Sunday, August 30, 2009

Manali, Himachal Pradesh



(CLICK PICTURE TO ADVANCE)

After passing through Delhi, Chandigarh, Kullu and dozens of mountain towns we arrived in Manali. It was starting to get dark and the temperature of the air was a welcome change from the humid city we had left behind - 16 hours ago. I got settled in my room and heard drums coming from the mountains behind my hotel. I had to get out so I stumbled through back yards and creek beds to eventually find the path leading up to the Hindu temple that overlooked the north end of the valley that made me think of Switzerland more than Southeast Asia. I softly buzzed around speaking with hands and feet and was finally given the green light to take some photos of the celebration for Lord Shiva's son's birthday. Men from the village bring flaming torches from a neighboring village over the mountains and into Manali and light a large bonfire in the center of the temple grounds. The men gather around a giant blackened cauldron and make the biggest kettle of chai I have ever seen while the women gather on giant steps of the temple and in the middle of the grounds and start to clap and sing. I sat on the steps with some of the younger people for a few hours and couldn't believe my luck.

4 comments:

Pecas said...

What a privilege to shoot that. Thanks for sharing. Amazing. You are lucky to have crawled thru a strange jungle and come out with great photos.

P.S. Did you tell us you were going to India? Did I miss that?
What are you doing there?

Chris Detrick said...

Great job Mike!

Phoenix said...

These are GORGEOUS. Good god, being a great photographer always seems to be part luck, doesn't it? Right time, right place...and a good eye.

Mike Terry said...

There is always quite a bit of luck involved. That is what is so great and frustrating about shooting photos. Thanks for the comments!