A number of photographers (and others are still on their way) have attended the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, despite the restrictions on those who didn't have a Journalist visa and press credentials.
I am told that the restrictions were only applied on the main bathing ghat, and that there were ample opportunities to photograph the spectacular characters who attend such religious gatherings, and who I described (during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2001) as "ascetics, mendicants, mystics, beggars and charlatans".
Mark Coughlan has just posted his work from the Haridwar Kumbh Mela on his website Image The Earth, which documents the fervor of the devout Hindus who traveled for miles and days to attend it, as well as the colorful characters that make the Kumbh Melas what they are.
Mark is a photographer, backpacker, and world traveler based in London. He has traveled to Myanmar, Mongolia, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bolivia among others. He tells us that he likes his photographs to be of vivid colors...he succeeded with his perfect portrait of the sadhu.