I travelled to India in December 2015. This page is a short story of my trip. You can see below a couple of maps that show where I went… it feels like I still have a lot to explore!
DUSTY, BUSY, CRAZY DELHI.
KIDS AT THE RAJ GHAT MEMORIAL
Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi‘s cremation, Antyesti (Antim Sanskar) on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi in India on Ring Road officially known as Mahatma Gandhi Road.
FACES OF DELHI
A Sikh (Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖ) is a follower of Sikhism, a monotheistic dharma which originated during the 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent.
The five Ks (panj kakaar) are five articles of faith which all baptized Sikhs (Amritdhari Sikhs) are obliged to wear. The symbols represent the ideals of Sikhism: honesty, equality, fidelity, meditating on God and never bowing to tyranny. The five symbols are:
– Kesh: Uncut hair, usually tied and wrapped in a Dastar
– Kanga: A wooden comb, usually worn under a Dastar
– Kachera: Cotton undergarments, historically appropriate in battle due to increased mobility when compared to a dhoti. Worn by both sexes, the kachera is a symbol of chastity.
– Kara: An iron bracelet, a weapon and a symbol of eternity
– Kirpan: An iron dagger in different sizes.
The role of women in Sikhism is outlined in the Sikh scriptures, which state that women are equal to men.
ON THE WAY TO KHANDELA
Khandela is a city in the Sikar district of the Indian state of Rajasthan.
HOTEL CASTLE KHANDELA
That hotel was a little wonder.
It doesn’t look like it but it was about 0 degrees at night and the marble of the rooms I stayed in was only making it worse. But waking up to this makes you forget you’ve been freezing all night.
FACES OF KHANDELA
FACES OF NAWALGARTH
Nawalgarh (Hindi: नवलगढ़, Rajasthani: नौलगढ) is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Indian state Rajasthan. It is part of the Shekhawati region and is midway between Jhunjhunu and Sikar. Nawalgarh is famous for its fresco and havelis and considered as Golden City of Rajasthan. It is also the motherland of some great business families of India.
PAINTINGS OF MAHARAJAS
Mahārāja (Sanskrit: महाराज, also spelled maharajah) is a Sanskrit title for a “great ruler“, “great king“ or “high king“. Rana or Maharana is an equivalent title. The female equivalent, Maharani (or Maharanee, Mahārājñī), denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or Maharana, and also in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right the equivalent title was Maharani.
On the eve of independence in 1947, India (including present day Pakistan & Bangladesh) contained more than 600 princely states, each with its own ruler, often styled Raja or Rana or Thakur (if the ruler were Hindu) or Nawab (if he were Muslim), with a host of less current titles as well.
The title of Maharaja was not as common before the gradual British colonization of India, upon and after which many Rajas and otherwise styled Hindu rulers were elevated to Maharajas, regardless of the fact that scores of these new Maharajas ruled small states, sometimes for some reason unrelated to the eminence of the state, for example support in World War I or World War II.
The word haveli is derived from Arabic haveli, meaning “an enclosed place“ or “private space“ popularised under Mughal Empire and was devoid of any architectural affiliations. Later, the word haveli came to be used as generic term for various styles of regional mansions, townhouse and temples found in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangaldesh.
In the northern part of India. havelis for Lord Krishna are prevalent with huge mansion like constructions. The havelis are noted for their frescoes depicting images of gods, goddesses, animals, scenes from the British colonization, and the life stories of Lords Rama and Krishna.
Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary. A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even, possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world to be seen from a comfortable apartment high in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio or Rome — there’s no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment. Theologians, sky pilots, astronauts have even felt the appeal of home calling to them from up above, in the cold black outback of interstellar space.
–Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire
BEAUTIFUL MORNING LIGHT, ON THE WAY TO BIKANER
(Yes, there is both, a camel and an elephant on the second picture. And yes, they do hold a toothbrush on the third one; couldn’t tell which toothpaste they use though.)
Junagarh Fort (Rajasthani: जुनाग्द क़िला) is a fort in the city of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. The fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or “Old Fort“ in the early 20th century when the ruling family moved to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop. The modern city of Bikaner has developed around the fort.
FACES FROM BIKANER
KARNI MATA TEMPLE
There is something that my pictures don’t tell here. 1) That temple was swarming with rats (dead and alive), making the place incredibly dirty. 2) You are supposed to walk barefoot. That’s probably why the woman on the right looks disgusted.
LUNCH IN NAGAUR OR AHHICHATRAGARH FORT
Nagaur Fort was one of the first Muslim strongholds in northern India and one of the finest examples of Rajput-Mughal architecture. Built in the early 12th century and repeatedly altered over subsequent centuries, it witnessed many battles. Underwent major renovations in 2007. 90 fountains are now running in the gardens and buildings. The fort’s buildings and spaces, both external and internal, serve as venue, stage and home to a Sufi Music Festival.
FURRY FRIENDS FROM MANDORE GARDENS, JODHPUR
The gardens house the Chhatris (cenotaphs) of many rulers of Jodhpur state.
SADAR BAZAR, JODHPUR
Sadar Bazaar is known as one of the vibrant market in Jodhpur.
The Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph located in Jodhpur, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, and serves as the burial ground for the rulers of Marwar. The mausoleum is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These sheets are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when illuminated by the sun. The cenotaph‘s grounds feature carved gazebos, a tiered garden, and a small lake.
Mehrangarh Fort (Hindi: मेहरानगढ़ का किला) (Sindhi: مهراڻ ڳڙهه), located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India. Built around 1460 by Rao Jodha, the fort is situated 410 feet (125 m) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. A winding road leads to and from the city below.
RAJASTHANI VILLAGE NEAR KHEJARLA
HOTEL PUSHKAR PALACE
I only stayed for lunch so I can’t say much about the rooms. But from outside, the hotel was incredibly beautiful. It is located next to the Pushkar Lake, a sacred lake of the Hindus.
The Hindu scriptures describe as it as “Tirtha-Raj“ – the king of pilgrimage sites related to a water-body and relate it to the mythology of the creator-god Brahma, whose most prominent temple stands in Pushkar.
FACES OF PUSHKAR
Pushkar (Hindi: पुष्कर) is a town in the Ajmer district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage site) for devout Hindus. However, most of the temples are not very old because many of them were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Pushkar is also famous for its annual fair (Pushkar Camel Fair) held in November.
JAIPUR, THE PINK CITY
Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh, the ruler of Amer after whom the city is named. As of 2011, the city has a population of 6.66 million, making it the tenth most populous city in the country. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India.
AMBER FORT AND CITY PALACE OF JAIPUR
Amer Fort (Hindi: आमेर क़िला, also spelled and pronounced as Amber Fort and Amber Palace) is located in Amer, a town located 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur. Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake.
THE CARPET MAKERS
India is an explosion of sensory experiences. It is overwhelming. You must accept and embrace it, and then you might come to enjoy it. In India, if someone blows their horn at you, it’s merely another form of communication.
Fatehpur Sikri (Hindi: फ़तेहपुर सीकरी, Urdu: فتحپور سیکری) is a city in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India Previously city name was Vijaypur Sikari of Sikarwar Rajput clan later city was founded in 1569 by the Emperor, Akbar, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. After his military victories over Chittor and Ranthambore, Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra to a new location 23 miles (37 km) W.S.W on the Sikri ridge, to honour the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Here he commenced the construction of a planned walled city which took the next fifteen years in planning and construction of a series of royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. He named the city, Fatehabad, with Fateh, a word of Arabic origin in Persian, meaning “victorious.” it was later called Fatehpur Sikri. It is at Fatehpur Sikri that the legends of Akbar and his famed courtiers, the nine jewels or Navaratnas, were born. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved collections of Indian Mughal architecture in India.
THE ONE EVERYBODY ADMIRES, THE TAJ MAHAL
The Taj Mahal, Persian for “Crown of Palaces“, is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1658), to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 42-acre complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.
PEOPLE FROM AGRA
VIEW FROM THE RED FORT
The Red Fort was the residence of the Mughal emperor of India for nearly 200 years, until 1857. It is located in the centre of Delhi and houses a number of museums. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political centre of Mughal government and the setting for events critically impacting the region.
BACK IN DELHI
It’s the end! Hope you enjoyed following me around India!Emmanuel