Smiles of India | Photo Essay

India’s official tourist slogan is ‘Incredible India.’ Although I agree that India is ‘incredible’ it is in my opinion more ‘indescribable’ than anything else. For those who don’t know, India is my favourite country I’ve ever visited as a backpacker. It’s incredible diversity was a full on assault to my senses. I know many other backpacker/travellers feel the same way I do. I’ve met individuals who have spent months/years based in India and feel as though they’ve only scratched the surface of possibilities while traveling across India by train. It’s a country, that in my opinion, never quite leaves one fully satisfied or satiated. There is always something more to see or do. The following is a photo essay showcasing the smiles of India:

The cutest group of Indian children came up to me and wanted to play a little in the pink city of Jaipur located in Rajasthan, India.
The cutest group of Indian children came up to me and wanted to play a little in the pink city of Jaipur located in Rajasthan, India.

This is one of my favourite photos from India. I just feel the expression on her face is quite priceless. This photo was taken at the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) located in Amritsar, India.
This is one of my favourite photos from India. I just feel the expression on her face is quite priceless. This photo was taken at the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) located in Amritsar, India.

An elderly lady flashes an authentic smile on the streets of Udaipur - Rajasthan, India.
An elderly lady flashes an authentic smile on the streets of Udaipur – Rajasthan, India.

I'll never forget this little girl. I met her on a horseback riding tour just outside of Udaipur. People who are so warm and genuine living humble conditions inspire me. Travel photo from Rajasthan, India.
I’ll never forget this little girl. I met her on a horseback riding tour just outside of Udaipur. People who are so warm and genuine living humble conditions inspire me. Travel photo from Rajasthan, India.

A trio of best buds posing and hamming it up for the camera with cows and pigs scrounging for scraps of garbage in the background. Travel photo from Jaipur - Rajasthan, India.
A trio of best buds posing and hamming it up for the camera with cows and pigs scrounging for scraps of garbage in the background. Travel photo from Jaipur – Rajasthan, India.

Yes sir! These cute kids had fun striking poses for me while I took shots of them before and after distributing a few candies. Travel photo from Udaipur - Rajasthan, India.
Yes sir! These cute kids had fun striking poses for me while I took shots of them before and after distributing a few candies. Travel photo from Udaipur – Rajasthan, India.

This group of cute children loved trying on my prescription sun glasses and sharing a laugh as I took their photo. It was a fun moment I'll never forget. The interesting thing about sunglasses is that I lost them a few weeks later while taking a train ride. A gust of wind blew them off the side of the window all of a sudden.
This group of cute children loved trying on my prescription sun glasses and sharing a laugh as I took their photo. It was a fun moment I’ll never forget. The interesting thing about sunglasses is that I lost them a few weeks later while taking a train ride. A gust of wind blew them off the side of the window all of a sudden.

A group of ladies engage in dance sessions prior to the India-Pakistan border closing ceremony - Wagah, Atari, India.
A group of ladies engage in dance sessions prior to the India-Pakistan border closing ceremony – Wagah, Atari, India – Pakistan.

A cute little girl plays with her smaller brother at the Sam sand dunes located outside of Jaisalmer - Rajasthan, India.
A cute little girl plays with her smaller brother at the Sam sand dunes located outside of Jaisalmer – Rajasthan, India.

A man beams a great big grin as he strolls along a park area located in Jaipur - Rajasthan, India.
A man beams a great big grin as he strolls along a park area located in Jaipur – Rajasthan, India.

I encountered this cute child on the streets of Kolkata (Calcutta) as I was wandering around trying to find Mother Teresa's old house.
I encountered this cute child on the streets of Kolkata (Calcutta) as I was wandering around trying to find Mother Teresa’s old house.

These two kind ladies great me with a smile and a friendly welcome as I pass through the hectic side streets en route to the main fort - Jodhpur - Rajasthan, India.
These two kind ladies great me with a smile and a friendly welcome as I pass through the hectic side streets en route to the main fort – Jodhpur – Rajasthan, India.

A Tibetan monk in exile (located in Mcleod Ganj) talks to somebody on his cellphone. Dharamsala, India.
A Tibetan monk in exile (located in Mcleod Ganj) talks to somebody on his cellphone. Dharamsala, India.

An India man with a characteristically long white beard appears to be thoroughly enjoying this battered snack - Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.
An India man with a characteristically long white beard appears to be thoroughly enjoying this battered snack – Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.

A group of excited India boys grin and move closer towards my camera as I try my best to compose a shot. Travel photo from Pushkar - Rajasthan, India.
A group of excited India boys grin and move closer towards my camera as I try my best to compose a shot. Travel photo from Pushkar – Rajasthan, India.

A group of adorable children look up at the camera and flash some genuinely lovely smiles. Travel photo from the Thar Desert - Rajasthan, India.
A group of adorable children look up at the camera and flash some genuinely lovely smiles. Travel photo from the Thar Desert – Rajasthan, India.


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  1. Pingback: Smiles of India | Happy Faces of India | Travel Video
  2. says: mahima

    Hi Samuel,

    Lovely shots… we often don’t find beauty in what we see everyday… Im from India ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep up the good work.
    Im inspired.

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    1. Hey Nina, those are actually mine…LOL They loved trying them on. The funny story about these are that they flew out the window on an Indian train ride shortly after this experience ๐Ÿ˜›

  8. says: Tammy Winand

    Great shots! I love the faces of India.

    Unfortunately the one thing that really popped out at me, as a part time resident of India, is your reference to passing out candy to the children.
    Don’t do it. Ever.

    I won’t go into my reasons why, as this is about the photos, but…had to mention it.

    1. Hey Tammy, I can understand that handing out candy is not necessarily something that is encouraged or agreed upon by many. I quite frankly don’t do it very often. Thanks for checking out my photos ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. My husband and I had a very similarly moving experience when we were in India in October. I am in love with the little girl sitting on the ground in the flowered dress above. She alone could be the face of India, in my opinion.

    1. Pranay, thanks for the comment. I agree with you that sometimes photographer’s tend to focus too keenly on one area. India is full of happy people regardless of socio-economic status.