Monday, 17 March 2014

Report X: The Sacred Cities Photo Expedition

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
"Enough already with the colored powder and streams of liquid!"

That seemed to be the muted cri du coeur from the group on the eve of the last day of Holi. In other words, we were for the most part Holi'ed out, and as I mentioned earlier, the diminishing returns rule kicked in.

Contrary to the group of Korean photographers that we saw everywhere we went, who are still shooting their heavy cameras like machine guns at anything with color, we decided to follow the path along which the sadhus, pilgrims and Hare Krishna followers take at dawn, from the ghats to Vrindavan. It's actually a form of yatra, a holy walk around the circumference of the sacred city.

The section we followed was about 3 miles and led to the ghats, where the pilgrims took their morning dip in the Yamuna river.  Groups of Bengali women were offering flowers and lighted wicks on dried leaves, and some were ululating.

We return to Delhi on the 18th, skipping an orgy of colored water event near Mathura, and appearing in the capital reasonably color-free, dry and somewhat clean.