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Visiting a Boy’s Home in Delhi

00 SBT SHELTER WALK

One of our tour group’s activities while in Delhi was to visit a Home for Boys, which we did early one winter morning.   The air was cool and crisp as we stepped off our bus and most of us zipped up our jackets.  We were met by one of the older boys from the home.  He greeted us and gave a brief history of the home before guiding us through the streets to visit it.   While I think the purpose of the walk was largely to let us see what life on these streets could be like, it would be impossible for any vehicle larger than a tuk-tuk to have navigated the maze we entered.
The Salaam Baalak

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A Day at Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

17 Humayun’s Tomb (54)

The building of Mughal Emperor Humayun’s tomb was actually undertaken in 1565 by his Persian-born widow, Hamida Banu Begum, nine years after the great man died.  She selected the site of the monument, on the banks of the Yamuna River, and the Persian architect who designed it.  The monument took seven years to build and shows a strong Persian influence, including it’s gardens divided into four parts by walkways or flowing water.  It was the first garden-tomb in India.

The massive mausoleum is constructed of red sandstone interspersed with white marble, while the inner tomb itself is made of marble. The platform of the mausoleum is 7 meters tall, while the height of the building’s impressive marble dome is 47 meters.  …

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Some Doors from Jojawar, India

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Jojawar is a fairly small community in the Rajasthan region of India.  We spent several days here and I really enjoyed this part of our trip.  It’s a more traditional community than many of the others we visited, with, for example many men in Jojawar having beards and wearing turbins — something you don’t see much of in India’s bigger cities anymore. 

 As I was sorting through my images from this community it became clear that there were many interesting doors in this small community, which is the theme of today’s blog.

I hope to share more stories from Jojawar with you in the future. 

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, January 10, 2020: Lassiwala in Jaipur

03 Lassiwala Yogurt shop, Jaipur

 ‘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 …

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Staying at Rawla Jojawar, India

05 Rawla Jojawar (12)

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. 

My room in the Rawla Jojawar

My room in the Rawla Jojawar

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 …

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A Day in the Chandni Chowk Market, Delhi

01 Chandi Chowk Market (17)

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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 29, 2019: Stumbling onto a Jain Parade, Delhi

00 Chandi Chowk Market (71)

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)

 

 

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Enjoying a Bicycle Rickshaw Ride in Chandi Chowk, Delhi

00 Chandi Chowk Market (51)

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 …

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