam their home for a few months and live on alms given by the devotees. Some sing, some cook. Most are in their own world.

Chand Bibi from Barabanki, comes to Sangam to fend for her 6 children for a few months a year

The banks of the Sangam provide a livelihood to many.

Chand Bibi, along with her husband Mohammad Irfan and six daughters, move from their home in Barabanki to Allahabad for a few months every year to make a living at the Sangam.

A flute seller boy on the Banks of the Sangam

Hari, a flute-seller, goes to school in the evening and is up early morning to sell his flutes.

A bindi seller shows off his wares

A bindi-seller shows off his designs on the palm of his hand.

The setting sun at the Sangam

Evening is settling in at the Sangam and the boats get anchored at the banks...

Rickshawallahs in Allahabad

Rickshawallahs are more than enthusiastic to take you back to the hotel even before the sun starts setting.

A mirage!

A visual I saw on the way back.., Is that Saibaba sitting there, I wonder!

Rajesh Karkera/ in Allahabad