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Photographer's Note

A Sunday afternoon during my stay in Hyderabad in October 1987 I visited the Birla Temple, opened as recently as 1976. On the steps leading to the entrance I met this newly married young couple. I thought they looked nice, so I asked if I could take a photo. They were surprised, and maybe slightly embarrassed, but kindly agreed.

This was probably one or two days after their marriage. The henna decorations on the new wife's hands had not yet been washed off.

I wish I could have shooed away the persons standing too close, but that was of course not possible.

This temple was financed by the Birla Foundation, which has built a number of temples all over India. The Birla family has been one of the richest and most influential in India since the 19th century and is involved in a number of industrial sectors.

The Birla Temples are open to visitors of all faiths (or non-faiths). This was the only Hindu temple where I was able to enter the innermost chamber, the "sanctum sanctorum" where the primary deity is kept and where usually only Hindu priests are allowed. Like the other visitors I received a blessing but politely declined an offer of a sip of water from the holy Ganges river.

I had just recovered from being sick for a couple of days and had no wish for any unbottled or unpurified water, whether from the Ganges or the nearest tap.

In the WS is a view of the entrance building seen in the background here. Both photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides. In the WS I will also add a link to a much wider view from the internet.

In the unlikely event that these persons will see this photo, I hope they will show it to their grandchildren.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11512 W: 562 N: 22188] (96536)
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