A Photo-Ethnographic Study, Delhi, Yamuna River
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Lost In Yellow: Visual Notes of Evenings Spent Wandering Along River Yamuna and Old Delhi

Much like Lost in Translation I had been wandering, walking for a Research Project in Delhi; One of the great historic cities of the world and spans some 10 centuries of its past. Understanding, observing Delhi is both exciting and challenging.

Delhi has had a rich urban past, and what is particularly interesting is the fact that at different points of time several different sites were chosen by various powers/dynasties to found new settlements or cities. Most of them are in ruins but what is important to learn about it is that all even today are accessible. One of them is yesteryears Shahjahanabad, today’s Old Delhi.

Shahjahanabad has been subsumed under the gigantic sprawl of metropolitan Delhi. Yet it has an identity that is distinct from any other. Popularly known as Chandni Chowk or Old Delhi, its name conjures up romantic narrow streets named after almost every thing on earth; maze like with a variety of street food and exotic markets.

But my exploration is not completely about Delhi, its heritage or food but it is on the most ancient living entity that there is, the source itself perhaps; because of which Delhi came into being- the river Yamuna. I shall be talking about it soon in the coming future posts. But Since last fortnight this exploration, research recce before anything starts shaping, I had been walking, floating almost above this sea of a crowd in Old Delhi. This space is so vibrant that it is perpetually under a state of drama everywhere, all the time. Its like romancing with my own city that is a living museum of illusion, more so when nights turn the alchemy on.

Sharing some images of my time in Shahjahanabad and of the river Yamuna.

This place is also called Peeli Kothi i.e. Yellow Palace. As I stood waiting for the sky to turn bluer, this woman arrived and stood like a log in front of my camera. Yet I was able to take a few steps back and see this as a part of the whole.

Its been a record breaking winter past month in Delhi. Temperatures have touched newer lows as I managed to sneak out in extreme cold and fog. Here, near the Wazirabad bridge on Yamuna.

A woman coming from a temple after finishing evening prayers on the Yamuna bank.

A child selling soft candies.

A team during a tea break.

A slum kid posing as a Goddess.

Lokesh Jain at the Yamuna Bank near Nigambodh Ghat

A girl child at Hanuman Mandir, in Old Delhi

Saumyananda Sahi with Lokesh Jain and his team

A portrait of a pandit and his wife sitting near the Yamuna Banks

A street actor transforming into Shiva, as crew looks over.

Bhajan Kitran during Lohri Festival

Gautam Laughing

Women beggars playing mysterious games.

Local labourers singing regional songs on Lohri in Delhi

A young Rikshaw Puller

Children preparing Diyas for the evening prayers at Yamuna Ghat


As I walk in Delhi, I shall be sharing images and texts from various corners and subjects of meaning and importance. Do share how do you like to see this series or have any Questions. Please write in comment or in my mailbox.

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Thank you.


If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

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I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.


Also read: Top 9 Most Read Posts of 2022


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This entry was posted in: A Photo-Ethnographic Study, Delhi, Yamuna River

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Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.

24 Comments

  1. I have to come back again, or rather write in your email, Narayan, as I just lost twice the written comments and time because of WordPress madness!

    Joanna

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  2. AJ says

    Amazing photos! It seems you’ve captured, not merely images of people, but the soul of Yamuna.

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  3. You have captured the feel of Delhi. It may be the first place that made a profound impression on me as a child. There were children younger than myself begging in the street and I could not make sense of why our lives were so different. How is one child born into poverty and another into privilege? I had never thought my position was anything but ordinary until I went to SE Asia. I still have not found the answer. I love seeing pictures of your travels.

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    • Thank you dear Caro. I deeply know how you might have felt but i want to assure you that people, at least most people are blessed with rich inner life of love for and understanding. They may be poor but don’t take it because there is a lack of something rather we enjoy the cosmic chaos this part of the world is.

      And Your words are always much dear to me Caro. Thank you.

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  4. Nice post. The pictures are beautiful. The first pic of the town looks so historic, like a page out of a history book. You did an amazing job. May God bless your travels.

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  5. Narayan, what a heartwarming photo essay! You have captured the essence of Old Deli. The photos of people are so personal and evocative, like being there in person. I enjoyed reading this. ❤ Thank you so much!

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