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There are many great markets in Dubai, with no lack of opportunity for shopping. Some markets, like the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Mall, are modern and could be found in almost any city in the world. Others are uniquely Arab, including the original and traditional outdoor markets, like the spice and textile souks.
The Souk Madinat Jumeirah is sort of a hybrid of these concepts, a re-creation of an Arab market but with modern amenities, set by the sea, adjoining the lovely Burj Al Arab hotel. The place is quite lovely, with traditional wind-towers and sand colored construction. Shops and restaurants of a great variety are available, …
‘Lassiwala’ is an Indian term for someone who makes lassi, a thick sweetened yogurt beverage. This particular shop in Jaipur is the best known in the city and is considered by some to have the finest lassi in India. It has been visited by politicians, celebrities and many thousands of tourists. LassiWala has been serving its famous drink for over 70 years.
We visited the shop very early one morning, just after dawn. The place already had several people waiting for their drink, which is scooped from a large bowl when ordered. The beverage is cool, frothy, refreshing and delicious.
Lassi is served in hand made red clay cups (mitti ka kulhad) of the kind so common in Rajasthan. Once used, the cup is …
One of the joys of traveling in India is to indulge a little and spend a night or two in one of the country’s Heritage Hotels. These are historic accomodations, often nicely refurbished, each unique in some way.
Rawla Jojawar was once a small fort whose construction dates to the 18th century. Rawla means ‘abode of the local chieftan’; Jojawar is the name of the town in which it’s located. This fort was converted into a Heritage Hotel and is run by the family of the Chieftan who lived here in the late 1700s. The hotel opened in 2001.
The Rawla is quite lovely, and a calm and relaxing place to stay. The grounds are beautifully and carefully landscaped, and the Rajasthani cuisine served …
When I last visited Nuwara Eliya, situated high in the mountains of Sri Lanka’s tea country, I made a point of seeing some of the local sights. One of the my friends and traveling companions, a devout Catholic, wanted to visit St. Xavier’s Catholic Church, which I’m glad we did because it is quite lovely.
The church’s construction was begun in 1838, and it was completed over a 10 year period. It’s still a lovely building, a brown color with colonial architecture, so it fits in well with the overall appearance of the town.
The interior of the church is bright and cheery, and has some interesting mementos of the Saint it’s named for.
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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.
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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 …