Follow a Visual & Colorful Journey Through India and Bhutan

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Travel inspires me to write and take photos. I pulled together a handful of fabulous shots I took of places and people in India and Bhutan. For landscapes, I used the word “emblematic” as my guide. What photos were most emblematic of a well-known tourist destination. First up, above, a photo from my recent walk around Old Delhi with Delhi Magic.  A chaos of electrical wires, bicycle rickshaws and men in hot pursuit of a sale — that’s Old Delhi to me.  

Old Delhi

Taj Mahal

No words needed for this one. Because it’s there. The world’s most beautiful building. (It’s actually very hard to get this shot because of the crowds of people clamouring for the same spot and because the fountains are often on and ruining the view.)

Taj Mahal, India

Top 5 People

All of these photos were taken in either India or Bhutan — partly because I’ve spent a lot of time in South Asia recently, lugging around a camera; and partly because, oh wow, the faces you see!

1. On a street corner in Delhi

Like most people who go to India, I was bowled over by the poverty on my first trip, back in 2005-06. I took this photo on that first trip, while in a taxi waiting at a stoplight in Delhi.

Delhi, India

2. At a Buddhist temple in Bhutan

I took many photos of fascinating faces the day I visited this Buddhist Temple in Bhutan. I picked the photo of her beautiful face because it is etched with life, piety, thoughtfulness, sorrow and much more.

Buddhist Temple in Bhutan

3. Rice field near Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu

Rice fields and men in lungis are ubiquitous in South India. This gentle man posed for me, and in exchange I gave him a 10-rupee note.

Near Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India

4. Naga Sadhu at the Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of humanity on earth. I went to Kumbh Mela in Haridwar in 2010, and spent an afternoon in the camp of the Naga Sadhus (naked holy men). It was a photographer’s paradise — there were so many colourful characters! I chose this shot because this young man was so sweet, open and friendly.

Naga Sadhu, Kumbh Mela, India

5. On Marine Drive in Mumbai

Oh Mumbai. India’s most energetic city, it throbs with personal ambition and hope for a better life. And all of this frenetic activity seethes up against the jagged coast line. Here, on Marine Drive, is where Mumbaikers go for fresh air, a sense of space and, well, just to get dressed up and make an occasion out of a family outing.

Marine Drive, Mumbai, India

Mariellen Ward
Mariellen Ward is a freelance travel writer whose personal style is informed by a background in journalism, a dedication to yoga and a passion for sharing the beauty of India's culture and wisdom with the world. She has traveled for about a year altogether in India and publishes an India travel blog, Breathedreamgo.com. Mariellen also writes for magazines and newspapers.
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