Curator Selection / 2020 / /

The Ganga Sagar Mela, where Naga Sadhus Congregate

  • Photographer
    France Leclerc
  • Image Location
  • Credit
    France Leclerc

The Gangar Sagar Mela is the most popular Hindu pilgrimage after the Kumbh Mela. Every year in mid-January, thousands of devotes head to a small island in West Bengal to dip themselves in the holy water of Ganga to purify their soul. This pilgrimage is particularly popular with the Naga Sadhus, who with their body smeared with ash make it to the island to bless their followers. This photo-essay is a series of candid portraits of the Naga Sadhus holding court at the Ganga Sagar Mela.

France Leclerc, born in Quebec, Canada, is an independent photographer who currently lives in Chicago. Her early career was in academia, but she decided to make a change to pursue her true passion for photography. The most prominent themes of her work are culture (especially disappearing ones), gender, and social inequality. She likes to describe her work as “life photography”, though her approach is a mix between documentary and street photography.