top of page
Sadhu 1.jpg

Subject: Sadhu

Place: Hampi, Karnataka

Year: 2023

Camera: Yashica Mat 124 G

Film: Ilford HP5 Plus

The sadhu is one of the most accessible images of India representing its long and illustrious religious heritage, among the oldest in the world. Indian society has always revered a holy man, the renunciate of worldly charms and attachments. The single-minded quest for the ultimate was always considered a lofty enterprise and afforded a special place in its hierarchy of achievements.

Sadhus are dotted across the vast and varied geography of this country. A keen traveller is likely to run into them in popular pilgrim spots as well as in distant rural settings. Many of these sadhus, mostly men, are attached to a certain temple or pilgrim site for their sustenance. They are dependent on the alms of pilgrims and the goodwill of temple trusts. The more nomadic among them are sometimes seen roving the highways of the land in their steadfast journeys to various temples and pilgrim sites across the country in search of God and peace of mind.

In this day and age, with so much change overtaking India effecting drastic changes to its demographics, it is both a wonder and a delight to see this particular species of Indian go about his peculiar life like it has been for centuries even though his numbers could be on the decline. One does not know if he is still accorded the same respect that he once earned from society. But he continues to be a figure of fascination and curiosity to both layman and tourist.


This photo is of a sadhu in the precincts of one of the temples of Hampi. His elegant posture and radiant countenance attest to the rewards of his chosen vocation and way of life, seen in a dignified stillness and calm detachment that is his unique trademark.

bottom of page