Western Madhya Pradesh’s spiritual quotient is unparalleled. The region has two revered jyotirlingas at Mahakaleshwar and Omkareshwar. On the banks of sacred rives like the Narmada and the Kshipra the Kumbh Mela is held in Ujjain. Burhanpur is the resting place of many Sufi saints, and the seat of several Hindu sects (sampradayas); it is sacred to both Sikhs and Dawoodi Bohras. Travelling through the region, one is sure to encounter a bevy of pilgrims, ascetics, mendicants and travellers and other moving scenes of faith and devotion.

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The ceremonial Kshipra arti is performed every day on the banks of the sacred river in Ujjain
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Pilgrims offer their respect to Nandi at a small Shiva shrine near Ma Chamunda temple in Dewas
Pilgrims offer their respect to Nandi at a small Shiva shrine near Ma Chamunda temple in Dewas


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Lost in prayer at the Jama Masjid in Burhanpur
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Many locals in Maheshwar start their day with a holy dip in the Narmada
Many locals in Maheshwar start their day with a holy dip in the Narmada
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The granthi or ceremonial reader of the Guru Granth Sahib at Gurudwara Badi Sangat in Burhanpur
The granthi or ceremonial reader of the Guru Granth Sahib at Gurudwara Badi Sangat in Burhanpur
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With lotus flowers crowning his head, aghori sadhu Baba Bam Bam Nath makes his daily visit to Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar and Harsiddhi temples
With lotus flowers crowning his head, aghori sadhu Baba Bam Bam Nath makes his daily visit to Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar and Harsiddhi temples
A priest heads to the Narmada ghats through the grand gateway of Ahilyeshwar Temple in Maheshwar
Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy
A young boy sells religious paraphernalia outside Mangalnath Temple in Ujjain
A young boy sells religious paraphernalia outside Mangalnath Temple in Ujjain
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A quaint horse drawn carriage outside Zakvi Haveli in Burhanpur, which alongside the Dargah-e-Hakimi, is a revered site for Dawoodi Bohras
A quaint horse drawn carriage outside Zakvi Haveli in Burhanpur, which alongside the Dargah-e-Hakimi, is a revered site for Dawoodi Bohras