Monday, July 13, 2015

The Red Fort, Agra

The Red Fort is where Shah Jahan ruled in the 17th century and where he was imprisoned by his son until his death.  The fort was built by Akbar between 1565 and 1573.  Good views of the Taj in the distance and the surrounding country side.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

South India, India 2015

Arriving in Kerala we transferred immediately to a house boat for two days of exploring the waterways north of Kochi, with excursions on the shore to see various sites.  The "South India on the Water" is a photo story of the sites from these two days on the water, and "Kochi" is a story from the sightseeing in Kochi itself.  This area is strikingly different than the other parts of India that we had toured earlier.  Very tropical, lots of tea, spices, banana trees, rice fields; beautiful flowers and birds; not as littered as some other areas we had seen; and a number of Christian churches from the heritage of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British.  We visited a synagogue but were not allowed to photograph.  We were also not allowed to photograph inside the Dutch Palace and this contained spectacular wall paintings illustrating the Hindu mythology.  The classical Indian dance was tremendously arresting, colorful and powerful.

South India on the Water

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Taj Majal, India 2015

One of the iconic monuments  we visited in India was the Taj Mahal in Agra.  We viewed it in varying lights, in the evening from across the Yamuna river, in the morning, where the plan was to be there at sunrise but the skies were overcast and it rained so we came a little later than originally planned.  Anticipating the visual scene in the minds eye (and from photos) did not prepare us for the overarching impact of the actual building.  It is highly elegant and simple and at the same time imposingly large.  It is a really large structure with incredibly delicate decorations.

We also visited the "little Taj," Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb.  This tomb was built over six years starting in 1622 and served as a model for the Taj.  Photos are included of this tomb in the photo story below.

Both tombs are in a garden setting on the Yamuna river and sit on a raised platform that enhances the visual impact.

Taj Mahal

Monday, July 6, 2015

On the Road, India 2015

During our recent trip to India we spent a lot of time traveling from city-to-city and attraction-to-attraction, mostly by bus but also by air and train.  There were many striking images of the people of India in diverse activities and we often stopped and talked with the people or observed their activity, sometimes with a demonstration(especially for our group).  The photos collected in the following story are gathered from these encounters and observations.  There were of course many other striking scenes in the specific cities and attractions that are included under those stories, not here.

On the road