Sunday, November 20, 2005

Those 56 images are a sample of what I saw during this journey, the people I met going down from Gaumukh, the sources of the sacred Ganges to Calcutta. If you wish to see more images, please click on the link "Mes Images d'Inde" on the right side..
If I do like to travel, it's not for a nice landscape or a historical monument, but for what makes a country : the people. I have travelled to many great places, but India is still the best. It just has a buzz that other places don't. Enjoy....
I am leaving for another Indian trip on November 26th, 2005. I'll try to keep a blog of this upcoming journey through Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. If you want to follow me, click on "Mes Indes"...

On my last day in Calcutta, I finally got the chance to see what the monsoon could look like..
It's a lot of rain....

A Brahmin having his head shaved as an offering near the Sacred river in Calcutta.

Boats going upstream on the Hoogly river in Kolkata.
Shot from the Howrah bridge.

This little girl was waiting to cross the road in Kolkata. It was raining. I shot a few pictures.. This one is one of my favorite..

A woman selling flowers for the offerings at the flower market located at the feet of the famous Howrah Bridge in Kolkata

A woman praying in front of the Kali temple in Kolkata. For those familiar with India, a bottle of "bisleri" on her left..

A boy sitting next to kali inside the Kali temple in Calcutta, an incredible place.
This image is the cover of an Indian book, a contemporary Bengali short fiction.
"The way Home" translated by Aruna Chakrabarti.

Calcutta. A puja taking place on Babu ghats as this man is passing buy on his boat.

A little girl next to the Hoogli river in Murshidabad. She was doing the laundry with her family in the river.
She asked me to take a picture of her.

A women cleaning the mosque in Murshidabad, a lovely town alongside the Ganges.


Monsoon time in Malda. Kids escaping the heavy rain were suprised by me ....

A man near the Ganges in Malda, a small town in West Bengal. He was having a ceremony for the goddess Kali.

Life is also diffficult, like everywhere else. This woman is selling empty bottles for people going down to the Ganges.
Bihar is one of the poorest state in India.

A sleepy saddhu, at the door of a small temple, near the Ghats, along the Ganges in Patna. Bihar. A very nice and friendly city, mostly unknown to the tourist travelling to India

Kids, kids, diving, having fun on the ghats in Varanasi

Some beggars waiting the people going down to the main ghats alongside the Ganges for the morning Puja.
I wasn't totally happy with the light, so I went back but could never shoot it again since the closed shop was always opened..

A woman making an offering in a small temple on the ghats in Varanasi.
Water is really important in the hinduism, as in most religion.

Some pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh during a puja near the Ganges in Varanasi.

A woman I met a few time, in front of her house in Varanasi..
So many things to see in Varanasi.

A grandfather taking care of his.. grandson alongside the Ganges, in Varanasi

A cowboy on the Ganges...
A place I long to travel back too, Varanasi. one of the most fascinating city on earth, for sure..

Early morning, on the Ghats, Varanasi.. The dhobi Wallah at work.. It becomes so hot at 10 AM that they have to start really early. At 6 AM everybody is at work...

A man, my travel neighbor, preparing his betel leaves to chew..A ritual.
Notice the chain for the luggage to be secure to the seat.
It doesn't happen often, but at times trains are not crowded....

A woman in her shop making sweets. This is shot in Sangam. At the point where Ganges meets the Yamuna.

This woman is a pilgrim, she came to Sangam, where the Yamuna meets the Ganges, a few klm from Allahabad.
Every 12 years, in sangam, takes place one of the biggest pilgrimage in the world, the Khumba Mela.

A follow up to the picture I uploaded previously.
A picture I took at the junction of the river Ganges and the river Yamuna, two sacred rivers in India, in Allahabad. Every 12 years a big festival occurs here, the Khumba mela, the next one will be in 2010.
Santa Devi Draejagh is a 84 years old woman. She was praying at the river.

A man praying in Allahabad where the Yamuna meets the Ganges.
You can see a portrait of Santa Devi Draejag coming up in the next image. She is 84 years old

Saturday, November 19, 2005

She came with her son to pray in this little shrine on the banks of Mother Ganga.

A woman inside a small shrine on the banks of mother Ganga in Bitoor, a small village near Kanpur. You can see her portrait in the next image.
That one is best viewed in the larger version.

My train is getting into the Kanpoor train station, pretty crowded...

The end of a cremation. Lower caste people usually do this work.

A cremation on the sacred Ganges near Bijnor.

A cremation place on the sacred river Ganges, 30klm away from Bijnor.

This man was ploughing his field, near Bijnor. It's a small place called "barrage" because of a dam located there on the river Ganges. I went to see the river, I discovered a cremating place and farmers.

A woman in her hut, near the Ganges in Bijnor.
She and her husband were simple farmers.
But they invited me for a "Chai".

Friday, November 18, 2005

Namaste. A woman greeting me in Haridwar...
An elegant way to salute people I believe.

The crowd during the night Puja in haridwar.

A young girl in the Ganges at the night Puja in Rishikesh

Babu Rajakisur de Katchivar. I already posted an image of two saddhus resting alongside the ganges River in Haridwar.

Every evening at 7pm the ceremony following the night Puja takes place in Haridwar. Thousand of pilgrims go there every night for the Puja.. Amazing.

Meditating alongside the Ganges in Rishikesh , the night is coming down fast

A widow climbing up the stairs from the Ganges, feeding a calve. A snapshot...

This man, Harish Mahajan, from Punjab has been sitting in front of a restaurant "Chotiwallah" overlooking the Ganges in Haridwar for the past 4 years.
He has been meditating since. He got paralysed on one side, then decided to go to Haridwar to meditate. Now he told me he was much better, he can move his left arm a bit and hope he will be able to go home next year... He is a very nice man who used to be a science teacher.
I met him everyday I spend in Haridwar and we always had lunch together..
The swastika is an Hindu symbol. You'll notice the difference from the one used by the Nazis, this one goes clockwise. Symbol of LIFE.

Some sadhus, tired, sleeping near the Ganges river.

A Rajasthani pilgrim drying up a saree on the banks of the Ganges in Haridwar

Some poor people waiting to get free food in front of an Ashram in Rishikesh.

Some pilgrims from Rajasthan coming to Rishikesh in Uttaranchal to bath in the Holy Ganges.

Some Rajasthani women after the ritual bath, alongside the Ganges, in Rishikesh. A town full of Ashrams.

A real nice man . Neelkanth Mahadev, his name meaning "blue throat", one of Shiva's name.
This image was taken on the banks of the river Ganga in Haridwar.

Haridwar located in the foothills of the Himalayas, represents the point where the Ganga reaches the plains. Haridwar is an ancient pilgrimage site, held in reverence for centuries. Several temples and ashrams dot this town and a visit to Haridwar is like stepping into a totally different world.

A mother giving her son his first sacred bath in the river Ganges, in Haridwar.