Ancient fertility festival.

In January and February every year, the Gaude community of Goa celebrates a festival of dance known as Dhalo. It is an ancient ritual with origins in the fertility cult. Although both men and women participate in the festivities, the womenfolk assume the primary role. The central theme of Dhalo revolves around a group dance to the tunes of folk ditties. Performances begin late at night and continue into the small hours of the morning. The traditional setting was outdoors typically in a village clearing but these days much of the scene has shifted to the temple lobby.

These are vignettes of Dhalo I witnessed in 2013.

Dhalo dance  in Curca, Goa

Colours of Dhalo
5D Mark III, 24-105L

Dhalo dance in Curca, Goa

Lighting the traditional lamp
5D Mark III, 24-105L

Dhalo dance in Curca, Goa

Celebrations get underway
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

Dhalo in Curca, Goa

Lined up for the dance
5D Mark III, 24-105L

Dhalo dance in Curca, Goa

Flowers and finery
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

Dhalo dance in Curca, Goa

Women, sarees, colour
5D Mark III, 24-105L

Dhalo dance in Taleigao, Goa

Dhalo outdoors in Taleigao
5D Mark III, 24-105L

  • SPNAIK - February 7, 2014 - 6:35 pm

    Awesome pictures. If I am not mistaken, other communities especially in Pernem Taluka also celebrate Dhalo.ReplyCancel

  • Premanand - February 7, 2014 - 3:51 am

    The most colourful post in your bouquet. Excellent!ReplyCancel

  • Anup - February 7, 2014 - 12:26 am

    I regularly follow your photo posts. I just wanted to know how the colours in your photos are so vibrant? What kind of post processing do you do?ReplyCancel

    • Rajan P. Parrikar - February 7, 2014 - 9:44 am


      The colours were vibrant to begin with so all that was necessary in post-processing was to brighten them a bit. I use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) for converting my RAW files and then do additional processing in Photoshop CC.ReplyCancel

  • Thomas Pindelski - February 6, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    Superb in every way.

    And no surprises here: “Although both men and women participate in the festivities, the womenfolk assume the primary role.”

    The blurred ones really work. Very fine.ReplyCancel

Racetrack Playa


This post is motivated by the news that the Racetrack Playa, one of the jewels of Death Valley National Park, has been recently defaced by thoughtless folks treading on the wet playa. After the hellish 28 miles one-way drive on a severely washboarded route, the urge to come back with a photograph can be irresistible but this kind of vandalism is inexcusable. Just this past December, I had plans to head there for a sunrise shoot but was told by the park rangers that the playa was wet, so I re-vectored my plans and went elsewhere.

These images were taken on my first visit to the Racetrack in 2009.

Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park

Moving stones of Racetrack Playa
5D, TS-E 45 f/2.8

Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park

5D, 14L II


Traditional Cooking

Slow-cooked food.

Goan fish curry prepared in this deliberate manner is manna for the soul. The lady was apologetic that on this particular evening she wasn’t using her traditional earthen pot which is the real deal.

Traditional cooking in Chorao, Goa
Chandrakalabai Mapari of Chorão

Chandrakalabai Mapari of Chorão, Goa
5D Mark II, 24-105L

  • jc - February 2, 2014 - 6:09 pm

    Thanks Rajanbab for that nostalgic flashback. You surely agree that there is a special taste to the Kodi cooked in an earthen pot. It may interest you that there is a young Massachusetts lady (Miriam Kuttumuri possibly of Kerala origin) who markets earthen cookware in the USReplyCancel

    • Rajan P. Parrikar - February 2, 2014 - 6:13 pm

      JC-bab, indeed, the flavour of kodi cooked in an earthen pot cannot be obtained by any other means.ReplyCancel

  • Premanand - February 2, 2014 - 3:56 pm

    I still remember the “Xhit-Kodi” which my grandmother used to prepare in her earthen “boodkulem”. Jaane kahan gaye woh din… :-( ReplyCancel

    • Rajan P. Parrikar - February 2, 2014 - 6:14 pm

      Yes, Premanand, all of us Goans of a certain age and above have these priceless memories of our fast-fading traditional ways.ReplyCancel

Udder Massage

Otherwise known as milking.

In the village of Majorda, Goa.

Milking buffalo in Majorda, Goa

Fresh milk
5D Mark II, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

  • Priyaranjan Anand Marathe - March 31, 2014 - 2:45 pm

    Awesome photo. Love the clarity in it. I recently got Nikon 50mm, 1.4F lens, and strive this clarity in my photos.

    Awesome photos. Especially the ones on road to Ponda (Ribandar water line). I used to go to college same way, but did not see the beauty.

    Thanks for clicking and documenting.

    Looking forward for more pictures.ReplyCancel

  • Premanand - February 2, 2014 - 3:44 am

    That sabre horn looks intimidating. These bovines are very particular about who can touch their “Vakshasthal”. :-) ReplyCancel