Kanwar Yatra In Jaipur| A Photography Walk

On a warm August Sunday morning, I was on a photo-walk in Jaipur. As per the Hindu calendar, it was the month of Sawan.  The subject of my photo-walk was Kanwariya or Kanwar Yatra. It is common to spot many Kanwar Yatras in Jaipur during this month. I have written about this in my previous post Sawan in Jaipur


This Yatra can be commonly seen across North India during this period. This year Kanwariyas have been in the limelight in the state of UP and NCR  for the wrong reasons. Mob violence. Kanwar Yatra causes traffic jams & disrupts movement on the Delhi-Haridwar highway due to a large number of people. Each year Kanwariya take on the road on foot walking to Haridwar to fetch holy water from the Ganges & carry it back home. Kanwariyas being a staunch believer of Shiva use this Holy water as an offering in the Shiva temples.


Only a few Kanwariyas in the pink city make a round trip to Haridwar. As per the local custom, the water of Galta Kund is considered holy. Pilgrims walk to Galta Ji, to fetch the same.  I have already written about Galta Ji in detail in this post – The captivating monkey temple at Galta Ji. This water is offered at the local Shiva temples.

The following day being the last Monday in Sawan, I was sure to witness at least one such Yatra. These Yatras are led by a pilot van with loudspeakers fitted in the cargo area. The blaring music hit my ears from an intersection.  The devotional songs are fused with popular Bollywood music.

Kanwariyas following a pilot van fitted with loudspeakers

As I headed towards this intersection I saw a large huge number of people marching out from Galta Gate. Unlike most Kanwar Yatra, there were female group leaders & male traffic coordinators.

Female group leaders navigating the Yatra

Seen above is Tripolia Gate in the background.

Read  Tripolia Gate- Jaipur Then And Now


After finding a suitable location on a side-pavement, I started clicking pictures. I captured a few Kanwariyas unaware.


Some were busy among themselves following the file.



There were some who were happy and posed for the shot.

A group leader poses for the camera.

Also part of this troop were a few “furry” characters. I have never seen this idea in any of Kanwars before. Probably they were added to create some “buzz”.

Let’s have some fun!


Spotting a camera in my hand, one of them posed for the pictures!

Let’s dance


The furry character with a  group leader right behind him

They were playing pranks on the passers-by and riders. Here’s one such shot where this “furry” character was scaring a female rider.


The yatra passed from Tripolia Gate towards Tarkeshwar temple, a prominent Shiva temple which predates the founding of Jaipur city. Even though it draws a huge number of devotees throughout the year, during Sawan the number swells up. After paying a visit to the shrine, the yatra commenced its return journey.

Kanwariyas in the old city area

The beauty of such Yatra is that it includes men of all age and strata. You can find both young and old, rich and poor.




Heading back.


Is it ethical to click pictures of people on the street?


I have been sharing pictures from my photo-walks in Jaipur over the last few months. I was battling with an important question – whether clicking pictures of people on the street is ethical?

A few months ago, I shared my thoughts in one of my post -11 seconds. Many readers were of the opinion that clicking pictures of people on the street is unethical. I also had a similar opinion as I had refrained from clicking people on the street. Over a period of time, I read and exchanged views with other photographers as well as experienced it first-hand. I have come to realize that most people on the street are pleased with being clicked. There are a few who refuse to be captured. It is important to recognize their right.

It is revealing that a large number of people on the street don’t have access to their own photographs. There have been times when I was carrying a DSLR traversing through the bazaars and some of these people asked me to click their pictures. Realizing this I not only clicked their pictures but also handed them over a hard copy on my next visit. Jaipur being a tourist city attracting visitors from across the globe street life photography is a regular feature. Jaipurites make a lovely photography subject. What are your thoughts?

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95 thoughts on “Kanwar Yatra In Jaipur| A Photography Walk

  1. Lovely to find your blog – I visit Jaipur 10 years ago with my mum – absolutely incredible city. beautiful photos and thank you for the information on the festival too.
    to answer your question:
    I think it depends on what people are doing when you are photographing them on the street.
    Bec from manchester in the UK

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like that they are receptive to your snapping away. Once in the south of India, I snapped at a duo in a motorcycle… He gave me such a smile, I smiled back and waved them off. Forward? No we just enjoyed a happy moment and I love that photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kavita, Most people in India loved to be photographed. From my experience, people get paranoid if you click picture of their home but they are fine if you click their picture. Indians can understand this aspect better.


      1. True…I love that they were so receptive. About the clicking of my house, yep that would make me worry but I’d invite them in for chai… Us Indians, funny bunch we are but so unique and special, we have heart and soul.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You bet. I don’t even write about 5% of the happenings! As for the Kanwar yatra, there are hundreds of these taking place during the monsoon season. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for according me that status, Jubair but your photography skills are marvelous and your pictures outshine others! You capture stories in a photo. 🙂


  3. Just like the Kanwar Yatra, in West Bengal people walk to the far off Tarkeshwar temple carrying water from the Ganges. They follow some rituals before they start the yatra in the month of Sawan. Then they fill their vessels from the Ganges and walk towards the Terkeshwar temple in Hoogly district. Interesting photo story, Arv. I have always shied away from taking the photo of the Yatris with no definite reason or maybe some hesitation. Street photography is an art which definitely needs the skilful approach that you always show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy to know you have witnessed something similar. We also have a very popular temple – Tarkeshwar Temple in Jaipur. Sarmistha, clicking “people photo” was something I have learnt over time. I too was hesitant. I guess it’s a part of journey. Try clicking a few pictures to start with. I’m sure you will enjoy this aspect of photography too, Sarmistha. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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