Apratim Saha

Photography

 

Friday, 25 July 2014 06:51

Maha Kumbh Mela

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Kumbh Mela, the largest spiritual gathering of mankind on the Earth, is held every 12 years on the banks of the ‘Sangam’- the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Millions of devotees take a holy dip in the sacred water during the mela. Maha Kumbha Mela held only at Prayag, once in every 144 years.

It is believed that at the historic moment of the Maha Kumbh Mela, the river turns itself into sanctity spots filled with ‘Amrita’ (Panacia or elixir of immortality). The pilgrims get once in a lifetime chance to bathe in the spirit of holiness, auspiciousness and salvation.

As mythology tells us, when Gods (Devtas) and Demons (Asura) used to reside on Earth, Gods were under the influence of a curse that gave birth of fear in them eventually making them weak. Brahma (the Creator) advised them to churn the milky ocean to obtain the elixir of immortality (Amrita). And Kumbh was the spot chosen to store the nectar of immortality recovered from Samudramanthan.

For 12 heavenly days and 12 heavenly nights, equivalent to 12 Earthly years, Gods were chased by Demons for the possession of Amrita. During the chase for the Amrita, few drops of this elixir out of its ‘Kumbha’ (Pot) fell on four places now known as Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. The whole Kumbha mela (carnival) and its cycle is a remembrance of that Mythological story. The mela takes place in all these four places. Out of these the one celebrated at the Holy Sangam in Allahabad is the largest and believed to be the holiest one. Thus the Kumbh Mela became one of the main festivals of Hindus as well as the largest spiritual gathering of mankind on Earth.

Enjoy the spirit of Maha Kumbha Mela here….

YAGGYAN (Worship of fire)

YAGGYAN (Worship of fire)

The Reader

The Reader

You don’t require being alone to concentrate.

SONDHA AROTI

SONDHA AROTI (Evening Puja) on the Ganges at Allahabad.

KUMBH MEMORIES

KUMBH MEMORIES

NAGA

NAGA

SONDHI PUJA

SONDHI PUJA (Evening Puja)

CARRYING AWAY

CARRYING AWAY

It was estimated that this year more than twenty six thousand people has been lost, thousands has been injured and in a tragic accident more than hundred was stampede.

TILAK

TILAK

PROUD TO HAVE A GREAT MUSTACHE

PROUD TO HAVE A GREAT MUSTACHE

JAI HO

JAI HO

NAGA

NAGA

JATRA

JATRA (MUSICAL FOLK THEATRE)

Jatra (Musical Folk Theatre)There are lot of different kind of amusement activity in Kumbh Mela. One of the most popular among them is Jatra (Musical Folk Theatre) based on ancient mythological epic stories.

A MUNDAN CEREMONY AT KUMBH MELA

A MUNDAN CEREMONY AT KUMBH MELA

India is country of rituals, customs & traditions. The Shudhikaran (arrangement of the hair tuft) or the Mundan, is the eighth of the sixteen Hindu ceremony, in which a child receives his or her first haircut. According to this ceremony it should take place at the end of first year or before the expiry of the third year, but the later authorities extend the age to the seventh year. It is believed that the hair from birth is associated with undesirable characters from previous lives which have to be removed by shaving off the hair. Thus at the time of the Mundan, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into the future.

ON THE SHOULDER

ON THE SHOULDER

YOUNG SHIVA

YOUNG SHIVA

UNDER THE SKY

UNDER THE SKY

NAGA

NAGA

SONDHI PUJA

SONDHI PUJA (Evening Puja)

HOLY BATH

HOLY BATH

DEVINE CHANT

DEVINE CHANT

UNDER THE SKY

UNDER THE SKY

LET THERE BE BLESS

LET THERE BE BLESS

PREPARING THE DINNER

PREPARING THE DINNER

DRYING CLOTHES

DRYING CLOTHES

SURPRISED

SURPRISED

THAT WAY

THAT WAY

AFTER THE HOLY BATH

AFTER THE HOLY BATH

HOLY BATH

HOLY BATH

THE ANGRY NAGA

THE ANGRY NAGA

PUJA

PUJA

NAGA

NAGA

KEEP DISCIPLINE

KEEP DISCIPLINE

VIOLATING DISCIPLINE

VIOLATING DISCIPLINE

NAGA

NAGA

AROTI

AROTI

EVENING PUJA

EVENING PUJA

RETURNING HOME

RETURNING HOME

Maha Kumbh Mela

 

Monday, 01 April 2013 07:20

Curse of the modern technology

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Once upon a time families created the finest sharies on their handloom that time has gone, modern factories took over this precious work and left only the weaving of towels to insure their income at 10 RPS a piece…

The saying ‘curse of the modern technology’ is so true for the whole villagers of Rajgram in Bankura district of West Bengal. Rajgram is a small village of nearly forty families of weavers. Few years ago I had to go to Bankura for one day for my work. Next day I spend sometimes in the village while waiting for my train. I was aware about the present situation of Rajgram and unable to resist myself to go there.

There was a time when these people were happily living with their weaving profession. Earlier they used to weave Sharis and towels. Now they are only preparing towels. Even they cannot purchase the thread for themselves also. They have to take the thread form the creditor. For a pair of a towel they earn only twenty rupees. Normally it takes a whole day to finish a pair of a towels ! Really they are facing the survival problem. Now a day’s the females and the old men in the family are only sewing and the younger men are trying to get involved in other profession like rickshaw pulling.

Discovering life in the village of Rajgram….


Whose there...?

Curse of Modern Technology

Curse of Modern Technology

Power Cut

Curse of Modern Technology

Another big problem for the people of Rajgram is power cut.

Spinning

Curse of Modern Technology

An old woman spinning

Curse of Modern Technology

Curse of Modern Technology

Curse of Modern Technology

Curse of Modern Technology

A house wife spinning her handloom in front of her small room.

Curse of Modern Technology

Shunil was one of the man who has changed his profession from weaving to rickshaw pulling. He was my rickshaw puller at Rajgram.

Curse of Modern Technology

Curse of Modern Technology

Shaving

Curse of Modern Technology

Life goes on.

 

Saturday, 22 December 2012 07:39

Varanasi

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Mark Twain truly said that “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”.

Varanasi is also commonly known as Benares or Benaras  and Kashi, a city on the banks of the River Ganges in Uttar Pradesh.  According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, several thousand years ago which makes it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is regarded as a holy city by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India.

Enjoy the spirit of Varanasi here….

Varanasi

Om !

Varanasi

Morning puja on Ganges.

In memory of the forefathers

Varanasi

He came all the way from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Varasnasi to bring homage to his deceased ancestors, like so many Hindu from all over India, believing that after death, the soul given to the Goddess Ganga, remains in the river of life and death.

Sun Rise

Varanasi

Sun rise on Ganges.

Body Building

Varanasi

Early morning body building at Varanasi.

Puja

Varanasi

Puja before Body Building .

Body Building

Varanasi

Early morning body building at Varanasi.

Body Building

Varanasi

Early morning body building on the Ganges.

Pranayam

Varanasi

Early morning pranayam on the Ganges.

Yoga

Varanasi

Sit - Up

Varanasi

Early morning body building on the Ganges.

Priest

Varanasi

Priest

Varanasi

A priest at Varanasi.

Sadhu

Varanasi

A Sadhu at Varanasi.

Handful of blessing

Varanasi

Pradeep Kumar Dwivedi, the priest of the Shitala Mandir at Dasaswamedh Ghat, Varanasi is one of the  few survivors of a tragic bus accident on 3rd June 1996 morning where more than fifty people were killed. Four people are still in coma. In that accident he lost one of his hands. As the time passes by he realized that he was being neglected by his family as he became physically challenged due to that tragic occurrence. One day he told his father that he’ll earn himself and he came to Varanasi. When he came to Varanasi he fell in love with the ancient city.

Mentor

Varanasi

Ganga Darshan

Varanasi

Boating on the Ganges.

Ganga Darshan

Varanasi

Ghats

Varanasi

Ghats of Varanasi.

Fortune Teller

Varanasi

A fortune teller on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Sadhu

Varanasi

A priest from Varanasi.

Waiting

 Waiting

An old woman at Varanasi.

Puja

Varanasi

Puja on the Shitala Mandir.

Puja

Varanasi

Puja on the bank of Ganges.

Burning Ghat

Varanasi

Burning Ghat on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Burning Memories

Varanasi

 Few days ago early in the morning one mobile call from Varanasi really shocked me for some time. Only four words “Sir Kiran mama chale gaye” (Kiran uncle is no more). Though I was getting ready for my office but couldn’t control myself and sat on the couch for an hour. He was only 65 ! Kiran Chowdhury, the famous Doma (A Hindu caste whose duty is to burn the dead and look after the crematorium) of Varanasi is no more ! Though he’ll not burn bodies anymore but there’ll be burning all the time. From now bodies will be burnt without his touch as he burnt to ashes. During my last visit to Varanasi we had a long discussion regarding Hinduism and Karma. That day once again I realised that wisdom doesn’t come from the books always.

Burning Ghat

 Varanasi

Burning Ghat on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Navaratri

Varanasi

A family celebrating Sharada Navaratri at Varanasi.

Evening Puja

Varanasi

Evening Puja on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Durga Bisarjan

 Varanasi

DURGA BISARJAN on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Puja

Varanasi

Evening Puja on Doshomi at Varanasi.

Dura Bisarjan

 Varanasi

DURGA BISARJAN on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Sondha Aroti

Varanasi

Sondha Aroti (Evening Puja) on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Sondha Aroti

Varanasi

Sondha Aroti (Evening Puja) on the Ganges at Varanasi.

Varanasi

A panoramic view of the Varanasi ghats.

Thursday, 28 April 2011 10:01

Making of a devi

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Making of a Devi is the story of the potters who have been devoted their life by making the Hindu goddess.

MAKING OF A DEVI

Making of a devi

Radhe Das is a sixty five years man has started making goddess at the age of seven. He has learned the art from his uncle. Radhe is the only earning member of his family. He is so poor that he cannot hire an extra person to help him. So he works alone in his workshop at Kumartuli.

LIVING STATUE OF A SCULPTOR

Making of a devi

CHOKH DAN

Making of a devi

Creating the eye of a Devi is the most critical and challenging thing. In Hindu mythology it has a name called “Chokh Dan” (Eye Creation).  Normally in the night of Mahalaya, before seven days of Puja all potters used to complete this “Chokh Dan” procedure.

ETERNAL TOUCH

Making of a devi

Narayan Pal is one of the potters at Kumartuli, Siliguri, West Bengal.

Making of a devi

Anima Roy got inspiration from his husband seven years ago when her husband took her to Kumartuli. She is the only woman potter in this community. Now she and her husband works together to support their growing family.

PAINTING THE FACE

Making of a devi

Tuesday, 17 August 2010 14:03

Cultural Diversity

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India is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and definitive role in the life of most of its people.

PUJA - I

Cultural Diversity

Some ritual culture at Gangasagar Mela.

PROVAT AROTI (Morning Puja)

Early morning puja at Varanasi on the Ganges.

PUJA -II

Cultural Diversity

DIWALI

Cultural Diversity

Diwali or Deepaawali is one of the most glamorous and important festivals celebrated in India.

IN MEMORY OF FOREFATHERS

Cultural Diversity

He came all the way from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to Varasnasi to bring homage to his deceiced ancesters, like so many Hindu from all over India, believing that after death, the soul given to the Goddes Ganga, remains in the river of life and death.

PUJA III

Cultural Diversity

Ahuti is an oblation or offering. It can also refer to a sacrifice. However, when conducting with a Yagnya it is customary to have a havan or fire sacrifice. The fire is ceremoniously lit, symbolic of inviting Agni the fire God and the mantras are chanted an offering of ghee or havan samagri (a mixture of herbs, flower and ghee) is offered to the fire at the end of the mantra.

I saw this woman giving YAGNYAHUTI in Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Dwip, West Bengal. Instead of havan samagri she was throwing those cotton balls with ghee from that container.

SONDHA AROTI ( Evening Puja)

Cultural DIversity

Evening Puja at Varanasi on the Ganges.

Friday, 30 July 2010 14:21

Portrait

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Portrait

YOUNG SADHU

Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

Portrait

OLD WOMAN

In a local market at Darjeeling District, West Bengal.

Portrait

TANTRIK

Charak festival at Siliguri, West Bengal.

Portrait

MOTHER

Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

Portrait

A TALK FROM HEART TO HEART

We had a warmhearted talk for one hour and then he blessed me …
A monk in Rumtek Monastery.

Portrait

PANDIT

A Pandit (Priest) from Maharashtra to Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

Portrait

I’m not your mother !

A old woman in Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal.

Thursday, 29 July 2010 14:41

About Me

Written by

Apratim Saha

I’ve started photography at age of twelve from inspired by my father. Travelling the world as a photographer for National Geographic Magazine was the dream from my childhood. I have more than 30 years of experience, from traditional film to digital photography. 

I am a commercial photographer specializing in people photography, portraiture, lifestyle & editorial clients. Besides commercial works, I also shoot weddings, family portraits, and other subjects that stimulate my visual or emotional sensibilities. I am a member of National Geographic Stock Photography and Getty Images and Stocksy United. I am also a Brand Ambassador and Mentor for Tamron and Data Color


Anyone who wants to publish or use the images for any purposes please mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call +91 8900702900, +91 8509333385, +91 9434249048