No, this is not a circus acrobatics team...read on to know more!
Krishna is perhaps the most beloved Hindu God in India. Widely worshipped as a child, the stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being.
Traditional belief based on scriptural details and astrological calculations gives the date of Krishna's birth, known as Janmashtami, as either 18 or 21 July 3228 BCE. Krishna belonged to the royal family of Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva.
Dahi Handi is a popular activity in Maharshtra, held during Janmashtami & commemorating the antics of a young Lord Krishna. This time around, due to health cautions regarding Swine Flu, the Handi festival in Mumbai was much muted.
Origin of this activity: Legend has it that as a child, Lord Krishna was very fond of curd and butter. He would gather his friends and they would steal butter from the houses of the milkmaids of Vrindavan. To protect their curd and butter from this gang of naughty children, the milkmaids kept it in a pot and hung it from the ceiling of their houses. Today's practice of Dahi Handi is the same challenge posed by the women of a locality to the young men of their neighbourhood.
The Beckoning Pot: The plan for Dahi Handi begins much before Janmashtami. Contribution is collected from every household in the locality. The day after Janmashtami, women buy large amounts of flattened rice (poha), curds, sugar and pickles. The poha, curds and sugar are mixed together to form dahi-poha, a dish that was said to be a favourite of Lord Krishna. A large earthen pot is then filled with dahi-poha . Tangy pickle is placed in the centre. The pot is decorated on the outside with flowers and leaves. As an added incentive, currency notes are tied to the pot. Now it is ready as the mouth-watering prize. You can see the pot on the top right.
Human Pyramid: This pot is hung high up in an open ground, 30 to 50 feet above ground level. It is a challenge to the youth of the locality to claim this pot. The youth too are ready for the challenge and have practiced their skills.
As soon as the pot was hung, they arrived at the ground. The group (called Govindas!) measure up the pot hanging high, gauged its height and began to form a human pyramid to reach it. But the task is not easy. Ignoring the slippery bodies the boys went on adding tier after tier to their pyramid. Finally, the smallest boy climbed like a cat over the bodies of his friends forming the pyramid. He reached the summit, carrying a stick in his hands.
Atlas should not shrug now...I prayed!
The crowd watched with bated breath. One slip and he would fall down from a height of several feet onto the road, with no protection whatsoever. Or what would happen if one of guys down below in the pyramid twitched or shrugged? Everyone would tumble down like a pack of cards, with injuries to many of them...a frightening prospect as I stood quite numb! The boy took the aim and with great accuracy, broke the pot. Down poured the dahi-poha and there was a scramble to get the money and the prasad (offering).
I post this picture today on the eve of Janmashtami, which falls on 10th August (tomorrow).
Critiques | Translate
holmertz (34563) 2012-08-09 1:55
This is a brilliant picture. It has everything a good photo needs: A strong and distinct composition, superb sharpness and contrasts, good colours, and interesting subject, suspense and a well written and highly interesting note.
vrabieionut (2189) 2012-08-09 2:15
A very nice moment you captured....indeed excellent sharpness,colour and contrast you reached and resulted in a fine way.
Wanda1 (14654) 2012-08-09 2:26
A fascinating note and image to accompany, you have captured the feeling of height of the human pyramid well using the vertical composition and I like that you have started them in the corner of the frame. A nice cultural documentary image.
sevy (15009) 2012-08-09 2:49
Impressive shot, well composed with the yellow human pyramid is driving the look toward the pot.
Thanks for the detailed note.
A very good photo-reporter shot.
ourania (22722) 2012-08-09 4:06
this is a fascinating picture, a breathtaking point of view. I love the way you have framed it, the complete pyramid making a stunning diagonal in superb contrast with the vertical of the rope. By including the rope and pot at the side of the frame you brought excellent dramatic context and interest into it. The capture of details, colours and contrasts is wonderful. Congratulations and thank you for your photo and comprehensive note!
All the best, have a lovely day,
yquem46 (38064) 2012-08-09 4:18
Excellent upward perspective for an extremely dynamic effect
I like how you framed the image with the rope at right
have a nice day
pierrefonds (53284) 2012-08-09 4:27
The people are well placed in the frame. You have capture well the action of the emn creating a latter to reach the pot. The late afternoon light has a good effect on the colors. Havce a nice day.
Sergiom (50520) 2012-08-09 5:00
J'aime beaucoup la construction de cette image, le point de vue qui donne beaucoup d'ampleur à l'ensemble et le cadrage vertical qui donne de la profondeur.
Curious_Eye (868) 2012-08-09 8:41
The image and the background story are fascinating. There is so much tension and anticipation here! Great angle and colours are a bonus. TFS!!
lousat (68517) 2012-08-09 15:02
Magnificent point of view to create this very original and spectacular pespective,a neverendng human staricase to the sky! Beautiful idea and great quality of details,colors and lights.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
Budapestman (82620) 2012-08-09 16:52
Hi Dear Angshu,
a splendid photo with effective composition, great details and POV. Great shot, Tfs! Have a nice weekend! Kellemes hétvégét kívánok!
danos (80921) 2012-08-09 21:40
informative your note about Krishna with the created pyramid in his honor from young Indians to make the scenery unique.As i see all they take part in it wear the same cloths with this on the top to be a real climber.Excellent presentation.
papagolf21 (81632) 2012-08-09 23:38
Bonjour, cher ami Angshu,
La pyramide humaine est impressionnante et semble parfois vacillante, et l'on applaudit lorsque le dernier membre occupe la partie supérieure de l'édifice humain.
Très bonne et très intéressante prise de vue.
Graal (94140) 2012-08-09 23:56
unusual scene. Good shot from frog perspective. Amazing human pyramid. Well informations. Photo I like.
Have a nice day.
sacimar (25971) 2012-08-10 3:55
this is an original image, I like the angle you chose to get an interesting visual effect, it looks like these people are falling down... well done,
rbellemare (2109) 2012-08-10 3:59
Very nice picture of this human pyramid. Very sharp with great deepness, this picture is almost giving us access to the pyramid. Great point of view and perfect framing.
Nicou (111254) 2012-08-10 7:43
quelle vue de ces homme faisant une pyramide humaine fantastique cpatage et compo sueprbe image de vrai acrobates grandisoe.
Bravo et amitié
ciakgiak (30403) 2012-08-10 16:27
Una scena che, tutto sommato abbastanza normale, grazie all'inquadratura ed al POV perfetto diventa molto attraente. Hai catturato un momento molto interessante con tempismo e grande bravura e tecnica eccellente.
Un caro saluto
pajaran (45480) 2012-08-10 23:03
Vrlo interesantan i dobar tekst, o jednom narodnom obicaju ...
Dobra ostrina snimka i kontrast, lepe boje.
Dobra kompozicija, lep trenutak.
Mladici su vesti i hrabri.
Lep narodni obicaj.
Imajte lep dan, sve najbolje za vikend.
Very interesting and good article, about a folk custom ...
Good image sharpness and contrast, beautiful colors.
Good composition, beautiful moment.
Young men are brave and news.
Nice folk custom.
Have a nice day, all the best for the weekend.
mohammad_H (8122) 2012-08-11 2:35
هماهنگی ورزشکاران و نظم در حرکات و تعادل و تمرکز
لحظه بسیار زیبا
وضوح بسیار خوب
روز خوبی داشته باشید
Athletes and movement coordination and balance and focus in order
Very beautiful moment
Very good resolution
Have a nice day
karacabeylis (1465) 2012-08-11 8:15
a great shot thru a perfect angle indeed. the color harmony is also a deep impact onto us.
jhm (131794) 2012-08-12 4:56
This are truly artists, excellent placed on these picture.
Your picture is very lovely.
Splendid composition, very well done, TFS.
Have a nice Sunday,
danyy (0) 2012-08-12 23:07
difficile de prendre cette photo autrement qu'en contre plongée si ce n'est en participant à la voltige.
Jolies couleurs bien lumineuses, un angle de prise de vue bien pensé.
josepmarin (57267) 2012-08-13 3:57
Namaste, my friend Angshuman,
a splendid image in which you have caught this dynamic scene, full of vitality, in which these men build a human pyramid fighting against the gravity.
Do you know? In Catalonia there is an ancient tradition very similar to the one that you show us here, called "Castells" (Castles).
An effective framing that provides a strong perspective to the scene, and a good work with the light and the colors.
It is a gorgeous composition.
Didi (53285) 2012-08-13 8:43
Very interesting acrobatic scene. Good frame quality.
It's a very impressive subject.
With my best regards
Fis2 (79758) 2012-08-13 11:10
A very interesting scene.
Excellent POV and composition.
I like colors and sharpness.
fotka (2907) 2012-08-14 6:33
I don't know what is better your photo or your note? I think both are an excellent.
The photo has great diagonal composition of men trying to get a pot. Superb colors, light and sharpness.
Your photo shows me another tradition of your country, thanks.
Royaldevon (24278) 2012-08-16 1:43
Thank you Angshu, I have learned a lot, today, and now understand the significance of this human pyramid! The perspective is very difficult but I love how you have composed the young men. They show up well against the sky, disappearing, as they do, towards it!
Have a lovely day,
Bluejeans (64247) 2012-08-16 2:34
Ola Angshuman ,
Belo momento neste festival com esta pirâmide de pessoas em Mumbai , boa sensação de altura , bom enquadramento da foto , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
Mistral (15402) 2012-08-19 5:52
Namaste dear Angshuman,
composition and dinamicity of your image are stunning. Your excellent informative note complete a beautiful and interesting report.
A great work!
batalay (34109) 2012-08-19 21:38
Hello Mr. B,
This is not an activity for the faint of heart. Of course, the participants of the ritual are wiry, but the slender human pyramid appears to soar 4-5 times the height of an individual. As usual, an enlightening note complements the photo.
COSTANTINO (47638) 2012-08-20 3:52
your useful notes helped me to understand
this photo,I like photos of this kind
thanks for sharing your ideas with us
and your inspiration
macjake (49274) 2012-08-22 9:44
I really enjoyed reading the note you provided, it gives us the entire picture and history all in one.
obviously you couldn't really photograph this from a high elevation (although that would be cool!) so the low low POV works great as it exaggerates their tall height even more so.
wonderful work, a fine addition to TE!
InasiaJones (30738) 2012-08-22 9:48
Hey! That's a cool shot, very dynamic with an extreme point of view. The composition is nicely created, coming from one corner and going towards the other.
I'm going to meet your sister in 30 minutes, as we are having a dinner together. I hope she's nicer than you are... LOLL!
Cheers my friend!
Waylim (24482) 2012-08-23 11:33
Impressive photo and your note explaing the story behind this photo.
Great perspecive your slight tilted angle makes it seem the top is leaning toward the right and it is about to crumble and falling down :)
sacavem (18608) 2012-08-27 7:07
Good photo of the daily life, good moment.
speedymanu (3485) 2012-11-28 22:10
This is a decisive moment, Framing this human pyramid tightly on the left and tilting it ever so slightly increases it fragility, its precarious balance. The opposition between the colors is great. I guess you didn't have much time to do it before clearing the landing area. Congratulations,
- Copyright: Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) (53976)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-08-14
- Categories: Ceremony
- Camera: Canon 400D (Digital Rebel XTi), Canon 18 - 55mm / f 3.5 - 5.6, RAW
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/400 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2012-08-09 1:42