Riding elephants in India

2017-09-14T09:48:48-07:00October 25th, 2014|India|

We were the first (OK, the only...)ones in our group to volunteer forthe elephant ride up to the AmberPalace in Jaipur.  Asian elephantsare a little smaller than theirAfrican cousins, but still strong!Our tour group for [...]

Diwali, Hindu Festival of LIghts in India

2017-09-14T09:48:48-07:00October 23rd, 2014|India|

A typically stunning display of hand arranged flowers for Diwali.  Celebrated in autumn each year, it was originally an agricultural festival, where people would finish up accounting for their annual crops and pray to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth for a successful year.Wow - we're [...]

Indian Women and other delights

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 23rd, 2014|India|

Isn't she wicked looking with that one tooth?A common sight - her teeth are stained red fromchewing betel nuts, which are cheap, addictiveand cancer causing. Learning a lesson from a wise man.  The moral ofthis story [...]

Taj Mahal

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 19th, 2014|India|

Grace, scale, power and beauty.Walking through the entrywayto our first view of the Taj Mahal,which means Crown Palace.And you'll walk across any territory,and any darkness, however fluid,and however dangerous to takethe one hand, and the [...]

Good, Bad and Ugly in India

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 18th, 2014|India|

Ancient camel stables, extra tallto accomodate camel and rider.Marigolds, the new monkey snack!Waiting at the train platform in Jhansi, India.  I thinkthis guy though I was taking his photo, but I wasactually trying to capture the [...]

Sacred Ganges River in Varanasi, India

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 17th, 2014|India|

Sunrise on the Ganges River.  According to Hindutradition, Varanasi is the oldest city in the world.She is selling neem sticks, which are used as toothbrushes.  The method is to nibble off the bark, then chew on the fibers until [...]

Varanasi, India by Night

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 16th, 2014|India|

Garbage along the banks of the Ganga River.Despite the fact that it is a sacred river, withextraordinary religious importance for Hindus,and that it provides water for 40% of India,it is one of the most polluted [...]

Hindu and Buddhist Temples in India

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 16th, 2014|India|

This is the spot that Lord Buddhapreached his first sermon, somewherearound the 6th century.This woman was working pulling grass by hand.According to our guide, her payment is that sheis allowed to keep the grass to [...]

Gandhi and India

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 15th, 2014|India|

Gandhi was born to a middle class,merchant caste family.  He studiedlaw in London and spent 21 years inSouth Africa representing indenturedHindu laborers, a formative period inwhich he developed his disgust ofthe Indian caste system, and [...]

Tombs, Forts and Temples in New Delhi

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 14th, 2014|India|

A beautiful garden tomb, Emperor Humayan'swife commissioned this structure after he diedin 1556.   The use of water flowing throughoutthe grounds was revolutionary.  The architectureused here was influential on the Taj Mahal.Lotus Temple in New [...]

Politics, Marriage and Garbage in India

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 12th, 2014|India|

Modi is India's new Prime Minister.Elected by a large margin, he plansto build the "India of your dreams".That includes improving education,military strength, sanitation, andforeign investment.India has been independent from the British since1947.  The period in [...]

India by the Numbers

2017-09-14T09:48:49-07:00October 11th, 2014|India|

India is estimated to have one third of the world'spoor, defined as earning less than $1.25 USD per day (by the Indian Planning Commission).India is crowded.  There were about 60 peopleon this bus!  India averages 954 people [...]