Blogs from Uttar Pradesh, India, Asia


Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra March 5th 2019

Agra Fort was built in the 1500’s and is really a walled city... completely beautiful and AMAZING! it was home for Shah JaHan who built the Taj Mahal... which you can see from the windows.... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra March 2nd 2019

We had always assumed the Taj Mahal was all white... it is bursting with color! The white marble has stunning inlay of lapis, carnelian, malachite and onyx. ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Lucknow February 21st 2019

The past month has flown and we have done a lot of travelling in India, touching four different states in South-, Middle and North India. In this short time we were able to see the differences between some of the different states of India very well. While Bangalore is India’s IT capital, super developed with craft beer breweries and hipster coffee bars abound, Bihar is clearly one of the poorest states, a dry state with no alcohol, with people moulding cow shit into fuel patties barehanded. After our wonderful wedding week in Pune we found our (rail)way to Mumbai, where we spent a few days exploring the city before flying to Mangalore and immediately continuing a bit north to Udupi and then onwards to Gokarna. Gokarna was one of the beach towns in South India we ... read more
Mangalore to Bangalore

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh February 18th 2019

Blog # 5 (February 18, 2019). Time for some critters….and a rather well known building. From Jaipur we drove East to Keoladeo National Park, a protected wetland that is choc-a-block with birds. How could I not stop there??!!! Along the way, we stopped at a huge old step well called Chand Baori - probably the largest in India - dating back to the 10th century. A deep four-sided structure with a massive temple on one face, it was like an Escher painting, with zig-zag terraced steps on three sides leading way down to the well (water source). Step wells are out-dated and abandoned nowadays, superseded by modern plumbing. But they are culturally significant and lately many are being lovingly restored. We’d seen a few already, but this one was a doozy (see opposite). In addition, I ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi February 17th 2019

The fact that I was stuck in a middle seat did not bother me, because my Air India flight could not have been any nicer. The seats were a good size, the sari-clad stewardesses were kind, and although it was only a two-hour flight they served us a decent lunch. America might think of itself as first world, but our domestic air service is strictly bottom of the barrel. It wasn’t until we landed that a little bit of India broke out. The passengers began pushing and shoving to get off of the plane almost from the moment it touched down. But once they got down to the pavement outside all they did was stand around and take selfies. After which they ambled slowly toward the airport terminal. Back home if someone pushed his way off ... read more
Mumbai Airport
Old City
Foot Traffic

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh February 13th 2019

Blog # 4 (February 13, 2019). Think Pink – It’s Jaipur. Did you know that Shampoo was invented in India in the 1700’s ? The word itself derives from the Hindi, “champo”, a fruit and herb extract for cleansing the hair. I contemplated this information as I showered this morning, as the shampoo in our hotel room was frickin’ awful. It was more like cold porridge than shampoo. It’s not as if they haven’t had a few hundred years to perfect the bloody stuff. Oh, well. We have just spent time in Jaipur, having flown from Jaisalmer on SpiceJet. (Their motto is “Red, Hot and Spicy”, but if this refers to their food, it really should be “Brown, Cold and Heinous”.) Upon arrival in Jaipur, we grabbed a pre-organised cab to our hotel. Jaipur is the ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh November 17th 2018

‘Varanasi is old than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together’ - Mark Twain Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh takes its name from its situation on the banks of the Ganges, on the confluence of two rivers, Varuna and Assi. It is said that the city rests on the trident of Lord Shiva thus imparting an incomparable energy into it. Known to devout Hindus as Kasha it is one of the oldest living cities in the world and is the aspiration of every devout Hindu to die at Kasha thus ensuring a direct passage into heaven. It is here where thousands of Hindu pilgrims immerse themselves in the sacred Ganges River every day of the year. This very sacred and vibrant spot ... read more
Sarnath Museum
 Lion Capital of Ashoka
Buddha from the 5th century

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra October 27th 2018

This morning I got up before dawn and was taken to the Taj Mahal to watch the sunrise. It was spectacular. The moon was (almost) full, so it was setting in the west as the sun rose in the east. I walked all around the building and we went inside, too, to see the graves. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj as a tomb and a monument to his wife Mumtaz Mahal after she died in childbirth. Husband and wife are both buried there. The tomb building and dome are symmetrical and pleasing to the eye, but the detail work on the walls is also remarkable. I think I mentioned the stone inlay work, but there are also masterfully carved reliefs and gorgeously intricate screens. I took many photos outside - no photos are ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra October 26th 2018

This has been a busy day. I saw a lot and have more pictures to share than I have space to show them. This morning I left Delhi early - we were on the road at 0700 - and my driver took me to Mathura, a city on the banks of the holy Yamuna River. I wanted to see an Indian ghat, a word that translates as “wharf”, but is used for many different activities. For example, the famous ghats in Varanasi (on the holy Ganges River) are used to cremate the dead and scatter ashes. I am not going to Varanasi, so I stopped here to see a ghat that is used by Hindu pilgrims to splash water on themselves and swim in the same place that the god Vishnu once did. From there we ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi September 28th 2018

Being a little cooler first thing in the morning we decided to get up early again today. I must admit that without knowing there was a boat waiting for us it was difficult but the call to prayers by the next door mosque at 5am helped wake us up. After finding someone to let us out of our guesthouse we wondered down to the Ghats to watch the morning goings on. The Ghats just north of the Manikarnika ghat (main burning ghat) were surprisingly quiet compared to those we rowed past at the same time to the south yesterday. There were a few men washing in the Ganges and a group having a religious service in an area at the back of the Ghat. Finding a place with a reasonable view we sat down to watch ... read more
Morning ceremony
Scales at Manikarnika Ghat
Main market.

Tot: 1.093s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 15; qc: 69; dbt: 0.0469s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb