A Walk Around Yamuna Ghats – The Unsavoury Side

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Yamuna Ghats of Delhi are a sacred but deliberately ignored site in Delhi, which deserve much more attention–both from tourists as well as the government. If maintained well, they could draw a decent number of pilgrims and other tourists who want to learn about Hindu heritage and the rivers of Bharat, which are described in the Vedas.

But as they are now, they lie in an unkempt state. It is not that too many people dirty the place or the river, but that nobody cleans it. The water of the river is dirty from industrial pollutants, and the banks dirty from trash thrown into the river. Apart from the filth of the river and river banks, even the entrance to the Ghats is not labelled properly, nor is the entrance appealing by a long shot. All of these are disenchanting to a new visitor.

In this post, I attempt to capture the Hindu heritage and culture in the little little things around the ghats, and the prevalent state of lack of cleanliness.

Although most photographers believe that it is their task to capture beauty, I personally believe that the job of a photographer is to capture reality, in which beauty and filth both can coexist, without touching each other.

Boats on the ghat
The Sun rising over the Yamuna, even as trash in the Yamuna stands out in the morning light
View of the Yamuna Ghats
Boats and trash on the river bank
Yamuna water visibly dirty and black
Yamuna water visibly dirty and undrinkable
Trash all along the river bank of Yamuna
Dark and dirty river water and trash all along the Yamuna banks
Small temples every few feet along the river banks, some very old.
Hanuman deity outside a closed house
A dog sleeps in front of the deity, perhaps seeking shade and protection from Mahabali.
Another small temple where inhabitants offer puja, under a Banyan tree.

There is no doubt that if more care and attention was given to this part of Delhi, it could easily flourish, give employment and business to boatmen, and make a delightful experience to visitors. As it stands, it is difficult to even get a cup of tea at the Yamuna Ghats. The Ganga Ghats at Kashi are a perfect example of how this area can be maintained, modernized, and cleaned without taking away its sacredness.

What's on your mind? :)

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