Work like a navvy, rest like a king. The kings of Allahabad at rest just outside the main railway station. Cycle rickshaws are popular and widely used all over India. The decoration of them can often be diverse and intricate. On my first trip to India I had found Rajasthan to have the most abundance of decorated rickshaws, that was until I arrived in Allahabad
I found the rickshaws here to be a joy to photograph, all hand painted with images of figures and wildlife. Most of them seemed to be painted in the same style which led me to wonder if these designs all belong to the work of one man or woman – something to investigate for a future trip, if I could photograph them at work I’d probably stay there a week.
Here are a selection of the designs on offer in the city in all their vibrant colours and sun bleached faded glory.
After photographing a few by the main station I went on a wander and came across a few of the drivers hang outs (tending to congregate round a boiling pot of chai – just like most cab drivers).
Allahabad was a great place to spend time in, a very relaxed city with a friendly atmosphere. Next stop on the trip is the holy city of Varanasi, if there is one place that is synonymous with the Ganges this is it. The oldest continually habited city on earth and what will be my third visit there. Hindus come here on pilgrimage to bathe in the Ganges and having ones ashes placed into the river is believed to break the cycle of reincarnation.
I was just there last year when I spent a couple of weeks filming at the river both during the day and evening. Without realising at the time this film acted as the catalyst for this trip along the rivers entire length. If you haven’t already seen the film head on over to the ‘Video’ section of the website where it can be viewed.