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We arrived in Manali feeling shattered after a gruelling bumpy bus experience. Thanks to a grumpy combo of transport torture tiredness and my strong aversion to cold weather we almost fled south again on day one. Manali can be quite fresh out of season but luckily we opted to don some ill fitting togs and embraced the icy mountain air.
For me Varanasi was the first place in India that I found truly challenging.
We arrived the day before Holi which we now know is even more intense and wild in Varanasi than elsewhere in India.
The city has many fascinating layers revealing so much of human life and history in an unusually explicit way. Indeed Varanasi motivated me to beg some taxing questions of life and of myself. It also helped me to find ideas that somehow satisfied these questions. I say ideas as I’m not sure answers are applicable; perhaps appreciation and acceptance are words more relevant.
Writing this stirs something in me that I felt when I was there and with it comes a wonderful, inspirational and comforting sensation.
I highly recommend reading a little about Varanasi’s history and if you are ever lucky enough to get the chance, of course a visit.
You will find more about the history of the Mighty Taj and about our feelings toward this incredible monument of love in our portfolio section here.
We faced one or two common challenges as photographers when capturing this iconic wonder, namely rain, extensive crowds and of course, creating something original. Wonky in places, slightly bizarre and hopefully with a hint of fun, here is what we personally dubbed as ‘Alternative Taj’.
What to do when you have many many favourite images from all over India and no thread to join them other than the colour, spice and energy of this amazing country? Create a gallery called Wonderful India and bosh them in there of course.
Undoubtedly volume 2 will follow shortly. Enjoy!