A selection of black & white images of India made using traditional film during the 1990s'. From the hot dusty plains of Tamil Nadu in the south east to the majestic mountains of Uttaranchal in the north west. From the fabulous city of Kolkata in the east to the colourful desert of Rajasthan in the west.
Clinging to rock faces or perched atop a rock outcrop, Himalayan Monasteries (known as Gompas) are usually built in the adobe style. Close by one will find Chortens, known in Sanskrit as a stupa. Built in a variety of shapes and sizes, they usually contain the relics of a respected Lama or Yogi. These beautiful mounds of moulded, and then painted mud, are to be navigated on the left hand side.
Presented here in this gallery is a selection of images portraying everyday life, of people going about their daily duties from, baking to painting and knitting to herding. One of the most important lessons I have learnt in life is that human kind the world over. We are all doing the same thing, trying to survive.
I have been very lucky on my travels to arrive somewhere and discover a festival in full swing. The Indians need no excuse to have a wee bash, indeed, their calendar is full of festivals lasting many days celebrating astronomical events or a birthday of one of their many deities.
Over high mountain passes, across wide valley floors, the wind, communicator to all, carries the prayers of the Buddhist people.
Sacred Mantras are printed onto the flags with usually a horse in the centre. The horse being a symbol of speed and of the element air, is known as Wind Horse and aids the flow of energy of the Mantras on the wind, bringing Joy, Happiness and good health to all people throughout the world.
In August 2000 His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gave a Kalachakra Initiation at Ki Monastery in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh to 25,000 followers. In July 2010 His Holiness travelled to the village of Disket in the Nubra Valley area of Ladakh to inaugurate and bless a statue of the Maitreya Buddha at Disket Monastery.
On both occasions, over four days, his followers (who had travelled great distances over high mountain passes), sat on the desert floor under a blistering sun and listened to his teachings. A small army of helpers cooked and handed out tibetan bread and napkin chai (tibetan salty butter tea) to relieve the hunger and thirst of the congregation.
Himalayan rivers are not small. During the monsoon or when the snow melts on the northern aspect of the Himalaya, the amount of water crashing down these gorges and valleys is monumental. They were never the highways and byways, supplies are transported via mule trains along treacherous paths, on jouneys taking days if not weeks. Nowadays, thanks to military need and tourist greed, great ribbons of black scar the landscape.
A religious ascetic or holy person in Hinduism is known as a Sadhu and referred to as 'Baba' by the common man. Leading extremely austere lives they often live in very remote areas to follow their life of renunciation, described as the fourth stage of life in Sanskrit literature.
It has been my very great privilege and pleasure to have lived, travelled and share food with many of the very kind and generous people featured here. Of all the many lessons I have learnt from them the most important must be, 'Less Is More'.
Over the passage of time, two great plates continue to push together, forcing the Himalaya higher. As these great mountains grow, so they crumble, due to wind and water erosion. Stones, known as 'shooting stones' career down beautiful looking scree slopes and present a very great danger to anyone passing below.The powerful sacred mantra 'Om Mani Padme Hum' has been carved into these stones and then placed by the roadside for over a millenia. Likewise, the mantra written on paper has been wound into prayer wheels and spun in a clockwise direction, by hand, water or the heat of a butter lamp for nearly 2000 years. Om Mani Padme Hum