291112-021212 An Indore Journey in India

India, Travel, Uncategorized

I had the honour to be invited by Ravi to attend his traditional marriage in his hometown Indore. For a country with rich history that goes back way in time, I have been wanting to visit India for quite a while!

For this trip, I decided to go analog so I lugged my Nikon FM2 with a 14mm UWA lens and a 28mm wide angle as well as my CanonetQL17 with it’s 40mmF1.7 lens. They were accompanied with 6 rolls of film (Ilford 100, Tri-X400 and some Fuji Pro160NS color films).

We took a flight from Singapore to New Delhi on the 29 Nov 12 in the morning. We reached Delhi around 2pm  India time so we roamed the airport for couple of hours while awaiting the domestic flight to Indore.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Some Caucasian who was on the same flight as us to India (looks like a vagrant!)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Sniped a shot of the AirIndia’s flight attendant

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The many Buddha palms at Delhi airport.

India isn’t so bad at all! Apart from the colorful surroundings, people are pretty nice (minus those few black sheep) and food is good!

One observation we made was, the service folks tend to throw items back after scanning (be it passports or food items. Then again, when they returned money, they placed it in your hand nicely. I reckon it’s not about being rude but more like their culture here.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Coffee break

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Yoga structures at the airport

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

McDonalds in Delhi!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

At 4.30pm India time, Ravi called me to ensure I was on the way to attend his wedding. LOL!

We boarded the domestic flight at about 6.30pm India time. The flight meal may be crappy but we met a very friendly local who happens to be a Colonel in the India military who introduced me about the place Indore.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

We reached Indore about 8pm In time, to be welcomed by Ravi’s buddy Niks & Raoul. It was another hour of drive into Ujjain before reaching the wedding venue!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

We arrived just in time for their music routine and we saw them dancing and singing. Amazing raw talent. I can never dance like them!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Entrance to the happy occasion!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Music just keeps playing and they just keep dancing!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Here’s Ravi and his beautiful wife!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Ravi and his buddies

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Us in the hotel room (See the red dot on my head? It’s a means of welcoming us from the locals to the wedding)

On 30 Nov 2012, we started the day at 10.30am India time with a car ride back to the function hall with Niks. We watched Ravi’s Sagai aka engagement ceremony where gifts were exchanged between both families. After lunch, Barat brought us around in Ujjain’s famous places.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

View from Mittal Avenue Hotel in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The sunlight burst through the trees right into my frame. =D

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Weddings are popular during this time of the year. Even the hotel we stay in had weddings held every other night and it involves many catering of food. This is the amount of trays they require for a wedding. Phew!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Waiting for the ride

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

It’s too cold for her so she had to put on a mask else her nose will feel the pain.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

View from level 2 of the next building beside the function area.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Ravi and his grandmother

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Preparing for the Sagai

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

There are many gifts, ranging from foodstuff to saris to gold items.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The bride’s here!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Getting ready for it to happen.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

One of the few video+photographers covering this event.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Ravi’s elated dad.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

A curious kid in the event.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Starting of the ceremony

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Caught an occasional smile from the bride.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

And one from the groom

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore
291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Took a quick shot of the group photo before the main photographer started. The right side had some flares I suppose.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The lovely couple.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The detailed Henna done on the bride’s hands have meanings to it. Everything drawn on the hands are related to the wedding from preparation to the actual event itself.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

After the ceremony, we had some spare time so Ravi arranged Barat to have us brought around several places in Indore.

First, the Mother of Earth and the Planet Mars aka Lord Shiva temple at Mangalnath Temple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/mangalnath_temple_ujjain_mp_india)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The picture above shows the monkeys, which are pets of the beggars outside the temple.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Mother of Earth God

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Devotees offering to the Mars God

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Swastika signs made of cow dung on the walls (Cows are sacred so are their output)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The second place we visited was Kaal bhairav temple (Divine vehicle is the Dog). (http://wikimapia.org/368322/Shri-Kaal-Bhairav-Temple-Talasari)

I almost had an opportunity to go into the underground temple, which was about 10 meters downwards but there were too many people!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Barat helped us captured this nice shot of us with my 14mm lens

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The film got reeled backwards, which caused this dual image. However, it created a nice output in my personal opinion. It shows the outside of the temple as well as the god’s statue in the inside.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

A full picture of Kaal Bhairav where it is offered alcohol as an offering. The guys in the pictures are also its caretakers.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The person is giving prayers to people outside the temple for a token. I was told these people are neither men nor women and they have been outcast-ed by their familes and they reside near the temples to survive. Their local term for such people are “six-seers” (I may have spelt it wrongly)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

A last view of the temple before we left, with a parking attendant and a beggar in the background

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Lastly, Kaliadeh palace (Sun temple). Beautiful and picturesque!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The ever cheeky kids naturally posed for me! Somehow, I liked the flares coming through (it hit the 3rd boy in the picture and I cleaned that up via Photoshop)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Our portrait inside the Sun temple before we left back for Ravi’s ceremony.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

We were in time for Ravi’s traditional ceremony on a white horse with brothers dancing around him at about 5pm India time, where he led the horse about 30 meters away from his place while all his brothers start dancing around him. Money started to be thrown around for some reasons I did not ask of. Probably for some happy occasion reasons.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

His excited brothers dancing!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore
291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore
291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Ravi about to throw some money into the crowd

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Taking a photo of her while the procession is ongoing, =D

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The truck that blasted the loud music with the awesomely cute boy lazing while it moved inch by inch.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Ravi was pretty aware of my camera when I lifted it up (as much as I tried to be discreet)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Attention seeking drummers drummed harder and harder when they saw me snapping pictures of them

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Some street photography for the wedding (See the reflection and see through the glass, you will see the little boy looking at the celebrations)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Another street photo of the working boy looking at the occasion

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

After this ceremony, we proceeded to dinner before heading back to hotel for a good rest!

01 Dec 2012: the start of December, I was awoken by the “road music”, which was actually the excessive honking of the road vehicles with different horn sounds. It is now 6.30am IN time and the sky is as bright as it can be (about 10 am in SG)

We had a small tour around Ujjain before heading back to the hotel as language was a barrier for us to move around in this city alone. Our local friends did try to bring us to the shopping mall but it was pretty much nothing to do there and the market they brought us to, was too big of a language barrier too as we worry we may not be able to even get back to hotel (Language commonly used here: Hindi)

We decided to head back to the hotel to spend our day relaxing and trying out different food in the restaurant menu. Boy, they were really spicy food in Indore!

As we had an early flight from Indore to Delhi tomorrow, we tried to rest early but I never really did have a good sleep as there was another wedding celebration going on downstairs. =8

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

On 02 Dec 2012 at 5am, Vijay fetched us (pitch dark) to get a flight from Indore airport to Delhi at 7.20am India time.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

As usual, we were given breakfast on the plane and suddenly I realized how much I missed eating meat. This city is very holy so most people takes vegetarian. We have been taking vegetarian for the past 3 days.

I am actually hoping to eat some meat when we reach Delhi airport! We arrived at Delhi airport at about 8.46am India time. Yay! Time to see Taj Mahal soon!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

We met up with our driver who brought us on a high speed drive to Taj Mahal. Along the way, we saw herds of cows, stacked dungs for sale, 20 ppl in 1 taxi, men peeing and shitting along road sides, overloaded lorries filled with grasses and of course, the bumpy road etc

There was a place called UP (Uttar Pradesh), where our driver had to settle some tax payments, he told us to stay in the car and not do anything at all. Not even photo taking, talking or even winding down the windows as there were many con men waiting to devour us (like a thousand rupees for a photo I snapped of them?) and indeed the first thing that happened was the monkey man, who threw his monkey onto the windscreen as soon as the driver was off, followed by some legless beggars knocking in our side window asking for money.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

My FM2N had a shutter freeze moment just before we reached Agra and so I am left with my Canonet to shoot Taj Mahal. It was no doubt disappointed as I am not able to use my 14mm wide lens.

Once reaching Agra, we fetched our local guide Khan, who toured us around Taj Mahal. To summarize, I am a little disappointed as the tour seems to be in a rush  and I didn’t even have time to get proper photos.

FYI, it costs 750 rupees per person to gain entry to Taj Mahal, which includes a pair of shoe socks and a bottle of mineral water.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Leading to the entrance of Taj

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Behind this wall, you see the infamous Taj Mahal

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Our tour guide helped us to take a photo of the entrance (can’t imagine how he failed to include the left of the entrance)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Many many people (Gosh)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

I am seeing Taj soon!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

One of the famous composition to shoot Taj Mahal. I was not able to get a centralized angle as there was too many people passing through.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Many people? Never mind, they can be in my composition. =D

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

A picture of her with Taj as the background

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Holding up Taj Mahal like everyone does…

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

I blame the bad compositions on my tour guide who was rushing things through (damn)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

What you see in the picture are not dirt but birds circling Taj Mahal.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Noticed the difference in shapes? The ball on the left was a result of the many visitors to Taj Mahal that “polished” the structure over time.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

Each wall of Taj Mahal is intricately carved. It is indeed a piece of historical artwork.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The interior of Taj (photography prohibited but well…)

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The honey-combed walls inside Taj Mahal.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

The king was initially intending to built a Black Taj Mahal in black marble across the river of the white marble Taj Mahal but it never did work out.

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

That aside, the sight of Taj Mahal is mesmerizing though! It was really beautiful against the blue skies when you see the marble structure glitter in the sunlight.

Something I did not enjoy about my tour guide in Agra was he rushed us through the tour so that he can bring us to the government shops (that sells things at a high price). He actually warned us about how stalls outside Taj will slaughter us with high pricing at and he will bring us to government shops that sells at reasonable prices.

Well, they were not highly priced, just exorbitant. I like India a lot but just not the “government shops” in Agra. See my encounters below.

 Embroidery shop: Tried selling low quality work at 150SGD (Imagine sewing of Taj Mahal varies in shapes from piece to piece)

  – Carpet shop: minimal 300+ to 400 plus SGD per piece with gemstones, which he claims can be traded in back to them in future

  – Gemstone shop (Star of India stone, which will shine with a star shaped bling. This only happened when he switched off certain lights so I am not sure how true is that. Workmanship was not fantastic too but he kept trying to sell me a stone from big to small. When all fails, he tried to ask me to buy for my mum or sister. It failed and he tried selling me handbags, where he claims they supply to Gucci too.

  – Tour guide’s face somewhat looked grumpy now. No commission I guess that’s why!

 

Finally, it is 4.30pm India time and we are on our way back to Delhi airport! I cannot wait to see Singapore in a few hours time! I can’t describe how much I detest the honking in India that gets on my nerves and gives me a headache too!

However, I am also thankful to the vigilant F1 driver that took us back and forth in 1 piece. He was so fast (and good), flickers headlights in thousands and honks more than we ever do in maybe 5 or more car lifespans in Singapore! He keeps mentioning “people are very hurry, I don’t know what’s the hurry” when people drove faster than he did. LOL

It is 7pm India time, we are about 60km away from Delhi and the air in the night is so polluted. Mask on.

8.00pm India time, the sign says we are 35km away from Delhi.

08.20pm India time, we finally reached Delhi toll gate. Another 20 mins to the airport!

291112-021212 Ravi Wedding in Indore

I only recall reaching the airport, having a late dinner and getting onto my flight. The next thing I knew was, I woke up with 25 more mins to reach Singapore! It’s 5.25am India time, which is about 7.55am Singapore time.

I enjoyed the trip, which was a big eye opener to me and I have also cleared one of the 7 wonders of the world. XD

Note: I will follow up with images from my iPhone soon!

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13 thoughts on “291112-021212 An Indore Journey in India

  1. thanks Judith….i m ravi’s cousin sister. it was really nice to see my country and my people from ur point of view.

  2. Hii Judith… Nice post n photoz and the place you attended the marriage ceremony is my birth place (Ujjain). Even I never knows about Ravi n his family. But nice to see that a foreign guest visited n attended our traditional Hindu marriage ceremony for 5 days. Its disappointed to see some of our places in India is not upto the mark (as u mentioned in some places, etc.) what other countries maintained. I usually belongs to South India Kerala also called God’s Land. Visit Kerala a state of South India whenever you plan to come to India next time…. am sure you will feel happy to see the beautify of the NATURE over there….. but people u ll find there in some black completion 🙂 ..lolzzz……….VINAY

    1. Vinay,

      Thank you for dropping by. It was indeed an experience for us to be there. Kerala? I am not surprised it is another beautiful place like Ujjain too! Looking forward to visit India again someday.

      Have a good day!

      1. BB… Thanks for reply… am looking ur blog…. one thing is really very nice the quality of your camera …. all d photographs are really amazing with excellent clear quality….well keep posting d nice photographs of different places u visit…….VINAY

      2. Vinay,

        Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, do catch my holidays posts as they are my personal opinions and I try to make it as true as I can. This way, viewers know what to expect if they visit that place.

        XD

  3. nicely written photo blog.. covering Indian wedding & places in India
    Great work bigbert.. Ravi seems to be a lucky guy that you attended his wedding in Indore.. Good job man!

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