It seems that not only has the number of foreign visitors to the Kumbh increased in recent years, but also some Westerners have taken their interest a step further, and have taken on the Sadhu role for life.

These Sadhus are not Westerners who are flirting with Hinduism, or those seeking to pass their life in the company of a marijuana ‘chillum’ pipe, but men and women who are devoted to their new way of life. The majority of Indian locals recognise this, and many view them as being as holy as Indian Sadhus. Some cover their bodies in ashes, adopt the same yoga positions and take the same vows.
An example is Rama-priya Das, an American who was a Sadhu for a number of years and has even reached the rank of Mahant, a head Sadhu. Apart from Americans, there are a number of French, Italian and even Japanese that have severed ties with their homelands in order to become Sadhus.