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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Nov 1, 2013: Sadhus - India's Hindu Holy Wandering Monks


Today's photo is a very appropriate way for me to introduce myself for the first time to TravelGumbo's Friday Picture of the Day feature.

So, it’s “Hi” from me, Mac, and “Hi” from them, my most magnificent three Sadhus pictured whilst I was in Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, built on the banks of Mother Ganges and India’s most holy river, the pathway to purity, rebirth and reincarnation.

Sadhus are India’s Hindu holy men, literally wandering monks. They are, in the main,  “yogis” - practitioners of meditation dedicated to attaining the fourth and final stage of life - the liberation of their souls. Most fascinating to me are those with the 3 stripes of ash on their foreheads which signifies that "I have seen the future" (a stripe for each of the past, present and the future). You will see Sadhus in a  variety of highly colourful clothing (or some without any clothing at all!) usually with trinkets, spells, posters and amulets - all to reinforce and proclaim their faith. You will encounter these wonderful monks wherever you travel in India and they are always a magnificent sight.

Because of it’s great religious significance,  fascinating beauty and riotous colours and smells, I hope to return, photographically, to Varanasi a number times in the coming months to show the different faces of the city that a traveller will experience when visiting this most fascinating of cities.

Varanasi for any traveller, irrespective of their own religious beliefs, is an absolutely ‘full on’ assault to all of your senses. You will not fail to be deeply moved by all that you will see, smell and experience.


Images (1)
  • Sadhus in Varanasi, India: Rich colours and spiritual fascination

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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