No words or pictures will ever do justice to this marble masterpiece. But we can try.
Shiva on Wheels
Holi, India's Festival of Colors, is a riotous celebration of the arrival of Spring. Enthusiastic revelers 'play Holi' with handfuls of colored powders that are thrown, rubbed, and smeared over everything and everyone. Holi is not a spectator sport, participation is mandatory. Rich, poor, tourist or local, no one is exempt. But it's all in the spirit of celebration and good fun. In fact, another name for Holi is the Festival of Sharing Love.
It's always a good time for a tea break in India. Masala Chai, or just chai (spiced tea), is indisputably the national beverage of India. Chai wallahs (tea vendors) are found on just about every street corner and alleyway in its cities. Good wallahs maintain a loyal following and some make a bit of a show out of the preparation of their product. Black tea is combined with spices, milk and sugar to create teh sweet concoction that satisfies the soul of a nation.
Young Hindus of priests in training of the Brahmin caste gather after a sunrise yoga session on the banks of the sacred Ganges river in Varanasi, India
Male HIndu pilgrims visiting the holy river Ganga (Ganges) often shave their heads as part of a ritual of purification
The Silk Weaver
Varanasi is the center of the silk weaving industry in India and much of the work is still done by hand in the surrounding villages. Most weavers are members of cooperatives that furnish the equipment and raw materials and guarantee a fixed price for the finished products. The looms are usually set up inside the weavers' homes and use a use a mid-nineteenth century punch card technology known as a Jackard machine to reproduce complex designs.
Light My Fire
A Hindu priest holds up an offering of fire to Mother Ganga, goddess of the holy Ganges, as part of a ritual known as Aarti. In Varanasi, Aarti is performed every night, rain or shine. As sunset apporaches, pilgrims and toursits gather along the river bank in large numbers. Many send their own offerings in the form of diyas, small cups containing a flower and candle. floating down the river.