India is the land of dreams or land of dreamers, a country of world power or of development. With a lot of empathy Kristian Bertel, lets us share in what he has seen and experienced in India being participating in the ‘Your Shot’ assignments on National Geographic.
India stands for diversity in every respect such as the population, the languages, the religions and its wide variety of animals and the very different living conditions of the people. Every country has its own history and stories. Shaped by the ethnic situation, by religion and customs, by climate and landscape, by historical events and developments, what is special about each country is reflected in very individual narrative forms and content. As the photographer is saying it:
”The Indian subcontinent has a long, fascinating history, from the enigmatic Indus Valley Civilization to the birth of Hinduism and Buddhism, various empires, British colonial rule and the world’s largest democracy. With his photographs the photographer offers a key to understanding the huge country in which ancient traditions, stark social contrasts and ultra-modern technology and economy coexist with each other”
India is worth visiting
From the sand dunes of the Thar Desert to the cities, the photographer went on a tour of discovery with his camera and found reasons why India is worth visiting. From the metropolis of Delhi to what is probably India’s most famous building, the Taj Mahal in Agra, to Rajasthan. Luxurious palaces and quiet desert villages, temples and sacred cows, scorching hot days and starry nights form the exotic mixture of his journey through a region of India that still today seems like a country from the fairy tale ‘Arabian Nights’.
Between beggars, businessmen and saints
India, you cannot explain this country, you can only let it sink in and then tell what you have seen. A country in which hundreds of languages and dialects are spoken and in which countless gods are worshiped. With the firm intention of absorbing India with all your senses, the photographer was looking for people and he finds them in slums, Hindu sanctuaries and in the narrow alleyways of India.
1. Observe the faces of India
People are probably the most photographed subjects. The viewer gets stuck with a portrait, especially if it is special, different or maybe even a little weird. In India you should observe the expressive faces and Portraits of the population. Whether natural or strong in character, whether sensual or imaginative being a portrait photographer in India will let you find with very different approaches show their best photographs and give an insight into the population and by time you will learn what makes a perfectly crafted portrait, how to capture the personality of your subject and which photographic tricks to use in which situation and develop your own style.
”These photos incorporate the photographer’s heartwarming experiences in India and his impressions of the places he visited. It shares the traditions, lifestyles and values of the people through simple experiences he had with them. Vivid illustrations that abound with details capture the colors, daily life and people of India and bring the story to life”
2. Experience the rush of Delhi
Visit the world-famous city of Delhi with all its facets as a social and urban landscape, where you can experience the city, scene by scene, stop by stop, as if they, too, have come along for the ride. Globetrotters and travelers who want to be off the beaten tourist track in Delhi can learn how people live with and through its built environment. These are the stories of women and men on the move, the nature of Indian aspiration and what it takes morally and materially to sustain urban life that transports the traveler to a city shaped by both its traffic rush and those who depend on it, revealing a perspective on unlike any other.
”Travelers with little experience of visiting developing megacities will find Delhi to be chaotic, crowded and for much of the year, polluted. Air pollution is a major problem in Delhi since the 1980s, with much of the day dominated with a very unhealthy amount of particles. During the late spring and early summer months, the city is scorchingly hot. Dig a little deeper however and you will get a glimpse of order beneath the chaos as well as India’s traditional and modern cultural richness flourishing side by side. First-time visitors feeling the culture shock are recommended to not compound that by visiting during adverse weather conditions and get a decent hotel room so you can stay in comfort between your sightseeing trips”
3. Slow down in Nashik
Whether you are a first-time traveler or avid visitor of this region in Maharashtra amazing surprises can be found while strolling in the city of Nashik, a place that is located near the Godavari River. The photographer encourages the traveler to slow down and get to know the people and the culture of this place.
”Nowhere else do the colors of India seem to shine more intensely, the markets more colorful and the palaces more dreamlike than in Rajasthan. Located in north-western India on the border with Pakistan, the largest state in India attracts with its rich cultural heritage such as the palaces and fortresses, caravan towns and temples that are jewels of architectural history and are among the most popular travel destinations in India”
4. Discover the food and hues of Jodhpur
Discover Jodhpur, the ‘Blue City’, with its towering palace complex Meherangarh Fort and explore the spice and fruit market on a stroll through the old town. A place where cooking food is considered an art form, one can only imagine what a lip-smacking treat is awaiting a man in love with authentic food. Jodhpur is one such city that offers sumptuous and simply irresistible delicacies, leaving you asking for more. Of all the cuisines in the world, this one is one of the most aromatic and colorful, one that has evolved from the kitchens of the Marwar kingdom, which was renowned for age-old traditions of hospitality and food.
”Jodhpur has one of its nicknames, because most houses in the old city are painted in shades of blue. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town, known as ‘Brahmpuri’ due to the many Brahmins that live there”
5. See the magnificent flora of Rajasthan
The northwestern portion of Rajasthan is generally sandy and dry because a large percentage of the total area is desert. But even though there is little forest cover, Rajasthan has a rich and varied flora and fauna. So there is therefore a good reason to visit this region of India.
”Rajasthan literally derives from the Hindustani words meaning ‘Land of Kings’. The state is home to the Thar Desert, a large dry desert that has a wide variety of plants, animals and birds. Part of the Thar Desert is protected and contained in the Desert National Park”
Many reasons for why we travel
There can be many reasons for why we travel – it is the activity of going from one place to another place. Travel takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to see, taste and try new things. It constantly challenges us, not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings, but also to engage with different people, to embrace adventures as they come and to share new and meaningful experiences with friends and loved ones.
Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic by drawing conclusions from new or existing information, with the aim of seeking the truth and by traveling has the ability to take you out of our daily routine and into new surroundings and experiences and this can reset your body and mind. Even planning a trip can have a fantastic effect on the body – it boosts happiness and feels rewarding. Not only does travel reduce stress but it expands the mind.
Bucket list for traveling in India
Without a doubt, the most popular experience on someone’s bucket list had to do with travel. Having a travel bucket list can be inspirational also when you are planning to go to India. While you may not complete every item on your list, you will likely complete some and get more out of your life than if you had not created the list. These are the experiences you may remember the most in life, that may change who you are in a positive way.
A bucket list gives you a travel deadline and ensures that you travel to your dream destination and make new memories. It allows you to experience new things and destinations. It lets you live your dreams and more importantly it makes you reach your dream destination and make it come true.
”- If you want to discover Rajasthan with Delhi and Agra individually, you will find detailed information on the nature, history and culture of the region and all the places worth seeing on my website”, Kristian Bertel says.
National Geographic Your Shot is the place for photographers to tell stories collaboratively through their best photography and expert curation. There are also the many National Geographic photographers known from the magazines that are freelancers and who come from a wide array of backgrounds. They have different interests, passions, experiences and have educational backgrounds in a variety of disciplines.
You might also like:
Assignments and Stories — National Geographic Your Shot »
Your Shot Photo Community — National Geographic »
Kristian Bertel’s entire gallery on Your Shot »
Showcase of Kristian Bertel’s Your Shot »
Nat Geo Assignment: Keep Still »
Kristian Bertel’s website »