A photo exhibition here showcases the diverse hues of Kashmir and Ladakh with a special section dedicated to the ‘Kumbh of the Himalayas’ or the Naropa festival that is celebrated once in 12 years.
“Glimpses of Ladakh, Kashmir and Naropa Festival – Kumbh Of Himalayas” has photographs by Irfan Nabi and has been curated by author-documentary maker Nilosree Biswas.
The images have been gathered over a period of five years and range from rarely seen Nubra Valley, to not so known Gurez. Even the familiar Dal Lake or Gulmarg are filmed in a most salient way, bringing out a fresh perspective.
“Extending the thought of our book ‘Alluring Kashmir: The Inner Spirit’, this exhibition plays around with the lesser known elements of both Kashmir and Ladakh,” says Nabi.
Biswas and Nabi had come out with the coffee table book “Alluring Kashmir: The Inner Spirit” in 2016.
“Setting the desire to travel to those locations that Irfan’s images have captured was the underlined theme that I worked on. I deliberately created a snapshot narrative rather than water-tight division location wise. The idea was to trigger personal connect of the viewers with the vast unexplored Ladakh and less seen Kashmir and a rare festival of Naropa,” Biswas told PTI.
The photographs chosen are intended to showcase the diverse hues of the two regions leaving a lingering flavour that also can be used as a catalyst for further exploration, she says.
According to Nabi, travelling to different locations is a liberating experience for him and through his artwork he wants to share with the viewers a sense of wonder and joy felt during the shoot.
“These photographic moments should make the viewer feel to slow down and help reconnect with nature,” he says.
The Naropa festival was an experience of a lifetime, he says.
Held once every 12 years, people from far and wide gather at the Hemis Monastery in Ladakh to celebrate Saint Naropa’s life in a spectacular event.
The photographs in the exhibition, which is on at the India International Centre here till January 29, showcase some rarely seen moments of the festival like the display of the sacred six bone ornaments belonging to Naropa by the head of the Drukpa order.
These ornaments symbolise the origin of many practices of Tibetan Buddhism and are considered among the holiest treasures in the Himalayas.
Among other photographs include the ceremonial unfurling of the historic silk thanga, a brocade measuring 70 feet by 40 feet.
“This photography exhibition has been made possible due to the support and encouragement of the Director of Tourism, Kashmir, media partnership with National Geographic Traveller India and India International Centre, which is hosting the event,” says Nabi.