India: A cacophonous mixture in Sadar Bazaar

Ram heads downhill with his half-ton load in Sadar Bazaar, Delhi, India

One of the main crowded streets in Sadar Bazaar, Delhi, India

Day laborers and their loads in Sadar Bazaar, Delhi, India.

Sadar Bazaar is a virtual gridlock of humanity, erupting in an explosion that impacts all the senses. A cacophonous mixture of hawkers, porters, rickshaw wallahs and traffic-trapped motorists add a sense of urgency and thrill to the mesmerizing turmoil. Aromatic spices of vendors peddling food waft in and out of the congested, overflowing labyrinth of alleyways and stalls. Visually, the bazaar is like an ever-turning kaleidoscope of color and faces that move in increasing tempo as one advances deeper into the bazaar.

Sadar Bazaar is the largest wholesale market in Delhi, India, home to one of the leading spice markets in Asia. All of the goods are carried in and out of the heart of the market by human labor…pushed, pulled and heaved around by the sweat of day laborers.

For the past 18 years, Ram, has been hauling carts like this one, piled with a half-ton load of printed materials, for approximately 200 rupees (3-4 dollars) per day. Many laborers earn significantly less.

All Photographs copyright Gary S. Chapman

(Nikon D4, 24mm f1.4, 1/2500 sec, f2.8, ISO 800)

(Nikon D3s, 70-200mm f2.8 @100mm, 1/2000 sec, f2.8, ISO 1000)

8 thoughts

  1. I traveled through India and Nepal in ’86. Amazing how much it is the same. I just found your blog and I am enjoying going through your photos. Thanks.

  2. Warning: It is the dirtiest place on earth. Highly avoidable – if you are a tourist, don’t go there unless you want to be extremely distressed.

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