The Indian village of Vrindavan is believed by many Hindus to be the physical manifestation of ‘heaven' as well as the place in which the deity Krishna assumed human form thousands of years ago and lived a single life as a man. The Hindi word vrinda translates to "a devotion to spiritual purity." To Krishna devotees, the village and the miles of hills surrounding it are extremely sacred. So writes the photographer Shane Lavalette in the statement that accompanies his gripping collection, "Waking Vrindavan," which documents "the early morning hours, as the sun rises and the village wakes." Lavalette, who describes himself as not religious at all, traveled to Vrindavan earlier this year in hopes of "experiencing something spiritual," and spent most of his days visiting temples and taking part in rituals. What he brought back with him is a sense of quiet that we don't often experience in the West. What follows is a selection from "Waking Vrindavan."
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