Theme : Portraits of Varkaris
( Look in the eyes of this man, you’ll see the reflection of the world )
Description : Varkari (वारकरी) is a religious movement (sampraday) within the bhakti spiritual tradition of Hinduism. It is geographically associated with the Indian states of Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. In the Marathi language of Maharashtra, Wari (वारी) means ‘pilgrimage’ and a pilgrim is called a varkari. Every year, Varkari walk hundreds of miles to the holy town of Pandharpur, gathering there on Ekadashi (the 11th day) of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Aashaadha (which falls sometime in July). Another pilgrimage is celebrated on the Ekadashi of the month of Kartik (which falls sometime in November).
Varkaris worship Vithoba, the presiding deity of Pandharpur. Vithoba is a form of Krishna, an avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. Because of this association with Vishnu, Varkari is a branch of Vaishnavism. The teachers responsible for establishing and supporting the movement through its history include Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Tukaram, Chokhamela and Eknath, who are accorded the Marathi title of Sant (Saint). Varkari making the pilgrimage to Pandharpur carry the palkhis of the saints from their places of Samadhi (enlightenment or “spiritual birth”). According to historians, Vitthal devotees were holding pilgrimages prior even to Saint Dnyaneshwar of the 13th century. However, the current tradition of carrying the paduka (sandals) of the saints in a palkhi was started by the youngest son of Sant Tukaram, Narayan Maharaj, in 1685. Further changes were brought in by Haibatraobuwa and descendents of Sant Tukaram in the 1820s. Today about 40 palkhis of saints from all over Maharashtra come to Pandharpur with their devotees.
Equipment : Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF 75 – 300 mm lens @ 155 mm.
Av – F5.6, Tv – 1/200, ISO – 100. Hand held.
Location : Pune, India
Processing : Photomatix HDR generated work. Single RAW file was converted to 13 TIFF images @ 0.25 stop & cooked in Photomatix 4.2, final tonemapped image was processed in PS with
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