Sadhus are not materialistic, but a chillum is invariably found among their few possessions. Needless to say, the chillum has become all the rage in Kumbh Nagar - among sadhus and pilgrims alike. Today, they come in all hues and designs, decked with ornate designs, copper wire dressing, small ghungroos as well as imprints of snakes and deities.
And even as the religious fervour picks up, makers and sellers of these designer chillums arrive here with their products - mostly from Raeojah village in Damoh, MP. "Around 20 families like mine have arrived from MP here with 5,000 to 6,000 chillums each. Depending on the size, shape and design, each chillum sells for anywhere between Rs. 15 and Rs. 150," said 21-year-old Rajendra Prajapati, a potter.
Explaining the legacy behind smoking the chillum, sadhu Sanjay Giri of the Shri Panch Dasnaam Juna Akhara, said, "For the smoker, it is almost as if the spirit of Lord Shiva enters him through the act. We believe smoking the chillum purges the body and mind, thereby helping us meditate."