Puri is a coastal city in the state of Odisha fka Orissa in Eastern India. It is situated on the Bay of Bengal and also known as Jagannath Puri after the 12th-century Jagannath Temple located in the city. Away from pilgrims and tourists, tucked into the eastern corner of Puri, an interesting traditional fishing village thrives with a mixed Christian and Hindu community who both use the 3km-long beach as an open-air toilet and rubbish dump. Every morning, a small but lively dry-fish market springs to life here where fisherwomen and locals compare the quality of the dried fish, haggle for best prices, and exchange the latest village news over a glass of milk tea.
Fresh fish rapidly deteriorates unless some way can be found to preserve it. The oldest traditional way of preserving fish is to let the sun and wind dry it. Open-air drying has been practiced since ancient times to preserve food. Dried fish has a storage life of several years. The method is cheap and effective in suitable climates; the work can be done by the fishermen and their family, and the resulting product is easily transported to the market. Dried fish is a very rich source of proteins, containing 80 - 85 % protein. In Puri, dried fish fetches c. INR 60.- per kg (c. US$ 1.-) and dried squid up to INR 200.- per kg.
Closeup street portraits of diverse people from interesting market places in Matt Hahnewald's