Tom Vater and Aroon Thaewchatturat in Southern India
In July and August 2009, Tom Vater and photographer Aroon Thaewchatturat travelled overland from Kolkata to Orissa, where they witnessed the magnificent Rath Yatra car festival in Puri, along with one million pilgrims.
They continued through Andhra Pradesh to Chennai and Mahabalipuram, town of shore temples and hustlers (the latter destination is sadly well past its sell-by date, yet lingers in the shadow of a nuclear power station. Fancy a bit of extra sunshine on your hols?) and Kanyakumari, the laid-back pilgrim town on the subcontinent’s southern tip (a kind of religious Blackpool, minus the booze and lager-louts of course, though the junk shops are similiar).
After a stint documenting the incredible story-play traditions of southern India at the Margi Kathakali School in Trivandrum and an enjoyable stay with the boys at the excellent Gowri Residence in Allephy to cover the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the 6.000 km trip concluded in Puri, Orissa once more.
All images by Aroon Thaewchatturat.