my trip to india: best of retrospective


i had a very unique experience in india. needless to say, it was very good to me. i had enough experiences in 5 weeks there to last a lifetime. but that’s the beautiful thing about india: you always want more and it always has more to give.

from delhi to jaipur to mumbai to “sunder gao” back to mumbai across the country to varanasi and finally back to delhi. planes, trains, automobiles, rickshaws, horses, elephants and scooters. i jumped at every opportunity to do something new with enthusiasm.

i visited very few “touristy” attractions and when i did it was only to observe the people there. i saw a very intimate side of india that one can only see with local knowledge. i was fortunate enough to make fast friends while there who took it upon themselves to show me a glimpse of their lives, homes and hearts. abhishek. aalmalikhan. nihal uncle. delila. carmel. kishore. rahul. g.h. khan. pratap. avinash. balu. they included me in religious ceremonies. i took my shoes off and knelt beside them in prayer. i sat on the floor and ate humble meals in their humble homes.

i made connections with everyone from groveling “street rats” at the bottom of the caste system to members of the legislative assembly at the top. there were moments of joy and moments of sheer terror.

i looked into the eyes of the people of india and saw in them the warm soul of one of the most fascinating countries on earth. endless possibilities. i would and will go back again and again and again. i will continue to share images from the beautiful country of india that has changed my life forever.

i have a deep attachment to many of my pictures that goes far beyond aesthetic and enters the realm of experiential immortality. through these pictures these moments will live forever in my heart and mind. here are some of my favorite images from my journey. please share this post with friends, family and loved ones!

an intimate moment at a religious ceremony.

morning prayer can include anything from bathing your idols in cow’s milk to feeding the birds.

a very devout people.

a very strong and dedicated people.

blind faith.

they are a very busy people that are not afraid to stop and smell the roses.

i drank tea on the streets.

you will NEVER hear a true hindi complain. no matter how bad it gets they are always happy to be alive.

this man will mill grain for his whole life.

this old woman invited me into her home off the street and served me chai and biscuits. and yes, that is a neck brace.

pilgrims will walk hundreds of miles to their destination to make pooja.

elephant trainers are very connected to their animals.

there is life in those eyes.

they are such a graceful people.

beautiful customs.

the relationship between humans and animals is like none you’ve ever seen.

people in india definitely know how to relax when they aren’t working.

but when they do work, they could teach us all about dedication.

it’s not an exaggeration that there are cows EVERYWHERE in india.

cricket in the streets.

village well pump.

a drunk holding a pig. this guy practically attacked me after i took this picture.

elephant village.

so much personality.

babies are taught to beg before anything else.

a suspicious subject.

the cricket boys from the jaipur municipal school.

so eager to learn!

ready for the long journey to mumbai.

captive audience.

turban demonstration.


just trying to do his job.


as the story goes, rama was thirsty so he shot an arrow into the earth. from the hole came the underground ganga water. it is one of the holiest places in mumbai. the arrow remains in the center of the tank in the form of a giant pole of wood.

taking care of business with a view of the arabian sea.

the invisible man. i can’t explain this picture. all i know is that he was there one minute and gone the next.

egg wala.

living in the slums.

this boy spoke 4 languages.

running around barefoot in a slum is not advisable. but what are you supposed to do when you don’t have shoes?

a sister taking care of her brother.

in the two weeks i was in mumbai, this woman never left this bed.

washerman’s basin.

is this picture ironic to anyone else?

street soccer.

waiting to see lalbaugcha raja.

heavy police presence.

being very patient.

waiting patiently in line at the carnival.

these kids were so happy!

india has a waste management problem.

the ship yard.

the teachers in india work so hard. often, if they quit, the children will be left without a teacher.

the students are so eager to learn.

immersing ganesh idols in the arabian.

indians LOVE music.

listening intently to teacher.

relaxing after a long day of work.

coy twins.

young mother and daughter.

a gypsy showing off his mustache.

waiting for his daily food allotment from the school. some parents only send the kids to school to be fed.

offering a blessing.

best view on chowpatty beach.

i was helping them pull their ganesh into the ocean!

some of the idols were over 30 feet tall.

not all of the idols are huge.

immersion. a very intimate moment. these people were kind enough to let me shoot it.


i was the only photographer in the water!

millions of people on the beach.

sitting patiently on the 33 hour train ride from mumbai to varanasi.

dousing the burning bodies in ganga water.

bodies enter varanasi any number of ways.

a distraught mother weeping over her young daughter’s body.

death is a very public affair in india.

a grieving brother.

swimming in the ganga.

bathing in the ganga.

praying in the ganga.

laundry on the ganga.

living on the ganga.

carrying a young child’s body to the burning ghats where they will be cremated.

pooja to the ganga.

this boy is mourning. when a member of the family dies, the men shave their heads out of respect and to bring spiritual purification.

hanging freshly died silks.

thank you all so much for your support while i was over there. if you have any questions about india the country, the people or just taking pictures please feel free to email me at



~ by jacobbmurphy on November 12, 2010.

14 Responses to “my trip to india: best of retrospective”

  1. Jacob your photos are amazing!

  2. WOW!!! I loved all your blogs and pixs. I am going to miss your travelogues. Thanks for sharing your stories. I loved it all.

  3. Oh, India. India. You’ve captured it so perfectly. I was there in February of this year, and it is the most incredible place I’ve ever seen. Your photos are spectacular. Thank you for sharing them. My heart is singing to go back there now.

  4. jacotb our meeting was very short,but we remember you very much come again see you !!!!!!!!!!!incence shop.

  5. WOW!!!! Your trip and photos look amazing. I’ve posted this post on my Facebook page for my friends to see as the second of my favourite blog posts of today.

  6. …………

    You’ve made me fall in love with my camera again.

    Thank you.

  7. Your photographs made me want to do something for my country. I am amazed by how people from other places perceive India. Very very inspiring. Thank You.

  8. I was wondering if you could send me the music you have on the very top of the page I really like it or tell me the name of it?

  9. please tell me the song on the top of the page!!!!!!!

  10. These photographs are amazing, I am planning a trip to India at the end of this year and your photos inspired me even more. I am so looking forward to thins trip and only hope i make friends who will show me the real India rather then the tourist destinations. I cant wait to experience it for the magical culture I’ve imagined and you have captured in these images.

  11. Love the colours and characters. Great shots – they are so rich!

  12. These pictures are amazing! Really enjoyed the elephant ones. What an awesome experience!

  13. Im an Indian and a Photographer, Each and Every Photograph of Yours has a Story and has That ‘Indian’ feel to it..These are the Best ‘Indian’ Photographs i’ve seen, I may be too young to understand the ‘Vast’ Experience you Gained here, i Hope you had a Good time. These Photograph’s are Really an Inspiration for me to ‘Get-Outta-my-home’ and Explore the Length and Breadth of my Own Country. Hats off, Sir !

  14. Its beautiful

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