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HUGE PROCESSION OF HOLY MEN HELD IN ALLAHBAD DURING THE KUMBH MELA.

NATURAL WITH HINDI AND ENGLISH SPEECH

DURATION: 6.34

SOURCE: RTN

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

TIMECODE : 10:29:40

INTRO:A huge procession of holy men held in India's northern city of Allahabad as part of a ritual celebrating "Maha khumbh" (Pitcher fair), one of the largest-ever gathering of human beings.

SHOWS:

ALLAHABAD (JANUARY 10, 2001) (RTN-ACCESS ALL)

1. HOLY MEN RIDING ELEPHANTS IN A PROCESSION

2. HOLY MEN SITTING ON AN ELEPHANT

3. A HOLY MAN DANCING WITH A SWORD

4. CLOSE UP OF A DRUM BEING BEATEN

5. A MAN BEATING THE DRUM

6. ANOTHER MAN BEATING A DRUM

7. A "NAGA SADHU" (A NAKED SAGE) WALKING

8. A DECORATED HORSE

9. A SAGE SITTING ON THE HORSE

10. ANOTHER SAGE SMOKING "CHILAM" (A KIND OF DRUG)

11. THE SAGE SMOKING CHILAM WHILE SITTING ON A HORSE

12. CLOSE UP OF A MAN WATCHING THE PROCESSION WITH FOLDED HANDS

13. LONG OF ANOTHER HOLY MAN SITTING ON ROOF OF A VAN WITH HIS DISCIPLES

14. CLOSE UP OF THE HOLY MAN

15. WOMEN STANDING IN SUPPLICATION

16. CLOSE UP OF A WOMAN STANDING IN SUPPLICATION

17. CLOSE UP OF A HOLY MAN

18. THE HOLY MAN SITTING ON A CHARIOT

19. MORE HOLY MAN PARTICIPATING IN THE PROCESSION

20. CLOSE UP OF A HOLY MAN WEARING GARLANDS

21. A MAN BEATING A DRUM

22. CLOSE UP OF A HOLY WOMAN

23. THE HOLY WOMAN WITH OTHER HOLY MEN

24. CLOSE UP OF A SAGE SITTING ON A CHARIOT

25. A FOREIGNER STANDING WITH FOLDED HANDS

26. FOREIGNERS LOOKING AT THE PROCESSION

27. HOLY MEN WALKING

28. CLOSE UP OF A HOLY MAN

29. SAGES SITTING ON HORSES

30. LONG OF THE PROCESSION

31. THE PROCESSION MOVING

32. PEOPLE SITTING ON A MOVING VEHICLE

33. ARMY PERSONNEL STANDING

34. LONG OF THE PROCESSION

35. A MAN PICKING UP SOIL FROM WHERE THE PROCESSION PASSED

36. PEOPLE BOWING THEIR HEADS ON THE ROAD

37. (SOUNDBITE) (English) A FOREIGN TOURIST SAYING: "This is the largest gathering of umanity at one spot and though I am not a Hindu, I have great respect for Hindu faith and I thought hat I should be here. I am a Christian, so I am here with my Hindu brothers and sisters to experience the mela."

38. TRUMPETS BLOWING

39. MEN BLOWING THE TRUMPETS

40. CLOSE UP OF A HOLY MAN

41. HOLY MEN WALKING IN THE PROCESSION

42. HOLY MAN SITTING ON AN ELEPHANT

43. A CHILD, SITTING ON HIS FATHER'S SHOULDERS, WATCHING

44. MUSICIANS PRECEDING THE PROCESSION

45. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) A HINDU SAGE SAYING: "Kumbh mela (pitcher fair) symbolise our ultural heritage. It helps Hindus better acquainted with their culture and tradition. So every system that goes into the fair's arrangement counts."

46. A SWORD-HOLDING HOLY MAN PRECEDING THE PROCESSION

47. CLOSE UP OF THE MAN

48. CLOSE UP OF HIS SWORD

49. HOLY MEN WALKING

50. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) ANOTHER HINDU SAGE SAYING: "The sages and holy men have lways commanded respect since ancient times. They were patronised by kings and rulers. Today's chariot procession is part of that tradition. Considering the loss of faith in modern age the procession is an attempt to revive the old value system.

51. MODEL OF A "KUMBH" OR HUGE PITCHER ON A VEHICLE

52. THE PROCESSION MOVING

STORY: A huge procession of holy men was held in India's northern city of Allahabad on Wednesday (January 10) as part of a ritual celebrating "Maha khumbh" (Pitcher fair), one of the largest-ever gathering of human beings.

Led by elephants, the procession of at least 5,000 fabulously decorated disciples, brass bands and admirers snaked for two km (1.25 miles) along the road leading down to the sangam, or confluence of rivers.

The most revered sadhus are the Nagas, or unclothed, dreadlocked ascetics, many of whom live in remote caves and forests surviving on herbs and roots.

Rival brotherhoods of sadhus have been known to clash at melas, particularly over who will take the plunge into the river first on auspicious days.

More than 20,000 police personnel, including forces from outside the state, have been deployed in the festival area, which stretches across some 1,396 hectares of flood plain.

Hundreds of people from around the globe have descended on the holy Hindu city of Allahabad, drawn by devotion and curiosity to what has been billed as the largest-ever gathering of human beings.

Americans and Europeans, many of them ardent followers of sages, seers and yogis, were among the estimated 2.5 million pilgrims who took a dip at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers on the first day of the Maha Kumbh Mela (Grand Pitcher Festival).

"This is the largest gathering of humanity at one spot and though I am not a Hindu, I have great respect for Hindu faith and I thought that I should be here. I am a Christian, so I am here with my Hindu brothers and sisters to experience the mela," said a foreign tourist.

Some of the foreigners around Allahabad are backpackers who happened to find themselves in India t the right time.

Others have made a special pilgrimage to wash away their sins, end the cycle of reincarnation on this earth and speed their way to nirvana, or the after-life.

The procession is seen as symbolising the Hindu culture.

"Kumbh mela (pitcher fair) symbolise our cultural heritage. It helps Hindus better acquainted with their culture and tradition. So every system that goes into the fair's arrangement counts," said a Hindu sage.

Another sage said: "The sages and holy men have always commanded respect since ancient times. They were patronised by kings and rulers. Today's chariot procession is part of that tradition. Considering the loss of faith in modern age the procession is an attempt to revive the old value system."

Officials at the Mela, which takes place in the northern Indian city of Allahabad once every 12 years, said up to three million people had taken a dip on Tuesday as a vast township of riverside tents sprung to life.

The next big "bathing day" falls on January 14 when, according to Hindu astrology, the Sun enters the Capricorn constellation. It could draw at least five million devotees and will be the first severe test for security and crowd control arrangements.

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Date:Sep 30, 2009
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