Vintage photographs of two of the greatest human congregations in the world – the Maha Kumbh in Allahabad and Gangasagar in Bengal are all set to regale Kolkata’s art connoisseurs

Kolkata, 28th January 2024: While the grandeur of fairs like Kumbh and Gangasagar are widely known, little is often said about the intricate workings and activities that unfold behind the scenes and within the premises of these festivals. Keeping this in mind, ‘The Immersion of Self- 900 kms of Faith’ – a special exhibition that showcases the grandeur and significance of two of India’s most revered religious gatherings – Maha Kumbh in Allahabad and Gangasagar in Bengal. The exhibition witnessed the esteemed presence of Nusrat Jahan (Actress & Member of Parliament); Actress Paoli Dam; Actress Rituparna Sengupta; Actress Gargi Roychowdhury; Actress Alexander Taylor; Actress Sayantani Guhathakurta; Pabitra Das (Photographer); Curators Kounteya Sinha and Oiendrila Ray Kapur; Satyam Roychowdhury (Founder Managing Director of Techno India Group and Chancellor of Sister Nivedita University); Ushoshi Sengupta (Model) and other dignitaries.

The Immersion of Self – 900 kilometres of Faith features around 39 iconic photographs taken by Pavitra Das over the past two to three decades and will be open for public viewing till February 2 providing an immersive experience for visitors to understand the cultural and spiritual essence of these auspicious festivals.

Maha Kumbh is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, where millions of pilgrims from all corners of the globe come together to take a holy dip in the confluence of the sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The exhibition will feature photographs, artifacts, and interactive displays that capture the spiritual fervor and cultural significance of this monumental event. Gangasagar Mela, held annually in West Bengal, attracts pilgrims who converge at Sagar Island to take a dip at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. This exhibition will showcase the vibrant rituals, traditions, and the unique cultural tapestry woven around the Gangasagar Mela, providing visitors with a glimpse into the soul of this remarkable pilgrimage.

Present on the occasion, Pabitra Das, Photographer of the exhibition, said “The drama that plays out before the actual immersion in the holy waters has always fascinated me. The sea of human faith is not just daunting but also filled with a variety of emotions that is unparalleled”.

Kounteya Sinha, Curator of the exhibition, said “The photographs – all in black and white – have a real sense of purpose and drama in it – like the old school analog days when films were used. Several of the photographs have actually been converted digitally from slides. The repertoire has a different perspective to Kumbh and Gangasagar – focussing majorly on the human drama that plays out on the sides”.

Exhibition Highlights:

Rare photographs that capture the essence of Maha Kumbh Ganganagar.
·Artifacts and displays illustrating the rituals and traditions.
Interactive exhibits offering a virtual tour of the pilgrimage sites.
This exhibition aims to create a bridge between tradition and contemporary understanding, offering visitors a unique and educational experience that celebrates the rich tapestry of India’s spiritual heritage.

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