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If there’s anything more colorful than a wedding in India, I’m not sure what that would be. It’s uncommon for a group of tourists to be invited to a wedding celebration; this unique opportunity arose because our tour guide was a good friend of the groom, hence the invite.
Indian weddings are still mostly arranged affairs, the parents picking appropriate mates for their children. I personally believe that marriage for love is better, but the Indians are happy with their system and it seems to fairly work well for them. Marriages in India are as stable as those anywhere in the world.
We arrived at the rented venue, part of a total of about 250 people ultimately attending. We were invited to …
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. …
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)
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 …
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 …