Stories from the Road: Flowers on the Steps, Khajuraho, India

Stories from the Road is a collection of stories about my own photographic adventures in South Asia. Sometimes the stories are exciting and sometimes mundane and at times emotional. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story.

Sorry there was no post last week. I dropped my external hard drive down the stairs and my computer will not read it. Hopefully I will get the information back or the photograph from half of my trip in India will be lost.


As the end of the year quickly approaches I , like many other people am contemplating the past year. I have specifically been thinking about the short amount of time I have spent in Khajuraho, India. The small town is known for a group of Hindu temples with sexually explicit carvings on them. (Perhaps I will explore some of that in a later post.) The group of temples is a World Heritage Site and the complex is spacious and well manicured. It is an oasis from the India outside the gates, full of noise and dust. Do not get me wrong, Khajuraho is a small town where a lot of tourists come, so it is filled shops and locals focused on the tourists. However, it might be my favorite place I have visited in India so far.

As I began my travels through India I had no idea that my life would be changed so drastically. I had some very poignant experiences in Udaipur and I was still sorting though these experiences and the and the profound ways they would change my life. However, in Khajuraho I started to come to terms with certain things and to have less stress about them.

So, you ask, “what does this have to do with a photograph?”

Here you see the last photograph I took inside the World Heritage Site at Khajuraho. A cluster of red flowers sit on some steps leading to a temple near the entrance to the site. The flowers are a physical representation of an offering or a prayer. Often we pray for some change in our lives but it is rare that such a big change begins to occur. So, in a way these flowers were a kind of representation to me about what was going on in my head.

Earlier in my visit to the complex at Khajuraho I had walked past the same steps with the same flowers sitting on them. I took another photograph of the scene from a different angle. Upon walking by it again about an hour and a half later, I saw the scene from a new perspective and thought it might be a more interesting photograph. I took the second photo. I took two shots of the scene, the first photograph was to bright, so I took it again.

This change in perspective of he flowers on the steps reflects the change of perspective I was beginning to have onĀ  myself while I was in Khajuraho. I am still dealing with this new perspective as I move into my future which will take me back to India.

By |2016-11-10T18:42:21-05:00December 22nd, 2015|India, Travel|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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