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Joy and Devotion on the Beach at Puri

Puri is a holy coastal city in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is one of the four original Char Dam pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Hindus believe that visiting these sites helps one achieve salvation and that every Hindu should visit the Char Dhams during one's lifetime.
I visited Puri in January 2014. I tried to capture the pilgrims’ joy at being on the beach, wading in the water, praying and performing religious rites. Their joy was contagious.
Traditional Indian women are shy, and wear clothes at the beach and when they bathe. As you can see it became cold after sundown. I included an evening cremation ritual which is common at pilgrimage sites on water.
In this time of Covid, I hope you can share the pilgrims’ joy in these photographs.