28 February 2017

Partying at Shivratri Mela

Meditation, processions, chanting, chillum-smoking and money-making accompany the annual Shivratri Mela aka Bhavnath Fair near Junagadh in the Indian state of Gujarat when hundreds of saffron-clad and ash-powdered naked Shaivite sadhus set camp in the vicinity of Mount Girnar. It’s a boisterous five-day festival, held every year on the 14th day of the Hindu calendar month of Magha, culminating with the full-scale worship of God Shiva at midnight of the Maha Shivaratri which is thronged with naked sadhus aka naga sadhus offering their prayers at the temple. Many of the Shaivite devotees believe that God Shiva himself visits the shrine here on this holiest day.

By the way, the Bhavnath Fair is the backbone of the economy of Junagadh, as more than one million pilgrims who visit the fair generate a revenue of c. 250 million Indian rupees (c. 4 million US$) in only five days...

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; closeup; headshot; three-quarter view; tilted head; orange; outdoor; colour; saffron; saffron-coloured turban; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; forehead; human face; tilaka; third eye; human eyes; laughing eyes; teeth; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; finger rings; jewellery; fanciful bracelet; right hand; gemstones; turban; body language; gesture; hand-on-cheek gesture; consent; ethnic portrait; travel; travel portrait; Hinduism; festival; devotee; worshipper; Shivratri Mela; Junagadh; Gujarat; Western India; one person; male; adult; middle-aged man; Indian man; Hindu; sitting; posing; authentic; smiling

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; closeup; headshot; full-face view; orange; indoor; low-light conditions; colour; colourful; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; forehead; human face; tilaka; third eye; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; white full beard; well groomed full beard; white hair; bareheaded; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; respect; dignity; travel portrait; cultural portrait; Hinduism; festival; event; devotee; worshipper; Shivratri Mela; Junagadh; Gujarat; Western India; Indian man; old man; one person; male; adult; senior; posing; authentic; dignified; lighting

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; forehead; face; third eye; eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; hair; consent; traveling; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; mela; sadhu; devotee; holy; tradition; traditional; culture; cultural; shivratri mela; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; one person; male; adult; middle-aged man; man; portrait man; posing; authentic; india

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; face; eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; dishevelled; barechested; bareheaded; consent; empathy; encounter; emotion; fun; festival; event; mela; pilgrim; shivratri mela; bhavnath; junagadh; gujarat; india; indian; one person; male; adult; middle-aged man; portrait man; posing

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; seven-eighths view; low-angle shot; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; forehead; receding hairline; face; makeup; painted face; sandalwood paste; chandanam; tilaka; third eye; eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; pipe; smoke; right hand; hashish; marijuana; chillum; body language; gesture; consent; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; event; mela; sadhu; holy; shivratri mela; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; one person; male; adult; old man; senior; posing; authentic; devotee; pilgrim; guru

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; educational; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; face; eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; dreadlocks; turban man; headwrap; leopard print; consent; ethnic; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; event; mela; sadhu; devotee; guru; holy; shivratri mela; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; one person; male; adult; middle-aged man; posing; authentic

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; closeup; headshot; full-face view; outdoor; colour; cultural portrait; naked; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; ceremonial makeup; white face; sacred ash; vibhuti; human eyes; bloodshot eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; unkempt hair; dishevelled beard; bareheaded; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; ethnic portrait; travel portrait; Hinduism; festival; event; sadhu; devotee; Shivratri Mela; Junagadh; Gujarat; Western India; Indian man; young man; one person; male; young adult; posing; authentic; stoned; doped

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; portrait; half-length portrait; closeup; full-face view; outdoors; color; cultural portrait; character; personality; real people; human head; high forehead; face; ceremonial makeup; naked; sacred ash; vibhuti; eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; pipe; smoke; chillum; bareheaded; marijuana; hashish; body language; both hands; consent; ethnic portrait; travel portrait; religion; religious; hinduism; tradition; festival; event; mela; sadhu; devotee; pilgrim; holy; traditional; culture; elderly man; Shivratri Mela; Junagadh; Gujarat; asian; asia; indian; one person; man; smoking; holy man; white face

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; personality; real people; human head; high forehead; receding hairline; face; sacred ash; vibhuti; eyes; bloodshot eyes; facial expression; eye contact; french cut beard; consent; traveling; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; mela; devotee; culture; cultural; shivratri mela; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; one person; male; adult; middle-aged man; portrait man; posing; authentic; india

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; naked; photography; photo; face perception; physiognomy; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; headshot; full-face view; outdoors; color; cultural portrait; character; personality; real people; human head; high forehead; face; ceremonial makeup; sacred ash; vibhuti; eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; dreadlocks; crescent moon; dreadbun; bareheaded; body language; right hand; raised right hand; consent; ethnic portrait; travel; religious; hinduism; festival; event; blessing; mela; sadhu; devotee; holy man; holy; traditional; culture; Shivratri Mela; Junagadh; Gujarat; asian; asia; indian; one person; middle-aged; man; shiva; shaivism; shaivite sadhu; chandra; lunar deity; white body; white face

"There is one thing the photograph must contain,
the humanity of the moment."
(Robert Frank)

matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; picture; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; face; makeup; painted face; sacred ash; vibhuti; eyes; facial expression; unease; eye contact; dreadlocks; unkempt hair; dishevelled; bareheaded; consent; empathy; respect; spiritual; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; event; mela; sadhvi; female sadhu; holy; tradition; traditional; culture; cultural; shivratri mela; bhavnath; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; people; one person; female; adult; young woman; portrait woman; posing; authentic; india; illustrative editorial
matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; picture; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; face; makeup; painted face; sacred ash; vibhuti; eyes; facial expression; doubt; eye contact; dreadlocks; unkempt hair; dishevelled; bareheaded; consent; empathy; respect; spiritual; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; event; mela; sadhvi; female sadhu; holy; tradition; traditional; culture; cultural; shivratri mela; bhavnath; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; people; one person; female; adult; young woman; portrait woman; posing; authentic; india; illustrative editorial
matt hahnewald photography; facing the world; picture; photography; photo; image; face perception; physiognomy; psychological; educational; nikon d3100; nikkor af-s 50mm f/1.8g; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4x3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portrait; closeup; head shot; full-face view; outdoors; color; character; real people; human head; face; makeup; painted face; sacred ash; vibhuti; eyes; facial expression; joy; eye contact; dreadlocks; unkempt hair; dishevelled; bareheaded; consent; empathy; respect; spiritual; religion; religious; hinduism; festival; event; mela; sadhvi; female sadhu; holy; tradition; traditional; culture; cultural; shivratri mela; bhavnath; junagadh; gujarat; asian; asia; indian; people; one person; female; adult; young woman; portrait woman; posing; authentic; india; illustrative editorial

More portrait photographs with Shaivite devotees in Matt Hahnewald's

12 February 2017

Yellowing the Forehead

Many sadhus and Hindu devotees prefer to wear sandalwood tilakas on their foreheads. The area in which the yellow paste is applied is between and above the eyebrows, called the third-eye chakra aka ajna chakra. While a person's two eyes see the physical world, the third eye is believed to reveal insights about the future. The ajna chakra is the area that most schools of Hinduism consider the entry and exit point of the soul aka jivatma, and the brain area for thinking, concentration and memory. Applying sandalwood paste aka chandanam here has supposedly a cooling effect, aids concentration, and increases mind power. The soothing and antiseptic sandalwood paste connects the sadhus to their intuitions, gives them the ability to communicate with the spiritual world, and helps them receive messages from the past and the future...

Orchha; white beard; Madhya Pradesh; old man; Indian man; sadhu; holy man; sandalwood paste; yellow tilaka; Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; headshot; en face; front view; outdoor; colour; colourful; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; eyes; mouth; facial expression; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; India; Pradesh; tradition; one person; male; ethnic; eye contact; posing; exotic; colour yellow; depth of field; religion; Hinduism; painted face; painted forehead; incredible

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; psychological; educational; amazing; outstanding; favourite; superior; excellent; colour; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; portrait; closeup; headshot; full-face view; yellow; outdoor; colourful; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; forehead; sandalwood paste; chandanam; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; travel portrait; yellow robe; Hinduism; sadhu; temple; Pashupatinath; Kathmandu; Nepal; posing; authentic; spiritual; teeth; smiling; smiling eyes; white full beard; manly; receding hairline; powerful; cheerful; physiognomy; face perception

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; psychological; educational; amazing; outstanding; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; portrait; closeup; headshot; seven-eighths view; yellow; outdoor; colour; colourful; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; forehead; sandalwood paste; chandanam; human eyes; facial expression; lived-in face; wrinkles; eye contact; full beard; grey beard; headwrap; covered head; turban; body language; gesture; left hand; resting-chin-on-hand gesture; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; travel portrait; orange robe; Hinduism; sadhu; temple; Pashupatinath; Kathmandu; Nepal; old man; posing; authentic; rugged; spiritual

The preparation of the sandalwood paste is a sacred duty fit only for the pure, so it is entrusted in temples and during ceremonies only to Hindu priests aka Brahmins. The paste is prepared by grinding wood by hand upon granite slabs shaped for the purpose. With the slow addition of water, a thick paste results, which is mixed with saffron or other such pigments to make chandanam. Chandanam, further mixed with herbs, perfumes, pigments, and some other compounds, results in javadhu. Both chandanam and javadhu are dried and used as chandanam powder and javadhu powder all over the Indian subcontinent.

people; religious ascetic; holy man; both hands; Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; dynamic; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; outdoor; colour; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; eyes; painted face; long beard; hair; dread bun; dreadlocks; bareheaded; facial expression; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; relationship; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; Kathmandu; Nepal; Pashupatinath Temple; Asia; sadhu; religion; Hinduism; tradition; temple; one person; male; adult; posing; incredible; exotic; preparing; candid; full-face view; applying make-up; sandalwood paste; chandanam

people; religious ascetic; holy man; Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; headshot; full-face view; outdoor; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; eyes; painted face; long beard; hair; dread bun; dreadlocks; bareheaded; facial expression; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; relationship; emotion; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; Kathmandu; Nepal; Pashupatinath Temple; Asia; sadhu; religion; Hinduism; tradition; temple; one person; male; adult; ethnic; eye contact; posing; incredible; exotic; yellow; sandalwood paste; chandanam

“In the land of the blind the third eyed man is king.”

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; lively; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; magnificent; interesting; inspirational; vibrant; brilliant; breathtaking; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street; headshot; en face; front view; orange; outside; colour; colourful; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; forehead; sandalwood paste; tilaka; tika; human eyes; eye contact; full beard; turban; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; ethnic portrait; travel; Hinduism; tradition; sadhu; holy man; Calcutta; West Bengal; India; Babu Ghats; one person; male; old man; posing; authentic; focused

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; psychological; amazing; spectacular; outstanding; excellent; interesting; brilliant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; closeup; headshot; full-face view; yellow; outdoor; sunshine; colour; colourful; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; forehead; tilaka; tripundra; human eyes; facial expression; lived-in face; wrinkles; eye contact; full beard; bareheaded; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; dignity; religion; Hinduism; temple; pilgrim; sadhu; guru; devotee; posing; attitude; authentic; serious; spiritual; Jagannath Temple; Puri; Orissa; East India; deep-set eyes

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; spectacular; outstanding; fantastic; favourite; superior; excellent; interesting; vibrant; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; street portrait; portraiture; headshot; en face; outdoor; high noon sun; sunlight; colour; colourful; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; forehead; chandan; sandalwood paste; tilaka; tikka; abir; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; full beard; grey beard; bareheaded; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; tourism; travel; Hinduism; sadhu; holy man; Bikaner; Rajasthan; India; one person; male; adult; old man; posing; attitude; authentic; exotic; awesome; determined

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; psychological; educational; amazing; outstanding; favourite; superior; excellent; colour; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; portrait; closeup; headshot; full-face view; yellow; outdoor; colourful; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; forehead; sandalwood paste; chandanam; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; environmental portrait; travel portrait; Hinduism; sadhu; temple; Pashupatinath; Kathmandu; Nepal; posing; authentic; spiritual; teeth; grey beard; physiognomy; face perception; street portrait; holy man; raised right hand; blessing; mudra; body language

Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50 mm; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; closeup; portrait; portraiture; street portrait; en face; colour orange; front view; outdoor; colour; colourful; world cultures; cultural; character; personality; real people; human; human head; human face; eyes; mouth; male; musical instrument; musician; folk music; Indian folk music; turban; facial expression; hands; consent; empathy; rapport; encounter; emotion; mood; artist; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; travel portrait; travel destination; India; Orchha; Madhya Pradesh; tradition; street music; temple; Indian; one person; ethnic; old man; eye contact; posing; incredible; white beard; sadhu; Ram Raja Mandir; cymbals; both hands; manjira; percussion; tilaka; sandalwood paste; chandanam


Portrait photographs of sadhus from Nepal in Matt Hahnewald's

Portrait photographs of sadhus from Tamil Nadu in Matt Hahnewald's