Faces & Festivals

I have been very lucky on my travels to arrive somewhere and find a festival happening. The Indians need no excuse to have a wee bash, indeed, thier calender is full of festivals lasting many days, celebrating astronomical events or a birthday of one of their many Deities. It is my great fortune to have very very few regrets in life. But, one of them is, I did not attend the Maha Khumb Mela at Allahabad on the banks of the River Ganges in 2001. This event happens every 12 years, and was attended by 70 million devotees. Instead of going, I left India weeks earlier to chase snow and money! The images in this collection here for you to view, are from festivals in the province of Kinnaur in Himachael Pradesh and from Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir. The exception, is the image titled 'Princess of Kolkata'. This young girl, born into abject poverty, whose family lived and survived on the side of the railway line, sat with me for hours on the platform at Kolkata railway station while I waited for my train.

God bless her.

Kinnaur Girls, TashingangDance of LadakhDance of Nubra Valley, LadakhGirls of the Changthang region, LadakhGirl of LadakhVeiled Bride, LadakhPrincess of KolkataWoman of the Dard People, LadakhGirls of KinnaurGirl at Window, KinnaurHats of LadakhLucky CharmsHappy PilgrimsMonk performing Cham Dance, LadakhMan of LadakhPrayer, KinnaurWomen of Nubra Valley, LadakhCeremonial Mask, LadakhPuja Procession, TashingangPuja, Tashingang, KinnaurSmouldering Juniper IncenseWoman of Lingti Region, LadakhBeneath the Hat, LadakhDancing Women of Nubra Valley, Ladakh