“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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Experiencing Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Delhi

00 Chadni Chow Gurudwara (27)

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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 26, 2019: Road Block in Southern Sri Lanka

Roadtrip, Southern Sri Lanka (29)

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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 21, 2019: Delhi Sweet Shop

00 Chandi Chowk Market (101)

In my experience it’s rare for people to want their photo to be taken by a tourist.  But the gentleman above was very proud of his job, and wanted me to photograph him cooking up treats in one of Delhi’s Sweets shops.  He was frying some pastries in a large pan of oil, scooping them out as they were ready.  When these were finished he poured in a bag of raw cashews, frying them as well.  

I’m quite cautious about eating street food in countries like India, a trait that has served me well over the years.  But I did buy a few of the cooked treats, which were quite good.  I’m sure they spiked my cholesterol level, but such are the …

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