In this fifth archive story by Kristian Bertel, the photographer is meeting an old man in Sarnath in Varanasi, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Raising the living standards of India's poor has been high on the agenda for governments since Independence. However, India presently has one of the world's highest concentrations of poverty, with an estimated 350 million, and growing, Indians living below the poverty line. In this photograph an Indian man is portrayed in Sarnath, India.
Raising the living standards of India's poor has been high on the agenda for governments since Independence. However, India presently has one of the world's highest concentrations of poverty, with an estimated 350 million, and growing, Indians living below the poverty line. In this photograph an Indian man is portrayed in Sarnath, India.

With a few rupees in my hand

Poverty accounts for India's ever-growing number of beggars, mainly in the larger cities. For foreign visitors this is often the most confronting aspect of traveling in the subcontinent. Whether you give something is a matter of personal choice, though your money can often be put to better long-term use if given to a reputable charity.

Portrait of a man in Sarnath
Sarnath is a city located thirteen kilometres north-east of Varanasi near the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Singhpur, a village approximately one km away from the site, was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism, and a temple dedicated to him, is an important pilgrimage site. '- With merely some few rupees in my hand I may have given this wrinkled man in Sarnath his daily meal money. Slightly he appreciated my thoughtful gesture and what I had of small money in my pockets', the photographer Kristian Bertel says.

Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India
The man portrayed in this archive story is taken near Varanasi, also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi, a North Indian city on the banks of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. The city of Varanasi is located south-east of the state capital, Lucknow. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities, Sapta Puri, in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Some Hindus believe that death at Varanasi brings salvation. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Varanasi is also known as the favourite city of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. It has been mentioned in the Rigveda that this city in older times was known as Kashi.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a sweeping man in Jaipur. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.