Spice Market – Old Delhi

Spice Market – Old Delhi

Spice Market Old Delhi

The world’s obsession with Indian spices has gone on for many centuries. Spices, and the promise of gold, is what sent Christopher Columbus sailing for the “New World” thinking he was finding a route to India. At about the same time Vasco da Gama sailed from Portugal around the southern tip of Africa to the west coast of India opening trade for spices with India. Wars, holy wars, have been fought and thousand lost their lives for the promises of riches from spices, gold and jewels. Usually for the glory of God.

Spice trade is still commercially important in India today, as evidence from this street scene of the Spice Market in Old Delhi.

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Such a stunning photograph.

    1. Thank you Colline, and thanks for visiting.

  2. What an amazing picture. I love it in black and white; it looks so ancient. I wonder what the color version looks like.

    1. Thanks Cathy. The image is beautiful in color too but becomes too busy, IMO.

  3. Love this one Ron. So many stories in this one capture. I just finished reading “Beyond the Beautiful Forevers” which I thought was fiction but is actually true. It’s all the people who live in one of India’s slums and is fascinating. Based on your India photos I think you’d love it. Anyway, great post.

    1. Thanks Tina. I read the book soon after it came out. Wonderful. You are so right, it reads like fiction, but then much of the reality of what is India is difficult for us Westerners to comprehend. Such a fascinating country.

  4. some pictures definitely don’t need colours!!! stunning

  5. Beautiful! old Delhi looks very old indeed! And your post has given me an idea for dinner πŸ™‚

  6. Really super shot, Ron – stories everywhere. πŸ™‚ Were you there for the auction and loading? I never saw anything on anywhere near this scale in Sri Lanka, but did from time to time happen upon parts of the trade and was fascinated by the various accounting procedures – from loading/unloading sticks, marks, chocks, etc. The value of the trade, even today, is evidenced by the number of people overseeing each stage of the process – checking that nobody makes off with so much as a whiff of the precious commodities they were handling – all overseen by the Mudalali, of course, pristine in starched white, desk clean, just watching, as his supervisors watched, checked, marked … It was pure drama!

    1. We were there of short while. No auctions going on that I noticed, but chaos everywhere and seemingly many divisions of labor, as in all of India. And that is what makes the country so fascinating. It takes much longer to even begin to understand it all. Thanks for your comment Meredith.

  7. This is a massive photo.Every little section of the picture has details of interest.The shops, stores, buildings, faces, garb, and activity going on,some at rest some at labor and some with their products.The wires and cables, the footwear and headwear. This might break down into a number of great shots.

    1. Yes, it is a very complex photo which is why I processed it as B&W. Thanks for your comment.

  8. A tangle of humanity, of wires, of merchandise…and so great in these silver tones.

    1. You described it perfectly. Thank you for your comment and visit.

  9. if one of your images summarises urban India, this is it. Funny how b&w can capture a place so defined by colours and smells.

    1. Indeed. India is so chaotic and colorful that often the story is better told in B&W. Thanks for you comment.

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