News of Kristian Bertel | Photography. Share and comment on related news and latest stories from photographer Kristian Bertel. Latest photo news and updates from the photographer and his stories and pictures from the many regions of India including photo news from Rajasthan and Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra in India. The news and the many newsworthy anecdotes are of interesting importance for the photographer highlighting news from his India travels, travel photography and memorable and journeys.

See more about the news here






18 JULY 2016

Young woman in Fatehpur Sikri, India submitted to the 'Beautiful Destinations' photo assignment with National Geographic.

Young woman in Fatehpur Sikri, India submitted to the 'Beautiful Destinations' photo assignment with National Geographic.






News



Beautiful destinations, on assignment with Nat Geo
The photographer has contributed to the National Geographic Your Shot photo community with an assignment called 'Beautiful Destinations'. You may have heard the phrase, "It's about the journey, not the destination". Well for this assignment Nat Geo are flipping that sentiment around and having it be all about the destination. For some, the summer season is when we spend time with our friends in familiar places that we come back to year after year. For others, its a time for new locations and faces, the undiscovered places. Whichever it may be, the two editors want us to share your beautiful destinations with Nat Geo. The photographer chose to submit a photograph of a young woman he has photographed in India. Beauty is a characteristic of an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, culture, social psychology and sociology. An 'ideal beauty' is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection. The experience of 'beauty' often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionarily determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human's genes.

Assignments are designed to mimic the process of being a photographer on assignment for National Geographic Magazine. The editor or editors have an idea for a story they want to publish and they give the assignment to a photographer, who then goes out in the field and shoots. The photographer often brings back 10,000-plus images, only a handful of which go into the story. Throughout the experience, the editor and photographer are working together to make sure the images that come back are in line with what the editor has in mind for the story. The final selection that gets published may not include what were technically the best photos, nor the ones that the photographer or other editors liked the most. Rather, they are the ones that the editor decided worked together to best tell the story. Editors make a subjective choice based on a lot of elements, including the technical quality, how an image portrays one aspect of a larger story and even the layout that is available on the page. When Nat Geo created this community, they wanted to get as close to that experience as possible. That is why editors post updates and notes to help guide the submissions. While Nat Geo knows every assignment is not right for every photographer, assignments are designed to challenge us and to make us step outside your comfort zone when we are shooting. National Geographic encourages us to go out and shoot new images whenever possible, rather than relying on what is already in our archive. A story is a collection of images submitted by our community and curated by a National Geographic editor and the images come from a variety of members, but they fit together to make a cohesive story.

See the blog post | press here





5 JULY 2016

Jodhpur by night is among the many popular photos on the photographer's Facebook page, which has been appreciated of the fans.

Jodhpur by night is among the many popular photos on the photographer's Facebook page, which has been appreciated by the fans.






News



35,000+ and counting on Facebook
People all over the world visit Facebook to connect with friends, family and things that interest them including Kristian Bertel | Photography. The photographers page has grown steadily over the years and has now reaches the 35,000 milestone. And the photography page which primarily showcases some of his photos from India can help him market his audience for travel photography and it is a place where visitors of the page can learn about the Indian culture and portrait photography. Kristian's audience may also see the things that he has promoted in News Feed, which is the constantly updating list of stories on Facebook. And best of all, his page has gained a lot of interaction and helps people find travel related photos on Facebook on and the web. The Facebook page makes it easy for the photographer's audience to learn about his photographs and the stories from India.

Jodhpur is an historic city and the origin dates to more than 500 years back when it was founded by Rao Jodha, the Rajput chieftan of the Rathores. The Rathore kingdom was also known as the Marwar and was the largest in Rajputana. The city was built as the new capital of the state of Marwar to replace the ancient capital Mandore, the ruins of which can be seen near what is now the Mandore Gardens. The people of Jodhpur and surrounding areas are hence also commonly called as Marwaris. Jodhpur is also known as the 'Blue City', an apt name as most houses in the old city are shades of blue. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town, known as Brahmpuri for the many Brahmins that live there. The forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics as well as the color and texture, a booming handicrafts industry all add up to make this historic city worth a visit.

See the page | press here





16 JUNE 2015

Man in Mumbai, India is sleeping in the Oval Maidan, which is a large recreational park in Mumbai, India.

Man in Mumbai, India is sleeping in the Oval Maidan, which is a large recreational park in Mumbai, India.






News



50 Photographs from India - BuzzFeed
Kristian Bertel has published his fourth post on BuzzFeed, this time with a selection of 50 photographs from India. In this blog post the photographer is focusing solemnly on Mumbai in India, showing a variety of scenes from this bustling city. Traditional Indian society is sometimes defined by social hierarchy. The Indian caste system embodies much of the social stratification and many of the social restrictions found in the Indian subcontinent. Social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis, or castes. India declared untouchability to be illegal in 1947 and has since enacted other anti-discriminatory laws and social welfare initiatives. At the workplace in urban India and in international or leading Indian companies, the caste related identification has pretty much lost its importance. BuzzFeed is the social news and entertainment website, which provides the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment and video across the social web to its global audience of 100 million people.

The Oval Maidan is a large recreational ground situated in South Mumbai, India and it is so named because of its oval shape and is situated just south of Churchgate. It is a popular recreation ground, with the most popular sports played there being cricket and football. The ground measures twentytwo acres in area, where political rallies and religious functions are banned in the maidan.

See the blog post | press here





7 APRIL 2015

Alley in Mumbai, India is a photo by the photographer, which was selected as one of the 12 best photos of the day on National Geographic Your Shot.

Alley in Mumbai, India is a photo by the photographer, which was selected as one of the 12 best photos of the day on National Geographic Your Shot.






News



Daily Dozen on National Geographic Magazine
Kristian Bertel's photo of an elderly Indian woman walking in an alley in Mumbai, has been selected and featured for the Daily Dozen on the online edition of National Geographic Magazine. Family values are important in the Indian tradition, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm in India, though nuclear families are becoming common in urban areas. An overwhelming majority of Indians, with their consent, have their marriages arranged by their parents or other family members. Every day, the National Geographic editors select their 12 favorite photos recently uploaded to Your Shot. Nat Geo members of the National Geographic Your Shot photo community can then afterwards vote for their favorite photograph, which can be published in National Geographic Magazine. On the link below you can see all the daily selected photos for that day.

At Nat Geo they review every photo submitted to National Geographic's Your Shot for consideration in the Daily Dozen. This means that if we upload fifteen photos to our gallery each week, those fifteen photos will all be reviewed and may be featured in the Daily Dozen. Images that were published from the Daily Dozen in National Geographic Magazine have an additional award listed under the published section below the photo. It says National Geographic Magazine and the month it was published. One can also see all images that have been published in National Geographic Magazine and the method their editors use to select photos for the Daily Dozen is called a blind edit, which means that they do not see who submitted the photo until after the selection is made. Nat Geo editors may look at a few days' worth of photos to select the images featured on a particular day and they may include an image on Thursday that has been submitted on Tuesday.

See the photos | press here





4 DECEMBER 2014

Boy in Mumbai, India is one of the many new photographs taken by the photographer from his latest journey to India.

Boy in Mumbai, India is one of the many new photographs taken by the photographer from his latest journey to India.






News



Returning from Mumbai and Maharashtra, India
Kristian Bertel have just returned from India where he has visited several photographic places in the Maharashtra province of India. Spending almost fourteen days in Mumbai alone gave the photographer an insight view of the everyday life in this populated city, which some say is the home for nearly 25 million people. The photograph that you can see above is a portrait of a boy in Mumbai, who on his bare feet earned for the day by making artistic performences with his hat. For much of human history and across different cultures, children less than seventeen years old have contributed to family welfare in a variety of ways. Poverty is the big cause of child labour and the photographer also notes that in rural and impoverished parts of developing and undeveloped parts of the world, children have no real and meaningful alternative. Schools and teachers are unavailable. Child labour is the unnatural result. Similarly it also conclude that poverty and inadequate public education infrastructure are some of the causes of child labour in India. Kristian is currently busy editing photos, and most of his new photographs are first published on his 'Showcase of Your Shot - National Geographic Magazine' blog.

Child labour in India is when Indian children work for money, on a part or full-time basis and the practice deprives children of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. Various things lead to children working. Poverty, lack of good schools and informal work places may be blamed. The 1998 national census of India estimated the total number of child labour, aged four to fifteen, to be at 12.6 million, out of a total child population of 253 million in five to fourteen age group. The national census of India found the total number of child labour, aged five to fourteen, to be at 4.35 million and the total child population to be 259.64 million in that age group. The child labour problem is not unique to India and worldwide, about 217 million children work, many full-time.

See the photos | press here





29 SEPTEMBER 2014

Glimpse of the blue city of Jodhpur, India is portrayed by the photographer in a new blog post online.

Glimpse of the blue city of Jodhpur, India is portrayed by the photographer in a new blog post online.






News



Today's photograph is a glimpse from Jodhpur
Jodhpur is an historic city that was built as the new capital of the state of Marwar to replace the ancient capital Mandore, the ruins of which can be seen near what is now the Mandore Gardens. The people of Jodhpur and surrounding areas are hence also commonly called as Marwaris. Jodhpur is by many travelers also known as the 'Blue City', and has its name as most houses in the old city are shades of blue. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town, known as Brahmpuri for the many Brahmins that live there.

Anyone climbing the fort Mehrangargh in the Indian city of Jodhpur looks into a sea of ​​color. But the eye can not enjoy a colorful ocean, but only a single color, which is blue. It is an ancient custom in Jodhpur to paint houses blue. The city in the province of Rajasthan in the northwest of the subcontinent is therefore also nicknamed 'Blue City'. By Indian standards, Jodhpur is not a big city only about a million people live there. Some of them come from the caste of the Brahmins, the highest caste. It was once reserved for them to live in blue houses as a sign of their status. The dye used was indigo, which was mixed into a lime paint. In addition to its status-defining significance, the color should also have a practical use. It allegedly keeps off insects – a legend, as scientists have long since discovered. Others claim that the blue cools the houses, which is just as nonsense. For a white building throws back more of the incoming solar energy than a blue one. Blue houses, colorful details. Hardly any other country in the world is as colorful and colorful as India. Of course, this does not detract from the magic that the city of Jodhpur still exerts on its many visitors – blue, wherever you look, especially in the old town surrounded by a ten-kilometer-long wall over which the city has long outgrown. It has long been not only Brahmans who paint their homes blue, but also homeowners who come from lower castes. Instead of the classic indigo dye as today copper sulfate is used, which is added to the lime paint as a dye. Traditionally, the front doors are painted in a mild shade of green, but other shades come naturally – not to mention the often red saris of women who move through the narrow streets of the old town. Jodhpur is the only place in the world known as the Blue City. Again, many houses in the old town are blue – supposedly to protect you from the evil eye.

See the blog post | press here





30 JANUARY 2014

Man in Varanasi, India is making dung of cows, which is used in Hindi religious fire yajna as an important ingredient.

Man in Varanasi, India is making dung of cows, which is used in Hindi religious fire yajna as an important ingredient.






News



31 Pictures of Indian Culture by Kristian Bertel - BuzzFeed
Kristian Bertel has published his third post on BuzzFeed, this time with a selection of 31 pictures from India. The photo above is from Varanasi in the Uttar Pradesh state of India. The city is sacred to Hindus and Jains and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with settlements dating back to the 11th century BC. Many Hindus believe that dying in Varanasi brings salvation/nirvana and so they make the trip to the city when they realize that they are close to death. For some, the culture shock of the burning corpses in plain view and the feces overflowing from the Ganges can be a bit overwhelming. However, the scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganga at sunrise set against the backdrop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world. The city can be scorchingly hot in the summer months so, if possible, time your visit to fall between October and March, and bring something warm to wear for chilly days and nights, instead. BuzzFeed is the social news and entertainment website, which provides the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment and video across the social web to its global audience of 100 million people.

Yajna literally means sacrifice, devotion, worship and offering and refers in Hinduism to any ritual done in front of a sacred fire, often with mantras. Yajna has been a Vedic tradition, described in a layer of Vedic literature called Brahmanas, as well as Yajurveda. The tradition has evolved from offering oblations and libations into sacred fire to symbolic offerings in the presence of sacred fire he so-called Agni. Yajna rituals-related texts have been called the Karma-kanda which are ritual works and portion of the Vedic literature, in contrast to Jnana-kanda, which means knowledge and it is a portion contained in the Vedic Upanishads. The proper completion of Yajna-like rituals was the focus of Mimansa school of Hindu philosophy. Yajna have continued to play a central role in a Hindu's rites of passage, such as weddings. Modern major Hindu temple ceremonies, Hindu community celebrations, or monastic initiations may also include Yajna vedic rites, or alternatively be based on agamic rituals. Yajna has been a part of an individual or social ritual since the Vedic times. When the ritual fire – the divine Agni, the god of fire and the messenger of gods – were deployed in a Yajna, mantras were chanted. The hymns and songs sung and oblations offered into the fire were a form of hospitality for the Vedic gods. The offerings were carried by Agni to the gods, the gods in return were expected to grant boons and benedictions, and thus the ritual served as a means of spiritual exchange between gods and human beings. The Vedangas, or auxiliary sciences attached to the Vedic literature, define Yajna as follows.

See the blog post | press here





3 FEBRUARY 2014

Rajasthani man in Pushkar, India photographed at the Main Marget Rd in the evening by the photographer.

Rajasthani man in Pushkar, India photographed at the Main Marget Rd in the evening by the photographer.






News



Culture of Rajasthan, India | A Photographer's Journey
Kristian is featured in a photo blog post on the travel site The Culture Trip with an article about Rajasthan. Rajasthan, the land of kings in the northwest of India, is the largest state in the Republic of India by area. Rajasthan is famously known as the land of the Maharajas, where forts and palaces still remain as a mark of the royal lifestyle of the Maharajas. This desert landscaping province is culturally rich and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. The Culture Trip showcases the best art, culture, food and travel for every country in the world. They are passionate about bringing you compelling content, curated by a global community of writers, videographers and photographers. In just a few years, their audience has grown to more than 3 million monthly readers and nearly 1 million social media followers.

Pushkar is a small, picturesque place full of old Havelīs on the edge of a sacred lake, which is walled in on all sides with ghats. Unfortunately, the ecological depletion of the last decade has completely dried up this lake and so the ghaṭs, with all their small and large temples, seem sad and abandoned. The religious business still takes place, however, as soon to be told. Among all the holy cities of India in Puṣkar a strange loner, since here neither Śiva nor Viṣṇu are worshiped, but the otherwise neglected Brahma. This creator god is formally the third in the league of Trimurti, the Hindu "Trinity", but in religious practice, he hardly plays a role. Brahma temples are rare in India and here in Puṣkar, people even think that there is no second in the world.

See the blog post | press here





15 JANUARY 2014


Man in Varanasi, India waiting for the train at the Varanasi Junction is one of the photographs in the slideshow.

Man in Varanasi, India waiting for the train at the Varanasi Junction is one of the photographs in the slideshow.






News



Akshayapatra - Kristian Bertel | Photography
Kristian Bertel | Photography is now presenting his new slideshow called 'Akshayapatra'. From the blue city of Jodhpur to the streets of Delhi in India, see these pictures from India by photographer Kristian Bertel. A slideshow may be a presentation of images purely for their own visual interest or artistic value, sometimes unaccompanied by description or text, or it may be used to clarify or reinforce information, ideas, comments, solutions or suggestions which are presented verbally. Slideshows are sometimes still conducted by a presenter, just like the photographer.

Many consider it the most Indian of all Indian sites, the spiritual heart of the land, Varanasi, the holy city on the banks of the Ganga. Almost everyone has heard of the famous combustion ghats, to which many Sadhus make pilgrimages, to burn themselves after their death, and to scatter the ashes into the river. The Ganga Shore is paved with ghaṭs and temples for miles and offers an overwhelming sight, especially if you take the boat one morning to the Sacred River. Here you can observe Indians, as they donate on the shore victims or undergo a whole body wash – not for people with sensitive skin, because the water quality makes your hair stand on mountains. The balance between religiosity and commerce is not without its problems. Tourism, especially the domestic one, is an important economic sector, without which urban management would probably no longer be possible. Although the center around the Dasaswamedh Ghaṭ already makes quite a fairground impression, other places are only filled with Indian tradition, especially the picturesque old town has hardly changed for many years and is populated mainly by two species, Indians and sacred cows. Varanasi, also called Banares in older texts and Kasi in even older ones, is a single, huge Śiva sanctuary and every few meters one encounters a temple, a small shrine, or even a Sivalingam, whose flower decorations are a few hungry sacred cows attracts. Most temples are of simple architecture and are hardly worth a closer visit, but near the Lalita Ghaṭ is the interesting Sri Pasupatinath Nepali Mandir, which looks like freshly transplanted here from Nepal. His name refers to the famous Siva Temple in the Nepalese Pasupatinath. There are also combustion ghats there, albeit on a much smaller scale. The largest incinerator in Varanasi is Maamikarnika Ghat in close proximity to my accommodation. It is burned twentyfour hours a day, with the expensive wood carefully weighed and sold at the kilo price. After setting up the pyre, the Brahmaṇe brings fire from an 'Eternal flame' in a temple and sets fire to the pile.

See the slideshow | press here





10 JANUARY 2014

Rajasthani woman in Pushkar, India is among the photos published in the International Traveller Magazine.

Rajasthani woman in Pushkar, India is among the photos published in the International Traveller Magazine.






News



Published in the International Traveller Magazine
Kristian Bertel's photos and photographic work has been published in the January/February 2014 issue of the International Traveller Magazine, a magazine published by Australian Traveller Media. International Traveller Magazine is a magazine for Australians heading overseas, using the same values of quality editorial and independent reviews that made the original Australian Traveller Magazine the most trusted travel magazine in Australia.

Puskar is a traveler's paradise with a long tradition and that has experience, light and dark sides. The hotel offer is huge and excellent value for money, and the cityscape near the Ghats is dominated by souvenir shops and tourist pubs that offer everything a traveler's heart could desire. On the other hand, the rogue is also at home here, in a particularly hypocritical way the "Puskar Passport". The idea behind this is that everyone must go through a kind of initiation procedure on their first visit to Puṣkar, and the Brahmans are careful that nobody can escape this ritual and the subsequent donation. Actually, it should take place on the main ghat right on the water of the lake. Of necessity, during this period of drought, it had to be relocated to a small basin. There, we were separated "Karma is separate, sir!". And each one brawled by a Brahmans, had to endure the ritual with flowers, color powder and a coconut on us and repeat for minutes a mantra that was designed in the form of a form: It contained gaps into which we then had to insert the names of all those family members who were to be included in the blessings of these ceremonies.

See the tearsheets | press here





19 DECEMBER 2013

Woman in Varanasi, India, a photo taken by the photographer in Uttar Pradesh, India is among the many photos in the slideshow.

Woman in Varanasi, India, a photo taken by the photographer in Uttar Pradesh, India is among the many photos in the slideshow.






News



Raveendhran slideshow is now online
Kristian Bertel | Photography is presenting his new slideshow called 'Raveendhran'. The slideshow is focusing on India's culture and heritage, which both are a rich amalgam of the past and the present. This vast country offers the visitor a view of fascinating religions and ethnography, a vast variety of languages with more than 438 living languages, and monuments that have been present for thousands of years. As it opens up to a globalised world, India still has a depth of history and intensity of culture that awes and fascinates the many who visit there. Despite the weakening of the caste system, which has officially been outlawed by the Indian government, India remains a fairly stratified society. Indians care more about a person's background and position in society than is the norm in the individualist West. This attitude, when combined with the legacy of colonial rule, results in some rather interesting, if unfortunate consequences. People with white skin are placed high on the societal totem pole, and they may find that Indians are obsequious towards them to the point of embarrassment. People with dark skin, however may find that they are discriminated against. If it is any consolation, Indians display similar prejudices based on skin color and ethnicity among themselves and not just towards foreigners.

The ash lands in the Ganga and aggravates their ecological crisis, and individual unburned pieces of wood are taken away by the relatives to be ceremonially burned in the family's family hearth. All this takes place in a fascinating calm and dignity. Less quiet scenes take place at the center of the ghats. The main ghāṭ is called Dasaswamedh Ghat or the 'Tenhorse Sacrifice Ghat'. The Asvamedha or horse sacrifice is the most famous and complicated of all Vedic rituals, but no king has ever sacrificed ten horses and the ghaṭ owes its name to a legendary sacrifice, performed by none other than Brahma himself. During the day, souvenir dealers, masseurs, boaters, sadhus and other naysayers do business, and in the evenings a colorful spiritual dance and fire show Ganga Arti is offered. This Agni puja according to the Manikarnika Ghat is the most impressive thing one can see in Varaṇasi. A long line of dancers, accompanied by deafening music, perform synchronous movements, swinging incense sticks, torches, burning lingams and smoking censers through the air. The whole thing takes place right on the shore and you can watch it at will from the mainland or from the boat. The rowboats on the river, the colorfully dressed and effectively illuminated dancers and the breathless, astonished masses on the steps create an unforgettable atmosphere.

See the slideshow | press here





5 DECEMBER 2013

An elderly woman in the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, India.

An elderly woman in the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, India.






News



Announcing the Ashanka slideshow
A new slideshow is now online on Kristian Bertel | Photography. India is characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. India is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. A slide show is a presentation of a series of still images on a projection screen or electronic display device, typically in a prearranged sequence. The changes may be automatic and at regular intervals or they may be manually controlled by a presenter or the viewer. Slideshows originally consisted of a series of individual photographic slides projected onto a screen with a slide projector. When referring to the video or computer-based visual equivalent, in which the slides are not individual physical objects, the term is often written as one word, slideshow.

See the slideshow | press here





11 NOVEMBER 2013

Varanasi, formerly known as Benares, is one of India's oldest cities and is one of the holiest cities of the Hindus.

Varanasi, formerly known as Benares, is one of India's oldest cities and is one of the holiest cities of the Hindus.






News



Today's photograph is from Varanasi, India
The photograph of an Indian man is photographed by Kristian Bertel in Varanasi, India. India is also a country of numerous rivers. Several of them are traditionally considered holy, but especially the Ganges, locally known as Ganga, which brings life to the Indian Plains, India's breadbasket, and is not just an impressive body of water but a centre of ritual ablutions, prayer and cremation. There are several holy cities along the river that have many temples, but they are often less places of pilgrimage to specific temples than holy cities whose temples have grown because of the ghats, which are steps leading down to the holy river and most interesting to visit for the overall experience of observing or partaking in the way of life and death along the river. Foremost among these holy cities is Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, where some 5,000-year-old rituals are still practiced, other cities worth visiting to experience the Ganges include Rishikesh and Haridwar, much further upstream. Please like Kristian Bertel | Photography on Facebook to stay updated with his latest travels, news and photography.

Varanasi, formerly known as Benares, is one of India's oldest cities and is one of the holiest cities of the Hindus. The city is one of the main tourist attractions, many travelers depend on here. Varanasi is overwhelming not only for newcomers to India because of its unique atmosphere. The narrow streets of the old town with its sometimes obtrusive salesmen; the dead being carried to the burnt ghat, the many cows in the lanes plus their heaps. Along the Ganges are numerous ghats, which are wide stairs that go down into the river. At these ghats are platforms where believers pray, others at which corpses are burned, places where the scrubbers do their work, and in between pilgrims who take a bath in the Ganges or perform Hindu rituals with the Brahmins. It is best to take a rowing boat and row along the ghats for a while, ideal for this is the early morning. In the evening, some ghats perform pujas, where non-Hindus are allowed to watch.

Like him on Facebook | press here





30 AUGUST 2013

With almost 17 million inhabitants Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state of India also here in Varanasi, where this portrait was taken.

With almost 17 million inhabitants Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state of India also here in Varanasi, where this portrait was taken.






News



Street Photography in India | AamSabha.com
Kristian Bertel is featured in an article on AamSabha.com – a new site that provides a platform as the next generation way of expressing yourself truely. Aam sabha means general meeting. People meet daily and they talk about the most important issues of life, and the site wants to provide a place where everyone is able to express his own views. In Asian countries when a leader speech to public, these meetings are also known as AamSabha.

With almost 17 million inhabitants Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state of India. Since 1999, when the mountainous area in the northwest of Uttar Pradesh was separated as a new state of Uttarakha, the state consists only of the fertile Ganga and Yamuna plains and the south following drier hill country. Despite a number of big cities, the country is very agrarian oriented and rather backward. The country is equally influenced by Hindu and Islamic culture. The important Hindu pilgrimage town of Varanasi, Agra, is the seat of the Moġul dynasty. These and other places attract a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.

See the article | press here





20 AUGUST 2013

Indian girl in the Great Indian Desert, India is one of the photographer's many photographs posted on Facebook..

Indian girl in the Great Indian Desert, India is one of the photographer's many photographs posted on Facebook.






News



Facebook page has received ♥ ♥ ♥ 20,000 ♥ ♥ ♥
Kristian has through a two-year period received 20,000 likes on his photography page on Facebook. Since he started his photography page on Facebook, the photos have been in focus. Along with his comprehensive amount of daily photo tips, the page is now also presented with more stories from India! The Facebook community is a good way for valuable feedback and it is a great showcase platform for photographers. Kristian Bertel | Photography is in your News Feed if you have liked the page. The photography page highlights information that includes new photos, photo tips among other updates. News Feed also shows conversations taking place between the photographers photos.

In recent centuries Rajasthan has been fragmented into a large number of small principalities and city-states. Their Maharajas were in constant competition with each other, which was initially warlike, later carried out by excessive representation in the fields of architecture and court life. On the one hand, this development caused an impoverishment of the country, on the other hand Rajasthan is literally peppered with palaces and castles, which can be marketed excellently for tourism. Accordingly, Rajasthan attracts more foreign tourists than any other state.

See the page | press here





11 AUGUST 2013

Man in Udaipur, a city that is still one of the most beautiful cities in India and one can look in the rest of Rajasthan in vain for a similar city.

Man in Udaipur, a city that is still one of the most beautiful cities in India and one can look in the rest of Rajasthan in vain for a similar city.






News



Today's photograph is from Udaipur, India
The photograph of a man in India is taken a late afternoon by Kristian Bertel in Udaipur, India. The city of Udaipur is also sometimes called 'The City of Lakes'. Udaipur has received a rich cultural heritage from the bygone ages. The lakes, temples, huge forts and palaces boast about the rich legacy of this city. The city has kept a balance between preserving the rituals and traditions of the past while keeping up with the modern advancements and changes in lifestyle. Like any other place in the state of Rajasthan, folk dance and music have an important place in adding to the city's cultural richness. The dynamic and vibrant dances of Bhavai, Ghoomar, Kachchhi Ghodi, Kalbeliya and Terahtaali add a sparkle to the rich cultural heritage of Udaipur. Please follow Kristian Bertel on Twitter to stay updated with his latest news.

Udaipur, the former capital of Mewar was founded in 1567 southwest of the old royal city of Chittorgarh. The city owes its title "Venice of the East" to its location on the shores of two lakes – Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar. Surrounded by the gentle hills of the Aravalli Mountains Udaipur is still one of the most beautiful cities in India and you look in the rest of Rajasthans in vain for a similar city. Numerous artists were and still are inspired by Udaipur's romance. The old town, which is grouped around the city palace, is a labyrinth of small streets and winding streets. Unexpectedly you suddenly stand in front of a magnificent haveli or a decorated temple. Udaipur's glorious past seems just a blink of an eye away.

Follow him on Twitter | press here








31 JULY 2013

The photograph of a sikh is taken by Kristian Bertel in an alley in Delhi, India.

The photograph of a sikh is taken by Kristian Bertel in an alley in Delhi, India.






News



Today's photograph is from Delhi, India
The photograph of a sikh is taken by Kristian Bertel in an alley in Delhi, India. More than half of the population of Delhi lives in slums and unauthorised colonies, leaving only twentyfive percent people in planned areas. Delhi has the second largest slum population after Mumbai in India. Many of the slums in Delhi are denied even the basic services. The majority of the slums do not have even basic facilities like running water and electricity. Almost fiftyfive percent uses community toilets which are very dirty and due to this many communicable diseases arise from the area and spread out. Please follow Kristian Bertel on Twitter to stay updated with his latest news.

Delhi is a city in India. Actually, the National Capital Territory consists of three cities – Delhi, the old mogul city, New Delhi, created in 1920 by the British colonialists, and Delhi Cantonment. Generally, all of this is summarized under Delhi or Greater Capital Area. The entire Greater Capital Area is under central government administration, so it does not belong to a federal state. Some of the suburbs are already in the neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, but are still attributed to Delhi city.

Follow him on Twitter | press here





14 JUNE 2013

Woman in a light blue sari is among the twelve Rajasthan photographs from India that the photographer is displaying in an encyclopedia.

Woman in a light blue sari is among the twelve Rajasthan photographs from India that the photographer is displaying in an encyclopedia.






News



People of Rajasthan::Rajasthan
Kristian has contributed to the Indian encyclopedia eSamskriti, where he showcases 12 selected photos which depict people of Rajasthan. The site seeks to provide its viewers with a deeper understanding of India, Indians and all things Indian. In the photo gallery people can take a virtual tour across the wondrous beauty, cultural richness and historical splendour of India. For travelers it seeks to capture India for eternity. In this way eSamskriti hopes to reconnect Indians with their country's heritage. Contrary to common perception, a large percentage of women in India work. However, there are far fewer women than men in the paid workforce. In urban India, women participate in the workforce in impressive numbers. The woman in the picture is wearing a light blue sari. Red is most favored color for wedding saris and are traditional garment choice for brides in Indian culture. Women traditionally wore various types of regional handloom sarees made of silk, cotton, ikkat, block-print, embroidery and tie-dye textiles. Most sought after brocade silk sarees are Banasari, Kanchipuram, Paithani, Mysore, Uppada, Bagalpuri, Balchuri, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Mekhela, Ghicha, Narayan pet and Eri and son on are traditionally worn for festive and formal occasions.

In Pushkar one can find the Brahman temple, which can be reached via steep steps and throughout the day the scene of a cheerful religious activity with wonderful views of the lake, the city and the surrounding desert, which has undergone a noticeable green tinge for seasonal reasons. A lower hill just behind the bus station bears the Gayatri temple dedicated to Pap Mocni Mandir. During the ascent, he saw some wild peacocks strutting along the streets and rolling around in the adjoining gardens.

See the photos | press here





19 MARCH 2013

Buses are an important means of public transport in India and in this photograph a woman is waiting for the bus in Pushkar, India.

Buses are an important means of public transport in India and in this photograph a woman is waiting for the bus in Pushkar, India.






News



Kristian Bertel joins Colourbox as a supplier
Kristian's images are now also shown on Colourbox, a stock photo company in Denmark. Cotton was domesticated in India by fourthousand years ago. Traditional Indian dress varies in color and style across regions and depends on various factors, including climate and faith. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as the sari for women and the dhoti or lungi for men. Stitched clothes, such as the shalwar kameez for women and kurta-pyjama combinations or European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular. Use of delicate jewellery, modelled on real flowers worn in ancient India, is part of a tradition dating back some 5,000 years gemstones are also worn in India as talismans. At Colourbox they do their best to make it as easy as possible for their customers to find and download royalty-free materials. They offer 5 million+ images and videos which can be used worldwide, online and offline. Once an image has been used in a creative design or product, the usage right never expires. Customers can buy just one single download, or they can choose one of our subscriptions if they have bigger image needs.

Buses are an important means of public transport in India. Due to this social significance, urban bus transport is often owned and operated by public agencies, and most state governments operate bus services through a State Road Transport Corporation. These corporations have proven extremely useful in connecting villages and towns across the country. Alongside the public companies are many private bus fleets. 2012, there were 131,800 publicly owned buses in India, but 1,544,700 buses owned by private companies. However, the share of buses is negligible in most Indian cities as compared to personalised vehicles, and two-wheelers and cars account for more than eighty percent of the vehicle population in most large cities. Many Indian states government have their own fleet of buses which are run under their State Transport Department.

See the website | press here





8 JANUARY 2013

Man in Jaisalmer, India, a photo by the photographer participates in the contest.

Man in Jaisalmer, India, a photo by the photographer participates in the contest.






News



Wire India - Photo competition
Kristian participates in Wire India's photo competition with a photo from Jaisalmer. Wire India is a London and Jaipur based travel company, designing opulent adventures in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and Varanasi. The winner of Wire India's photo competition will get an incredible 14-day luxury adventure tour in India. And on top of that, when you share a link to this competition, or share an entry via Facebook, Twitter or Google+, it counts towards a donation to children's literacy charity Katha Children's Trust. Katha is a a children's literacy charity providing low-cost reading materials and educational support to underprivileged communities throughout India. So see the photo and start voting.

Rajasthan is the largest state of India and consists mostly of flat to slightly hilly desert land, but towards the southeast it is mountainous and slightly humid. Nevertheless, the state is hardly industrialized but largely agrarian. As agriculture yields only poor yields, Rajasthan is one of the poorest and most backward areas of India. Most inhabitants have one of the many barely understandable dialects of the Rajasthani group as their mother tongue, but in traffic and administration only Hindi is used. This factor, in addition to the widespread neglect of girls' education and low urbanization, contributes to the low literacy rate.

See the photo | press here





7 DECEMBER 2012

Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India is among the many photos by the photographer showcased on a blog.

Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India is among the many photos by the photographer showcased on a blog.






News



Your Shot - National Geographic Magazine
My photos to 'Your Shot' in National Geographic Magazine are now showcased on my blog, where the photos are shown in a large format. In the photo above the daily life puzzles at the Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India. Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the oldest and the holiest Ghats of Varanasi. The photo above can be seen in rich detail on my blog.

Like Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, Uttar Pradesh belongs to the Cow Belt, the area in northern India where the worship of the sacred cows is very important. However, the cows are not simply left to themselves and they are used as draft animals, milk is traded on the market, ghee is used in incineration, for temple lights or as an ingredient in many foods, and cow dung is not just fuel in the market Tandoori oven, but also serves for plastering and insulation of huts. But meat and leather are taboo. Therefore, when visiting a temple, please do not wear leather shoes, and often leather belts are frowned upon. Before entering a temple but any footwear is undress anyway and before some of the belt.

See the blog | press here





13 NOVEMBER 2012

Most Indian women prefer wearing either gold or glass bangles or combination of both as in this photograph from Mandawa, India.

Most Indian women prefer wearing either gold or glass bangles or combination of both as in this photograph of from Mandawa, India.






News



INDIA - Portraits of People - Interview - JPG
Mandawa is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. It is part of Shekhawati region. Rajasthan, recognized by its Royal heritage is a prominent and well-established craft industry. Craft remains a tradition in Rajasthan, preserved over centuries by the stronghold of the Royal Rajput family. Within the craft industry are smaller occupations. These include, fabric colouration and embellishment, decorative painting and puppetry. Craft workers see this not as an occupation, but rather a mark of respect to their heritage. In the process of fabric colouration, woven fabrics are treated by methods such as tie-dyeing, resist dyeing and direct application. The dupatta worn by women show the popularity of dyeing. In 2008, traditional Jodhpur garments inspired designer Raghavendra Rathore's collection, Rathore Jodhpur. Fabric dyeing belongs to the Chippa caste of Rajasthan. Fabrics are embellished with mirror embroidery, symbolic to Rajasthan and wooden beading once dyed. The trend of mirror embroidery is also visible on dupattas in Punjab, known as the phulkari. Decorative patterns adorn all surfaces in Rajasthan. Interiors of homes are painted with floral motifs, similar bindi, dotted designs are seen on garments. The clipped camel is unique to Rajasthan. In this, patterns are imprinted on the hide of the camel, taken place during the Pushkar and Nagaur festivals by the Rabari caste. Kristian's images have been shown as photo essays online documenting many aspects of the daily life particularly in India. Kristian shares his thoughts on portrait photography in this interview on JPG Magazine.

Mandawa, located directly on the famous Silk Road, used to be a major trading city. Although the route is only 260 kilometers long, our bus takes six hours to complete it. In the small town of Mandawa, about 260 km west of Delhi, are some of the most beautiful Haveli houses. These houses were formerly built and inhabited by rich merchant families. The small and quite run-down city is best left to a leader. Bangles made from sea shell, copper, bronze, gold, agate, chalcedony and so on have been excavated from multiple archaeological sites throughout India. A figurine of a dancing girl wearing bangles on her left arm has been excavated. Bangles are part of traditional Indian jewellery. They are usually worn in pairs by women, one or more on each arm. Most Indian women prefer wearing either gold or glass bangles or combination of both. Inexpensive bangles made from plastic are slowly replacing those made by glass, but the ones made of glass are still preferred at traditional occasions such as marriages and on festivals.

The designs range from simple to intricate handmade designs, often studded with precious and semi-precious stones such as diamonds, gems and pearls. Sets of expensive bangles made of gold and silver make a jingling sound. The imitation jewellery tends to make a tinny sound when jingled. One factor that adds to the price of the bangles is the artifacts or the work done further on the metal. This includes embroidery or small glass pieces or paintings or even small hangings that are attached to the bangles. The rareness of a color and its unique value also increase the value. Bangles made from lac are one of the oldest types and among the most brittle. Lac is a resinous material, secreted by insects, which is collected and molded in hot kilns to make these bangles. Among the recent kinds are rubber bangles, worn more like a wrist band by youngsters, and plastic ones which add a trendy look. Normally, a bangle worn by people around the world is simply an inflexible piece of jewelry worn around the wrist. However, in many cultures, especially in the South Asia, bangles have evolved into various types in which different ones are used at different occasions.

See the interview | press here





6 SEPTEMBER 2012

A photograph of a couple of Indian schoolchildren in Jaisalmer, India has been submitted to National Geographic Nordic.

A photograph of a couple of Indian schoolchildren in Jaisalmer, India has been submitted to National Geographic Nordic.






News



Jaisalmer Billede | National Geographic
Every month National Geographic Nordic runs their monthly photo competition. The winner gets their picture in National Geographic and receives a beautiful certificate. This month Kristian has submitted his photo of Indian schoolchildren in Jaisalmer. "- When I was browsing through my photo set of Jaisalmer, I suddenly stopped at the photo showing the intimacy of this everyday life moment, where two Indian schoolchildren are walking in an alley of Jaisalmer. At first, I thought about cropping the photo because there was much space above the children. But I decided to keep the photo uncropped, in order to give the impression, that the children are a small intimate group in the surroundings."

The enchanting Jaisalmer that nestles around a castle that towers on the far and wide single hill and is made entirely of golden sandstone, which is why it is called Golden City in all tourist guides. This actually quite remote place in the middle of the desert is one of the tourist centers in Rajasthan. The fact that people come here in droves, of course, has its good reasons. The cityscape is still traditional for a good part, with golden havelīs everywhere, often with magnificent decorations whose flat roofs seem to glow in the evening sun. By the way, the heat is almost beyond what humans can reasonably endure, and so we have refrained from riding in the desert with a camel and these so-called 'camel safaris' are actually the tourist hustlers here, but even the The most persistent camel-boar even realize that the season is not suitable for outdoor activities. One just can not stand it outdoors for more than a few hours. But even beyond the humpback animals one can do a lot in Jaisalmer. Some of the largest Havelis are open to visitors. These magnificent and representative buildings belonged to merchant families, and the largest of them make many Maharaja palaces look small. It is easy to imagine how half-world merchandise changed hands in the richly decorated business premises. Jaisalmer was on an important caravan route from India to Central Asia, and the transit of goods gave the city a steady income. The most beautiful is probably the Salam Simh ki Haveli, whose ornate roof structure dominates the city and offers an overwhelming view. Sri Rishabdevaji ka Mandir and the Rishabdev Jain Temple in Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, India.





22 AUGUST 2012

An Indian man takes a walk in Jaisalmer, India which is very much a tourist town, with a population of about 80,000.

An Indian man takes a walk in Jaisalmer, India which is very much a tourist town, with a population of about 80,000.






News



Jaisalmer Photo - Focal Press Photography Contest
Kristian is participating in the Focal Press Photography Contest with a photo from Jaisalmer. Unlike Jaipur and Jodhpur, with populations in the millions, Jaisalmer is very much a tourist town, with a population of about 80,000. In fact, a significant portion of the population is only there in the tourist season, four months out of the year. The rest of the time they go off to find work in larger towns in Rajasthan. Thus you can expect to see that the inhabitants are very intent on selling you things. As anywhere in India, try to stay calm and not get irritated, as getting angry never helps the situation. Keep in mind that they can also be extremely friendly, chatty, and genuinely helpful, so be positive when in the city and have a good time. The theme for the August contest is 'travel' sponsored by Focus On Travel Photography by Haje Jan Kamps, a professional photographer and freelance writer living in the UK. Haje has written all kinds of photography books.

A short walk from the Old Town through the noisy New Town to a small lake, the Gaḍisar Talav. There you can not only admire some temples and sail with a boat to small islets in the lake, but also observe animal-loving Indians, how they pamper the local wildlife. Although pigeon and duck-feeding pensioners also exist in other parks in the world, Ga amisar Talav has even become accustomed to catfish. As soon as someone throws something edible into the water, an indescribable ball of slippery fish and wide-open, greedy mouths forms. What else the photographer did in Jaisalmer is quickly told, bought souvenirs. Many dealers reside in beautiful old havelis, bargaining and drinking tea.

See the photo | press here





20 AUGUST 2012

An Indian girl is looking out a bus window in Udaipur, India.

An Indian girl is looking out a bus window in Udaipur, India.






News



Udaipur Billede | National Geographic
I'm honored to be among the finalist in the monthly National Geographic Nordic photo contest with a picture from Udaipur. Udaipur, with its picturesque landscape, lakes, and historic palaces and architecture, is a major destination for most tourists, both domestic and foreign nationals visiting the state. With numerous hotels to serve visiting tourists, Udaipur is home to some of the world's most renowned and the country's best luxury hotels and resorts. With various other renowned hotel chains present in the city, the tourism sector has been a fairly large contributor to the economic growth and fame of Udaipur. The winner gets their picture in National Geographic and receives a beautiful certificate.

Founded by Maharana Udai Singh, Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar, a kingdom ruled by the dynasty of sisodias for more than 1200 years. After a devastating war with the Mughal rulers, they had to abandon their old capital Chittorgarh because of their unfavorable situation and decided to settle further south in the protective Aravalli mountains. On the advice of a sage, they laid the foundation stone for their new capital on the shores of Lake Pichola. The new city got the name of its founder Udai Singh. Formerly Udaipur was protected by a city wall which was built around the city ring-shaped and had eleven city gates and a fortification. From the wall today only a few sections and eight of the former eleven city gates, which are now protected as monuments left. However, the city has long overgrown its former limit and today has about 350,000 inhabitants. To ensure the optimal water supply of their subjects, the rulers of Udaipur built a sophisticated dam and canal system. This created today's cityscape with the large upper reservoir Fateh Sagar and the connecting lakes Swaroop Sagar and Rang Sagar. Connected by locks and channels, the water level of Lake Pichola is thus kept constant and water supply to the population is ensured. Udaipur is famous all over the world, mainly thanks to the summer palace Jag Niwas or Lake Palace, which was built on an island in Lake Pichola and served as a summer residence for the kings. After the former rulers of Rajasthan had to surrender their titles and privileges, Lake Palace was leased to the prominent hotel chain Taj Group and expanded into a luxury hotel.





23 APRIL 2012

A cow passes by a small group of Indian children in Delhi, India, a photo that is participating in the Traveler Photo Contest on National Geographic.

A cow passes by a small group of Indian children in Delhi, India, a photo that is participating in the Traveler Photo Contest on National Geographic.






News



Delhi Picture - Traveler Photo Contest 2012 - National Geographic
Kristian participates in the 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest with a picture from Delhi. Last year nearly 13,000 images were submitted from all over the world. The pictures captured an assortment of the places, wildlife, and people that make traveling memorable, evoking a sense of delight, discovery or both. Delhi Picture is submitted in the category 'Sense of Place'. Much of Delhi is quite pedestrian-hostile. Distances are long, road signage is poor, and in the more tourist oriented areas, you will be constantly accosted by beggars and touts. Crossing roads often involves wading across multiple lanes of heavy traffic. Try your best to move in a predictable straight line, so vehicles can weave around you. Better yet, latch onto a group of locals and cross in their shadow.

In addition to the general health advice for India is especially for Delhi and do not drink tap water is often offered to guests in restaurants and private homes to welcome, not even brushing your teeth. The water quality is usually so bad that there is a risk of hepatitis or gastrointestinal complaints can occur. It is also advisable to abstain from unpasteurized milk, ice cubes, unsealed mineral waters, uncooked vegetables and unpeeled fruit. If you are staying in Delhi for a long time, buying a good water filter is a good idea, but it does not reliably protect you from the detrimental consequences of poor water quality. As a relatively safe culinary preparations may apply due to the heat application, Dal which are a lentils and bean dish, Aloo mater which is a potato dish with peas and so on. Also tea can be counted among the safe drinks only with pasteurized milk, as well as sealed 'Kinley' mineral water or the national Bisleri mineral water and fruit drinks such as Frooti.

See the photo | press here





6 MARCH 2012

Photo of a boy in Delhi, India is among the many photos by the photographer on TotallyCoolPix.

Photo of a boy in Delhi, India is among the many photos by the photographer on TotallyCoolPix.






News



In The Picture >> TotallyCoolPix
Kristian is displaying 15 selected photos from his Indian series in a feature on TotallyCoolPix. In The Picture category gives photgraphers with a passion the opportunity to showcase their work to thousands around the globe. Many of the photos that are presented in the blog post are from Rajasthan. This region has some of the country's most popular destinations. In Rajasthan, the desert forts of Jaisalmer and the magnificent sand-dunes evoke all the romance and splendour of its princely past. Most people speak Rajasthani dialects, Hindi and sometimes broken English. In tourist places like Jaipur and Jodhpur, you will find trained English and French guides too. You may not be able to understand some people due to the dialect that they speak and at times, they may add words from these dialects while speaking Hindi. This does not mean that they are unable to understand you. In Rajasthan, Hindi is universally understood whereas English is spoken among the educated. Bear in mind that Rajasthani languages are more likely to be spoken by older people rather than younger people.

Especially in Delhi there has been a recent increase in sexual assault on foreign women. Under no circumstances should women move anywhere on the street after about 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm alone without male attendants. Buses and taxis are not safe either. It is best always to write down the license plate in front of the taxi driver and notify a friend or acquaintance by telephone message or telephone. Although there are already many women in Delhi who have swapped the sari for jeans and shirt, you still rarely see up to no women in shorts, mini skirts or tank tops, which certainly has its reasons. Since you as a tourist already noticed, one should not additionally dress according to Indian opinion provocative and so perhaps with the clothes unintentionally send out signals that can be misunderstood by Indian men. Road traffic is a particular danger in the Road Death Capital of the World, which should be treated with respect.

See the feature | press here





25 FEBRUARY 2012

Ranakpur shepherd in Rajasthan, a photo by the photographer that made it as photo of the day on Light & Composition.

Ranakpur shepherd in Rajasthan, a photo by the photographer that made it as photo of the day on Light & Composition.






News



Photo of the Day | February 25 | Light & Composition Magazine
Kristian's photo of a Ranukpur shepherd has been selected as photo of the day on Light & Composition Magazine. Ranakpur is a small village, and there are no rickshaws or taxis touting to take you around. Near the Ranakpur temple, you can hire a private car to take you to hotels in and around the village. Most tourists make Ranakpur a stop on a day trip from Udaipur, although there are a number of nice hotels nearby. Light & Composition is a photography magazine that aims to steer people towards the true essence of photography. With nearly a million subscriptions, it is the most widely read magazine in the field of art, photography and adventure travel.

Raṇakpur is somehow something out of the ordinary. It is not a city, not even a village, but the name really refers only to a wilderness temple, the attached administration building, and the bus station with a tea and snack stall. It is all in the mountainous south of Rajasthan, north of Udaipur and pretty much at the bottom of the world. The barren hills are inhabited, but most of the time one sees only individual clay-and-stone huts, whose inhabitants try to harvest low-yielding crops and spend most of the day looking for firewood. About three kilometers north of the temple you will actually find a collection of hotels, unfortunately not necessarily the cheap kind, and a few kilometers away is a larger village. Overall, however, the impression of extensive seclusion remains, which makes the wonder of Raṇakpur temple all the more amazing.

See the photo | press here





11 JUNE 2011

Girl in Pushkar, India made it as photo of the day on Photoburst, which is a daily photo competition online.

Girl in Pushkar, India made it as photo of the day on Photoburst, which is a daily photo competition online.






News



Selected as POTD - Photo of the day on Photoburst.net
Kristian's photo of a girl in Pushkar has been published to Photoburst a daily travel photography contest. Pushkar is a holy town in the state of Rajasthan famous for the Pushkar lake, various ghats and temples spread all around the lake. The word 'Pushkar' means lotus flower, which is said to be the seat of Brahma, one of the Hindu holy trinity, who is worshipped as the creator of this world. The legend has it that the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma's children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where it gave birth to a lake. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima, which is the full moon day of the Kartik month and which generally falls in November, hallowing the place. Though Brahma is considered to be the creator of the world, Pushkar is the only temple of this important deity in the whole world. This is also considered as Adi Teerth or Teertharaj meaning ancient holy place or the most important of holy places respectively.

Pushkar Lake is a beautiful, sanctified spot in the center of Pushkar. It is said to have been created by Lord Brahma and is therefore a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. The lake is surrounded by 52 different ghats, or series of steps, which Hindus use to descend to the lake for ritual bathing, especially in the month of karthik. Everyday Photoburst publish the best photo uploaded by their contributors.

See the website | press here





9 MARCH 2011

An Indian girl is carrying bamboo in Varanasi, a city that is sacred to Hindus and Jains and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

An Indian girl is carrying bamboo in Varanasi, a city that is sacred to Hindus and Jains and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.






News



4th place winner in GRAND PRIX 2010 Zoom photo competition
Kristian's photo of an indian girl carrying bamboo has won the 4th place in the Danish photo magazine Zoom's photo competition. The photo has been captured in the city of Varanasi. This city is sacred to Hindus and Jains and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Many Hindus believe that dying in Varanasi brings salvation or nirvana and so they make the trip to the city when they realize that they are close to death. For some, the culture shock of the burning corpses in plain view and the feces overflowing from the Ganges can be a bit overwhelming. However, the scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganga at sunrise set against the backdrop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world.

The River Ganga is a sacred river for the Hindus and you will see traditional rituals and bathing occurring at all times of the day. On the Eastern banks, the River Ganga is flanked by a 300 meter wide sand belt, beyond which lies a green belt, a protected area reserved for turtle breeding. The western crescent-shaped bank of the River Ganga is flanked by a continuous stretch of 84 ghats, or series of steps leading down to the river, stretching for almost seven kilometres. These ghats were built by Hindu kings who wanted to die along the Ganges, and they built lofty palaces along the river, most of which are now hotels, to spend their final days. You can walk along the river and see all of the ghats, but the best option for viewing the ghats is to charter a boat and see them from the river.

See the magazine | press here





21 FEBRUARY 2011

In India four different language families can be identified and in this photograph an Indian woman has been portrayed in Rajasthan.

In India four different language families can be identified and in this photograph an Indian woman has been portrayed in Rajasthan.






News



Nominee for 'Your Shot' in National Geographic Nordic
One of Kristian's photos has been nominated as candidate in the monthly photo competition of the Nordic edition of the National Geographic Magazine. Western India comprises three large states, one small state and two minuscule union territories. It is bounded by Pakistan and the Arabian sea to its west and the Gangetic plains to its east. This is the most heterogeneous of India's regions. The states differ drastically from one another in language, culture and levels of economic development. Maharashtra and Gujarat are among the most industrialized states of India while Rajasthan and Goa are magnets for tourists, though for different reasons. The total number of languages ​​in India is, depending on the method of counting, a few hundred, of which the overwhelming majority are not or hardly written. No more than twenty languages ​​have a vast and vibrant literary culture, plus a few dozen others with little or historically lost scriptural tradition. It is an Indian peculiarity that most of the written languages ​​are or were written with their own writing system – only the northwestern Devanagari script with the well-known horizontal bar and its northeastern variant, the Bengali script, are used for several languages, mostly Added some language-specific special characters. In addition to the Indian writings, modifications of the Arabic alphabet and of course the Latin script are also in use. The majority of Indians follow the Hindu religion, but there is also a strong Islamic minority especially in the northwest and smaller groups with Christian minority northeast scattered in the south or Buddhist in the Himalaya and northeast confessions. Then there is Jainism, a religion unknown outside India, with its emphasis on the West, Sikkhism, also restricted to India, especially in Punjab and a diminishing number of parcels – this very ancient religion of Zarathustra comes from Persia and has common roots with Hinduism. Finally, a few minorities still practice nature religions, usually with Hindu overtones.

India is a continental country that includes both dry and monsooned high mountains, tropical and subtropical mountains, tropical lowlands and desert areas. This variable nature of the country alone already causes a multitude of different cultural spaces, but there are also ethnic and linguistic differences that can be compared with those within the entire European continent, and a long tradition of fragmentation into innumerable small and micro-states with pronounced local traditions. Even apart from the under-researched inhabitants of the Andamanen and Nikobaren including some of the most isolated populations of the present, four different language families can be identified in India. Most of northern India is populated by Yrians, whose languages ​​are relatively closely related and which belong to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family of languages, consequently, they are also related to German distantly. Scattered in Central India and dominant in South India, one encounters the endemic Dravid language family. Two other families are spoken by minority only. Austro-Asian is represented in Central India by the endemic Munda branch, and in Northeastern India by the Mon-Khmer branch centered in Southeast Asia and Sino-Tibetan languages ​​of various branches are present in Himalaya as well spoken in the plains and in the mountains of the northeast.





22 NOVEMBER 2010

A photo of an Indian man in Pushkar, India is in the series of photographs that are mostly from Rajasthan in India.

A photo of an Indian man in Pushkar, India is in the series of photographs that are mostly from Rajasthan in India.






News



Neehemendje, a new slideshow
Neehemendje slideshow is now available online on the website of the photographer. The series of photographs are mostly from Rajasthan in India. Most people speak Rajasthani dialects, Hindi and sometimes broken English. In tourist places like Jaipur and Jodhpur, you will find trained English and French guides too. You may not be able to understand some people due to the dialect that they speak and at times, they may add words from these dialects while speaking Hindi. This does not mean that they are unable to understand you. In Rajasthan, Hindi is universally understood whereas English is spoken among the educated. Bear in mind that Rajasthani languages are more likely to be spoken by older people rather than younger people. Travel is the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve travel by foot as the photographer did here in Pushkar, India.

According to ancient texts and inscriptions, the Pushkar Lake is already in the fourth century before Christ. The Hindu god Brahma is said to have taken the life of the demon Vajranabha with his lotus flower weapon and thereby created the lake. Later a Rajput prince from Mandore is said to have been healed by the water of the lake from a pigmentation disorder of the skin. Years later, the old stone dam was rebuilt, increasing the area of ​​the lake and the Mughal ruler Jahangir came several times to hunt in the area of ​​Ajmer. On the shores of Pushkar Lake, he had a small palace built whose ruins can still be seen today. In the period of the decline of the Mughal Empire, several Rajput princes donated new temples or ghats. The lake is still considered by many Hindus to be one of the holiest places in India today, a bath in his water is as cleansing as a bath in the Ganges and part of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were scattered here.

See the slideshow | press here





18 SEPTEMBER 2010

Because of the high population density of Varanasi and the increasing number of tourists there has been grave concern for the pollution in the city.

Because of the high population density of Varanasi and the increasing number of tourists there has been grave concern for the pollution in the city.






News



Photo on ::: The Travel Photographer :::
The work of the photographer has been shown on ::: The Travel Photographer :::. At the holy ghats of Varanasi the silence rules. Along the river banks of the River Ganges some of the inhabitants of Varanasi have assembled in a quiet moment. Travel photography, unlike other genres like fashion, product, or food photography, is still an underestimated and relatively less monetized genre, though the challenges faced by travel photographers are lot greater than some of the genres where the light and other shooting conditions may be controllable. This genre of photography entails shooting a wide variety of subjects under varied available conditions, low light photography indoors, available ambient light photography for exteriors of buildings and monuments, shooting on the streets where sometimes conditions may be hostile, capturing moments which rarely recur, capturing the magic of light while shooting landscapes and so on.

Because of the high population density of Varanasi and the increasing number of tourists, the Uttar Pradesh government and international non-governmental organisations and institutions have expressed grave concern for the pollution and pressures on infrastructure in the city, mainly the sewage, sanitation, and drainage components. Pollution of the Ganges is a particular source of worry because of the religious significance of the river, the dependence of people on it as a source of drinking water, and its prominence as a symbol of Varanasi and the city itself. The sewage problem is exacerbated by the role of the Ganges in bathing and in river traffic, which is very difficult to control. Because of the sewage, people using local untreated water have higher risk of contracting a range of water-borne stomach diseases. Parts of Varanasi are contaminated with industrial chemicals including toxic heavy metal. Studies of wastewater from Varanasi's sewage treatment plants identify that water's contamination with metals and the reuse of this water for irrigation as a way that the toxic metals come to be in the plants that people grow for food. One studied example is palak, a popular leafy vegetable which takes up heavy metal when it is in the soil, and which people then eat. Some of the polluting sludge contains minerals which are fertiliser, which could make polluted water attractive to use. Pesticides used in local farming are persistent enough to be spread through the water, to sewer treatment, then back to the farms as wastewater.

See the photo | press here

News in photography

News is information about current events. Journalists and photographers provide news through many different media, based on word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, and also on their own testimony, as witnesses of relevant events. Common topics for news reports include travel as the photographer has covered and education, the environment, social classes and as well as and other events. Travel and travel destinations, have been dubbed news since ancient times. Humans edited photo news is with a desire to learn and share news, which they satisfy by talking to each other and sharing information. Technological and social developments, often driven by communication and networks, have increased the speed with which news can spread, as well as influenced its content. The genre of news as we know it today is closely associated with the newspaper as a court bulletin and spread, with paper and printing press to India. Newsworthiness is defined as a subject having sufficient relevance to the public or a special audience to warrant press attention or coverage of photography in India. In some countries and at some points in history, what news media and the public have considered newsworthy has met different definitions, such as the notion of news values. Many news values seem to be common across cultures. People seem to be interested in news to the extent which it has a big impact, describes conflicts, happens nearby, involves well-known people, and deviates from the norms of everyday happenings. Viewed from a sociological perspective, news for mass consumption is produced in hierarchically structured organizations. Reporters, making up a larger group near the bottom of the structure, are given significant autonomy in researching and preparing reports. Occasionally, decision-makers higher in the structure may intervene. Owners at the top of the news hierarchy influence the content of news indirectly but substantially. The professional norms of journalism discourage overt censorship. Therefore, news organizations have hided but unshakeable policies about how to cover certain topics. These policies are conveyed to journalists through socialization on the job. Journalists never receive the policy in writing, they simply learn how things are done. Journalists and photographers comply with these rules for various reasons. Journalists are also systematically influenced by their education, up to and including journalism school. News production is routinized in several ways. News stories use well-understood formats and subgenres which vary by topic. Rituals of objectivity, such as pairing a quotation from one group with a quotation from a competing group, dictate the construction of most news narratives.


Role of news media in India

Media in the contemporary world holds the power to secure or topple the government in India, form public opinion about any policy or institution and enhance or ridicule the reputation of an imminent personality. It also proves to be an outlet of public opinion and here are some aspects where media proves to be an indispensable institution. Media provides all the necessary information regarding the existing policies of the government, their impact on varying sections of India and even the tentative plans for the future. The prominent political and elite figures have to maintain good relations with the media in order to 'survive' as leaders or influential members of the society. Media has always played the role of being an outlet of public voice and opinion, further propagating ideas, novel policies and reforms suggested by the common man. It helps to keep the dynamic nature of the Indian government intact by putting forward the needs, demands, opinions and solutions of various problems faced by majority and or the backward, underprivileged sections of the society. With the gigantic size of the Indian population and the diversities and varying needs existing in India, the government cannot possibly reach every part of the country and here is where media provides support, guidance and a way for the general population to voice their thoughts. Additionally, media provides a means to bring special persons or groups of persons in the limelight, who have been let down by the government due to inadequate support and aid in times of need and emergencies. It brings forward the unusual cases of people desperately in need of any and every kind, special medical needs required and so on. Media proves to be an effective means of keeping the common man in touch with the issues and news of the world. Contemporary media does not limit itself to the events and circumstances of India but also allows immediate, efficient contact with the happenings of other nations, that too within minutes of outbreak of an event.


India stories to be told by its people

In addition to this, media maintains India's position as an imminent county on a global level and makes comparative studies and information available, to determine India's standing and relations with other countries of the world. Indian street youth undoubtedly forms a fundamental part of the civilization in India, which is evinced by the fact that more often than not it is the youth that leads a protest against any objectionable act of the government or social institution. Youth's association with media is an integral one. The youngsters make proper use of the media in order to question and condemn ill doings and malevolence. Nowadays, newspapers have special sections which hoist the voice of the young minds. The same is applied by the television news channels, while the latest platform is the internet. Today, blogging is also a powerful tool that is utilized fully for expressing thoughts, views and disagreements. Hence, media has proved to restore faith in the democratic nature and the free will of the citizens of India. Through media, the commonality does not only remain constantly upbeat with the events of the world but has also found another way to participate in the decision making process and the chosen representatives have become more accountable and answerable to the public. Therefore, contemporary media is providing India the opportunity to evolve and refine herself to keep up with the rest of the world. The internet in India was not available to private users until more then twenty years ago. In those years there were only fortyeight daily newspapers that operated on the internet. Some years later the number has steadily climbed to reach hundred and sixteen newspapers and is predicted to grow as more people in India get access to the web. The first newspapers to adopt an online format were generally English speaking because they had more of a global audience. However, as more users gained access more Indian language papers began to surface. A lot of these new websites were generic versions of the daily paper and were not edited once published. They were operated by minimal staffs. In some instances a single editor would upload data to a third party pre-formatted interface which would allow stories to be published under general headings such as local news, international, travel and so on. A large majority of online newspapers in India do not receive advertisement revenue for their web editions and, with the exception of the major papers, most websites are being operated at a loss. Most publications have been slow to incorporate modern web features such as video clips or imbedded audio. One of the biggest concerns is economic viability due to lack of ad revenue.


News in India

Indian journalism sites have also been slow to adopt the modern practice of online purchasing. This means that when someone visits the website they are unable to order the paper directly or purchase products through advertisements. Many online newspapers in India are criticised for being hastily thrown together with little care from publishers about content. A majority of websites lack simple features such as about us or feedback. While the major publishers like the Times Group will list email addresses of its writers and editors many of the small daily newspapers only have a simple imbedded box on their website for feedback. This makes it difficult for readers to communicate with newspaper staff. Freedom of expression and the right to speak is given to all Indian citizens as residents of a democratic nation. Media became popular in India in nineteenth century during British colony imperialism and was initially a means of making people aware of the arbitrariness of the British rule. This propelled the nation to progress on the path of Independence. Now however, media has come to be known as the 'Fourth estate' or 'Fourth pillar', viewed alongside the three organs of the government. It has become a societal and political force, though its influence has not officially been recognized. In the media industry, limitations are limited. The Government does have certain provisions to control this fast growing sector, such as the Registrar of Newspapers for India and the News and Broadcasting Authority, but these have self created laws which do not play their roles with as much efficacy as we would desire. Media provides all the useful information to the masses of India. In a way, it keeps a check on the governmental policies, giving reasonable power to the public of India. Contemporary media is available in almost all forms possible internet, radio, television, newspapers and magazines. It stores, disseminates, and even controls all sorts of news and data nowadays. The media has the leverage of manipulating information and deciding how much, and in what form the news reaches the people.Many news items, which revolve around press conferences or other scheduled events are predictable in advance. Further predictability is established by assigning each journalist to a beat, a domain of human affairs, usually involving government or commerce, in which certain types of events routinely occur. Few factors have emerged in internet-era newsrooms. One issue is "click-thinking", the editorial selection of news stories and of journalists who can generate the most website hits and thus advertising revenue. Unlike a newspaper, a news website has differentiated pages and intensive data collection, enabling rapid feedback about which stories are popular and who reads them. The drive for speedy online postings, some journalists have acknowledged, has altered norms of fact-checking so that verification takes place after publication. News is the leading source of knowledge about global affairs for people around the world. According to news theory, the general public will identify as its priorities those issues which are highlighted on the news. The news-setting model has been well-supported by research, which indicate that the public's self-reported concerns respond to changes in news coverage rather than changes in the underlying issue itself. The less an issue obviously affects people's lives, the bigger an influence media news-setting can have on their opinion of it. The news power becomes even stronger in practice because of the correspondence in news topics promulgated by different media channels.


India as a travel country

The traditional print media, but also the television media, are largely family-owned and often partake in self-censorship, primarily due to political ties by the owner and the establishment. However, the new media are generally more professional and corporate-owned, though these, too, have been acquired or affiliated with established figures. At the same time, the Indian media, viewed as "feisty", have also not reported on issues of the media itself. Some of the most influcial local media in India is newspapares such as Malayala Manorama, Daily Thanthi, Mathrubhumi, Lokmat, Anandabazar Patrika, Eenadu, Gujarat Samachar, Sakal and Sakshi. Cows are part of everyday life and also in the news in India. They are known to be sacred and should not be fed or caressed. In road traffic, ruminants must have priority and cause some traffic jams. But when the holy beasts are freshly set in front of a temple, it is a pious deed for pilgrims and tourists alike to buy green fodder ready for a few rupees from the cowherd. Feeding is then allowed. And there are also special table manners on the subcontinent for instance when you are eating and if there is no cutlery available, one eat with the right hand. The left is considered impure because it is used to walk to the toilet. As in the tourist centers and large cities with the meals but usually cutlery is served, one gets during the vacation rather rarely pondering. By the way, cleaning your nose at the table is frowned upon as in many Asian countries. In India, it is considered rude to stretch the soles of someone's feet. If you sit on the ground, you should therefore choose the cross-legged. That many gestures are not always universal, many travelers to India had to learn. Because a simple shake of the head in India means "Yes!", Just the opposite of what the common Westerners think. India is becoming increasingly popular as an exotic tourist destination, with more than six million tourists visiting the country last year. In addition to the diversity of nature that stretches from tropical sandy beaches to the desert in Rajasthan to the mountain tours of the Himalayas, the country's incredible cultural wealth fascinates. India also sees itself as an emerging economic power. The coexistence of sacred cows and the use of smartphones can be reconciled here. But our transfigured image of the country, which is also marked by yoga and the nonviolence of a Mahatma Gandhi, has recently been severely torn. Headlines about rape show another side of India, where violence against women is widespread in the Hindu country. According to India, a woman is raped every twentytwo minutes in India and the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher. For India vacationers, the question arises if travel in India is no longer safe. The act casts a spotlight on conditions in India, whose society is characterized by great contrasts. Travelers should therefore thoroughly inform themselves on where and how they are traveling in the huge country with its 1.2 billion inhabitants. Depending on the region, the tensions are different. For instance, Madhya Pradesh, where the incident occurred, is considered one of the poorest and most backward states, and, in contrast to South India, particularly dangerous for women. Despite rape cases in Delhi, which have been in the news, which are now becoming more public than a year ago, India remains a fascinating travel destination. Guided round trips and group tours to heritage sites are still considered safe. Thus, the use of public transport in urban centers is avoided.


Uttar Pradesh a populous state

The fifth largest state in India is Uttar Pradesh with almost 200 million inhabitants is the most populous state in the country. In addition to Hindi, the population mainly speaks Urdu. Uttar Pradesh borders Nepal in the northeast and, together with the state of Haryana, surrounds the Union Territory of Delhi. The capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh is the scene of many great legends from the Vedic period. The state is considered the cradle of the three major world religions Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the British acquired the lands of the present state of Uttar Pradesh from the Mughal emperors. By 1833, they were Bengals, then the United Provinces were formed in the area, and the city of Agra was appointed their administrative seat. In 1877, the administration was also subordinated to the Oudh area and the provinces were given the name of northwestern provinces from 1902 onwards. After Indian independence, the area was renamed Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh's economy consists largely of agriculture and livestock. Seventythree percent of the population work in related occupations. However, this state in India also has a number of medium-sized and large companies in the automotive and textile industries. In addition to the state capital Lucknow and Moradabad with metal crafts, Varanasi with sarees and silk and Mirzapur with carpet industry and Kanpur and Agra with carpet industry are major trading cities. In addition, Uttar Pradesh is rich in minerals such as limestone, coal, siliceous sand, phosphorus and dolomite and the state of Uttar Pradesh has many attractions, including numerous pilgrimage sites. Main tourist attractions are the city of Agra with the mausoleum of Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, as well as the holy cities of Varanasi and Fatehpur Sikri. Every twelve years Uttar Pradesh hosts the Kumbh Mela, which is the largest religious festival of Hinduism, gathering more than 10 million Hindus. A princely state, also called native state or Indian state for those states on the subcontinent, was a vassal state under a local or regional ruler in a subsidiary alliance with the British Raj. Though the history of the princely states of the subcontinent dates from at least the classical period of Indian history, the predominant usage of the term princely state specifically refers to a semi-sovereign principality on the Indian subcontinent during the British Raj that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by a local ruler. The most prestigious Hindu rulers usually had the writing Maha which means great in their titles, as in Maharaja, Maharana, Maharao and so on. However, the actual importance of a princely state cannot be read from the title of its ruler, which was usually granted or at least recognized as a favour, often in recognition for loyalty and services rendered to the Mughal Empire. Although some titles were raised once or even repeatedly, there was no automatic updating when a state gained or lost real power.


Unforgettable moments in India

47 stone steps, the so-called ghats, lead down the bank Varanasis to Ganges. Every year, thousands of devout Hindus make a pilgrimage to the Holy City for ritual ablutions and other religious rituals. Already in the early morning there is a lot of activity at the ghats. Women in colorful saris and men in plain cotton underwear stand up to the belly button in the foully polluted Ganges, rub themselves with the water, immerse themselves three times and pray. He could spend hours here just watching the Hindus in their religious rituals. For me it is incomprehensible and far from myself, how much they believe and how much time they devote to religion. He arrived in a completely different world away from well-protected Denmark, where the photographer is from. But his western subconscious always speaks up. Is not it unhygienic to bathe in such polluted water, not to mention drink it? Do one get sick if they get some of the water? Inwardly, he smiles to himself, but you have to give, the thoughts are justified. The bathing ghats where the Hindus wash themselves clean of their sins in the holy Ganges. Unforgettable during his time in Varanasi he has the impressive and elaborate Pujas remained. Every evening after sunset, the ghats perform a lavish Ganga-Aarti ceremony with loads of fire, music, songs and spectators. In fact, the entire city, including its visitors, seems to be staying at the Ganges shore at this time to attend the ceremony. In front of the ghats countless boats have been placed with spectators to follow the puja. The ceremony is attended by 5 Brahmins who work in synch with firing rods and smoke vessels to monotonous rhythms. They worship the deity Shiva, the river Ganges and the entire universe. To put into words the atmosphere and mood during the Ganga-Aarti ceremony is impossible. One just have to experience that firsthand. Every evening after sunset, a ceremony in honor of Shiva takes place in Varanasi. Varanasi changed him, shocked and mesmerized him. He does not think that he would be surprised once more by his own time in India. In no other city in India is Hinduism so tangible and confusing. In no other city, he was offered so many drugs, jewelry, boat trips and food every minute as in Varanasi. In no other city have I ever run so much slalom to dodge the shit on the street and the spitting betel nut crouches. And despite all this and the vile reputation of Varanasi among travelers, he would advise any Indian traveler to go to Varanasi once and experience this extraordinary, simultaneously scary yet inspiring atmosphere.


Cremation in Varanasi

It was a strange feeling when the first time a wooden stretcher was maneuvered past the photographer, apparently holding a deceased, wrapped in a white shroud. The whole scenery is accompanied by Shanti songs of the mourners and rhythmically sounding bells. The group of people carries the corpse across the city to the bank of the Ganges and lays it down with its feet in the water. It took him a while to understand that there really is a person, who is no longer alive in the water in front of the traveling photographer. With a respectful distance, he placed himself near the cremation site. Actually he does not want to see the funeral, but as many other tourists he cannot look the other way. That is why the photographer was here to see Hinduism from all its facets, to understand it. Soon an employee of the Combustion Ghats approached him. He was very friendly, joined him and explained what was going on in front of his widened, disbelieving eyes. For many Hindu devotees, the ultimate goal in life is to die in Varanasi and be buried in the holy Ganges. Already months or years before her supposed death she moves to Varanasi. Here they wash themselves clean of all sins in the Ganges before their demise. And the number of blazing flames and pyres on the local Ganges shore confirms how many Hindus are actually pursuing this goal. However, there are only two, but much frequented, combustion ghats in Varanasi, the Harishchandra Ghat and the Manikarnika Ghat. Before the corpse of the deceased is burned, he is first put into the water with his feet, explained with the Indians. Subsequently, the body is put on the pyre, the family members say goodbye, and women are usually not allowed to go to the stake. Too often, widowed women jumped to their dead husbands in the burning pyre to die by their side. The eldest son plays a central role during the burning ceremony. He circled the corpse one last time before lighting the fire and leaving the body to the flames. Death is not a bereavement for Hindus as it is for us. Much more, the deceased on the banks of the Ganges merely dispose of their fleshly shell and go directly into the Moksha, the equivalent of nirvana, to find redemption and break the eternal cycle of reincarnation. The burning of a loved one is not exactly cheap. Hindus often save a lifetime because the wood for burning is paid by weight. If you can afford it, add some sandalwood to the pyre, because its pleasant scent covers the smell of burnt skin. The photographer is touched, pick up a few rupees and buy a little sandalwood for the family he is about to attend. They are happy and thank me politely. The burning of a human body takes many hours. Every now and then it cracks loud and the sound goes through the mark. But not only the fact that a human being is being burned before my eyes, shocked him, but the indiscretion. All this happens in public at the ghats. Hundreds of people, dogs or cows pass by the burning site without forgetting. When everything is over, the body is completely burned after two to four hours, the ashes are scattered into the sacred river. Dhobi Ghat is the name of the stone stairs on which the so-called Dhobis wash their customers' laundry. Meter-long, colorful sari fabrics stretch out across the stone steps in the sun to dry, next to the mud of the river, the light ash layer and the cow dung, which India dried and used as fuel. I would like to emphasize it again. The Dhobis wash the laundry in one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The Ganges here is gray and muddy. The pollution can not only be seen but also smelled. In addition, the ashes of the burnt Hindus are scattered into the river water, right next to the place where clothes are washed in the same water and bathing Hindus. But it is not just the ashes that float in the water here. By the employee of the Burning Ghat I have learned that not every Hindu is burned. Pregnant women, children and Saddhus are not cremated, they are sunk in the Ganges. In addition, the funeral parish goes by boat on the river, binds the beloved, deceased persons a heavy stone to the feet and throws the corpse into the water. There, the lifeless bodies float upright with their heads to heaven, closer to the gods. It takes me some time to understand that the reason for the Varanasi corridor must be littered with corpses decomposing in the water.

« BACK