In Photos – Stolen Moments Of Solitude

I am teased endlessly for being a chatterbox. But for all my gregariousness I cherish solitude, enveloped as I am by the bustle of a big Indian city. Is it even possible to steal quiet reflective moments from the din of urban living? Yes it is. Solitude is in the mind. Learning to shut out the noise is key. And seeking (relatively) quieter times and islands of serenity.

Here is a gallery of images that evoke quiet solitude for FriFotos on Twitter. All but one, from some of the most crowded and chaotic cities on earth.

St Trophime, Arles
A tourist steals a quiet moment in the gorgeous cloister of St. Trophime, Arles

“Life for each man is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors”
Eugene O Neill

Isa Khna's tomb, Delhi
Companionable silence in Isa Khna’s tomb, Delhi

“In a soulmate we find not company but a completed solitude”
Robert Brault

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Silent meditation in the Wat Loha Prasat, Bangkok. Click on the image to read all about this remarkable temple.

“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.”
Marcus Aurelius

Solo in Venice
Contemplating life on the grand canal in enviable solitude! – Venice, Italy. (Click on the image to read my post on Venice beyond San Marco)

“Finding solitude in the concrete jungle is powerful and peaceful.”
Mike Dolan

Revelling in the serene silence of those pink stones! – Humayun’s tomb, Delhi. (Click on the image to read more about this grand mausoleum)
Revelling in the serene silence of those pink stones! – Humayun’s tomb, Delhi. (Click on the image to read more about this grand mausoleum)

“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
Henry David Thoreau

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Escaping the din in Lodi Gardens, Delhi

“What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.”
Elen Burstyn

Sunrise on the Ganges, Varanasi, India
The silence of dawn on the Ganges belies the chaos of Varanasi (Click on the image to read how we survived the intensity of this city.)

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”
May Sarton

Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend!

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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

66 thoughts on “In Photos – Stolen Moments Of Solitude

  1. Exceptional photos as always, my dear Madhu, especially your silence of dawn in the Ganges…. ‘Solitude and silence” the two S I love! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, my dear friend.

      1. Will be traveling in September. Taking a Danube River Cruise and adding on extra time in Prague and Budapest. What about you? Getting any closer to a studio apt.? 😊

        1. 😀 No time to look for one! We’re off to Northern Spain in a few days. And then I have quite a bit of travel lined up for the rest of the year, so downsizing might take a back seat for now, however hard it is to wind up every time. Hate this part of travel right up until I board my flight.

  2. … and in solitude, I gain a glimpse of my soul, eternal… universal…
    Beautiful words, Madhu, and a beautiful thought that you convey through this post. Thank you for these magnificent images – the glories of solitude.

  3. Lovely, Madhu. We too find places of solitude – temples in SE Asia, early mornings, Humayun’s tomb, in a forest or field somewhere. Thank you for this, as I sit in solitude looking at the tall trees in the garden where we are house sitting. We are blessed indeed.
    Namaste, Alison

    1. He he, I ignored the gorgeous columns and focused on this lone tourist instead 🙂 I was fascinated by how still he was.

  4. You’re so right about the need for solitude, Madhu, although I fear too many people either never take the time to experience its joys or are afraid of it. Lovely photos, of course, and I enjoyed the quotes as well.

    Have a wonderful weekend,


    1. Thank you Janet. I too know many people who fail to differentiate between loneliness and solitude. A wonderful weekend to you too.

  5. Wonderful selection. Love the style of presentation, with quotes. The Venetian picture has got to be one of my favourites!

  6. Identified with the St Tropheme pic. I often steal cherished solitude in chapels, on beaches, inan empty pool at night and always on my nightly walks, when I commune with GOD in creation.

    1. Late night walks are the best. We don’t get to do it much here in this heat. I suggested to hubby that we move to Bangalore and he retorted with ‘You blog there and I’ll slog here!’ That might be more solitude than I bargained for 🙂 Appreciate your stopping by Ashu. Have a fabulous weekend.

  7. As a kid I spent three months in Provence and was never taken to Arles or Avignon; I will change that in the future. I remember that photo from Venice 🙂 I will read your story about survival in the bit. Have a great time in Spain, Madhu!

    1. Well said Sally. Your comment would not be out of place between quotation marks with all those other wise words up on my post!! 🙂

  8. I really enjoyed the post, and the pairing of quotes, Madhu. My favorite photo was of the woman leaning over the balcony on the Grand Canal. Beautiful!

  9. When we’ve experienced those really chaotic cities we appreciate calm even more. I love how you’ve captured these peaceful places Madhu, Lodi and Humayun’s tomb trigger memories especially and both are perfectly composed images 🙂

    1. Very true Gilly. I was surprised by and envious of the many beautiful parks and quiet corners in Delhi. We have precious few quiet public spaces here in Chennai.

  10. I love all the photos but my favourites are the first one, Humayun’s Tomb and Lodi Gardens. I haven’t been to Lodi Gardens (though Delhi almost became my second home during 2010-2011!) but perhaps will visit if I do end up in Delhi yet again 🙂

    1. Thanks Kat. Let me know when you come next. I could try and meet you there. If you can’t come South that is 🙂

  11. Just the kind of peace I always seek out, too – a moment or two of solitude and quiet amidst the bustle. My favorite such moment was a grassy terrace at Machu Picchu, tucked away from the crowds, where I sat in silence for a half hour one afternoon as the sun lit the dense mountains beyond the famous ruins.

  12. Madhu, again you have mastered a wonderful post. Solitude and awareness is something every body should seek for, in order to become happy and peaceful. Your images speak those words.

  13. We have something in common, Madhu. I’m also a chatterbox who seeks solitude. I’m as happy alone as I am with a group of friends. Your photographs are wonderful, and I know I would find serenity in each of these peaceful locations.

  14. My weekend passed by in a flash….. It’s midweek now, and your photos make me yearn to be able to travel soon. When, only He knows….. Enjoyed each frame, as well as your comments! Don’t stop shooting….!

  15. and sometimes in the most crowded places, we find solitude in that one moment that we steal for ourselves.
    beautiful photos Madhu! Loved them!
    You’re from bbay? we should catch up sometime!

  16. some quiet moments… i must say the image of Venice really struck a chord. i like all the layers and textures – and i recently spent a few much-too-short moments there recently myself. would like to go back one day with some time in my pocket to explore…

  17. Mmmmm, the wonderful silence of solitude…such silence is magnified when living in a dense, lively city. Enjoy and smile 🙂

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