India - a spiritual journey
March 2010 Maha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar-Rishikesh-Gwalior-Orcha-Khajuraho-Allahabad-Bodh Gaya-Sarnath-Varanasi-Delhi .
India is not a trip. It is an experience. Everything here is pushing your senses. To say, “I did India” and have in mind a tourist trip where you see the sites and nothing else is impossible. The Indian life enters your skin, your body, in your breath and in your mind like nowhere else in the world. India is a place like no other on the beaten, or even unbeaten, path. Read more: India - a spiritual journey
Delhi - New York
The driver was waiting in the station since 7 am but he was not so surprised by the delay. This is India and the time is passing. It was not too much time left so we drove directly to the large mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid, that I could not see last time because of a festival. Read more: Delhi - New York
Varanasi - Delhi
India is an experience. Everything here is pushing your senses. The sunrise was beautiful, somewhere around 6:15 am but I was up earlier to get it when it comes up. Read more: Varanasi - Delhi
The ghats of Benares
Between life and death, shit and flower petals, exalted devotion and total indifference , Varanasi is opening its eyes on the Ganga. The city is fascinating but the contrasts make it difficult to be understood and accepted. The morning sunrise that bath the ghats in a pink light has something godly in it. You cannot stop watching and the morning boat ride becomes a daily repeated experience that you don't want to miss.Read more: The ghats of Benares
At 5:30 am I woke up, or even earlier if I could sleep, because at 6:00 am the boatman came to bring me for a sunrise tour on the Ganges, the most popular trip in Benares. I gave the guy from the hotel Rs 100, that I am sure that was his commission, and I was supposed to give the boatman another Rs 100 for the tour. The boat ride is splendid, with the sun lighting over the ghats and the entire Benares waking up to life.Read more: Varanasi
Sarnath - Varanasi
It is hot In India. It is the first time when I am now off season and I understand what means this heat. It kills your energy, man and beast, to the point that you don't want to move. It is so hot that you drink bottle after bottle of water and never see a bathroom in the entire day and you drink more than half a bottle in one sip and you are constantly thirsty.
Based on the quest I did the day before the road to Bodh Gaya is a good one, a 4 lane road and it takes about 5 hours including the exit from the city. We left at 6 am and on the way out I met Anin, the tuk-tuk driver who will wait for me when I get back. We tried to get to the ghats on the Ganga in the morning but it was no access even if we drove all the way out of the city.
Allahabad - Varanasi
Distances don't mean anything for the Indian road. It is just an approximation for people who want precision on paper. What matter is the knowledge of the road and the word of mouth. I woke up after a great sleep on bird songs, actually it was a cacophony of birds' songs that I even recorded, and I got in the car to Allahabad at 6:00 am. The road in the morning is empty and it is pleasantly cool.Read more: Allahabad - Varanasi
I asked the driver to leave at 6:00 am but we postponed the process till 6:30 am and we drove for a quick visit to the river where people were doing their morning wash. The scene was extremely beautiful in sunrise, the villagers coming to bath in the river with the background of the Royal Chatris, the royal tombs. Beautiful and peaceful scene in the sunrise.
Read more: Khajuraho
After the breakfast at the hotel the driver came at 7:00 am to pick me up and showed me a place with lots of huge Jain statues sculpted in the rock. He brought me to a terrace that has 26 huge statues plus other temples that on Sunday were used as an extension on the Jain temple from the bottom of the hill and people went there for puja. Read more: Orcha
In the morning I said good bye to Emil and Lydia. My good friends pointed me toward this Kumbha Mela and it was a dream come true to come with them. We had a great time, it was an a great trip and we had a fantastic experience together. So I have to send all my thanks to them for this magic event we were part. Read more: Gwalior
Rishikesh to Delhi
The morning of the last day in the Himalayas, even at its bottom hills, was dedicated to Rishikesh so I started in the morning with a tuk-tuk ride, or whatever they call it in India and got to Lakshman Jhula, the second pedestrian bridge in the town. The views from the road are astounding. Read more: Rishikesh to Delhi
The wake up call was supposed to be early and after a good breakfast in the hotel's restaurant, we move as quickly as possible on a road that is mostly in ruin to Vashishta Guha, a cave at 23 km from Rishikesh where meditated Swami Vashishta. The road was in continuous repair. The monsoon kills it every year and is a Sisific work that cannot be dome quick enough to keep it in a repaired condition. Read more: Rishikesh
Haridwar - Rishikesh
For the last time in Haridwar I was waken up at 4:00 am by the bajan. It stops in the night, probably around midnight and they start again singing around 4-4:30 am. It is a pleasure to listen to it and every morning I was pleasantly awaken and listen to it. They sing from many tents, each with its own amplification so it is not only one but many bajans making a sort of cacophony but in the morning it sounds great. Read more: Haridwar - Rishikesh
Mar 16: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
"The word ‘Kumbha’ means a pot. The name originates from a story in the Puranas (ancient spiritual literature). The story is about an ‘Amrit Kumbha’ which means a pot filled with nectar. According to Skanda Purana (one of the 18 puranas) for the purpose of obtaining nectar that grants immortality a joint effort was made by the Gods and the demons to churn the ocean. Read more: Mar 16: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
Mar 15: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
Today is one of the the most auspicious days in the entire Kumbha Mela. It is no moon at all and it is a MONDAY. There were two more days like this in the entire 3 months that passed and they are considered as "most auspicious". Tomorrow, on Tuesday, is another important day but is "rated" only as "auspicious". Read more: Mar 15: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
Mar 14: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
The jet lag woke us up latter than the previous day. We planned to go in the city all of us and show my friends how to get into the temple. However they have been in Haridwar before and know the place relatively well. We plan to leave at 9 am but something gets delayed and I take a walk for an hour around the camp. Read more: Mar 14: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
Mar 13: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
At 6:30 am we have the tea with milk served somewhere in the camp and after a little while I leave with Emil to shoot in the area. The camps are on a separate side of the city not so close to the center. Babas, sadhus and gurus abound. They have posters all over the streets. This is a trade show in self realization. Read more: Mar 13: Kumbha Mela, Haridwar
Delhi to Haridwar - The Indian road
But the moment we left the posh gated community were we stayed, where the houses and atmosphere are a very pleasant remnant of a different Delhi that we met some years ago, you are thrown into the snarling traffic of the city and you realize that things are again familiar. The traffic is frantic. Read more: Delhi to Haridwar - The Indian road
Just 13 hours and 22 minutes is the direct flight from Newark to Delhi on a new Boeing 777 with Continental. The plane was full and surprisingly with westerners, on the road to look for spiritual awakening in India instead of New Jersey. 12 years ago we were the only westerners in the plane and lots of Indians.... Read more: Delhi
Your first day ever in India
October 1998: When you prepare to leave to India things are quite different. For Europe you think about the clothes you will wear and how do they fit with the country you will visit. You plan about the nice dinners and the shows you will enjoy and of the long walksRead more: Your first day ever in India
May 28: After numerous visits in the South West, USA we created a new video clip to show these new shoot locations.
Apr 3: We shot in the world renown "The Wave" in Coyote Butte, Vermillion Cliffs, in Grande Staircase-Escalante, UT and several other parks in the South West, USA. Check our blog!
Feb 28: We shoot for a month in the entire Sri Lanka and Southern India, from Trivandrum to Chennai, covering the most important Hindu Temples of the South.
Check our blog!