Photographer's Note

I didn't know these people, but their traditional style of dressing indicates to me that they were living in the countryside, in a village or a small town. Now they had come for a small pilgrimage and were in a good mood.

I took this somewhere on a sacred hill at Tirukkalikundram (also known as Tirukazhukundram), fourteen kilometres from Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram) in Tamil Nadu state, where I spent several days in the autumn of 1987.

If you are amazed to see them all barefoot, it's not because they traditionally never wore shoes or sandals. This was regarded as part of a temple compound, so I was barefoot too. It was a steep staircase of 550 uncomfortable steps to reach a plateau on top of a hill (you can see it in a WS).

Here is a photo showing pilgrims coming down the staircase:

There was a dark temple, open to all visitors, on the hilltop, but the main attraction was to see a Hindu priest feed a kite or two, usually arriving here about noon most days. According to the legend the birds stop for lunch here on their daily flight from Varanasi in northern India to Rameswaram at the country's southern tip.

I am fairly convinced they never left the surrounding area, where they knew that food was always easily available.

I have earlier posted as a WS a not very good photo of a bird being fed by a priest. You will find the link to it here:

Another nothing special photo of a crowd inside the entrance to the compound is in the WS. There is also a photo of the hill as seen from the street. They were all scanned from Kodachrome slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11712 W: 564 N: 22501] (97588)
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