A visual journey through India - by Barbara Huber

A few months ago we shared some of Barbara Huber's favorite photos from her recent India trip on our Instagram and the response was so positive that we decided to give her vibrant images a permanent home here on our site.

Barbara's ability to capture the dynamic colors, expressive portraits and moments of everyday life in India will transport you and likely leave you googling India flights... And if you're so inclined, you can find more of Barbara's work on her Instagram account (@barbinchen) and order prints from her directly. 

 Oraccha, India - fortress at sunset, 3 Days*, Barbara Huber

Oraccha, India - fortress at sunset, 3 Days*, Barbara Huber

Orachha (Madhya Pradesh)

Looking out from the bridge over the river, Betwa, towards the cenothaphs or chhatris of past rulers. The town was established some time after 1501, as the seat of an eponymous former princely state.

 

 Varanasi, India - sunrise on the Ganges, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi, India - sunrise on the Ganges, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) - Early morning/sunrise in the Ganges

Varanasi is a major religious hub in India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism and played an important role in the development of Buddhism.

 

 Varanasi, India - boatride along the ghats, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi, India - boatride along the ghats, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) - Early morning boatride along the ghats.

Ghats are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. The city has 87 ghats. Most of the ghats are bathing and puja ceremony ghats, while a few are used exclusively as cremation sites.

 

 Varanasi, India - morning chat with a priest, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi, India - morning chat with a priest, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

Early morning chat with a priest on the steps the day before Holi.

 

 Varanasi, India - resting holy man, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi, India - resting holy man, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) - A sadhu (holy man)resting on the steps of Lalita Ghat leading to the Nepalese Kathwala temple.

A sadhu (also spelled saddhu) is a religious ascetic, mendicant (monk) or any holy person in Hinduism or Jainism who has renounced worldly life. They are sometimes alternatively referred to as sannyasi or vairagi. It literally means one who practises a ″sadhana″ or keenly follows a path of spiritual discipline. Although the vast majority of sadhus are yogis, not all yogis are sadhus.

 

 Varanasi, India - Hindu evening ceremony at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi, India - Hindu evening ceremony at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) - Hindu evening ceremony at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. 

A group of priests perform daily in the evening at this ghat the "Agni Pooja" (Worship to Fire). It is a dedication to Lord Shiva, River Ganges, Surya (Sun), Agni (Fire), and the whole universe. Every evening thousands of people congregate on steps of the ghat as well as on boats in front of it, to take part in this pooja.

 Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India - sunrise at Gadisa lake, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India - sunrise at Gadisa lake, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) - My favorite city!  

Spectacular sunrise at Gadisa or Gadsisa lake

Originally a rainwater conservation lake, it was built in the 14th century to meet the water requirements of this arid region. Considering its importance for sustenance, many small temples and shrines were constructed around the Gadisar Lake, hence transforming it into a pilgrimage centre.

 

 Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, India - early morning cow slalom, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, India - early morning cow slalom, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, early morning cow slalom.

Krishna, one of the avatars of god himself, tended cows. The cow and bull represent the symbol of Dharma. Reverence for cows and bulls is anchored in the major texts of the Vedic religion. Originally, the cow was possibly revered because Hindus relied heavily on it for dairy products and for tilling the fields, and on cow dung as a source of fuel and fertilizer. Thus, the cow’s status as a 'caretaker' led to identifying it as an almost maternal figure.

 

 Khuri, a village in the Thar desert, Rajasthan, India - children playing, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Khuri, a village in the Thar desert, Rajasthan, India - children playing, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Playing catch with kids in Khuri, a village in the Thar desert (Rajasthan)

The village of Khuri, 48km southwest of Jaisalmer, has quite extensive dune areas attracting their share of sunset visitors. Khuri lies within the Desert National Park, which stretches over 3162 sq km southwest of Jaisalmer to protect part of the fragile Thar ecosystem

 

 Stepwell, Amer village, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Stepwell, Amer village, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Stepwell, Amer village, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Stepwells are examples of the many types of storage and irrigation tanks that were developed in India, mainly to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. A number of surviving stepwells can be found across India, and in 2016 a collaborative mapping project, Stepwell Atlas, started to map GPS coordinates and collate information on stepwells. Over 1000 of them have been mapped so far.

 

 The Monkey Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

The Monkey Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

Khole Ke Hanuman JI or Galta Ji, also known as the Monkey Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Galta Ji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site. The site consists of a series of temples built into a narrow crevice in the ring of hills that surrounds Jaipur. A natural spring emerges high on the hill and flows downward, filling a series of sacred kunds (water tanks) in which pilgrims bathe to wash away little sins and indiscretions.

 

 On the road from to Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

On the road from to Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, 3 Days* - Barbara Huber

On the road from to Agra (Uttar Pradesh)… 

In the wise words of my driver Kana Ram: “To drive in India you need good tires, good brakes and good luck”. Haajee, Kana Ji, haajee.