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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Uttar Pradesh, India

Oct 31, 2016 - Agra

Today was a busy day as we got up early to go see the sunrise at the Taj Mahal. We took an insane amount of pictures because of its magnificence and because it was the Taj Mahal. What can you say but it must have been true love to build the Taj Mahal as a tomb for a favorited wife. After the Taj Mahal we visited the Red Fort in Agra. Also pretty impressive but not in the league of the Taj Mahal. However the shah that built the Taj Mahal was put under house arrest in the Red Fort for 35 yeas after he was deposed by his third son. He had some...

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Oct 25, 2016 - Varanasi - Le Gange Sacré

Voici le lien à l'album photos en ligne / Link to the online photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/5W9Zv9wS6aritLpeA Si vous en avez assez des réincarnations, c'est à Varanasi, sur les rives du Gange, qu'il faut venir pousser votre dernier soupir. Ou du moins, vous faire incinérer. Dans cette ville sacrée de l'hindouisme, tout est plongé dans la spiritualité jusqu'au cou. Les journées commencent tôt à Varanasi, cité autrefois baptisée Bénarès, et chérie des hippies pendant les années 60 et 70. Dès le lever du soleil, vers 5h, la ville se met...

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Oct 22, 2016 - Agra et son Taj Mahal

Voici le lien à l'album photos en ligne / Link to the online photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/yDMYvoqKC3WX4xEi6 Nous voici maintenant à Agra. L'excitation est à son comble car nous allons finalement voir de nos yeux l'une des merveilles du monde architectural: Le Taj Mahal. Le Tāj Mahal qui signifie « le palais de la couronne » en persan, est situé au bord de la rivière Yamunâ, dans l'État de l'Uttar Pradesh, en Inde. C'est un mausolée de marbre blanc construit par l'empereur moghol musulman Shâh Jahân en mémoire de son épouse Arjumand...

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Jan 22, 2016 - The Taj Mahal and the Art of Camping

After a surprisingly user-friendly train from Delhi, we arrived in Agra, home of the most romantic wonder of the world: the Taj Mahal. I'll cut to the chase - it's magnificent. The sheer size, the pure white marble, the intricate detail, the creative architecture, the love story behind it (actually, to be honest, Mumtaz Mahal sounds like she was quite the demanding woman). The thousands of other tourists only prove how magnetic this place is, rather than spoil the experience. We were even lucky enough to eavesdrop on a tour group, so we got...

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Jan 14, 2016 - The limits of tourism

Our last day in Varanasi began well before sunrise. About seven of us gathered for a brief walk from the hotel to a waiting boat on the Ganges. Few people were out. Homeless families were waking up, the women and kids huddled for comfort and security. It was too early for begging. It was difficult to witness little girls with next to nothing, not even clean faces, who likely would never have more than what they had that moment, and who perhaps would have even less whether dignity or well being should they survive into womanhood. A morning...

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Jan 11, 2016 - Jim has a cow

Explicit content follows. Use discretion. We arrived in Varanasi after an overnight train from Agra. Typical train, though we were treated to the efforts of two members of the Indian National Snoring Team. This is why we always carry earplugs. The tuk tuk from the train station to the hotel was more hectic than most. We were last to arrive. Our room was OK, though we had to ask for a second towel and Jim asked to have the floor swept as he objects to black hair. After the first hot shower in a few days and a decent lunch, we had a walk...

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Jan 10, 2016 - Accidents of English and unfortunate western influences

One's first reaction to a sign promoting "child beer" is to have images either of a Charles Dickens type child infested sweatshop brewery or very small servings. Then one sounds out the letters and considers intent. What we have is "chilled beer." Ah, no evil whatsoever. India being a former colony and still in the Commonwealth, English is a second language for anyone with more than elementary education. Still one will see adverts for hair saloons, chocolate souse, and a myriad of fun and interesting products. One restaurant claims to have...

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Jan 9, 2016 - Shopping

Mo has done the majority of shopping and buying. This is not to say Jim has no interest, it's just that he has a much narrower range of interest. Mo's first major purchase was from a Co-op. In that shop, items were made by local villagers, and 70% of profit was guaranteed for the crafts person. Mo did not bargain. Next was a set of custom hot weather outfits previously mentioned. Most recent was a rug from an Agra factory. Rugs are hand woven according to a factory design in a nearby village from Australian or New Zealand wool. The weavers...

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Nov 4, 2015 - Taj Mahal and Agra illness

With great anticipation we arrived in Agra, ready to tick one of the world's wonders off our list, the Taj Mahal. Built in the 1600's by the Mughal Shah Jahan for his wife, who died in childbirth of their 14th child, the Taj is arguably the most stunning mausoleum in the world. The stunning exterior did not disappoint, with its gleaming white imported marble, architectural details designed to inspire (e.g. stripes widening at the top to look more symmetrical from the ground), and inlay of precious and semi-precious stones. Unfortunately,...

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Oct 23, 2015 - Surviving India 101: Varanasi

Can I just start by saying that both Fran and I were a bit “skerd” of India? We’ve been to over 100 countries and while India has tons to see and do, it has remained way far down on our travel list. Why? Well, we’ve basically heard that everyone gets sick in India; I seem to have poor defenses and a myriad of illness to my name, so I’m pretty much guaranteed to get sick as well. And I don’t just get sick, I always do it up in style, big ones like pneumonia and campylobacteria and giardia and my newly aquired, dengue fever. You know that you...

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Jul 28, 2015 - Aarti ochtend ceremonie

We zijn op reis en niet met vakantie. Dat gevoel kreeg ik wel toen we om kwart voor vijf werden gewekt om naar de Aarti ochtend ceremonie te gaan bekijken. We hadden het de avond daarvoor bij zonsondergang gezien en dan is het niet af als je het niet ook met zonsopgang meemaakt. We gingen met onze eigen bus, want‘smorgens vroeg mogen bussen verder de binnenstad in. Geen riksja of Tuktuk op de vroege morgen. Die zijn wel makkelijk te krijgen om die tijd. Veel van die mannen slapen in hun bakkie. Het laatste stuk gingen we deze keer lopen en...

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Jul 27, 2015 - Brandstapels in Varanassi

Wat voor de Moslims Mekka is, is voor de Boeddhisten/Hindoes Varanasi. Het is dé heilige stad en pelgrims uit alle delen van India en de wereld willen hier in ieder geval één keer in hun leven zijn geweest. Als het te regelen en te betalen is willen ze hier gecremeerd worden en hun as in de rivier de Ganges laten strooien. Er zijn voor buitenlandse Boeddhisten en die uit verre Indiase windstreken aparte tempels vlak bij of aan de Ganges. Zelfs voor Nepali, die hier politiek gezien toch niet zo geliefd zijn. Varanasi is echt weer een grote...

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