A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting the Kumbh Mela

A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting the Kumbh Mela

A photographer reveals his secrets on shooting the holy festival.

Lensman Abhishek Hajela has shot the Kumbh Mela multiple times—starting with Haridwar Maha Kumbh in 2010. He was so enthralled by the energy and magnetism of the festival the first time that he went back to Haridwar three times during the three-month long event. Since then, he has photographed the Allahabad (now Prayagraj) and Ujjain Kumbh, and has already planned his visit to Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, which starts from January 15. His reason for returning to the festival time after time? “It’s like shooting all of India in one place.”

This photo story has some of his best shots through the years, with tips for amateurs.

For details on this year’s Kumbh Mela, go here: kumbh.gov.in

  • Lubna Amir is Jr. Assistant Editor at National Geographic Traveller India. She travels in the search for happy places (which invariably involve a beach) and good food. When she’s not planning her next escape, you can find her curled up with a book or researching recipes.

  • Abhishek Hajela is the recipient of the prestigious Nikon World Photography Award. He works with Olympus, Go Pro and Manfrotto in India to lead and design photography trips; apart from working with US photographers on India Photo Trips.

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