Naked, penniless and stoned, the Nagas are as happy as mud.
The Kumbh Mela is coming up in 2010, the largest gathering of human beings on earth with over 60 million people expected to turn up in Haridwar, India.
As well as being a hugely important religious occasion for Hindus, it’s also a chance for all the sadhus in India to get together, share on all the renunciate gossip and smoke some good Himalayan charas.
Sadhus are a strong lot to Western eyes and none more so that the naga babas who spend their lives naked, covered in ash and often carrying around weapons in memory of their militant past – although they’re not beyond chopping off a few heads when different sects fight over who gets to bathe first in the holy River Ganges.
The Naga babas mostly live far away from human society, many high up in the Himalayas and the Kumbh Mela is when they get to gather together and party. Even by sadhu standards the Nagas are extreme, breaking the nerves in their penis as part of their initiation rites, but covered in ash and high as kites, have you ever seen a bunch of guys looking happier?