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CHAT India comes alive in “Unseen India”

Indian safariSalim Pushpanath
Indian safariSalim Pushpanath

India inspires photographers to click. Geography, religions, communities, lifestyle, food habits, clothing, celebrations… there is a treasure out there, seen and unseen, to be photographed. Photographer Salim Pushpanath has focussed on those not-so-regularly-photographed facets of the country in his book, Unseen India .

Salim, a self-taught photographer, travelled by car along with his childhood friend, Azeez K.M., for the trip. “I didn’t take state by state. I had decided on the places to cover. Otherwise, a lifetime isn’t enough to travel and capture the uniqueness of this country.” The toughest was covering the Rohtang Pass-Ladakh route. “But then the highpoint was that we could cover the Spiti valley in all its glory,” adds Salim.

He stresses that more than anything else, the book journeys across India through its people. “No other country can claim such diversity when it comes to clothing, food, lifestyle and beliefs. Instead of presenting just places, I’ve covered India through the people from various areas,” he says.

Everywhere, it is the people there who evoke the flavours and fragrances, lifestyle and legends of that land. Child monks at Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh throw light on the austere but awe-inspiring landscape of the place while rickshaw pullers and the flower market of Kolkata depict the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.

Even touristy spots and monuments such as the Ajanta-Ellora caves, the Dal Lake, and the Taj Mahal have been presented in a different light, Salim says.

His next book is on the old houses and palaces of Kerala.

Unseen India has text in English, French and German, keeping the tourist in mind. Conceptualised and designed by Salim, and published by his own DEE BEE Info Publications, the book is priced at Rs. 1,200 (Rs. 950 for paperback edition).

Athira M.

No other country can claim such diversity when it comes to clothing, food, lifestyle and beliefs. Instead of presenting just places, I’ve covered India through the people from various areas

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