Asian Silhouettes

I have few silhouettes in my archives and they are all purely accidental. Considering the drama, mood and emotion they conjure up, I have no idea why I haven’t consciously gone after more back-lit shots. Fingers crossed in the hope that the Serengeti, next month, will turn up some good photo ops.

Until then, here is a gallery that evokes some of our more memorable moments across Asia. Click on each image to read the corresponding post.

Angkor SunriseAngkor Wat silhouetted against a breathtaking sunrise.DSCN2899 copy 3The Otorii on the sea in MiyajimaDSC_0905 copyAdmiring glorious sunsets: from Mount Phousi, Luang Prabang…DSC_0666 copyAnd from our boat on Tonle Sap lake near the floating village of Kompong Phluk..DSC_7361 copyAnd finally, experiencing the drama of the Ganga Aarti in Varanasi.

Happy travels………no matter where life takes you.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

132 thoughts on “Asian Silhouettes

  1. These are absolutely breathtaking photos Madhu! Angkor Wat and the one from Tonle Sap lake are my favourites.

  2. Absolutely fantastic photos of the Asian silhouettes ! …Eye candy for me who loves photos, showing the beauty in our daily life there is around us … // Maria 🙂

  3. These look great, my personal fav is the Ganga Arthi, but they are all great images….good luck for Serengeti….. It is a magical place…..

    1. Thank you Prakash. And welcome to my blog. Just popped over to your site and was blown away by your wildlife images!! I hope mine turn out half as well 🙂

    1. From the hill? Yes, that was worth the climb. Hubby missed out on that one since he was nursing a bad back.

  4. Wow, how lovely to see these through your eyes. I have to say the first and last one speak to me the most. The last one…I don’t know…I can almost feel it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you very much Lindsay. Did you click on that image? It links to my post on the ‘aarti’ with sound effects! 🙂

        1. Glad you enjoyed it Lindsay. I was excited to find that sound track, even though it stops abruptly.

  5. Madhu, these are all just wonderful, and I love how you’ve linked them to the original posts. If I was forced to choose a favorite, it would be difficult, but I think it would be the final image, of Ganga Aarti. My eyes just continue to search that photo for all the backlit details, and the smoke adds such an ethereal quality to it. Beautiful!

    1. Thank you Stacy. That is my favourite of the aarti images. I think it comes closest to conveying the atmosphere of the ceremony. Glad you liked it too 🙂

      1. A lovely series, Madhu. Life has certainly taken you to some wonderful places, which you’ve absolutely done justice to. Silhouettes are an excellent way to seize the moment, and encapsulate what you see.

  6. These are absolutely breathtaking, Madhu and what a beautiful closeup of the Aarti. The lighting and smoke create such an intense mood. We were in a boat along with many others, but it was still a beautiful and spiritual sight to observe. Not often can I say that I have been to four out of five of these incredible places, but we love Asia. I’m sure the Serengeti will yield spectacular photos and silhouettes.

    1. Thank you Lynne. Looking forward to the Serengeti. We needed a break from our usual urban/cultural destinations 🙂

    1. Thank you very much Ron. I am not equipped for wildlife photography, but I didn’t think it worthwhile to upgrade my lenses just for this one trip. I hope I can manage alright.
      PS: Wondering why your recent posts are not easily accessible via your Gravatar. Clicking on ‘Blog’ takes me to a much older post.

  7. beautiful gallery of silhouettes! love all the pictures! every single one is simply gorgeous! thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh my these are absolutely fabulous! I look forward to your Serengeti photos, wish I could do safari again now with a good camera 🙂

    1. Thanks Gilly. I doubt I will make great photos with the limited equipment I posses, but they should be better than my old P&S 🙂

  9. Madhu, your really out did yourself on those ones. And to be honest I can’t decide which one is my favorite, maybe because they are All! Photographing reflections is one of my most favorites.

    1. Glad you enjoyed re-visiting my old posts Meredith. The Ganga Aarti images are some of my favourites too even if they aren’t techincally great.

  10. Absolutely stunning silhouettes Madhu! The second one is my most favourite! Great shots! 😀 ♥ Hugs ♥

    1. Thank you Sonel. That sunset was well worth the effort of negotiating the 355 steps up to Phousi hill 🙂

      1. Oh, I bet it was Madhu. I don’t think I would have made it, so thank you for the hard work to show us all this beauty. 😀 ♥ Hugs ♥

  11. Each image that came up I was liking even better than the last, Madhu 🙂 Lots of gasps and ‘oohs’. Finally settled on no. 2 as my favourite but it’s a close run thing. Have you got a favourite? I expect it changes with the memories. I wish I had time to read all the posts but that’ll have to be another day. Hugs! 🙂

    1. It does change with the memories and my mood, but here I prefer the last shot just because it is distinctly different from the others and because it reminds me of the intensity of the ceremony. I don’t expect you to go after every link I put in Jo, so please don’t worry about not having read some of them. Hugs back 🙂

  12. All of them are really wonderful….The second one is absolutely great…I am happy that if you are not looking for shadows they are looking for you…Your photographs are so so great!!!!
    Good luck on your next adventure…Looking forward to reading your posts!!!!

    1. Thank you Bronwyn. Yes, I am excited over our upcoming trip to the Serengeti. And a detour to the gorillas in Rwanda on the way! 🙂

    1. It was a fascinating ceremony Mary. A bit too choreographed for my liking, but still full of atmosphere. Thank you for your visit and comment.

  13. Beautiful silhouettes, Madhu. Your shot of sunrise at Angkor Wat is spectacular. My favorite is the haunting photo of the drama of the Ganga Aarti in Varanasi. ~Terri

  14. I love these set of shots. Well done for this weeks’ challenge. Can definitely feel the energy in the last photo – seems like everyone came out for the celebration or ceremony there. And you were lucky enough to be a part of it all 🙂

    1. It was jam packed Mabel. I watched the ceremony from a boat farther out in the water and from land where this was clicked and there was standing room only. Very dramatic and atmospheric. Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for stopping by to let me know 🙂

    1. Thank you Connie. Could be my design background. But i need to put in a lot more work on clarity and sharpness. I love your photography.

  15. Silhouettes have something very mystique and sublime. They give me peace and this collection of your super like….they beckon me to accompany them to beyond.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Namita. Sunrises and sunsets have a way of making us feel that way. And the drama of the aarti was indeed mesmerizing 🙂

  16. Good gracious! these are remarkable. I always remember the post on Vanarasi event. I think my Thailand dream has been overshadowed by my India dream travel because of you.

      1. Suzanne I am having trouble posting comments on your blog. Several tries on two of your latest posts returned Captcha errors. My math isn’t that bad 🙂

  17. A fabulous set of photos, Madhu! The smoky spectacle of Ganga Aarti is my favourite – I think that shot could easily win a travel photo contest. And how lucky to be off to Kenya/Tanzania next month; can’t say I’m not the least bit jealous!

    1. Thanks James. That is my personal favourite as well.
      We are off to Rwanda and Tanzania actually. Grappling with the 15kg (including cabin bags) luggage limit for internal flights at the moment.

  18. They are all gorgeous but tops for is the picture of the dancers at the bottom. What happy ‘accidents’ these pictures are. Teasing aside, you are such a good photographer that even these unintended photos turn out well.

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely and generous comment Imelda 🙂 These weren’t unintended, I was referring to the unexpected silhouette effects 🙂

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