Two women peer from their doorway in Vrindavan, India. Vrindavan is a holy city in northern India. The Hindu deity Krishna is said to have spent his childhood here.
The faithful gather en mass at the Kumbh Mela festival in Allahabad, India. The Hindu festival is the largest gathering of people in the world attracting millions of disciples. A…
The faithful bathing in holy water at the Tirta Empul temple. Tirta Empul temple is a Hindu Balinese water temple located near the town of Tampaksiring, Bali, Indonesia.
The sun slowly emerges through the morning haze and across the Ganges as I trudge along ancient ghats. Thus, a new day begins in timeworn Varanasi, the holiest of cities in India. As I find my way up and down and across endless ghats in near darkness, my other senses are acuter. I am aware of the creaking boatman's oar, the lapping of water against the worn steps, quiet voices murmuring - no, softly repeating mantras. A potpourri of aromas fills my nostrils like a breeze filling stillness. There’s the scent of woodsmoke from the endlessly burning funeral pyres, the ooze of life and death flowing by, and sweat.
For the 80% of Indians who are Hindu, the River Ganges is considered sacred, her water holy. In the ancient city of Varanasi, the ghats that form the river's edge teem with pilgrims and devotees who come for a ritual dip in the Ganges in this holiest of cities. The scene is spiritual and, at the same time festive. The streets and ghats are chaotic. The sounds and smells overwhelm the senses. Yet, in spite of the masses of people, there are moments of solitude, aloneness.
A man, clutching his chillum, gazes over the throngs of devotees gathered at the world's largest religious festival, Kumba Mela, in Allahabad, India. Millions come during this holiest of Hindu religious festivals to bathe away their sins with a "Holy Dip" in the sacred River Ganges.
A Hindu devotee performs his morning rituals on the banks of the Ganges River in the ancient city of Varanasi. This morning liturgy includes the cleansing of the body and mind with holy water from the Mother Ganges while reciting prayers and mantras. Hindus believe that adherence to a series of daily morning and evening rituals will curry them favor in life and will purify them for their quest for communion with God.
Kumar Tuli, the potters' quarter, lies along the banks of the River Hooghly in the sprawling mega-city, Calcutta, in Northeastern India. The villagers create the clay idols of Hindu gods…
Mid afternoon and the mountains disappear behind a curtain of fog. Though near the equator, the temperature drops; a chilling breeze gently stirs leaves. Twin pagodas appear to be floating,…
Crows watch over the early morning rituals at Munshi Ghat on the banks of the River Ganges in the ancient city of Varanasi in northern India.