At its worst, Instagram encourages the small things in life -- vanity, insecurity, and conspicuous consumerism. At its best, it's a portal to the wide world. Below, we've rounded up some of the best Instagram accounts out of one of the planet's most multi-faceted countries: India. Follow even one of them, and you'll feel you've been transported.
1. Chandan Khanna: The AFP photojournalist goes deep into labyrinthine cities like Delhi. He has a flair for portraiture, and often focuses on the faces of the elderly.
2. George Koruth: A documentary photographer based in India, Koruth has an eye for the vivid colors and theatricality of India's festivals.
3. Dayanita Singh: The famous photographer documents her work and India's art scene in a muted, personal Instagram account.
4. Subhash Chandra: An avid trekker, Chandra snaps photographs of the flora and fauna at India's highest elevations.
5. Hashim Badani: A self-described "chronicler of the mundane," Badani tends to shoot in and around Mumbai. Every once in a while though, the Lonely Planet contributor happens on somewhere completely surreal (see below).
6. Siddhartha Joshi: This wandering photographer is another strong portraitist, whose subjects range from kids at play to the army men patrolling India's northern borders.
7. @my_mumbai: This popular feed features work by anyone who tags their photos #my_mumbai. The resulting account is sweeping, well-curated, and -- for anyone drawn to the world's densest locales -- undoubtedly worth a follow.
8. @indiapictures: Another crowd-sourced account, this one features photographs from around the country, yet manages to avoid the high-gloss predictability of official tourism shots.
9. @bombaybhukkad: The anonymous foodstagrammer is one of the best in the biz, with a seemingly unending appetite for street food and travel. He's just as inclined to indulge in a vegetarian thali as ground-up mutton.
10. Harsh Raman: A street artist, Raman documents his own psychedelic tags on the walls of Mumbai.
11. Akshay Mahajan: A Mumbai native living in Delhi, Mahajan is one of the few Indian Instagrammers who favors soft colors. In the image below, he juxtaposes this sensibility with a portrait of a hijra, or eunuch.
12. @everydaymumbai: Curated by photojournalist Chirag Wakaskar, this feed operates as a sort of Indian analog to "Humans of New York," with poignant captions and intriguing faces.
13. Asif Khan: A professional photographer, Khan has an eye for the slices of India soon to disappear.
14. @mumbaipaused: Run by a man identified only as Gopal, this feed offers a not-at-all precious look at daily life in South Asia's largest city.
15. Ritesh Uttamchandani: A Mumbai-based photo editor and writer, Uttamchandani delivers images rooted in the city's complex political landscape.
16. @katha_collective: Billed as a "collective of storytellers" (and run by Uttamchandani, above), this feed combines strong photography with reportage. For the past month, much of the work has centered around the devastating floods in India's northeast.
17. Ayesha Kapadia: The Mumbai-based artist and designer is behind this dreamy, often surrealist feed, which includes plenty of videos.
18. Samar Virdi: Virdi, a filmmaker out of Chandigarh, focuses on blocks of color, abstract detail, and -- fittingly for a storyteller -- haunting portraits like the one below.