Story and Photo by Alice Jun
A man climbs out of the 500-year-old Panna Meena ka Kund stepwell near Jaipur. The well, one of many throughout India, offers people a place to gather, swim, collect water, and escape the intense summer heat.
An Agariya woman harvests salt in a small, family-owned salt pan in Gujarat known as the Little Rann of Kutch. The Agariya are a people who migrate from villages bordering the Thar Desert to spend eight months out of every year harvesting salt. It is back-breaking work in extreme conditions, and the average Agariya only lives around 40-50 years.
A young boy watches as local men row past a ghat, or set of steps that leads into water, on the Ganges River in Varanasi. For Hindus, the Ganges is the most sacred river in the world, and Varanasi is the most sacred city. Hindus from all over the world come to Varanasi to bathe in the river, conduct religious ceremonies, and cremate their dead.
This story appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Baedeker.