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Discovering India - day 1/2

Work gave me the opportunity to visit India. After a full week of flights, hotels, taxis and business meetings I had planned 2 days of private time in Pune before flying back to Europe. Even though my stay was short, I can already conclude that India is a country full of diversity: high-tech companies vs great poverty, a mix of all kinds of religions, remainders of British heritage vs local traditions, super strict bureaucracy vs chaotic traffic. Mix all this in a hot and humid country é voila: you have India.

My colleague Pradeep took me for a drive on the back of his motorbike. At first I thought we'd go for a 10 min cruise to the city center ... but we ended up driving a great distance all the way to the country side. I certainly had my share of horrendous Indian traffic, but I couldn't have wished a better introduction to India.

Along the drive we passed a random temple and I asked Pradeep to pull over. The gates were closed but then these friendly old men showed up and opened the doors. We were not allowed to go inside but we could walk around the premises. With some translation assistance from my colleague I asked if I could take their portrait. Without giving any instructions they placed themselves on the stairs like this.

Men and girl osing in front of a temple - Pentax DA 35mm f2.4 

Continuing the drive we passed Panshet Lake which is responsible for Pune's water supply. It is also a popular location for people to hang out during the weekends. Along the road you can find  many vendors of all kinds of fruits and snacks. This lady was selling corn and she didn't mind for her portrait being taken.

Lady selling corn along the road - Pentax DA 35mm f2.4 

After the stop at Panshet Lake we continued to Sinhagad, a fort located approximately 30km outside Pune. It's located on top of a mountain and plays an important role in the Maharashtra history. Many battles took place in this area. As my ass was suffering from the drive on these uncomfortable dirt roads, I asked Pradeep to stop over and immediately took the opportunity to snap this picture. The fort is located on top of the mountain in the back.

Pradeep and his bike with Sinhagad in the background - SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8

Not much remainders are to be found at Sinhagad as most of it was destroyed during battle. Nevertheless it's worth the drive for the panorama and for tasting some local snacks. This lady was selling steamed peanuts. We had some and they tasted pretty good.

Lady selling steamed peanuts - SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8

And finally the panorama from Sinhagad. Considering the Monsoon we were quite lucky with the weather and the distance we could see. To create this shot I used the same technique as described in the previous article. It is composed of several photos stitched together. The result is a 9708 × 3955 px panorama.

Panorama view from Sinhagad  - SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8

We ended the day with a drive back to Pune and a good spicy dinner. The next day I paid a visit to downtown Pune on my own and took some great street shots. This will be covered in the next article.


JAL said…
Nice story to assist the pictures.