Sunday, February 5, 2017

City Palace Jaipur India

The City Palace includes several buildings and courtyards and is located in central Jaipur. The exterior wall was built by Jai Singh II. The complex was built over many years.

 The stunning pink colour was in honour of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. The colour has been associated with Jaipur known as the "Pink City."

The attractive entrance gate is reserved for officials.

The Chandra Mahal is the major seven-story building containing paintings and mirrors. Descendents of the former rulers of Jaipur live in the palace, which also serves as a museum.

The place of greeting the public (Diwan-i-Aam) is an attractive building with a marble floor and armoury.

A close look reveals the attention to details of the artisans.

There is a fee to enter the complex.

Amber Palace and Fort Jaipur India

The Amber Palace and Fort are the premier attractions when visiting Jaipur. They are located in the town of Amer, which is 11 kilometres from Jaipur within the state of Rajasthan.

Tourists can wait in long lines to ride an elephant to the hilltop entrance, which yields a colourful and majestic view from the parapets.

According to the sign, the palace was completed by 1599 over a period of 25 years.

Buildings within the complex include living spaces, meeting rooms, and a mirror palace.

The gardens are constantly maintained.

The hilly region adds to the sense of grandeur.

A short video clip provides an overview of the Fort from the street level and includes the music of a snake charmer.

There is a fee to enter the Fort.
There is a fee to ride the elephants; however, our tour group informed us they did not support this use of the elephants so we rode up in jeeps.
There is a small gift shop near the entrance.
Vendors are everywhere.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Fatehpur Sikri India

Fatehpur Sikri (City of Victory) was bulit by Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century. It is located west of Agra and includes monuments and places of worship. It was the capital of the Mughal empire between 1569 and 1585. Unfortunately, it was abandoned because of a lack of adequate water.

A close look reveals detailed artistic work especially visible in the hall where official business was conducted.

Throne pillar

Several buildings housed the emperor's women- he was said to have as many as 5,000 wives and other women (e.g., their maidservants) in his harem. Women were accumulated from those kings and nobles he defeated. Other women were gifts.

One structure was likely home to a favorite wife, Sultana Ruqayya Begum and contains beautiful artwork in the wall panels.

Panchmahal, wind catcher, a place to keep cool. It is connected to the harem on the third floor.

Here's a picture of part of the outdoor Parchesis game board.

Jama Masjid Delhi India

Jama Masjid is the largest Mosque in India. It is located in Old Delhi.  The courtyard is large enough for 25,000 people. Construction began in 1644 and was organised by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort at Agra.

There are three gates, four towers, and two minarets, each 40 metres tall.

At the top of the steps, those who wish to enter must remove their shoes.

And women are to don provided robes, which creates a photo op for Westerners.

Close ups reveal the artistry in sandstone and marble.

A link to more information

A small fee is charged for photography but there is no charge to enter the Mosque.
A youth expects a tip for minding your shoes.
Outside is the Chawri Bazaar, which we toured via pedal Rickshaw following our visit to the Mosque.

Mahatma Ghandhi Assassination Site Delhi

This is the memorial to the life of Mahatma Ghandi at the home in Delhi, India where he was assassinated 30 January, 1948.

Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi was born in 1869. The term, Mahatma, means Great Soul. His commitment to active but nonviolent protests are generally considered critical to the Independence of India from Britain in 1947.

Features of his simple life can be found at the site.

Moulded footsteps mark his final path on his way to pray.

A monument marks the spot where he was shot.

Storyboards provide a brief overview of his life. In addition to the story, quotations in the home and on the storyboards capture some of the themes that governed his life.

A simple yet attractive garden adds to the peacefulness of the setting.

There is no charge to visit the site.

Visitors are asked to remove their shoes when walking about the monument.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Humayan's Tomb Delhi India

Humayan's Tomb in Delhi is a must see stop for visitors.  Built in 1565 CE by Humayun's widow.  The tomb was designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. The design influenced other mausolea of the era including the Taj Mahal.

Learn more at the Delhi tourism website.

Close up of the dome.

Other tombs are nearby. The architecture and grounds are impressive.

An unknown tomb nearby

Qtub Minar Delhi India

Qutb (also Qutab) Minar is an impressive sandstone tower in South Delhi, India. It dates from 1193 but was completed in stages. It stands 72.5 metres high.

Other structures are in the area including examples of artistic detail.

There's a mysterious iron column nearby, which may have been relocated here from its original location.

The beautiful grounds are worth a visit.

There is a small charge to enter the site.

Read more at the Delhi Tourism site.

Fishing in Cochi India

On Saturday morning, we walked along the Cochin (aka Kochi) coast fascinated by the fishing.

A young man casts an individual net from the shore.

Large nets are worked by a team of men who lower and raise nets on a pulley system weighted with large rocks.

The local catch includes a variety of fish including, red and white snapper.

Here's a brief video of net fishing from my YouTube channel