A Sadhu is a Hindu holy man. Typically, as here, pictured in Mysore, dressed in saffron coloured robes they wander the country living on alms.
Having renounced the normal pleasures of life, or denying themselves material satisfaction, they follow a mendicant ascetic life – tapasvee in Hindi – dedicated to spiritual goals.
There is a more radical sect of Sadhu, the Naga Sadhu, who wear no clothes, simply choosing to cover themselves with ash and beads. They rarely appear in public choosing special events like the Kumbh Mela to do so.
Abhishek Madhukar, a photojournalist, and filmmaker based in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, covered the last Kumbh Mela and produced a video on the Naga Sadhus for the New York Times. You can see it here…