10 December 2014

Facing the Ghats of Varanasi

Varanasi (from Varuna Ghat to Assi Ghat, hence the name Varanasi) fka Benares is a dirty North Indian city on the banks of the heavily polluted river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It's the spiritual capital of India and the holiest of the seven sacred cities (sapta puri) in Hinduism.

Hindus from all walks of life believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage. The city is known worldwide for its many ghats, embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where devotees perform ritual ablutions...

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; beard; devotee; temple; blessing; raised right hand; body language; holy man; vibhuti; white ash; marigold garland; mala; tilaka

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; white hair; white beard; devotee; temple; blessing; raised right hand; body language; holy man; orange; tilaka; shampooed

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; beard; devotee; temple; holy man; turban; orange; tilaka

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; beard; devotee; temple; holy man; orange; double portrait; dreadlocks; toddler; little girl

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; devotee; temple; Indian girl; dressed up; beautiful; posing; hair jewellery; makeup; necklace; drop earrings


"It is more important to click with people than click the shutter..."

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; Indian woman; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; pilgrim; devotee; temple; nightshot; flash; flash fired; groupshot; offerings; ceremonial offering; smiling; smiling eyes; bangles; marigold


Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; long beard; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; devotee; temple; holy man; turban; orange robe; tilaka; nightshot; flash; flash fired

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; beard; devotee; temple; holy man; vibhuti; white ash; marigold garland; mala; tilaka; nightshot; flash; flash fired; body covered with sacred white ash

Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; Hinduism; holy; tradition; culture; world cultures; worship; sadhu; Indian man; colour; photography; religion; face; eyes; eye contact; hair; beard; devotee; temple; holy man; vibhuti; white ash; marigold garland; mala; tilaka; nightshot; flash; flash fired; body covered with sacred white ash


Indian sādhus often use sacred white wood ash aka vibhuti. They apply vibhuti usually as three horizontal lines across the forehead and to other parts of the body to please the god Shiva. The vibhuti smeared across the forehead to the end of both eyebrows is called a tripundra. Some sādhus cover the complete body with vibhuti in order to achieve mokṣa. The best vibhuti is traditionally prepared from ash from cremation grounds...

More portrait photographs of sadhus from Varanasi in Matt Hahnewald's

More portrait photographs of sadhus from Nepal in Matt Hahnewald's

More portrait photographs of sadhus from South India in Matt Hahnewald's


Matt Hahnewald; Facing the World; closeup; street portrait; headshot; outdoor; India; Cow Belt; Varanasi; Benares; Uttar Pradesh; Ganges River; ghat; colour; photography; eyes; eye contact; animal portrait; ram; horns; painted horns; red; green; position lights; agnostic

No comments: