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Foreign nationals mesmerized with Kumbh

Hundreds of foreign nationals are enthralled with the Kumbh – the global fair. One such visitor is Maria Wirth, a German, who says these melas inspire her to lead a different life style than what she normally leads.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2010 19:34 IST

“These melas inspire us to lead a different life style than what we normally leading – striving for more and more and yet unfulfilled” says Maria Wirth, 59, a German who had first come to Haridwar during Ardh Kumbh mela in 1980 for a brief visit but has remained here since then.

The young woman used to western orderliness was disappointed with the dusty roads, sweaty and puffing weather, street beggars and too many people. It had even taken a toll on her health. But now she is moulded in Indian culture and asserts “Kumbh beckons”.

In the last 30 years, Wirth has lived in India shuffling between Dehradun and the holy city, visiting Germany once a year to her family members. She retains German citizenship.

Nevertheless it is not just Maria who is fascinated with Kumbh. There are hundreds of other foreign nationals who are enthralled with the Kumbh – the global fair.

Rel (26) from Israel has come with five friends for the first time to Haridwar. “I have read a lot about Kumbh and was intending to have first hand experience of this mass religious gathering therefore came here” he said. Clad in saffron gown he plans to prolong his stay in Haridwar to closely observe ‘Kumbh’.

“We live in a constant fear and are often banking on securities and health insurances but these babas are fearless” says Aile (32) an Englishman while he captures a bathing sadhu in his camera. Aile a film maker by profession has been regularly visiting Haridwar and has even renamed himself -Arun. “India and its religion is mesmerizing” underlines Aile aka Arun.