Saffron Clad Sadhu: #WordlessWednesday

Saffron Clad Sadhu: #WordlessWednesday


The Saffron Clad Sadhu


7:04 A.M., 2 October, 2018

I’ve always been intrigued by the Sadhus of India. Some Sadhus have a mystic charm, some a sly, scheming modus operandi and some just puff their souls to the twirling smoke of chillum***. In India there are different sects of Sadhus; the much in news; Naga** Sadhu  or the naked sadhu) and the Aghori Sadhus who actually feed on dead human flesh. Bizarre, don’t you think?

On my recent short trip to Haridwar, I had a longing desire to shoot portraits, having discovered that option recently on my iPhone 8 plus camera.  Inspired by a dear, blogger friend, Parul’s posts, who shoots the most wonderful portraits I’ve ever seen;  I left for my morning walk armed with my phone, which I usually disown when I travel. At the cost of sounding immodest, I believe this is the best portrait I’ve ever taken, and that too without any filters. The morning sun was just perfect for a shot like this. 

My subject, a saffron clad sadhu* from Mathura was a gentle soul, who obliged by smiling for the camera. His soft demeanour was a welcome respite from my pre-conceived perceptions and notions about Sadhus. He came to enjoy a cup of tea and fan (a dry biscuit). We were offering the same to the many homeless people in the Harkipauri Ghat of Haridwar, Uttarakhand. He patiently waited for his turn, while others jostled to get ahead of each other.

No ordinary Sadhu this!




*Sadhu: Is a religious ascetic, monk or any holy person in Hinduism and Jainism who has renounced the worldly life. They are sometimes alternatively referred to as jogi, sannyasi or vairagi.

** Naga Sadhu: They are a particular group of Shaivite saints who reside in the Himalayan Caves. They come to visit the civilization only during the Kumbh Mela. The Naga Sadhus have unique characteristic features drawing inspiration from the famous Hindu god Shiva. They hold tridents crowned with human skulls.

****Chillum: A small pipe used for smoking cannabis. 

(all the asterix information is gathered from



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23 thoughts on “Saffron Clad Sadhu: #WordlessWednesday

  1. I think that’s a beautiful shot. The color, the sun light and then the composure of the Sadhu is so perfect. Good one.
    Also, very grateful for the mention. I am an amateur and as much as I like to take portraits, they are not easy. So when you said that – I am so encouraged. Thank you!

    1. I’ve learnt so much from you Parul, and yes I’d say that thousand times over. When I was at the Har Ki Pauri ghat at Haridwar shooting a few portraits, I just kept thinking of how you would do it. Your posts reminded me of how you would strike a conversation and let the picture then do the talking. 🙂 So thank you once again. 🙂

    1. Yes, he really was. And a good soul, I felt. His eyes give out that vibe, don’t you think so? Thank you so much Rohan for stopping by and commenting.

  2. It was a NAtGeo shot Natasha. Though he didn’t look at all gentle to me. I am scared of all these booga babas as my grandchildren call them. They look so stoned!

  3. You’re a real pro, Natasha. I don’t think there is much to suggest on photo skills. On the other hand, I do think you should use black color font because it makes it easier to read.

    Go on shoot more portraits, Natasha. I feel portraits make for a great subject!

    1. Changing the font right now, Arvind.

      Thanks for the motivation. I know I still have a long way to go as I’m literally just starting out with photography. 🙂

      Will shoot more portraits, for sure.

    1. Yes, Suzy, he was really sweet. I was so happy to have finally meet an ascetic with a gentle soul. I intended to take multiple photographs of various Sadhus during this trip, but due to our time constraint couldn’t.

      I know there is always a next time. 🙂 Thank you for swinging by.

  4. I’m loving your no-so-wordless Wednesday posts, Natasha.
    I too am intrigued by these sadhus since I first saw various kinds of them up close at a Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Fascinating lives they lead!

    1. I know what you mean Cory. Started off as a #WordlessWednesday post, but the more I put up these pictures, the more I want to share the back story.

      Any book that you know about sadhus? If not I’ll research out some details. Suddenly something fascinating to study about. 🙂

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