My latest book project, that has been almost eight years in the making, is finally published! Behind the Indian Veil – A Journey Through Weddings in India is nothing less than a true work of love. Some of you might have been following the progress of this project from the early stages. Others might have only […]
Muslim weddings are not easy to photograph. I can tell you that for sure. I mean, if you are a muslim than this might sounds strange, after all a wedding is a wedding. However, if you are used to all the music, alcohol, and party atmosphere usually associated with Indian weddings than you are up […]
The very first wedding I ever photographed in India was a TamBrahm, or in its full name; a Tamil Brahmin wedding. This was back at the end of 2007 when I started working on my book on Indian weddings. I had no idea what I was going to see. I had no clue the wedding […]
If you are planing a church wedding in Goa there are quite a few places to hold the ceremony. There is a small chapel at the top of a hill which remains locked most of the time. Nevertheless, it is worth coming up here for a spectacular view of the Salcette countryside in general and the town of […]
Some Indian wedding traditions can be very strange to an outsider. I have been here for a while and have experienced some of them but there is always a new experience. I have heard of the marriage of the Tulsi plant in Goa but this is the first time I actually made the time to search for one and go shoot it.
Tulsi Vivah is the ceremonial marriage of the Tulsi plant (holy basil) to the Hindu god Vishnu or his Avatar Krishna. The Tulsi wedding signifies the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season. It is traditionally celebrated sometime in October or November, any time between the 11th lunar day and the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartik. The festival is especially celebrated in Goa where many households keep their own temple of Tulsi.
The pundits are busy on this day and run from one home to the other to perform the wedding. At the house I went to he was supposed to arrive at 6:30pm. Then 8pm. I arrived on time (of course) as if I know nothing about Indian time. He was late of course. Two and a half hours late!
According to Hindu mythology the origin of the festival begins with a woman, of course. Her name was Vrinda and she was married to a demon king named Jalandhar. Vrinda worshiped Lord Vishnu and prayed for her husband to be invincible. No God was able to defeat Jalandhar because of Vrinda. However, Vishnu disguised himself as Jalandhar and violated Vrinda. Her chastity destroyed, Jalandhar was killed by Shiva. When Vrinda came to know about the truth, she cursed Lord Vishnu and turned him into a black stone (Saaligram) and burnt herself on her husband’s funeral. Lord Vishnu then transferred her soul in Tulsi plant and as a blessing married her in next birth as Saaligram. Makes sense I guess 🙂
When I started working on my book on Indian weddings I had a very thin knowledge, if at all, about Indian wedding traditions. There was a notion of an idea but I could not have even imagined where this journey would take me. One of the most surprising things that I learned about Indian weddings […]
Of all the Indian wedding traditions I have covered in the last few years, the Buddhist wedding in Ladakh was definitely one of the most interesting ones, and is featured in my upcoming book ‘Behind The Indian Veil – A Journey Through Weddings in India’ that will be published soon. Ladakh weddings are not the regular Indian […]
When one thinks of a wedding in Goa it is very likely that the first thing that comes to mind would be a beach wedding somewhere under the coconut trees, and while many people do come to Goa for a destination wedding on the beach, some people actually live in Goa and don’t need to […]
What is a Syrian Christian wedding in Kerala, and why is it unique? A few months ago I photographed a wedding in south India and wrote a post about it, explaining who the Kerala Christians are, and a bit about the wedding traditions of this culture. Mathew and Shilpa, who got married in Trivandrum a […]
Hijras are members of what is usually considered in India as ‘the third sex’ – neither man nor women. The hijras usually show up at weddings and at the birth of male babies, to perform religious ceremonies intended to bring good luck and fertility. These ‘ceremonies’ involve music, singing, and sexually suggestive dancing, and although […]