Photo: Ardent Shiva devotees

Mahashivratri is celebrated all across India, in honour of Lord Shiva. On this big day for all Shiva devotees, we are featuring the most ardent ones we met during our Amarnath yatra. It was our introduction to the ways and lives of ascetics, the sadhus.

Carrying all their worldly belongings on their shoulders, they trudged on, on this important pilgrimage.

A sadhu with all his baggage wrapped in orange cloth and the holy walking stick on the Amarnath yatra

Seeing them, was a study in cutting things down to the basics.

A sadhu, dressed in minimum clothing and battered shoes falls asleep as he sits to rest on a rock, his heavy walking stick still in his hand on a steep stretch of Pissutop, the first mountain peak of Amarnath yatra.

A sadhu sleeps on the ground with all his belongings close by after crossing the Mahaganus top, the highest point of the Amarnath yatra.

When they took a break, it always involved their favourite smoke!

Sadhu lost in smoke, Kashmir, India

A sadhu takes a break with his smoking pipe on the way to the holy cave at Amarnath in Kashmir, India.

Chunnilal was a young sadhu, walking barefoot along the entire Amarnath yatra route.

A young sadhu, Chunnilal, dressed in simple clothes and just a shawl to protect him from the cold with a shoulder bag and a walking stick walked the entire Amarnath yatra route barefoot.

Some were there, of course, to just set up shop!

A bearded man posing as a sadhu, dressed in a warm orange jacket and a red blanket, wearing several rings in his fingers sits in a small cave around the holy Amarnath cave trying to sell photos of the shivling, rudrakshas as well as some currency.

On one side of a long queue that leads to the holy cave of Amarnath, is row of “sadhus” who have set shop.

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Sandeepa and Chetan. Married. Indians. Exploring Travel as Lifestyle. Featured by National Geographic, Yahoo. We hope that through our travel stories we inspire others to make their dream into a reality.

25 thoughts on “Photo: Ardent Shiva devotees

    1. Sandeepa Chetan Post author

      It was the first time we are interacting with the sadhus. It’s amazing how comfortable one gets to give a shot after a few minutes of conversation!

  1. Desh

    Absolutely brilliant pics! Can you pls also have some notes on the whole yatra? Would be very useful for someone like me who wants to visit. there