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Khajuraho is a co-mingled grouping of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the temple collection is especially well-known for its erotic sculptures and architecture.
Most of the temples in Khajuraho were built between 950 and 1050 AD during the Chandela dynasty. It’s thought that the grouping consisted of 85 temples when the region reached its peak of activity in the 12th century; currently only 25 temples remain. These temples vary tremendously in size from tiny to enormous! The most visited temple, Kandariya Mahadev, has an area of about 6,500 square feet and a spire that rises 116 feet. The temples all face the rising sun and are built near water.
It was most helpful having a good guide while in India because we got to see and experience a variety of things we otherwise wouldn’t have. An example was a stop at one of our guide’s friend’s homes while in a small village in Rajasthan.
As part of our education about the Caste system of India, wherein people are born into certain groups or Castes, our guide explained this man was born into the lower Sudra (labor) cast. He was a potter, just like generations of his ancestors before had been.
The potter adeptly demonstrated his ability to mold wet clay into usable vessels, like drinking cups and small bowls. The drinking cups we were especially familiar with as we had a …
Built more than 350 years ago, Jama Masjid remains the largest mosque in Delhi and is able to accommodate up to 25,000 for prayers. Situated on a hill in the old city, it’s one of the more popular tourist attractions in Delhi.
One of the people taking care of the mosque also looked after the large population of pigeons that flew around the minarets and dome. He provided a large amount of grain and water to feed them, and carefully looked after their grain with a hand broom, keeping it in a neat pile.
Pet-keeper of the mosque, so to speak.
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There’ s no place quite like Delhi! A large sprawling city with a population of about twenty million (itself more populous than many countries!), it is bustling with commerce of all types but mostly of the small street vendor to consumer variety.
As many of you know, I collect “signs”. Delhi was a little challenging in this regard. Many of the signs were crafted in Hindi, which I can’t read, but there were a fairly large number that were bilingual or created in English (with tourists and expats in mind, I assume). It is these I tended to photograph.
As with most things about Delhi, like its noise, traffic, crowding, filth and smells, the signage can be overwhelming to the senses. Often …
There’s no place quite like India and within that country, nothing quite like Delhi. I’m fond of (most) Indian people and enjoyed my visit there, but the country is an assault on your senses. The noise, the terrible traffic, millions of people swarming about and, of course, the unforgettable smells.
I spent a week in Delhi and to get the most out of my time hired a car with driver and a guide. It’s not that expensive and I got a lot out of the experience and was able to see much more this way than if I had done it on my own. I enjoyed the time to look out the passenger window and take in the many sights of …
Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden of about 6.5 acres which is approached through a narrow walkway. Here you’ll find assorted monuments and memorials to a tragic event, a sad episode while under British rule. The events of this day were among those that began India’s march to independence.
On April 13, 1919 (which happened to be ‘Baisakhi’, one of Punjab’s largest religious festivals) thousands of people gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh to peacefully and non-violently protest the arrest of two community leaders, despite a curfew being in effect. On the order of General Reginald Dyer (who later claimed he was facing a revolutionary army), and without any warning, 50 British troops fired about 1650 rounds on the crowd for ten …
Jantar Mantar is a walled astronomical observation compound which adjoins the Royal Palace of Jaipur. It’s home to a collection of astronomical instruments — many massive — and was built in the eighteenth century by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh. The site was completed in 1734 and is an interesting hybrid of masonry, brass and science. Although it was abandoned in the 19th century and fell into disrepair, the site has been restored and is well preserved (the best in India). It is notable for being home to the world’s largest stone sundial, but I found all the instruments to be interesting.
Even a non-sophisticated or lay astronomer can have a sense of wonder at complexity of the instrumentation, and …
The people of India are as varied as those of any other land. Most are Hindu, some Muslim, some Christian. Some tall, some short, some thin — you get the idea. It’s true most have darkly pigmented skin, but the facial structure and especially its ornamentation were fascinating to me.
Here’s a sample of what I encountered during my visit….
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