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Lovely Udaipur, the City of Lakes, is said to be one of the romantic destinations in the world. The city has long been under the rule of a royal family, the House of Mewar, the world’s longest serving dynasty. Visiting the City Palace, historic home of the family (and where they still live) is a highlight of a visit to Udaipur. If, like me, you enjoy classic cars, a chance to see the Royal car collection is an opportunity not to be missed.
After finishing with our visit to and lunch at the City Palace, several of us headed to the Vintage and Classic Car Collection which opened to the public in 2000. All the vehicles on display — just under two dozen …
There is little question that Mahatma Gandhi is the father of modern India. We’ve previously looked at the home — the old Birla house — in which Gandhi lived the last months of his life; it was on the grounds of this home that he was assassinated. Today we visit another important site in Gandhi’s life, Raj Ghat. This post takes the story a step further, discussing what happened to Mahatma Gandhi’s remains after he was killed.
Gandhi’s body was washed and wrapped in fresh white cloth. He lay at the old Birla House for a less than a day, surrounded and covered by flower petals in the Hindi manner. From here, a massive procession moved Gandhi’s body to …
Gandhi Smriti is situated in the old Birla House, a neoclassical mansion with spacious grounds located in an upscale neighborhood of New Delhi. It was one of my favorite stops in Delhi.
Gandhi Smriti is a sacred place. It is here that the father of India, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated in 1948. Gandhi had wanted to live in the Delhi slums with his people, but was talked into staying at this home as many foreign dignitaries would be visiting him and it seemed a more appropriate environment for entertaining VIPs than the slums. Despite living in a lavish home, Gandhi maintained his simple lifestyle in a small corner of one room. He lived here from 9 September 1947 until three point …
While traveling across rural Rajasthan, en route from Jaipur to Udaipur, our guide stopped the bus beside a farm. The point of the stop was for us to see how a water wheel is still used in agriculture. There was a large metallic mechanism beside the road apparently connected to a water wheel; after a chat with the farmer, a pair of oxen were attached to the steel bar and we were shown how the water wheel worked.
This type of water wheel is called a sakia, or Persian wheel (although it likely was invented in India around 300 BC). The device is designed to lift water from a well using buckets or scoops connected to an endless belt activated by …
In a crowded, congested city of 17 million, green spaces are very important and much appreciated by the residents. The lovely Lodi Garden in New Delhi, India, offers lots of free space for people to enjoy. Here you have a chance to walk, jog, do yoga, have a picnic and play. We arrived fairly early on a drizzly morning and the park was almost deserted. Of course a little rain never stopped me from exploring. The drizzle dried up within an hour and then the crowds started to arrive. But not before I got to see a nearly empty park with lovely palm-tree lined walks. My first impressions lingered — this was to be one of my favorite destinations …
Most of the inhabitants of our planet have very different shopping patterns from those living in the developed countries. They do not buy their groceries at Safeway, Costco or Tesco, but at local markets in their neighborhoods. Sometimes these markets have a series of small shops but often they are open air markets like the one I recently visited in Delhi.
There are dozens of vendors at some of the larger food markets in India, most with a unique product or small series of products (for example, the “onion and garlic” or “apple and orange” vendor, and so on). Sometimes you’ll find four or five vendors side-by-side selling exactly the same fruit or vegetable for exactly the same price. How does …
Before my visit I’d never formed a mental picture of India as being a particularly colorful place, although I’m sure it has natural areas in the mountains and along the coast that are lovely. Natural beauty was not my experience when traveling around northern India in February. I found the areas near Delhi and Rajasthan to be exceedingly dirty, dusty and gray-brown. The plants were coated in dirt, parched and most had lost their leaves, the monsoon still months away. It would be interesting to see the region again after cleansing and rejuvenating summer rains, but I have no desire to visit when India’s temperatures are around 50 C and the humidity approaches 100%. (Note: The weather in February was absolutely …
One of the great new landmarks in Delhi is the Lotus Temple, built during 1980-1986 at a cost 10 million rupee. The Temple is shaped like the lotus flower, its 27 petals made of concrete cores clad in a layer of white marble. The marble is surprisingly not of Indian origin (the beautiful Taj Mahal is constructed of beautiful white Indian marble), but rather from Mt. Penteli in Greece. The architect was an Iranian-Canadian, Fariborz Sahba, and the building has won numerous architectural awards.
The temple is set amidst pools and gardens. It was built by the Bahai faith and is the only Bahai Temple in Asia. This Temple is open to people of all faiths, and has no idols of any …