A Travellerspoint blog

Slumming it

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For my last day in India I decided to join a PETE (providing education to everyone) guided walk in a Dehli slum. The living conditions are abhorrent but the people are amazing. Weaving through open sewer drains, foot wide alleys, debris, animals and people about 3 million people in Dehli live like this. I shook countless hands, laughed with children, joined a family for a Chai and helped some kindergarten kids at a PETE sponsored school with their English alphabet then they sang for me.
The slums like the rest of India are a contrast: exhilarating & exhausting, inspiring and depressing, spiritual and greedy. It really is Incredible India

Girl, Delhi slum

Girl, Delhi slum

Kindergarten kids, Delhi slum

Kindergarten kids, Delhi slum

Sunrise, Ganges river

Sunrise, Ganges river

Posted by adtamo 28.04.2014 17:23 Archived in India Comments (0)

Varanasi, Holy Cow!

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Early morning flight to Varanasi, the spiritual home of Hinduism. Situated on the sacred Ganges river, the holy city of Varanasi has a 4,500 year history it is said to be one of the oldest continually occupied cities in the world. Hindu pilgrims visit Varanasi once in their life to bathe in the sacred river or to die, be cremated with the ashes returned to the river.

Last night I watched the nightly blessing of the Ganges. Then up early again this morning for a boat ride on the river to watch life on the Ghats.

Varanasi is also the home of Indian men with cool beards. Also being a sacred Hindi city there is quite a large population of free range cows mingling with cars, scooters and in the narrow market lanes. Just watch your step!
Funeral procession, Varanasi style

Funeral procession, Varanasi style


Evening Aarti on the Ganges

Evening Aarti on the Ganges


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Posted by adtamo 26.04.2014 19:56 Archived in India Comments (0)

The Pink City

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Today I explored the Rajasthan city of Jaipur, the 'Pink City'. When the Royal family visited Jaipur in the early 20th century a lot of the buildings within the old city walls were painted pink as a mark of welcome & respect. Places visited include the architecturally unique 'Palace of the Winds', the Amber Fort with it's impressive 'Palace of Mirrors', the 17th century outdoor Astrological observatory (the world's largest) & the 'Floating Palace'. I have now had my fill of palaces for this trip! T will be amused to know that I lost my hat early in the day, not a smart thing to do in near 40C conditions.

Palace of the winds

Palace of the winds

Amber fort

Amber fort

Textiles

Textiles

Sari

Sari

Eyes

Eyes

Posted by adtamo 25.04.2014 05:46 Archived in India Comments (0)

They don't like cricket.....................

sunny

Oh no, they love it! More on that later.

Early start again this morning for sunrise at the Taj Mahal. I'm sure this is meant to be a time for peaceful reflection but not with this crowd. Pushing & shoving abound as everyone jostled for prime position. It was not long before I abandoned and went looking for a different angle away from the masses. After sunrise it was back to the Hotel for breakfast then a drive of about 1 hour to the old Mughal fort/palace of Fatephur Sikh.

On the way I spied a dusty paddock with a group of boys playing cricket. I asked the driver to stop so I could join in for 10-15 minutes. It was a magic experience. The kids were so pleased that I wanted to play with them. They were all lined up to bowl at me and those not bowling were all fielding in slips, I think there were at least 10 in slips. Every ball was greeted with hoots of approval especially when I top edged over the slips for four. Then it was my turn to take the ball and again they all lined up to each face one delivery. I am not the best of spin bowlers, my signature ball is the nude doosra (it does nothing). To my shame even on the dust bowl Indian pitches by nude ball failed to turn. I was promptly dispatched for 6 runs to loud roars all round. One kid consoled me by saying that Shane Warne did not bowl well in India either :) It was sad to leave as we were all having a great time.

After Fatephur Sikh we drove onto the Chand Baori step well an old type of Indian water storage system with it's impressive pattern of steps. From there it was onto Jaipur for the night.
Cricket lads

Cricket lads

Taj Mahal sunrise 2

Taj Mahal sunrise 2

Taj Mahal sunrise 1

Taj Mahal sunrise 1

Fatephur Sikh

Fatephur Sikh

Shepard

Shepard

Chand Baori step well

Chand Baori step well

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Posted by adtamo 24.04.2014 07:44 Archived in India Comments (0)

Life & Death

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Up early this morning to attend the morning Aarti at the Hare Krishna IKSCON temple. Footwear needed to be removed and for the small fee of 20 INR you could guarantee my sandals would be there on my return and not being sold at the nearest market! The energy in the temple was pulsating as the chanting and music built to a ear drum shattering cresendo. As loud as the AC/DC concert I went to many years ago! This was a wonderful experience as the Hare Krishna followers celebrate life each and every morning.

Once finished I had plenty of time to rest and sleep as we took the longish drive from Delhi to Agra. The afternoon was spent at the impressive Agra Fort then the world famous Taj Mahal, a mausoleum built by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. It really does live up to the reputation. The white marble is resplendent against the red sandstone, blue sky and green vegetation. The inlay marble work really needs to be seen to be appreciated. Up early gain tomorrow for a sunrise visit back at the Taj Mahal so that's it for another day.Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Agra Fort

Agra Fort

Hare Krishna Aarti

Hare Krishna Aarti

Indian dude of the day

Indian dude of the day

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Posted by adtamo 23.04.2014 08:59 Archived in India Comments (0)

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