This is a photo from Pushkar in India.
There is a sense of vulnerability in the photographers work, where people are portrayed in the the alleys and the streets in India.



India is a destination of discovery for those who love to see the world differently and the photographer Kristian Bertel spend his time photographing this amazing country with its rich cultural life and many colors. In this blog post he shares some of his travel moments with us from the second most populous nation in the world. India is anything but a classic destination for emigration and for many people so different and exotic that they can not imagine living there longer. As a holiday destination it is appealing and exciting, yet it is the foreign in many areas that makes it difficult for foreigners to settle in India. As a transit station for expats, a longer, but temporary stay certainly exciting, challenging and also enriching, the entire center of life forever to relocate to India is unusual, but still not excluded.

Street portraits in India
India is one of the world's most multidimensional countries, presenting a wildly diverse spectrum of travel encounters. Some of these can be challenging, particularly for the first-time visitor, where the poverty is confronting and the sights, sounds, tastes and smells are all parts of what makes India a unique travel destination. Kristian photographed the man above in Pushkar, India. India is the seventh largest country on earth and the country with the most inhabitants in the world after China. Around 1.33 billion people are living in India in today, which is more than twice as many as in all European countries combined. For foreigners, the enormous population density is unfamiliar and whoever comes to India for the first time is at first struck by the crowds and the traffic. Especially in the big cities like New Delhi, Calcutta or Mumbai, it becomes clear how alien India is, and in culture and religion this impression becomes even more pronounced. In addition, the country's twentyone regional languages ​​make it difficult to connect with the local population, but English is relatively common, so communication is reasonably working in many parts of the country. For the north of India, it does not hurt to dominate a little Hindi, there English is less common than in central India and in the south. A problem of the country is the topic of corruption. Without the so-called Bakshish runs in India nothing - with the bribe money processes are accelerated and done favor. The literacy level of India is only thirtyfive percent, the span between rich and poor is enormous, as well as between tradition and modernity. On the one hand, India has a growing economy, on the other hand, a large part of the population is still poor and almost sixty percent of the country's population lives on less than two dollars a day. Poverty is appalling to many visitors to India, and the exotic land dream often quickly gives way to the sobering reality.

India widens the horizon and enriches the mind
Yet, India appeals to many people, and the country's culture and history, cuisine, music and traditional clothing make it an exciting destination. The landscape is diverse, India offers mountains, plains, dream beaches, rainforests, a mild climate and an ancient culture. People are considered to be very friendly and optimistic, and the poor people in particular seem surprisingly cheerful and positive, and one notices the economic upheaval in which the country is located, whereby the basic attitude of the population is positive. For some pensioners, India is an interesting destination, as the cost of living is many times cheaper than in Denmark where the photographer is from, especially in the provinces. But imported goods and rents in the big cities are also expensive in India. India widens the horizon, enriches the mind, makes one more tolerant and relaxed with many things and increases the intercultural competence enormously. An emigration to India should be considered carefully because of the many difficult aspects, but there are also points that speak for it. Thus, many "luxury" problems are in India quite small and a reflection on values ​​and what matters in life is stimulated by the challenging and special country in any case.


This is a photo from Jodhpur in India.
Mehrengarh fort of Jodhpur is situated on top of a hill is a grand sight and the beauty of the fort enhances during sunset. From the glorious Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, you can see the blue city.



Jodhpur is the blue city in India
The city's main shopping area is Nai Sadak, lined mostly with sari and shoe shops and leading straight into Sardar Market, a full-on bustling Indian market with a barely contained riot of sights, sounds and stinks. The clocktower in the center is a useful orientation point. Best to head into the different shops by yourself, as rickshaw drivers and other locals will do their best to direct you into certain shops where they can earn a commission for sales – you can expect to get better prices if the shopkeepers do not have to pay a percentage to these other guys. And be prepared to spend a good hour or more in a shop chatting with the very friendly owners over a cup of masala chai. This is the true highlight of Rajasthani hospitality. You will find Rajasthan and especially Jodhpur to be full of amiable and kind people who will be quick to offer you chai as a symbol of genuine hospitality first and foremost not at all significant of an attempt to coerce you to buy. It is not uncommon for them to turn their shop upside down to show you all of their goods, as many are quite proud of their business.


This is a photo from Varanasi in India.
A happy girl in a village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. Despite India's many urban centres, the nation is still overwhelmingly rural with an estimated 75% of the population living in the countryside.



Village life near Varanasi in India
Most of India's people live in villages, where the most villagers are farmers who work in nearby fields. A typical Indian village is a collection of mud-and-straw dwellings. These homes are generally small, consisting of one or two rooms with mud floors. Wealthier families live in brick or concrete houses. Most villagers own few possessions and these belongings typically include brass pots for cooking and clay pots for carrying water and storing grain. Village people cook foods on a chula, which is a clay oven that burns coal. People sit and sleep on cots of woven string, which are dragged outside on warm days and a local well or nearby pond or river provides water for most villages, but some of the larger villages have running water. The photographer deliberately took some time to describe his trip to a village but also the city of Varanasi in India. Fact is, who travels to Varanasi, who comes without detour and doubt in contact with death, burning and rebirth. Is this really a desirable destination one would ask. It is said that the great holy river Ganges is like a dark gray, filthy and disease-causing Moloch, when he makes his way through Varanasi. And yet, Hindus worship the holy water, bathe in it and drink it. It is said that there are lifeless bodies at the Varanasi's riverbank and a smell of burned skin and ashes in the air. It is said that no other city in India is as dirty, overcrowded and as mystical as Varanasi at the same time. It is said that a visit to Varanasi changes one. Varanasi, also known as Benares, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is considered one of the seven sanctuaries of Hinduism and is located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh about 780 kilometers from the Indian capital of Delhi. The city is almost entirely on the left bank of the river Ganges.

Impressions in Varanasi
The Ganges is with more than 2600 kilometers the second largest river in India. It rises in the Himalaya mountains near the Indian-Tibetan border and makes its way across the country until it finally flows into the Indian Ocean in Bangladesh. The Ganges is the sacred river of the Hindus and the lifeline of India. On its shores lie numerous important pilgrimage sites that attract thousands of pilgrims every year. The Hindus believe that the waters of the passage cleanse people of sin. At the same time, however, the Ganges is one of the worst polluted waters in the world. It is stuffy and warm as I reach the fabled city on the Ganges, Varanasi, in the afternoon after a long train ride. With the rickshaw the photographer got close to the city center, from there he had to walk on, the streets are too dense and crowded. Already the photographer notices the hustle and bustle in the streets of Varanasi. Religious utensils are sold everywhere, from golden goblets, intensely fragrant sandalwood, orange shrouds or incense sticks. On the way to his accommodation numerous cows and stray dogs cross his path. The floor is dirty and muddy, littered with the spilled remains of betel nut and chewing tobacco. The air is hazy, you can only guess the opposite bank of the Ganges. There are numerous boats floating on the river, with tourists as well as locals or mourners. On the stone steps children play with homemade paper kites while cows stoically make their way through the people. Here and there is a Saddhu with long dreadlocks and beard, colorful scarves, trident and body paint. They keep their hands open for donations and pay the passing Indians, because these men are considered sacred. There are people in the water. It is murmured and prayed and in the midst of the mystical spectacle, he discovers a western tourist who has undressed down to his pants and meditates on the banks of the Ganges.


This is a photo from Varanasi in India.
A sari fills a practical role as well as a decorative one. It is not only warming in winter and cooling in summer, but its loose-fitting tailoring is preferred by women who must be free to move as their duties require as in this photograph of a woman wearing a sari in Varanasi, India.



The spiritual life in India
One of the first things travelers are likely to observe about India is how everyday life is intertwined with the spiritual. From the housewife who devoutly performs puja, which means prayers each morning at a tiny shrine set up in a corner of the home, to the shopkeeper who, regardless of how many eager-to-buy tourists may have piled into the premises, rarely commences business until blessings have been sought from the gods. Hinduism consists of different directions with quite different schools and views. The teachings and conceptions of God are very different in the individual currents, even the views on life, death and salvation (Moksha) do not agree. Most believers, however, assume that life and death are a constantly recurring cycle called Samsara, they believe in reincarnation. The spiritual practice includes, for instance rituals, worship of a god, and the pursuit of individual liberation. The image of God of Hinduism knows both gods and ideas comparable to the monotheistic concept of God. There are interrelations of the Indo-European inherited basic features, which also concern the term "God". One of the most important concepts in Hinduism is the Brahman – the highest cosmic spirit.

Brahman in Hinduism
Brahman is the indescribable, inexhaustible, omniscient, all-powerful, non-physical, omnipresent, original, first, eternal and absolute force. It is contained in all things without a beginning, without an end, and the cause, source, and material of all known creation, rationally incomprehensible, yet immanent throughout the universe. The Upanishads describe it as the one and indivisible eternal universal self that is present in everything and in which all are present. This impersonal conception of God is supplemented or replaced by the perspective of a personal God, as in the Bhagavadgita for instance. Here the personal God, Ishvara or Supreme Purusha, is placed above the world of appearances and the "immovable" Brahman. This inner essence is also called Atman. This identity can in principle be experienced or recognized by every human being. Moksha involves liberation from the chain of birth, death, and rebirth Samsara and represents the ultimate goal of human life. While Hinduism has a notion of 'heaven', a person with good karma after the death of the body but this is only temporary. The individual inevitably returns to the earth and the cycle of birth to birth continues until the final redemption.


This is a photo from Varanasi in India.
Vegetables are served at every main meal, and sabzi which means vegetables is a word recognized in every Indian vernacular. In this photograph a vegetable seller is portrayed in Varanasi, India.



A wide variety of Indian food
Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions. Visiting vegetarians will discover a culinary treasure that is found nowhere else in the world. Owing to a large number of strictly vegetarian Hindus and Jains, Indian cuisine has evolved an astonishingly rich menu that uses no meat or eggs. The Jains in particular practice a strict form of vegetarianism based on the principles of non-violence and peaceful co-operative co-existence. Jains usually do not consume root vegetables such as potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots, radishes, cassava, sweet potatoes and turnips, as the plant needs to have ended their lives prior to its end of normal life cycle, in the process of accessing these. At least half the menus of most restaurants are devoted to vegetarian dishes, and by law all packaged food products in India are tagged with a green dot Vegetarian or red dot Non-veg. Veganism however is not a well-understood concept in India, and vegans may face a tougher time: milk products like cheese Paneer, yogurt Dahi and clarified butter Ghee are used extensively and honey is also commonly used as a sweetener. Milk in India is generally not pasteurized, and must be boiled before consumption. The photographer is available for assignments in India. For further information: Contact the photographer

Photographer traveling in India
Kristian is the author of the post above, he was responsible for clicking these great images and describing them, Kristian is a photographer, and a traveler, who loves photographing people and landscapes. He has a keen interest in photographing people. Because all people look different, they will probably be his most interesting subjects also in the years to come. He chooses his subjects based on many things, for instance if they are dressed in traditional clothing or if a subject has a great expression or is standing in a great scenery.
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