REVIEW OF UJJAIN KUMBH MELA 2016
A guided photo tour of Ujjain Kumbh Mela has been organised from 8th May – 12th May 2016. I am very happy to share some of the participant's works and their views about this tour.
I want to thank each and every participant for joining this tour.
It has occupied a permanent place in my memory... We were sitting inside the tent of the "Akhara" and chatting with the Sadhu regarding the "Shahi Snan" which took place two days ago. His Chela provided us with the delicious "khichdi" which we finished in no time. The Sadhu was explaining the meaning of "Kumbh", "Samudra Manthan", etc which every Indian has been listening as a myth, but probably cannot relate to their very existence. He said, "Manthan" does not merely mean the tussle between Good and Evil, it actually represents the real world where there are all the different kind of people. Every human being should experience this various nature and culture to enrich their life. Kumbh provides us with this opportunity to meet the ocean of people from every possible category of human beings. I was fortunate to experience this real Kumbh only because of Apratim.
Apratim's team for Ujjain Kumbh 2016, was also sort of mini Kumbh. There were people from far east, Singapore, as well as from west, Dubai. Participants came from a northern neighbour of India, Nepal as well as from farthest south, Kerala. Apratim played the perfect host, taking care of everything and updating each detail since a month before the actual event. We had the privilege to observe Kumbh, from a closest possible distance, being actually part of the procession for Shahi Snan of the Naga sadhus. We even had the access to Akharas to observe their holy rituals closely.
Personally, for me, it was much more than a mere photography tour. Thank you Apratim, for this lifetime experience. Hope to be part of many more events in future.
I had a Kumbha workshop at Ujjain with Mr. Apratim Saha, a photographer of national geography stock. As usual, I was extremely worried about the conveyance and lodging because Kumbha is Asia’s largest fair, lots of people were coming for the same, it's very difficult to get into appropriate shape for shooting as a novice photographer. But everything was nicely arranged and organised by him, we were almost 20 people, the locality was very close to Shipra river where the mela was happening! On the contrary, he was very caring to all of us and briefing all of the places where we have shoot, he used to take us there personally and everything was organised very systematically. Rooms were very spacious and comfortable, the food was extraordinary, even if it was not a kind of workshop but he himself use to guide us as a senior photographer. That was a great help after the tour ended he gave us a briefing, critiqued our snaps,and that is very important after a foto shoot. I personally recommend his photo tour as the best one because I hate too much professional attitude. He is really a very nice and sober person and I feel it's a great opportunity to have photo tour with him as a senior photographer. I will look forward to having some tours wid him in feature also. I highly recommend Apratim Saha as a mentor.
Best ever PhotoTour attended in recent times, where Learning/Sharing/Experiencing knowledge was facilitated from the Best bunch of Photographers from different work fields from different parts of the Globe as a Single family.
Umesh. U. V
I was part of Apratim Saha’s photography tour to Kumbh Mela 2016 at Ujjain. Apratim took very minute care of the logistic part of the tour. From choosing well located hotel to timely food, a well planned itinerary, a nice mix of budding and experienced photographers - all the right ingredients were in place for a very well organised tour. As a result we photographers only had to worry about taking the photographs. Apratim also went out of his way to organise impromptu workshops and review sessions and shared his vast knowledge in photography. This I think was a big plus as each one of us could compare our works.
I would highly recommend his tours.
It was a matter of chance that I saw a mention of a photo tour to the Kumbh Mela in Ujjain being conducted by Mr Apratim Saha. I had never been on an organised photo trip before and since I had planned to go to Ujjain for the Kumbh, I decided to give this a try. Mr Saha was extremely helpful during the days preceding the tour, with regular updates about Ujjain and our stay arrangements.
On reaching Ujjain in the heat of summer, I was impressed by Mr Saha's attention to detail. He had looked after the smallest details like distributing glucose packets to hydrate and cotton towels to keep the head covered from the heat.
The night before the Shahi Snan was an unforgettable experience because Apratim had arranged for our group to see the Naga sadhus at close quarters....right up till the bathing site. I do not think anyone else could have managed to do this. The opportunity that I got during the Kumbh is all thanks to Mr Saha and his amazing organisation and conduct of the tour.
I would definitely be a part of his group in future photo tours and would recommend him to all photo enthusiasts.
Thank you for the opportunity you gave me to be part of your team. I enjoyed the event and it was a new exposure for me. It was a great experience and I had a chance to meet many new people with good knowledge and life experience than me.The workshop gave good ideas on photography.
Every individual is not a single one. Another one within him/her. One who perform his sublime duty throughout the daylong day out with shades of sweets or blood for his survivals. In our complicated society the same individual live within all along with confusion, conflicts, conspiracies. But there is an another man who survives within the same, an artist, a philosopher, a novelist, a singer, a thinker and much more. In this sensual junctures, every individual is very alone along with his sensual feelings.
We get together 20 peoples and went there at Ujjain to breaking our loneliness and get the nectar of "AMRITAKUMBHA" as well as the nectar of life.
And it was an awesome experience along with our mentor Mr. Apratim Saha who makes all our desire happened for this purpose with a delicate default professional way.
It was started from the first day of initiation of the project to the end, it's all a well-managed programme . There was no lack ness of arrangement was found. I am a regular traveller even before of my photography but I never got such host, away from home. And regarding photography, I never got such experience before. I was there at Allahabad Kumbh 2013 with my self-arrangement but I could not manage the shooting so close on a prime day as I got here at Ujjain.
Once again I like to give thanks to Mr. Apratim Saha for his excellent arrangement of such programme .
At the very onset, let me clarify, I hate organised Photo Tours. As a matter of fact, I hate any kind of organised tours. It’s just that I love to organise my own things. Moreover, shooting in groups is just not my cup of tea. So when my wife asked me to accompany her on this Photo Tour to Ujjain, I had my reservations, despite knowing Apratim for a long time. However, for once I was happy to be proven wrong.
Like any Kumbh Mela, Ujjain was a chaos, an ocean of people, flowing from one end to another. However, our place was just ideal, walking distance to the main attractions but still hidden in a small lane, away from the crowd. The rooms were nice, the food was much better than anything one can expect on a tour like this. But Apratim’s greatest success was keeping a relatively large group together, leading them to the right places at the right time and then giving them their own space to shoot as they want. It was a fantastic set of photographers from as far away as Singapore to the Gulf, each willing to go the extra mile for the other. As the group comprised of both accomplished and novice photographers, Apratim dealt with each one as per his/her needs. Although this wasn’t a workshop, photographic discussions and review sessions were held. I was extremely impressed with the professionalism exhibited by Apratim and would strongly recommend his Photo Tours.
Really enjoyed and it was a different experience. Even though i lost my phones in the holy river, I am happy to say that I enjoyed some rare moments and got some good pics too.
This was one heck of a trip. I always wanted to experience Kumbh, the biggest gathering of people on earth. I have been following Apratim's (I call him dada, big brother) work for a long time, and his Kumbh images from Allahabad were very inspiring. So, when I found out he's conducting this photo-tour, I just had to join. Once, there, I realized dada had things under control in a very difficult situation. We were staying as close as it could get to the action, with most of the conveniences one can ask for during a Kumbh. Walking to the ghats was easy, and our schedules were pretty relaxed. I met a bunch of talented ad dedicated photographers from India as well as abroad and made new friends. In those five days, we became like a small and happy family, eating, chatting, joking and of course shooting together. And dada was there always, taking care of our stay, food, shooting sessions - everything. Though this was not exactly a workshop, he even arranged for a short technical session and a review session, which helped most people, especially the beginners. Apratim da arranged permissions and cards for us which helped throughout the trip. Most importantly, during shahi snan, we got access to the ghat along with naga babas from a certain akhara. This is a very rare opportunity, and we got this access only due to Apratim and his team's hard work.
Overall, the arrangements were as good as they could get under the intense pressure of this mega event. We had good food every day, and good night's sleep which was very essential. We could shoot as per our convenience and time, there were no fixed schedules, which worked for most of us. Apratim da himself led the group wherever required, and made the sessions as varied as possible. Most importantly, everyone enjoyed each other's company and this bonding was one of the best takeaways of this trip. I would highly recommend Apratim's photo-tours for any photographer, and will join them myself, whenever possible.
Accommodation: The hotel was nice and decent and just walkable distance from the Maha Kaleshwar Temple and the Holy River.
Food: The food served (b/f,lunch and dinner) was reasonably good.
Naga Sadhus Dip: Though I missed it, but you have compensated it by taking me to Naga Sadhu's and introduced them which helped me to inter act with them and seek their blessings and of course clicked photos as well. This particular experience is for me, once in life time experience.
The location where we were staying was the epicentre of all the action which takes place during Kumbh Mela. So, had tons of opportunities for photo shoot.
General: Apart from photography had a great opportunity to visit Maha Kaleshwar Temple and witnessed the Aarti at the Holy River, which was again a life time experience.
Participants: All were just fantastic, including great artist Umesh, great photographers Lopa and Sabyatchi, and other beautiful human beings from Calcutta, Bangalore, Singapore and other places.
Conclusion: This is the second tour I am attending arranged by you and am 100% satisfied by attending this one as well like the previous Varanasi Tour. You personally take care of each and every participant that is a great thing in you. I look forward to attend more and more tours.
I had attended Apratim Saha's Ujjain photo tour this year. It was wonderful photo tour. Apratim has guided us to explore different interesting places at Ujjain. The overall arrangement/ care for the participant were excellent. Would love to join once again.
Kumbh is an event to purify oneself and the belief and faith brings people from all around the globe to this event. To witness such an event was a great opportunity provided by our guru Mr. Aapratim Saha the ace photographer. This was my first photo tour and I have enriched myself about photography from our guru Mr. Apratim Saha. He is a very soft and warm welcoming person taking care of every one and of everything. Arranging the stay and food in such mammoth event was incredible task done by Mr. Saha team. I will love to participate in future photo tour and learn from his experience and guidance about photography.