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Delhi’s fascinating Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

01 Delhi Spice Market

My favorite market in Delhi was its spice market, which happens to be Asia’s largest spice market.  The market straddles Khari Baoli, a street near the Red Fort.  The street’s name is derived from ‘Baoli’, meaning step well, and ‘Khari’, meaning salty. 

The market dates to the 17th century.  Many of the shops have been in the families for a long time, some even run by the ninth- or tenth generations.

Like all good spice markets, Delhi’s is fragrant, colorful and tempting.  Besides a large variety of spices and herbs, you can buy other food items like nuts, tea, pasta and rice.  Everything is beautifully displayed.  

Delhi's Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Delhi’s Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Khari Baoli is extremely busy — lots of shoppers, traffic, and workers carrying heavy sacs of spices to …

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Amazing and Unforgettable — the Wiring of Old Delhi

07 Chandi Chowk Market (26)

Even though I’d heard about it, I wasn’t prepared for how chaotic the street wiring in Old Delhi is. There are many places in the old city where you’ll see spaghetti-like masses of live wiring that seem to be incapable of being untangled or understood, yet somehow Delhi electricians figure it out and keep the power flowing.  There seems no plan, no logic, no reason to it.  It just seems to have evolved like some hideous beast.

By far the worst that I experienced was the Chandi Chowk Market area.   It is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi and is not far from the Red Fort.  These photos were taken while walking those streets.

I think the photos are self-explanatory.  …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 22. 2019: Celebrating a Newborn, Rajasthan

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Enjoying a nice lunch in a restaurant that offered escape from the mid-day heat, we were attracted by the sound of music and a crowd gathering outside.   Everyone in our Rajasthan travel group headed out and had the opportunity to see this celebration.

Our guide explained that a child had been born in the village and this was a way of making a public announcement to that effect.  Notice in some of the photos a woman is carrying a baby’s crib on her head.  Mostly it’s a chance for people to dance and celebrate.

Any could join in the festivities and several from our group were soon taking part.  I did what I always do — watched and documented the experience with my …

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Faces of Wagah

Wagah Border, India & Pakistan (63)

The lowering of the flag ceremony at the Wagah Border, which you can read about here,  provided an excellent opportunity for people watching.  Sitting in the viewing stands for more than an hour gave me lots of time to look around and snap photos of the border guards and civilians in attendance.

Here’s some of what I saw that afternoon:

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

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A Memorable Trip to the Wagah-Attari Border

26 Wagah Border, India & Pakistan (195)

The flag lowering ceremony held at the Wagah border is among the more unusual festivities I’ve attended while traveling.  This border crossing is not far from the Sikh city of Amritsar which I’d visited for a few days, so I arranged for a car, driver and guide to take me to this event (recommended to me by someone who had lived in the region).

This is a daily ceremony done by the security forces of India (Border Security Force, BSF) and of Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers).  It can alternatively be viewed as a symbol of the two countries’ rivalry, or as one of cooperation depending on your philosophy (my perspective was that it was mostly one of rivalry, as the two nations …

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Delhi’s Largest Mosque. A visit to Jama Masjid

01 Jama Masjid, Delhi (16)

The great mosque of Old Delhi, said to be the largest in India, has a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 worshipers.  Construction on the mosque was begun in 1644 by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort; it was to be his last big architectural project.

The mosque adjoins the market area of Chawri Bazar.  It rests atop a small hill has three entry gates, four towers, and two 40 m-high minarets (one of which you can climb for a small fee).  The mosque faces west, towards Mecca.  It is constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble, and more than 5000 artisans worked on it.   The roof of the …

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Visiting the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, India

Khajuraho temples and town (97)

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.

India …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 9, 2018: A Rajasthani Potter and his Wife

03 Potter

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 …

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