.All Trips / Asia / India

Some Faces from India


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….

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



“Pic of the Week”, May 19, 2017: Grand Mosque, Dubai

01 Dubai Grand Mosque

Dubai’s Grand Mosque is situated in the Bur Dubai neighborhood of the old city, close to Dubai Creek, the Dubai Museum and the textile souk.  The original mosque at the site was built in 1900, rebuilt in 1960, with further remodeling in 1998 to produce the building you see today.  It can accommodate over a thousand worshipers.  Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter, except to its minaret.

There two interesting architectural features of the mosque.  One of these is the 70-metre (230 ft) minaret, the tallest in Dubai.  The other are the 54 domes of the roof (45 small, 9 larger domes).

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

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“Pic of the Week”, May 5, 2017: Yatala Vehera, Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka


Situated in southeastern Sri Lanka, close to Yala National Park, is the town of Tissamaharama.  As we were driving through this town we came across an obviously old stupa that our guide knew only as “the ancient stupa”.  We stopped and looked around it, although there was no one around to ask for further information.

When I returned I did a little research, and it has an interesting history.  The stupa is named  Yatala Vehera, and was built about 2300 years ago by then King Mahanaga, as a token thanks for the birth of his son (and it functioned as a safe retreat).  It was crafted with a wall of sculpted elephants facing in all directions, as if forming …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

Some Doors of India

Doors of India (43)

India is a fascinating destination with an amazing assortment of places and experiences in which you can indulge yourself during your visit.   The country is large, but it’s often the attention to smaller details that interests me most.  As many of you know, I like to keep an eye on signs and doors when I travel.

I’ve never been to a place that had a greater diversity of doors than India — ranging from monstrous elaborate affairs protecting the entry to a castle, to simple doors in small homes.  I believe the largest doors I’ve ever seen in my life were on some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India.

Here then are a look at some of the doors of …

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.All Trips / Asia / Car Culture / India

Vintage & Classic Royal Car Collection, Udaipur


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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 3, 2017: Raj Ghat, India

The Last Journey of Mahatma Gandhi – February 1948 (5)

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 …

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Gandhi Smriti, New Delhi

02 Gandhi Smriti

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 …

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Ox-Drawn Water Wheel, Rajasthan


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 …

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