Everything about Nathdwara fascinates me. This quaint little town near Udaipur has all it takes to capture my imagination. Seeming chaos is what welcomed me as I entered the town for the first time as a kid. But over the years, as I rambled along the narrow sinuous streets, without trying to decipher its randomness, the magic began to unveil.
This temple town initially comes across as a place bustling with people, forever abuzz with activity. But then, as I wandered around exploring it, I experienced a strange feeling of stillness – almost timelessness – about it. I was struck by this duality and it eventually became bit of a challenge to depict it through photography, more so because I’ve had no formal training in the medium.
Another interesting aspect of the place is the panache with which its people use an array of strong, vibrant, and contrasting colours. All around the town, the walls of houses and temples are decorated with inconspicuous frescos & religious graffiti. Their tacit presence, combined with the town’s distinct architectural idiom, successfully creates a tactile, dynamic, and touching visual experience. And it is the ease and playfulness, with which the people have derived such high aesthetics, that never fails to amaze me.
In 2008 I started taking photographs of the town with an intention to document it and capture the nuances that form the core of the Nathdwara aesthetics. This series is an attempt to relive that visual experience.