Little India, Pioneer Blvd.

Photography and audio by Robert Gauthier

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It is a mélange of colors and sounds and smells. Among the diverse mini-cultures in and around Los Angeles County, the pocket of Indian businesses clustered mainly on Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia in the southeast part of the county is among the most distinctive of the area.

The area in Artesia widely known as Little India offers both community and sense of place.

You can hear the strains of music from the movies of Bollywood — the part of the huge Indian cinema based in Mumbai.

Or maybe it’s just the rhythms of music from the dance exercise class taught by Nakul Dev Mahajan in his Pioneer Boulevard studio. Mahajan, a nationally known dancer and choreographer, has appeared on Fox-TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

At a clothing boutique, traditional Indian frocks in bold cobalt blues, and persimmon oranges and watermelon reds, accented with glittery adornments, hang close together, a riotous rainbow of fabric. Who could resist wrapping themselves in such a colorful array?

--Carla Hall

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