Here are some of the pictures of people that I took on my trip to India in February/March, 1999.
Traffic in India is wild. The streets are usually jammed with traffic. And cows on the streets don't make the situation any better.
Transportation is done by any means available, from foot over bicycles, rickshaws, bicycles, camel and ox carts, to cars, trucks and buses. Evey vehicle is usually loaded to maximum capacity.
Indians love colors. Everything is colorful, including vehicles and animals, and of course the people themselves. They use flowers everywhere to decorate things.
Shops are everywhere, selling everything. They are all small local shops, there are no supermarkets to be found. People conduct their trade on the street, including barbers, cobblers, etc.
The main religion in India is Hinduism, 80% of the people are Hindu. There are signs of religion everywhere. You can see shrines and small temples everywhere. Worship is done individually, but often in public. I saw one man riding down the street on a bicycle. He stopped opposite a small temple, got of the bike, prayed, and then moved on.
Varanasi (former Benares) is the holy city of India. Being cremated in Varanasi and the ashes thrown in the Ganges is the fastest way to reach heaven. We saw several funeral processions in Varanasi, and saw a funeral pyre on the shore of the Ganges. Worshipers are everywhere. They all come to bathe in the Ganges and to pray.
Street traffic. (1091k) Street traffic. (1129k) It gets pretty crowded in the narrow streets when the cows show up. (1110k) Even with all those vehicles, they still have to share the streets with livestock. (1277k) Not all transport is done by vehicles. (806k) This man was carrying quite a load on his head. (1163k) Women carrying big loads. (1364k) These were carrying cow dung. It is used for fuel for their stoves. (1214k) Many women were wearing colorful saris. The Indian people in general seem to like colors, flowers, etc. (1290k) More women in colorful saris. (875k) Motor scooter Rickshaws. (1139k) Hand-drawn Rickshaw. (1141k) Bicycle Rickshaw. They are usually for two passengers. (1001k) Rickshaw decorations. Indians like to decorate their everyday tools like this rickshaw and others on this page. (1219k) Bicycle Rickshaws are used as school buses. (1086k) The bulls may be sacred, but they still have to work. Note the decorated horns. (1071k) Camel drawn cart. (1173k) Elephant on his way home. There were several of them, with the Mahouts fast asleep, the elephants knowing the way. (812k) The Mahouts where not the only ones sleeping. (1307k) The trucks too are decorated. (980k) And they are loaded! (883k) The buses are loaded too. (1151k) This was our bus. Fortunately it was not that loaded, but they had a bit of a problem with spelling. (904k) A bus ride during Holi, the Festival of Colors, can get pretty exciting. There is paint everywhere. (959k) This is what our bus and guide looked like during Holi. (968k) Even on the dogs, the cows, etc. (1151k)
Police post on a street corner in Kolkatta. (1172k) This sign on a police station is telling people to report police corruption if it occurs. (896k) A large market in Delhi. (1387k) The carpet section in the market. You can get very nice and inexpensive silk carpets in India. (984k) Food vendor. He made fried dough balls, filled with vegetables. They are called "pakodas" or "bhajiyas". He did a brisk business. (1019k) Flower vendor in a market. People in India use flowers a lot for decorations. (1145k) Grocery store. (834k) A fish store. It was quite smelly in that area. (701k) A meat store in Kolkatta. Notice the signs, one is of Jesus Christ, one of Sister Theresa, and one of the Goddess Kali (a very vicious Goddess). He keeps all bases covered. (744k) A barber shop in Kolkatta on the river. You find business wherever you can. (961k) A cobbler has setup shop here on the street. Again even here there are flowers for decoration. (1092k) He was reading horoscopes on the street. (1040k) A barber giving a shave. (1182k) Your local laundromat. (1311k) Lawn mowing. This is seriously how they manicured the lawns in the temples, by hand with machetes. They have enough people who need to be employed. (1223k) People everywhere played cricket. It seems to be the national sport. (1366k)
Place of worship for the Monkey God Hanuman. Hindu worship is done individually and not necessarily in temples. People will stop at places like this and pray. (1132k) Shrine to the Monkey God Hanuman. (406k) Worship in India is both more private and more public. People do it individually for themselves, but in public. This man stopped his bicycle, got off, prayed, and then drove on. (1149k) Ganges riverfront of Varanasi (former Benares) with the Ghats, the steps going down to the river. Varanasi is the holy city where people want to bathe in the Ganges to purify. (977k) Bathing in the Ganges. This is a religious ritual more than recreation or cleaning. (1349k) Bathing in the Ganges. (1375k) Bathing in the Ganges. (1266k) Bathing in the Ganges. It was the day after Holi, the Festival of Colors, so there was still paint everywhere. (1144k) This woman was very frail, she had to be helped into the water and back out. It was clear that this bath was very important to her. (1051k) People light votive candles, put them a little basket and let them float down the Ganges. (846k) The most desirable way to be treated after death is to be cremated in Varanasi and the ashes thrown into the Ganges. There are many such cremations each day on the banks of the Ganges. (992k)