Portrait of a Hindu sadhu: Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the holiest sites in Hinduism and attracts sadhu from all over the sub-continent to worship and bathe in the Ganges. This guy had been at Varanasi for 90 days and was about to leave for Rishikesh (the Ashram in Northern India made famous when the Beatles visited the Maharishi Yogi there in 1968).

These men (and occasionally women) have decided to follow a path of spiritual discipline and achieve moksa (liberation, the fourth and final cycle of life).

This photo was taken just after 5 am as the sun was rising over the Ganges. The light at that time of day is as beautiful as anywhere I've seen.