Dandapani

 

We’d like to share with you our new website!

www.dandapani.org

We will no longer be updating Vedic Odyssey. If you would like to continue to subscribe to our blog please visit www.dandapani.org/blog and subscribe again to the blog there. You’ll see a place to enter your email on the upper right hand side of the blog page to subscribe. Thank you for subscribing to Vedic Odyssey and we plan to continue to share more on spirituality, photography and travel with you.

new website for vedic odyssey dandapani

 

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Istanbul, Turkey. What a great city that’s full of life from dawn to dawn. Built up in every direction you look, people everywhere and amazingly clean for a city that appears to be busting at its seems. The traffic is like non-other I’ve encountered. Unfortunately I was quite busy at an event that I was presenting at to do much photography. Here are a few photos that I captured at the worst time of the day to take any photos which happened to be my only time to take photos. I’ve enhanced them in Adobe Lightroom to make them semi decent. Hope you enjoy them. Istanbul is amazing and a place well worth visiting.

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I gave a keynote presentation this afternoon to around 800 entrepreneurs from around the world that are members of the Entrepreneurs Organization. It was part of their EO Istanbul University taking place in Istanbul, Turkey. The talk was titled EO 360 degrees – A spiritual perspective. EO 360 degrees is their theme for this year which focuses of 4 aspects of an entrepreneurs life – “myself”, “my family”, “my business” and “my community”. I shared spiritual insights and tools on each of these areas in my 75 minute presentation.

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eo-istanbul-2012-dandapani-keynote, turkey

 

If you are ever in Vienna, Austria, and are looking for a place for breakfast I highly recommend Cafe Central. The over 200 year old gorgeous building serves a great breakfast with yummy pastries and the setting is simply sublime. It’s famous for hosting many famous writers and poets over the years who would come here to pen their master piece.

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One of the most amazing things to witness at the Kumbh Mela festival is the parade of sadhus (monks). The parade takes place on the main bathing just before the auspicious time for the dip in the holy Ganges river. Monks parade from their tented areas in thousands to the river. Here are a collection of photos from the Kumbha Mela festival that took place in 2010 in Haridwar, North India.

Our spiritual and photography tour to the Kumbh Mela festival and north India next February begins in 5 months and 9 days. For those of you who are thinking of joining us I suggest to sign up as soon as possible as it will become almost impossible to get accommodations and even transportation to the festival. Train tickets sell out in a day when they go on sale when what you are attending is the largest human gathering on earth.

 

The Kumbha Mela is, needless to say, a photographers paradise. For those of us who have never been to a Kumbha Mela or never will, it is these men and women that do their best to bring this experience to our doorstep by photographing this exhilarating festival, if it is even possible at all to do so.

It’s not an easy task to say the least. Long hours on your feet, being shoved, pushed and pulled in every which way and every thing taking place in a split of a second.

The main bathing day with the colorful parade is especially challenging. Nobody seems to know what, where and when things will be taking place. One can only hope to be positioned in the right place so I was up early and placed myself in what I thought would be a strategic position. But before long I was sandwiched into a crowd with absolutely no way to move in any direction. I watched in utter dismay the parade of sadhus go by. My lens sadly hidden behind a sea of heads.

After the parade was over everyone that had gathered headed off in a different direction or followed the procession to the Ganges river. The street had never been so empty in the last few days. I waited there thinking that perhaps, if it is my good karma, that theses sadhus would return the same way they went down to the river. And surely enough my patience paid off. About an hour or so of patiently waiting the parade returned and this time I ensured I was perfectly placed.

Many of the sadhus don’t mind being photographed. In fact, some of them will gladly pose for you. But it is always polite to seek permission first before taking a photo of these holy men and women especially if you are coming in close for a portrait shot. During the day I also occasionally pointed the camera in the opposite direction and captured the images above showcasing a few of the photographers present at the Kumbha Mela.

If you would like to be at the Kumbha Mela festival next February in India for an amazing spiritual experience and boundless photographic opportunities do join our spiritual adventure that is planned to take us across North India. Click this link to find out more about our Kumbh Mela spiritual and photography tour.

 

Going through my archive of photos I came across these images that I had taken a couple of years back in Rajasthan, India. Most of these photos were shot on the outskirts of Jodhpur in small villages. I applied a particular style to these images to give them the look that they have below. These styles were applied in Adobe Lightroom 4 initially using “Matt’s 300 Look – Soft” (by Matt Kloskowski) preset then modified to give them the final touch below.

Rajasthan children hugging each other, India

rajasthan-mother-and-child India