Boy at the Navratri Festival

Top Photos of India Part 2: People

India, Photo Essay

The curious, friendly and open people of India were the highlight of our recent trip. Everywhere we traveled on the sub-continent we met nice, kind locals who were often interested in a short conversation. Luckily for me, both adults and children are always keen to have their photo taken. The women in their resplendent saris and men in turbans are as photogenic as any people anywhere. I am usually shy about photographing people but I found it to be easy in the crowded streets of India.

Below are my favorite photos of Indian people.

Boy at Navratri Festival, Udaipur

One of the many brightly clad children at the Navratri Festival in Udaipur. Processions of children preceded hours of dancing by adults.

One of the many holy men sprinkled about the ghats at sunrise in Varanasi.

A priest performing aarti on the Ganges River, Varanasi. The religious ceremony was beautiful but marred slightly by the Indians and tourists who jostled for better views throughout the show.


Two boys hanging out on the Ganges in Varanasi.


A boat full of women in resplendent saris on the Ganges in Varanasi. If you are keeping score at home, that bottle of water did get chucked overboard into the holy river.


The burning of demon effigies at the Dusserha festival in Jodhpur.


I love the look on this guy’s face. This was towards the end of the Dussehra procession in Jodhpur. The parade snaked through narrow alleyways and continued for hours down to a cricket stadium where demons were burned in effigy.


Man at a Sikh Temple, Bundi.


The man in the photo, Mr. Singh, was our driver one day in Bundi. He took us to a Sikh temple, which wasn’t a tourist attraction, just because he wanted to share his culture with us. Sikhs are open and generous people and we got free chai tea!


Holy man in Pushkar, Rajasthan.


I swear that the Indian government hires people to pose photogenically in doorways. I saw this girl in the backstreets of Pushkar and asked if I could take her photo. I showed her the screen on the camera and she blurted out, “NICE!” It was an unexpected but apt response.


Children in Pushkar posing for the camera.


These boys asked me to take their photo like so many people in India. Most men in Rajasthan have facial hair and I like how all the boys have the tepid beginnings of mustaches on their faces. To me they look like a boy band posing for an album cover.


She may have been a con-artist, but I still like the photo.


There are always random festivals in India. This man was riding a cycle taxi at the end of a procession through the main bazaar of Pahar Ganj. He smiled at just the right time for my photo.


Father taking his kids to school in the backwaters of Kerala.


Kristi gets the photo credit here. Photo of me with a group of Indians from Kerala at the Taj Mahal.

If you enjoyed this post, then you should check out Favorite Photos of India Part 1: Places and follow me on Facebook and Instagram

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~

29 thoughts on “Top Photos of India Part 2: People”

  1. Adventures in Kevin's World says:

    My favorite is the shot of the 2 boys from above, one is in a boat. Very genuine photo.
    Looking forward to your India presentation summer 2013 at the Village!

    • I like that photo also. I took that from the 4th story of our guesthouse in Varanasi. It was a nice perch to discreetly watch people and take photos.

      Are you going anywhere for your break in January?

      • Adventures in Kevin's World says:

        Still haven’t decided where to go. Looks like Honduras or Guatemala are the top choices.

  2. Lakshmi Loves To Shop says:

    Your photos really are truly amazing…they really capture they colour and heart of India 🙂

    • Thank you. I am normally shy about photographing people, but in India so many people ask to be photographed that it was easy. Also, some of the streets are so crowded I could blend in and take candid photos and people had no idea they were being photographed due to the chaos.

  3. Thanks for sharing these pictures! For the past few days I was missing India like crazy and these pictures just made my day! I must say some pictures like that of the Holy Man are touristy (as in everyone who likes clicking pictures and has been to India would have one of those portraits in their collection) but most of your photographs perfectly capture the Indianness (did I just invent a word :)) of Indians 🙂 …. where people are poor and happy, laid back and busy, underprivileged and content at the same time 🙂

    • I love your new word: Indianness. The people of India made our trip for sure. Where did you go in India? Are you planning to return anytime soon?

  4. I left home (India) 4 years back and have been able to go back only twice….On my last visit I had the chance to make a trip to South India! I see you have pictures from Kerala…but did you visit Tamil Nadu? The temple architecture there is mesmerizing…(By the way I think you definitely visited more places in India than I did in the 20 years that I spent there :))
    If things go as planned I think I will make my next visit sometime in May (its sure gonna to be HOT…but home is where the heart is 🙂 )

  5. I love this post! It makes me soo proud to be Indian and I’m super glad you liked it in India! You should definitely go back and like the person before me said visit Tamilnadu too it may not be as green as Kerala but there are wonderful places to visit! 🙂

    • What are the best places in Tamil Nadu to visit? I hear that Maduri is nice, but do you have other suggestions? Thank you for commenting.

      • Best places in Tamil nadu

        Madurai – Maduari Meenakshi amman temple
        Rameswaram – For Ram 1000 pillar temple
        Ooty – Green vegetations and a bit of britishness. Ooty steam railway is unesco world heritage accrediated.
        Pondicherry / Puducherry – Sea side with a bit of frenchness
        Kanyakumari – The southern most tip of India where the Indian ocean, bay of bengal and Arabian sea meets. Apart from that there is Thiruvalluvar statue, Vivenakanda rock etc.
        Mamallapuram / Mahabalipuram – Near chennai. Has large rock cut carvings. Also the beach temple is an UNESCO accrediated.

      • Thank you. I will check these out before going to India next time. India is so huge, with so much to see, it would probably take a lifetime of exploring to see it all.

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    • Thank you. It was a goal of mine to take more photos of people while in India and I found that people there are eager to have their photo taken and it opened up many conversations with locals.

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  11. Wow. Brilliant photos, especially the little boy in the first one and the guy on the jeep in Jodphur. I loved how photographing people in India was so easy because they all want to be in front of the camera. Their shining smiles and bright colors make the images pop . You do a great job of singling out the people from the constantly buzzing background. Bravo!

    • Thank you. Many of my favorite photos came from walking the back streets and having locals come up to talk to me. I like the guy in Jodhpur as well, he is so big and smiling.

      • Those were some of my favorite moments as well. I took a bag of candy with me in Bikaner and wandered through the narrow streets. I had a steady stream of children following me – word spread like fireflies!

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