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One of the oldest markets in Delhi — and perhaps the busiest in all of Asia — is Chandni Chowk, which is close to Delhi’s Red Fort. The market was, in fact, originally designed in the 17th century by Mogul Shah Jahan (who was later to build the Taj Mahal) so that his favorite daughter would have a place to shop near their home in the Red Fort. The shopping area originally had around 1600 shops, but has been completely rebuilt over the centuries and is now an extensive and expansive market area.
Chandni Chowk’s market is known for is its great variety and authenticity: food (especially street food and sweets), clothing (sarees, suits), electronic items, shoes, books, jewelry, car parts …
While walking the streets of Old Delhi, we encountered this unexpected parade. A group of people playing instruments, carrying a few floats, and seeming to have a good time.
Our guide told us that it was a parade of Jains — people adherent to the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. I don’t know much about the faith except that along with Hinduism and Buddhism, it is one of the oldest religions in Asia, dating to the 6th century.
There are many festivals in the Jain faith and we thought it likely was a celebration of one of these. Unfortunately I’ll never know.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)
It seems as though any type of transportation is acceptable on the streets of Old Delhi. Very common are bicycle rickshaws — a three-wheeled bike with a bench that holds two passengers. I’d never been on one of these contraptions until visiting Old Delhi where they are very popular because they are reasonably mobile on the crowded streets. And they’re quite cheap to hire (more so for locals than to tourists).
We spent the better part of an hour in the rickshaw, although given how bad traffic was, really didn’t get as far as you might think. Cattle roam the streets freely, although some are used to pull carts. The streets and sidewalks are absolutely filthy and smelled as bad …
A visit to Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib was my first to a Sikh temple. I was very impressed by what I saw — especially by the kind hearts of the people who spend substantial time and money serving others.
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib is one of the nine historical Gurdwaras (places of Sikh worship) in Delhi. It was originally constructed in 1783 by Baghel Singh to commemorate the martyrdom site of the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, who was beheaded here by the Mughal emperor in 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam. After some back and forth about whether the site was Muslim or Sikh, the British colonial government ruled in favor of the Sikhs, and the current facilities were …
Columbo’s Fort District is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Developed extensively during the British Colonial era, a visit to many areas in the Fort seems like stepping back a century or more. Many of its hotels, shops and offices date to this period. To this day it remains the city’s center of business and is home to the Bank of Ceylon headquarters and Ceylon Stock Exchange.
The Fort District was built around Colombo’s fine harbor and it is here you will find the Maritime Museum, lighthouse, and Naval barracks. The area is also site of the country’s Presidential residency and some branches of the country’s government offices. The area is not exclusively a slice of old England. For example, the Old Dutch …
Situated on Sri Lanka’s east coast, the small city of Batticaloa was all but neglected by tourists until the country’s Civil War ended a few years ago. Fortunately for the region, that’s changing and valuable tourist dollars are flowing in.
Most people who visit Batticaloa go to see its historic fort, which I’ve previously discussed. The city is situated on the Indian Ocean, to which it is connected by a series of lagoons, and there are many great scenes to enjoy from the water.
Below are some scenes from the city’s waterfront, including of its harbor including fishermen bridges and the city’s lighthouses….
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Nuwara Eliya is unlike most of the destinations you’re likely to visit in Sri Lanka. Situated in the Hill Country at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) , the city is at the heart of Sri Lanka’s important tea growing industry. It’s also the country’s most important center for vegetable growth. In fact, the farm land on which vegetables are grown is more expensive than much of the land in nation’s capital of Colombo.
The city was developed by the British during the period of Colonial occupation in the 19th century. Besides its importance as a tea growing area to the British, the cool temperate climate appealed to them as it was similar to that back home. Nuwara Eliya …
It’s not every road trip you find your traffic lane blocked by a wild elephant. But that’s exactly what happened to us when driving in Southern Sri Lanka, on our way from a safari in Yala National Park
I was sitting in the back seat when my driver started braking and gesticulating about the road obstruction ahead. After a glance, I quickly grabbed my camera and started snapping away — not ideal photography circumstances, but that’s often how it goes.
There blocking our lane stood an elephant, interacting with passengers in a small bus in the opposite lane. I’m not sure what was going on — whether he wanted some food (most likely), or just to interact with the people.
I have a …