Travel photography showcasing cultures, people, places and stories is not uncommon. But have you heard of a photographer doing so through pictures of Indian doors? Meet Divyakshi Gupta.
Gupta is a Mumbai-based photographer and travel blogger who loves narrating offbeat travel stories on her blog, The Quirky Wanderer. She has a keen interest in architecture and symmetry, which spurred her to start photographing doors. We had an intriguing chat with her about this unique interest. Here’s what she had to say:
When did your fascination with doors begin?
I started documenting doors around 8 years ago. They intrigued me, and I did not think of them as merely pretty frames. I consider doors as veils to homes, hiding an array of emotions, secrets and mysteries.
Each door has a distinct character and speaks volumes of its inhabitants and their personalities. Some seemed hopeful, others chirpy, while others are definitely attention seekers!
My photography project was noticed by WordPress, and they featured me, making me the first Indian travel blogger to have been featured by them.
How did the idea for the “Doors Of India” project come about?
My unusual passion caught the attention of JWT Kolkata and Hungama Digital Services, who roped me in to curate #DoorsOfIndia, a campaign for Tata Steel’s Pravesh doors. This was for their brand but my personal documentation will continue like before!
How many doors would you say you’ve taken a picture of, so far?
To be honest, I haven’t ever counted them! But if I have to give a rough estimate, I’d say easily around 1000.
I have come across many interesting doors during my explorations in India. My favourites are those in the interiors of Punjab, the villages of Uttar Pradesh, the temples of South India, and the forts and palaces of Rajasthan.
I have documented doors abroad as well. The ones in Bhutan are nothing short of a painting, Myanmar’s doors are quite intricate, and I love Italian doors for their vibrant colours.
Do you have a favourite from the doors you’ve documented? Or a favourite story relating to a particular door?
I have a couple of favourites. For instance, I love the orange doors of the the Vindhya Vasini temple in Vindhyachal. The priests didn’t notice me hovering around when I took the picture, and I think that let me truly bring out the essence of the temple in my picture.
Another favourite is a door that happens to be around 500 metres from my house. I had passed through it many times but only noticed the door properly after perhaps my umpteenth visit! I was delighted to find this beauty right next door (pun intended).
A favourite story? That would be encountering the Doorway to Heaven in Trichy.
You’ve taken plenty of pictures of doors belonging to strangers but what does your very own door look like?
My door is wooden with metal knobs. It has a splash of yellow on it and around it, and it is surrounded by brass bells and lamps.
Words by Pavi Sagar
Featured image credit: Divyakshi Gupta