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Stunning portraits taken in and around Haridwar and Rishikesh during the Kumbh Mela festival, March 2010.

One of the worlds largest festivals, the Kumbh Mela will often have millions of participants gather together for special ‘bathing days,’ on which they will ceremoniously dip into the holy river water.

This portraiture series features not only some of the unique looking ‘holy men’ that wander the banks of the Ganges but also many of the local community that live, eat, and pray alongside the holiest river in India…the Ganges.

If you like what you see, visit the photographer at his website.

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About The Author

Martin Prihoda

Martin Prihoda is an editorial and advertising photographer born in Canada but currently residing in Mumbai. He is a regular contributor to Vogue, GQ and Harpers Bazaar as well as a large advertising client base. He is passionate about portraiture photography and his current project “Faces of the Kumbh” is a personal project featuring portraiture work in Rishikesh and Haridwar, North India. Visit his website.

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  • joshua johnson

    Above and beyond beautiful, I had a hard time scrolling past the first image! Very, very nice work Martin.

  • Lola

    Indeed! Stunning work and great use of light.

  • Candice

    Wow wow wow wow.

  • Anne

    Wow! Stunning! Also, how amazing is that 102-year-old man?

  • Mike Pugh

    Woah. Really stylish and wonderful.

    • Meenakshi

      totally agree with u.. Mike!

  • Nick

    Love it! One of the most striking set of photos I’ve ever seen. Agree with Josh about the first pics, but I think my fav is Yogi Vishwa – he looks so energised.

  • Sophie

    Amazing! Such vivid colours, so full of hope. Especially liked no 9.

  • Doug Bardwell

    Absolutely beautiful lighting. Care to share the gear you take on these shoots? So very, very well done. Congratulations.

  • suzan banajee

    absolutely amazing photography just love the way u play with light and colour. congratualtions

  • Sketch Addict

    Just found this link while tweeting,.,!!
    I Belong to the same place (Haridwar).,. and believe me these pics seems to be more beautiful than the place really is..!
    Amazing Photography!

  • happy

    I love your work and I love India! Land of unbelievable beauty.

  • James

    Some nice compositions. Great light! Check out this photographer sometime — similar subject matter to you.

  • Christine B.Osborne

    The crippled feet and the wheelchair is a brilliant photograph. But if these are images from the Kumbh
    Mela, where are the great crowds of bathers? Fakirs, or sadhus posing, are not hard to take.

  • Daniel

    Thanks for the stunning pictures! You might also like to have a look at a comprehensive article that I have written on the Kumbh Mela (together with some beautiful photographs done by the very talented Enrico Fabian). You will find it here:

  • Photos

    Nice subject matter, but too much post processing for my taste.

  • Zishaan


  • Corrine Plieth

    Magical imagery and masterful technique. Love it!

  • Jonny

    Wow. Really, really cool. I couldn’t think of a thousand words to express what these pictures do. Excellent job.

  • Bobs

    India is a marvelously photogenic country and your photographs convey some of that flavor. I don’t like your use of contrast and vignette, however, which is far too strong and detracts the eye from the otherwise interesting content. Good composition but far too much photoshop.

  • Valerio

    Hi There,
    stunning pictures.
    I was at the Kumbh Mela too, and came out with a book that instead of focusing on the Sadhus, does it focus on the million of Pilgrims that go there without holy credentials.
    You can flip through all my pictures at this following link,


  • charlotte Hans

    Dear Martin
    Unbelievable, you are amazing,I have never seen such beautiful work. As my mom would say , Martin Don’t Change A Thing! It’s perfect. Congratulations on Jai, we will look forward in meeting your little guy. Think of you and Tonia often, Be Safe. I really enjoyed looking at your fabulous portraits. lots of Love Charlotte

  • kumar

    Original dread locks

  • Danielle

    This is incredible! You capture such composition, it almost looks staged and yet it is so natural… You make me want to go there and see it for myself! :)

  • Saugat Datta

    Om Namo Narayan

    Good job on the photographs, your subjects are extraordinary and your image enhancements are on the spot with it.

    Your first image is a Naga Sadhu of Awahaan Akhara, great yogi named Shivrajgiri. Thought you might wanna know the name since a lot of people left comments about that first image.

    I have been working with these babas with my partner Nicole Jaquis and her project to teach digital media to sahus

    congrats again on the photographs.

  • Noel

    really excellent photos with a message and story, wonderful to look at.

  • Meenakshi

    absolutely stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mohansindia

    Kumbh Mela Coffee Table book Launch ……. kindly visit this :

  • Rajesh

    A perfect accommodation option for photographers in Kumbh Mela 2013 at Allahabad:We are Allahabad based company, providing fully furnished wooden cottages in MahaKumbh 2013 Allahabad.These cottages are located in Mela ground and well connected with all areas of interest with safety & convenience. To know more & get best package just call us @ +91 9871993981, +91 9873178531 or write us to get the best deal:-

  • José Lima Pereira

    Sou fan dos Naga Babas.

  • Sreerag Ks


  • Chetan Shrimal

    Good Pictures

  • Chetan Shrimal

    Good Pictures

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