India is no only the world-famous Taj Mahal, exotic maharajas and terrifying tigers. India is also its fast growing IT-industry with highly qualified specialists, and is set to emerge as an economic superpower thanks to rapid liberalization of its policies.
And yet there is still much more to see of India. In its turbulent history, the country-nearly a continent in itself - has seen mighty kingdoms rise and fall. World famous monasteries and enormous stupas came into existence during the reign of Buddhist monarchs; Hindu kings built temples with extravagant ornamental works dedicated to their numerous gods; Islamic conquerors, the Moghul emperors, for example, erected magnificent mosques as well as burial monuments. It is beyond a doubt that the Indian subcontinent is immensely rich in sites of historical and cultural relevance.
This 'old India' has retained its momentum till this day and Hinduism especially still exercises great influence on the country's society and culture. The traditions of the great religions, their rites and festivities, are still alive and flourishing in the daily life of today's India.
The turbulent and diverse culture of India has made an immense and persistent impression on the author of this book since his very first visit to the country. In fact, it has become a life-long relationship. In his photographs, Gunter Heil aims at showing us the cultural richness of India and at sharing his views and experiences of this fascinating part of the world.
Gunter Heil, born in Chemnitz in 1938, studied graphic design in Berlin and opened his own studio, which specialized in setting up art and media exhibitions. As a professional travel photographer and writer, he published his own travel guide, which focused on southern regions of India. He created large-size photo calendars, published travel books and took professional photographs for art-historical texts and travel guides. Gunter Heil lives in Berlin.
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