1/28/2008 to 1/29/2008 | India , Karnataka

Bijapur

Ibrahim Rouza (early 17th century), Bijapur.

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Bijapur, the last in my three city tour of central India’s former Islamic kingdom capitals, was the capital of the Adil Shani kings from 1489 to 1686 AD.  Bijapur became one of the major centers of power in the region after the disintegration of the Bahmani Empire centered at my previous abode, […]

1/27/2008 to 1/28/2008 | India , Karnataka

Bidar

Entance to Bidar’s fort.

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The city of Bidar is not on the way to much, trains from Bombay heading south blow by town with little more than a honk of the horn, and few tourist make the effort to get to this provincial backwater town, tucked away in the far north of Karnataka.  The city was […]

1/25/2008 to 1/26/2008 | Andhra pradesh , India

Hyderabad

Muslim boy in front of a street side fabric shop, Hyderabad.

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In the midst of north Indian winter, I was ready to go south and to the warmer weather that lower latitude provides, so I hopped on a train from Bhopal to Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Andre Pradesh.  This started a three city swing through the old capitals of the […]

1/22/2008 to 1/24/2008 | India , Madhya Pradesh

Sanchi

Detail, Northern Gate, Great Stupa, Sanchi.

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Sanchi is a small town near Bhopal (infamous as the site of the Union Carbide chemical gas leak in 1984 that killed over 20,000 people) in central India.  Sanchi is the site of the best preserved of India’s Buddhist stupas.  The stupa complex set on a hill above the town contains some […]

1/17/2008 to 1/21/2008 | India , Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho

Parsvanath Jain temple, Khajuraho.

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The temples of Khajuraho are famous for their intricate and graceful carving but even more so for the sexual nature of that carving.  The temples, dating from the 950 to 1050 AD, were forgotten, obscured by the jungle until their rediscovery in the early 19th century.  There remote location and abandonment spared […]

1/14/2008 to 1/16/2008 | India , Madhya Pradesh

Orchha

Colorful saris, Orchha.

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Today Orchha is a small sleepy little village but it was once the capital of a princely state during the 16th to late 18th centuries.   Decaying reminders of its grander past lie scattered around the village in the form of palaces, ruined havlies, temples, and cenotaph’s (monuments built on the sites of […]

1/7/2008 to 1/13/2008 | India , Rajasthan , Uttar Pradesh

Leaving Rajasthan, and Heading South

Man Singh Palace (constructed from 1486 to 1516), fort, Gwalior.

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After dropping Karin and Jeff off at the airport, I headed back to Jaipur, not because I really like the place, but rather to hang out with my father before he took his group south.  Although the city is not as bad as the reputation it has, for being a large city […]

1/4/2008 to 1/5/2008 - | India , Uttar Pradesh

Agra: Sightseeing capital of India

Muslim men in front of the mosque at the Taj Mahal, Agra.

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Karin and I had both been to Agra before but for the first timer among us, my brother-in-law, Jeff, it was a mandatory stop to see India’s most famous sight, the Taj Mahal.  In addition to the Taj, Agra is home to a number of lesser known spectacular sights including […]

1/2/2008 to 1/3/2008 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi

Colorful yarn vendor, Varanasi.

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The holy city of Varanasi on the sacred Ganges river is India at its most raw.  The strange dichotomy that makes up India is on display in this city of pilgrims in its most extreme form.  Its beauty in the midst of poverty, celebrations of life surrounded by death, spiritual cleansing amidst […]

12/27/2007 to 1/1/2008 | India , Punjab , Rajasthan

Golden Temple Reunion: Bundi to Amritsar

Sikh guard, Golden Temple, Amritsar.

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From Bundi it was a whirlwind journey up to Amritsar with stops at Ranthambore National Park and Jaipur. At Ranthambore we spent a lot of money (all right relatively a lot ~$32 each, including the over priced hotel we had to stay at) to not see tigers and drive around in a […]