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« The Kumbh Mela, 2013 | Main | 'River of Faith' meets Amazon »

February 19, 2013


As it turns out, the Jaipur Literature Festival last month had a session on the Kumbh Mela. Its video is online now and I think it makes a good companion video to this film. It features Sir James Mallinson in conversation with Diana Eck and Purushottam Agrawal.


This is the best video on the Kumbh Mela ever. Thank you for making it.

A great film. A brilliant and very balanced treatment and I am sure it was exhausting but fun to film. Well done. Having been there myself on previous Kumbhs it brought the reality and the atmosphere back to me. I loved the way you paced it. Mike Yorke

Dear Namit, This is a riveting film however I wonder why you choose to ignore to mention of mystical river 'Saraswati'.

Isn't Sangam a confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati? I'm asking this because you have mentioned about other believes in your film.

Leaving that aside this video has been wonderfully shot, all kudos to you.


Thanks R, Shalu, Mike, and Vinod. Appreciate your comments.

Vinod, regarding Saraswati, the two times that I talked about the confluence in the film, I factually described the location of the mela and what happens at the point called Sangam, not what the pilgrims believe. Had I chosen to mention what pilgrims believe, I would certainly have included Saraswati — but that's rather well known about Sangam, so I chose not to because of limited narration time. Interestingly, Xuanzang also mentioned the confluence of two rivers in his description of the site in 7th century CE.

Loved reading through this entire article. I have a wish to visit kumbh mela atleast once in my lifetime.

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Books by Namit Arora

  • “Namit Arora does for Silicon Valley what Tom Wolfe did for Wall Street in The Bonfire of the Vanities: with keen eye and sharp wit, he captures the culture and mores of the place. But Arora is funnier. And sweeter.” —S. Abbas Raza, Editor, 3QD.

  • The Lottery of Birth reveals Namit Arora to be one of our finest critics. In a raucous public sphere marked by blame and recrimination, these essays announce a bracing sensibility, as compassionate as it is curious, intelligent and nuanced.” —Pankaj Mishra

Shunya Website

Namit wins 3QD Arts & Literature Prize 2011

Namit Arora's India Photo Archive