By Mike Lander on
Varanasi, also known as Benares, is the holiest of India’s sacred cities and is the spiritual capital of India. This photo essay was taken by our contributing photojournalist Allen McAvoy in May 2014. The scenes are timeless and have looked much the same for many years.
One cannot travel throughout India without realizing the importance of religion in the daily life of the people. Varanasi is important not only to Hindus but also to followers of Buddhism, Jainism and Ravidassia. Polytheism is an inherent part of Hinduism as the people make continual offerings to the numerous deities including Ganesh and Shiva.
In short, India is high on the list of places to photograph not only because of the great variety of subjects to document, but also because of the multitude people who wear brightly colored clothing. If a documentary photographer is serious about his craft, a trip through India is a must.