Nandgaon, the village on the hill

Nandgaon is really a small village on a hill with the temple in the center and right at the top……winding alleys leading up up…..(only about 9000 people live here)

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many stairs leading up up up to the temple through the village..

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on the way up….

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in white before the lath mar celebration started

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not everyone was involved in the festivities…or maybe he was just resting so he could be part of it?

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the big doors leading into the temple where really beautiful

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from above

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this is one way to make potato chips….you put them out in the sun for a while….I guess one condition is that you live in a country where outside means oven temperatures !

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this was one of those villages that I wouldn’t mind coming back to under calmer circumstances…meaning not during holi.

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just below the hill I found this ghat….

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nice to see and hear some kids having fun…..I will be back next year…then I will be in the midst of the celebrations for sure.

Nandgaon men preparing for the Lath mar holi.

the men from Nandgaon prepare themselves before walking to Barsana to get hit with the laths-sticks by the women in the village…preparing means getting shields ready and getting red colour all over you…the shields are made with cardboard paper, pillows and sticks..all for the show..Nandgaon is a beautiful little village and the walk up to the temple was  special but I have to show you all that in the next post…too many pictures otherwise

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the temple is really on the top of the village

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on one of the shields you can see the swastika..the swastika dates back to before 2nd century B.C and is a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism..then during the  WW 2 , someone namned Hitler stole it and ever after it’s been connected with the Nazis ..at least for us living in Europe and some other parts of the world.

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the temple was so beautiful inside…I need to go back when it’s not filled with people , actually mostly men, carrying red colour to throw at you…

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chanting, singing  and throwing the red colour…getting in the mood for the show in Barsana where actually some of the men will be caught by the women… they then have to walk back to Nandgaon the next day dressed as women !

yet another adventure in colourful India.

A chat and a chai

Between the two villages Barsana and Nandgaon I made a little pit stop and everyone smiled when they saw me….well, the kids where laughing actually…

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no wonder they smiled ….I was really colourful….

it was the colourful houses and the people I saw sitting beside the road that made me stop so out I went for a chat..and as always  I was invited for some chai…

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he so wanted to show of the family goat….poor thing…it sure looks funny though….

a very shy young girl who thought she had ugly teeth so she didn’t want to show them off by smiling…she had the most beautiful smile and I didn’t notice anything with her teeth…

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turned out to be a  fantastic chat and a good chai along the road

On a roof top I met some young newly married girls.

I met these adorable young girls on a roof top the other day…I watched  them doing mehndi and they told me that two of them just got married a month ago..since they looked really young I had to ask how old they where.14 and 16 and just married. I didn’t dare to ask any more questions since I was afraid of how I would react to the answer.

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she asked me if I knew how to tell that they where married ?

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by the toe rings.

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youngest sister 11 years old and not yet married. I must say that my heart was filled with all kinds of feelings after meeting these lovely girls.

Holi, the festival of colours

started with Lath mar in Barsana in the state of Uttar Pradesh on the 17th march. Tens of thousand of people gather in this little village (9 500 people) to celebrate holi.Legend has it that Lord Krishna was visiting his beloved Radha, who lived in Barsana, on this day and he was teasing her and her friends. The women found this offensive and chased him away. Ever since, the men from Krishna’s village, Nandgaon play/celebrate holi this way together with the women from Barsana……I knew that I would get water and colours thrown at,on me so I started out by totally covering my camera in plastic bags since I didn’t have any raincover for it. Not easy to handle after that but, Oh so neccessary!

 

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 I was very colourful when I jumped into the car to go home, but first I had a little detour…I visited the men preparing themselves in Nandgaon….so stay tuned for part two of Holi…and for all of you interested…the colour washed out..almost all anyway…I just have some new pink highlights !!

Narrow alleys, old and blessed houses

is what I found in a village out in the rural areas…things might look old but …1961 around here is and looks old, when talking about houses that is.

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colourful India

What village does this daughter come from?

 asked this old man when I stopped and clicked some pictures of him enjoying his afternoon smoke on his hookah

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           ….my driver told him that I come from the foreign village …..