"I’ve always been a nomad at heart, but really I just love adventure. In fact, one of my inspirations for my photography is travel. I fall so easily in love with visiting new places because it gives me the chance to think outside the box, appreciate things, recollect my thoughts and gain new inspiration.
In February when I saw that Chennai made it to the 52 Places to Go in 2014 list on the NY Times, I jumped up for joy because I’d already made it there the first week of the year. I think my love for India began when I watched Jungle Book as an 8-year-old on a routine basis. My dream to visit the country finally came true over New Year’s when my travels took me to the place of my childhood dreams. My husband and I were already on this side of the world on a research trip and were in need of a quick getaway trip in between research, so we decided to make India our destination. As a photographer, each of the 10 days of our visit were not without my handy camera which means each day was a nonstop chance at absorbing vivid colors, light-filled images, intricate textures, ethnic nuances, and global contrasts into my creative mind….no doubt the perfect playground for my creativity.
Our first stop? One of the main metros, Chennai (formerly known as Madras), located in the state of Tamil Nadu...Here the local language is Tamil and the local food is a mixture of delicious curries, aloo banda, chutney, dosa, and chapote. We had an amazing chance at staying at a local orphan home in Chennai to visit the place of a spiritual father. There we were able to connect with the children, absorb the culture, and enjoy some amazing hospitality including some of the best south Indian home-cooked food we had ever had...We were also able to hit up St. Thomas Mount overlooking the entire city and the Crocodile Bank, home to some 2400+ reptiles from all over the world. Never have we seen that many!
After that we were off to experience North India with a 3 day stop in New Delhi. From Delhi we took a day trip to Agra to visit the Taj Majal and the Old Fort. We stayed at The Hyatt Regency as a gift from our parents and and were so honored to be able to enjoy dining experiences at delicious award-winning restaurants, The China Kitchen and La Piazza, winner of the Times Food Award since 2006. Both were delicious experiences we’d highly recommend.
Each time I look at these photos, I’m filled with hope, energy and vibrancy...feelings I hope viewers can experience as well. Though short, this trip was one of my favorite and most meaningful in recent memory. The people, the love, the culture." -Maritha Mae, photographer
Photographer: Maritha Mae