A nine-member team from Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, a national museum of humankind located in Bhopal, has trained their lens on Simhastha Kumbh to document the mammoth churn of religion and people alongside Kshipra river in Ujjain.
Organised once every 12 years, the month-long Simhastha attracts millions of pilgrims from around the world.
Comprising two videographers, two photographers and five researchers, the team will record a day in Simhastha -- interview sadhus and pilgrims, write down experiences, shoot pictures and videos.
“This will be probably one of the largest religious festival data compiled by the museum. The main aim is to benefit people who desire to do research or just revisit the grand conclave,” said director of IGRMS Prof Chaudhuri told HT.
The team will also document all major customs and religious beliefs of various akhadas—their origin, about their leaders, followers and daylong activities.
“There is so much for people to know about this whole event. Twenty-four hours does not seem to be enough here,” said Dr Rakesh Bhatt, senior researcher from the museum, Ujjian.
On being asked about the challenges faced by the team, Dr Bhatt said, “Every sadhu is a story in himself. Some are difficult to communicate with them, while some are very friendly. Secondly, the whole area is so huge, and there is so much to record, sometimes, it is tough to decide which way to head.”
The collection of all the documented material would be exhibited at the Manav Sangrahalaya and also sent to other cities.