India Varanasi Aghori

For weeks every day I was asking my friend to help me to find an Aghori. The Aghori are holy men who worship Kali, the goddess of destruction and also creation. They carry skulls, meditate on dead bodies and eat human meat at the cremation site. This truly fascinates me and I wanted to photograph one but it wasn’t that easy as it was monsoon season at the river, when most Aghoris go to live in caves far away. The cremation ground staffs were to track one down for me at a price. 

We received the call at around six pm on my last day in Varanasi they had found us one! We had to act fast as the light was fading; we ran back to the hotel to get my camera and then rushed through the cows and people on the streets to get to the cremation ground. I felt nervous. I first set my eyes on him carrying his skull and just couldn’t stop staring; he had this very strange aura and I felt in awe. I didn’t dare say a word as I heard they can be quite abusive. There was a burning body as the backdrop and I feel I captured the essence of his being inside this frame.

Using Format