Another incredible day touring Rajisthan

Jodhpur, Blue City of Rajisthan … The sun city! What a spectacular day!
We will see the Best fortress of Asia. Mehrangarh Fort .. 15 century city was founded. Bounded by gates. And we will also see sister site, made of bright white marble … Which is actually cremation / Burial ground of the royal family of this city.  
We can see in distance the largest private palace of the world. 365 rooms, royal family of Jodhpur lives here.  
3 million population in this city. Gaj means elephant. Military base is here due to proximity of Pakistan. 
This morning I wandered around a fifteenth century white marble structure dedicated as a memorial to the royal family. It is stunning. Beautiful setting. Thank you. Jaswant Thada … Made in 1899. 
Last night a scarf orgy at the shop in the palatial hotel. Truly living the dream. 
Beautiful view of the blue painted buildings in the city from high up. Women dressed mostly in reds.  
Next? The Mehrangarh Fort! We took elevator to the terrace on top. Fabulous view of the blue city! Many buildings painted blue. I can see fortress walls from up top. I can hear chanting and music from inside and down below. Drumming. Voices. Magic music fills the air. Awesome. Flocks of birds. “Cello”… Means come with me … Follow ­čÖé
Heading now to the Golden city of Rajisthan… Of Jaisalmer. Staying in a palace redone as a hotel. The most beautiful so far :). Oldest city of Rajisthan in mid twelve century. Yellow sand, yellow sandstone. Honey gold. 78,000 population and a quarter of them inside the structure, citadel, Fort. Two nights In this town. Camel ride, sand dunes in sunset! Wow!  
Camels are known as the ship of desert. Single humped camel in India, Rajisthan. They can conserve up to Five litres of water in a day retained in their fat cells in humps. Long necks. They live 25-30 years. Used for transportation. To carry goods and people. They drink camel milk and make cheese from camel milk. Camels go out for grazing in groups in daytime.  
At lunch in the desert we had a lovely chat and counted our purchases. Half way through our trip … It’s “hump” day for me …. Lol ….. 469 bangles we have collectively bought. 61 silk scarves last night alone in Jodhpur. And another 62 other scarves … 123 total scarves so far for 17 women in this group. 
Back on the road, Janie and I are alternating telling a story of life in India in the desert. 
We passed camels wandering across the sand … And then real sand dunes! Wonder of wonders, awe-struck at the real thing, up close. 
Trucks going by, many passengers, with turbans … Maybe 20 men in one vehicle, riding home from work? 
Women in bright sarees and scarves riding side saddle on back of motorcycles. Sometimes children wedged between her and the driver and cows. Always present and wandering
Pilgrims, nomads and even a very simple wedding. Saying promises and vows. 
Wind mills in this rural sandy region. Animals grazing in the sparse greenery. Little thatched roof circular simple structures used as homes. Camels stretching their long necks to partake of leaves on the trees. Their unique shapes on the horizon. How exotic to see camels grazing along the drive.
We are at Jaisalmer tonight in a Fort, an actual Fort converted to hotel. The most beautiful hotel of this city.  
Namaste!
Pamela

Today’s lesson: Honouring things completely and yet not making a big deal. 

Wonders of Rajisthan, 30 January 2016, women’s travel club journey

WONDERS OF RAJISTHAN, random facts from a days travel in this region of India
We are heading to Blue city. Jodhpur. 3 million people live in this city. We will spend One night in Jodhpur before moving on to Jaisalmer.  
We will visit the Largest fortress in Asia. Built in 15 century. Whoa!  
Few stops along the way. From white city, Udaipur … to blue city, Jodhpur …. takes 6 hours. We will stop in Jain temple along the way. Hidden in valley. Took fifty years to construct … Made of white marble. 1444 pillars, all different! Jainism is the religion.  
Rajisthan is the land of wonders.  
On their travel, People worship bullet motorcycle … And we will see temple where this takes place!  
Water systems important in this region. 12-13 century developed.  
1.25 billion people here in India. Second largest country of world in population next to China. 
Today going to desert triangle of Rajisthan. Tomorrow to Jaisalmer (sand dunes) and camel ride …. and Bikaneer the days after … completes triangle with Jodhpur. 100 km west is Pakistan. India’s army is largest volunteer army in world.  
3600 kms from north to south tips India. Bangladesh and Pakistan used to be part of India, no longer. It is the 7th largest country in world for land coverage.  
Teas exported from India, like Darjeeling. 5 Major cities, Delhi, Mumbai 22 million, then Calcutta … Tomb of mother theresa in Calcutta,… Bangalore , Chennai, are the five metro cities in India.  
Goa is beach destination of India.  
They have a dry state in India, holy place from birthplace of mahatma Ghandi furthest west
Largest and first and long standing uninterrupted democracy in the world in India. Bharat started first democracy. Number system started here. 300,000 active mosques. Sanskrit is mother of all languages. Oldest place … Game of chess invented in India. Gained independence without violence. Largest number of post offices. Largest employer in world is Indian railway.  
The art of living. “Accept people and situation as they are. Don’t be the football of others”.
Yoga was started here and has been practiced for five thousand years. Veranassi has most cremations, one every ten minutes 24/7.
We saw a cremation along the highway as we drove today … Amazing. 
Along the river Ganges, 84 ghats for bathing and washing….2 for cremations. Veranassi is the Mecca for Hinduism.  
In our discussions of religions, we heard that for Buddhist, life is suffering. Suffering is from desires. To practice toward enlightenment … Achieve less, suffer less, desire less.  
Cricket is unofficial religion.. People love it. They also win awards in completion. We have seen many impromptu games of cricket in the fields outside the bus windows as we drive through India :). Played by you and old alike.  
Jainism and Buddhism were both founded in India, and are both off shoots of Hinduism..
They believe in Good and bad karma, reincarnation of life. And date back to 600 years before Christ.  
 Jainism. Everything has life in it. Plants and trees too. Non violence. More strict principles, less popular. Non violence and self control is Jain. Non violence, and non possessiveness. One of oldest regions in world. Rather than believing in a god, they believe in a series of propagators of that faith. 4.2 million follow this religion in India, most in Rajisthan. Most are intellectuals, Merchants and doctors. 6 million in world. Vegetarian. Vegan. Not harm even insects. Escort them only. No harsh words of speech. No root veggies as hurts insects. Vow of no harm to living beings. Only speak truth. Silence. Not take anything which is not offered. Wear white for peace. Not use dyes as unnecessary killing of plants to make said dyes.
Sikh beliefs. Service for people and meditation to connect with supreme power. They believe that if I smile at others, makes me more happy. Feed people at temple, community kitchen, thousands a day. Sit on floor to eat … Oneness and digestion is aided by sitting on the ground.
RURAL INDIA
We stopped for photos of water system still used only in rural Rajisthan. Wow!  
(We made a stop … Hundreds of bats hanging in the trees …. Singing and flapping wings … Huge and spectacular. Amazing!)
Monkeys in the trees. Langpoors. Along the very twisty road. Through forest, semi arid. 
Nestled in hills. Temple Ranakpur today. Non violence means to Conquer enemies within. Against Materialism. Liberate soul. Right knowledge. Right faith and right action. Permanent bliss. They are against Attachment, Anger, Greed. The temple covers 48,000 sqft and took more than fifty years to build. Carved from Marble, in beautiful symmetry. 
“Moksha”. Blissful state of enlightenment. A priest of the temple came to bless me, as I was walking around listening to the audio tour and taking pictures.  
The Goal of the practice is to destroy destructive behaviours. All beings have souls. First vow non violence. Second vow, speak truth and never wound. Not to steal. Detachment. No sexual misconduct. Five of them in total. The Monks walk in barefoot all over the world. 
We stopped for lunch.. Saw a camel … 3.5 hours to Jodhpur. 
We stopped for a break, washroom and back on the bus.  
Next stop was a bonus…. the Bullet motorcycle shrine for safe journey. We had to take our shoes off and got blessed, with color bindy mark on forehead … My second one today. The motorcycle is encased in glass with marigold flowers. We noticed a few rats around the motorcycle …. And then took a photo of the tree where the man had died. The legend goes that each day the motorcycle was taken to police station then next morning was back again at the site. It happened again the next day … And thereafter they left the motorcycle at the site and made a shrine of it For safe travel. Even the gas stations are now named after the late owner. People stop here, offer gifts to the shrine and keepers of it …. To guarantee safe travels.  
Onward!  
Somewhere in Delhi my boundary of comfort zone moved. Here I am walking barefoot in this shrine area where a motorcycle is being worshipped! Ha ha. My friend Janie pointed out that she could not believe I would do that. …lol. India has changed me, she is correct.  
We are now blessed for safe travels. 
Namaste!  
Pamela of India!!

Pushkar, off the grid! India

Off the grid in India. Where?
Outside of Pushkar at a desert resort, the visitors choice! It is an oasis I the rolly desert hills … So much like Kamloops that I feel I am back in time.
In the town of Pushkar it is holy and sacred … Many foods and alcohol not permitted … No garlic, onions, meats, chicken, eggs …. In our resort, we are far enough, a few miles, out of town so we can still enjoy these products. Although for me, I have not had any alcohol since my long Air France flight … The first leg of it. Since then have been in flow of the tour and life here … Purely gluten free, dairy free and meat free :). It is easy to support a vegan lifestyle in India. Here, animals are sacred … Or some are. Ha ha and then we see a McDonalds restaurant to remind us of home. McDonalds do not serve beef in India.  
Milk is always in the Masala Chai, so although many in the group are developing a routine and love for this soothing beverage, I have tried it black buy prefer to not bother.  
This morning I awoke to the sweet sound of roosters crowing … And silence. It is peaceful and calm in this place, off the grid.  
Yesterday we drove here, had a few hours to eat and relax then to the temple of Brahma in the town … And a sacred ceremony for new karma along the bank of the fabulous river. I wept at the beauty and love that I felt in that place. Not expected and so generously given … For all time and for all my ancestors, my children and my grandchildren. I was given a sacred red and yellow bracelet, a passport, if you will, for this amazing place.  
Yellow powder, red powder from vermillion, rice, sugar, purple flower petals, on a silver plate offered to the river after the blessing. And a coconut was part of the ceremony and prayers as well. First in their language, then repeated in English and we chanted along with the priest. The banks of this sacred river was encircled by sacred steps and places of worship and between, places for people to bathe ( we saw men bathing in the river, in places separate from the holy sections). Birds being fed, and the odd cow wandering around. It was a postcard of beautiful India. I am still in awe of the entire experience. A picture with the priest and of the holy site of the ceremony will take me back to that moment. Thank you. Namaste.
Then shopping in the very expansive and pleasant bazar …. All manner of trinkets, shawls, bangles, food, clothes modern and traditional …. The women in our group had a very enjoyable time and I think left some money in support of the community. Smile. 
Then back to the resort for a dining experience at the buffet, and I had a back massage for half hour and a luxurious leg massage and foot reflexology treatment …. And then to my individual cabin shared with Sherry for a quiet and restful sleep.  
Only one night here. Off to Uidapur today. A large city and a lengthy drive today. I want to wander first on the grounds and take more pictures of this oasis on our trip.  
Thanks for joining me. Namaste! To all of you and the singing birds outside my cottage window this beautiful morn.
Pamela

Astrology

Astrology
3 parts, to horoscope reading. 
first part is Astronomy … The science
Second part: Astrology, according to dob, time and position … Where was Mars, Mercury Venus etc…. I’m Capricorn 
Sky map, Placement of the planets and moon, sun and so we know our horoscope sign … On Astrology chart, up is east (not north) … Planetary position is important.
Third part is treatment: stone to wear … Which place …which finger … 
Pamela … Travel, some time alone, travel in mind always, mind very busy, this is a good year for me, … Green and white good colors for me … Diamond, opal, emerald to balance … Wear on baby finger of left hand or bracelet is second best place. I am Social, and I like my lone time. Communication is strength. Busy in my brain.  
Pamela

Independence Day in India, one of 3 major celebrations in a year here

INDEPENDENCE DAY in India
I awake to a lovely garden outside my window, birds chirping and hazy morning light covering the beautiful lawn and garden benches. We are close to the water and boardwalk here. Last night we could see vendors on the boardwalk and lots of visitors and tourists walking. It is a beautiful city in the city part – where we are now. In contrast to Agra and the parts of Delhi that we experienced, this city is more modern and even has hanging baskets of flowers along the boardwalk!! Still tuktuks and traffic, we are still in India.
It’s blue sky today … Our first morning blue sky since arrival! Fantastic, fresh and vibrant. Flowers and greenery everywhere. Everything looks better with blue! Lol. A great day of celebration. Sunglasses needed!  
First stop the Amber Fort and a ride on the back of an elephant! Wow – very fun indeed. The view was spectacular of the surrounding area as we climbed higher and higher. Many young men taking photos and we were to find out later how aggressive their sales techniques were … But for now, enjoying the adventure and vistas. Jaipur seems much cleaner than the last places we have stayed … And although congested, seems a bit more manageable. The fort was huge, and indeed spectacular.  
On this trip I am inspired by the details of the carvings and paintings, frescoes and other designs of architecture that I have seen. I am hopeful to combine them one day in a quilt of my journey to India.  
After the Fort we went to a handicraft cooperative where we were served tea, soft drinks, pakoras and some other snacks and shown the beauty of carpet making in wool and silk. Then to the fabric and textile area where we were shown all kinds of textures, colours, sizes and prices! When one appreciates quality it is easy to fall in love with the art.  
We had a saree wrapping demonstration – and they used me for a model for the other women to watch. I was draped and wrapped in just a moment … Covered in pink from head to toe ­čÖé and even a bindi mid forehead just between my eyebrows. It was fun to be the model and the process seems so effortless to the talented woman doing the demonstration. Still no Saree purchases in our group!  
Upon leaving that venue we went to another palace structure and then on to the observatory and explained how horoscope study is used in India. Interesting! The sun was out in full by now and the air warmed up quite a bit. We were treated to a ride on rickshaws through the streets and to the market area of Jaipur.  
We got back on the bus, some of the gals heading to the central market area of town for some shopping. The rest of us followed the itinerary to the Gem cutting demonstration and an opportunity to shop some for those serious gem and precious stone lovers!
Back to the hotel for a walk along the boardwalk and photo time. Feeling like part of the street celebration, we walked and enjoyed the hubbub in the air and on the walkway. Street food and knickknacks were being sold, balloons being held, kids squealing with delight and playing … A cow eating some seeds left for pigeons. It was late afternoon and the sun soon to descend.  
A few of us went for supper via TukTuk just a few short blocks away. And home early for relaxing this evening, packing and preparing to head out tomorrow to Pushkar. It will be a smaller town, I understand, and partly in desert. We are meeting with spiritual guide type people I believe, and have some time to shop in the market in Pushkar. The sun will shine and it will be a lovely day away from the hustle and bustle of big cities and aggressive sales folk ….. What treasures will we see? Will we feel blessed?  
Trying to stay in the moment as much as possible and to hold the space for all that comes and goes through me here in India. Land of beautiful things, eastern sun and exotic visions.  
Good night my family and friends, Namaste….
Pamela
For pictures, please check out my Facebook site:  https://www.facebook.com/pmacdonaldtravel

Day of Abandoned fort and travel

It’s Independence Day in India and yesterday we had a day of travel.
Yesterday we drove to Jaipur. First, the sights leaving the city of Agra. Kind of a dirty little city, built no doubt to support the visitors to the Taj Mahal. Small openings showing the meagre and minimalist size and belongings of families living on the edge. Shops are really just counters with some wares displayed behind the vendor and people – mostly men = standing around and talking. About one in 10 or 20 are women carrying children or packages and seem to be going somewhere. We see school children in uniforms and even some schools are seen from the road.
Everything seems dirty. No recycling and the streets and side alleys and properties strewn with packages and refuse. Long bristled brooms sometimes seen to be sweeping a piece of land near a property worker, who is looking after his own site. It’s breath taking to see the amount of garbage that goes to the environment to deal with. Animals, pigs, cows and dogs mostly rummaging for foodstuffs in the rubble and filth.
On a cheerier side we see vendors pushing brightly coloured and ample Vegetable carts, filled with cauliflower and all manner of veggies that look fresh and in contrast to the grey of the garbage and dust that surrounds them.
I won’t soon forget the sights of this day. I try to let the vision of the poverty and filth enter and move through me. Much gets stuck in my heart region. I hope in time I can let it release back to the world. I send out Ho’oponopono wishes in repetitive fashion as I take in another view and another view and another, sigh after sigh, breath after breath.
As we distance ourselves from this city, we are in rural India. Still hazy and cool in the morning and feeling full from another exquisite breakfast at this 5 star fabulous luxurious hotel.  
Luv, our tour director tells stories of the royals and this royal region as we enter Rajisthan, and he happily answers questions from the gals.  
We stop for lunch and are ushered outside into a fantastic garden setting. Trees and flowers in this oasis from the mornings sites that still haunt us. The owner shows us his turban, how it is tied and worn … Meters and meters of fabric carefully placed upon his head. It was so interesting.  
We are in the country now and on a major toll highway so we still go by many animals grazing in the fields and along the road sides. We are excited to see the elephants and camels, now, less so for the cows that once delighted us. We are becoming more used to the unexpected in India, having been here over a week.  
How does this all change me as a person? What will I think of in terms of my own life and meaning? This is a haunting place in so many ways and the intense eye contact from the locals contributes to the messages getting directly into my heart. Young boys in the back of a big truck, under blankets and a goat curled up the corner. The boys are delighted to wave to us, we wave back, they giggle and wave again. Do they think we are someone famous? To them, I guess we are!! Feeling privilege and honouring that they think we are special. It is a moment, a postcard … A memory of this place.
Luv says 80% marriages are still arranged in India. Matched by families using the horoscope. Not as concerned with caste as in perfect fit based on date and time of birth and location of birth – which directs the families to find the mate for their sons and daughters for life partnership. Large elaborate ceremonies, even the time of the wedding is dictated by the horoscope. There are expert readers of this ancient art of the mating game, and we will be meeting such a one on this trip.
We stop at the very old abandoned palace and city – a ghost town really, in India, in Rajisthan – very famous and picturesque. With the mist still floating in the air we wander and take pictures and imagine the magnificence of diamonds and gem stones and how this magical place must have once sparkled in glory. Each wife of the Emperor, all different religions including a Christian wife, a Muslim wife and a Hindu wife, all have different living quarters. We can see remnants of what life could have been like with the help of our expert guide.

Fatehpur stop, abandoned city. Photos safely stored in my trusty iPad.  
We moved on and had a few hours to drive in the afternoon, through rural countryside. Bright coloured sarees worn by the local women and turbans of the region by the men. Apparently the colour and shape of the turbans changes and can be identification of every 15 miles in this region. The women wearing bright saffron colours, oranges, peach …. You can see them for a long distance away, often carrying heavy loads upon their heads as they walk and go about their business of the day.
As we arrive in Jaipur there are thousands of kites up in the air, and many more hung up on trees and wires. This is part of the national day of celebration for India’s Independence.
We arrive at another oasis hotel, in the Trident chain about 545 pm local time we arrive. We have 45 minutes to prepare for our evening venue, a hosted dinner and then dancing and puppet show entertainment for us. We dress warmly and put on our Deet as it is an outside event. When we arrive they provided heaters and a cover for our groups tables. Food is authentic and lovely, the colourful and talented dancers and puppeteers and musicians keep us entertained. A man does some fire swallowing, there is snake charming demonstration as well. About 6 of us got up to dance at one point … I feel clumsy next to their expert skills.  
Attached to that venue is a very famous bar. Turquoise painted ceiling and walls with white trip, bright lights and fantastic chandeliers, candle lit tables and Italian themed meals served. It is lovely open to the air. Quite the setting! We have a group photo and laugh.
Home late and exhausted. Such a big day today now …. Independence Day, shopping, elephant ride, the Amber Fort, gem cutting and more. Phew. This is a full and exhausting tour and yet, I would not have wanted to miss a thing!!!!
Wish you were here, 
With love
Pamela
Photos later! Internet is sketchy.  

IMPRESSION OF INDIA, so far

IMPRESSIONS OF INDIA, so far

Namaste.
Exotic mysterious. Another world. Off in the distance and extreme up close. There is a mystery in the air, trees coming out of the mist, buildings with unique structures silhouetted against the sky. Full moon, hazy yellow sun ball of light.
Busy. Hazy.  
People. Hard working. Content and smiling. People wanting to please others. Peaceful. Tragic deformations, intense eye contact
Brown barefoot and some with sandals. Women carrying items on their heads, using no hands. The body is a vessel of manual labour. Scarves. Bright coloured women with grey clothed men. Chiseled features, black hair, deep eyes with big smiles. People wanting to be close to us, have their picture taken standing close.  
Sacred animals wild and tame. Dogs, monkeys, cows, Brahma Bulls, horses, peacocks, chipmunks, green parrots, large dark birds of prey, chickens. Beasts of burden pulling carts of produce.
Chanting. Haunting music and bells, sounds of prayer. Music of India heard on the streets. Honking of cars, tuktuks and people, airplanes overhead.
Spice markets, scent of incense, florals, urine and dust. Vehicle exhaust.
Crowds of people on the roadways, on sidewalks and in doorways and businesses. People walking and carrying goods. People in rickshaws hauling heavy loads with strength of their legs. Gentle mothers cradling babes in their arms, holding hands with children close by, walking behind the men. Heads covered and shawls draped around covering shoulders and breasts. Skirts long to the ground, bright red can be seen from a distance. Single worker in the fields.
Green and orange and white flag waving with pride. Tents and cardboard huts for homes, clothes out on the line. Stacks of rooms where people stay, hundreds upon thousands of new apartments being built in the suburb area outside of the center. Town center in old area is busy and crowded, bodies touching as they go about their business. Men working in shops of countless varieties. Selling sarees, spices, food stuffs, clothing. Bare necessities of life. Jewellery adorns faces and necks. Henna designs on hands and feet.
Palaces and structures of ancient times, poetry in marble. Preserved and visited historical monuments to a time of Royal reign. The Taj Mahal took my breath away.
Namaste. 

TAJ MAHAL

TAJ MAHAL
Namaste and good morning. We took a horse drawn carriage to the Taj Mahal this morning.  
It is a peaceful setting. Early morning and the haze is lifting. Revealing blue skies. Sweet birds singing in the huge green tree coverings. White marble stones make up the mighty Taj. No lighting allowed within the palace.  
Cover our feet in white cloth to enter the palace and burial site of once emperor and his beloved wife. He was emperor for thirty years. She was his third and last wife. They had 14 children, 7 died in infancy and she died giving birth to the last. 4 boys and 3 girls survived. Later the youngest son killed his elder brothers and took over as emperor, imprisoning his father for his last 8 years of his father’s life. The daughters also lived in the palace at red fort and cared for their father, where he was kept captive.  
Marble inlaid with semi precious stones, jade, carnelian and others. Malachite, topaz, jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise, … many imported from different places in the world.  
Stunning sight. Beyond words. White marble bricks inlaid with mother of pearl so on full moon, like tonight … It glows at night. The Emperor could see this tribute to his wife from his home at Red Fort.
****
Next stop marble art studio to show how Taj Mahal was made in delicate detail. This art is only done by artisans direct descendants of the original and only in Agra. Beautiful marble items in exquisite detail, inlaid with precious stones.  
Then we went to the red Fort, size over 2.5 kms. Largest fort in India. Royal stories. Still used by army. Beautiful courtyard and gardens, Indian unique beveled archways. Preserved in time and red sandstone. Great dynasties have lived here and met with their own people in central place for Public audience. White marble structure is private mosque for the Royals. 
Peacock is national bird of India. We have seen them wild and in marble. Also great elephants in this land are revered. Stories of Royals and elephants … Elephants carved in marble … All very interesting. In this country also are tigers and lions. Very exotic.
We had a catered authentic Indian lunch and listened to a performer playing stringed sitar. Then we returned to the beautiful upscale Trident hotel.  

 

DAY TRIP of Delhi and on to AGRA

Day Trip to AGRA
After breakfast this morning, we 17 met in the lobby, cleared our bills and brought our luggage to the bus. Pick up was arranged at hotel for 9 am and we met our guide Mr Luv. He will be with us – and his team of driver and assistant, for the entire two weeks. He is lovely, kind and well informed.
He informed us of a few facts as we toured the city of Delhi and New Delhi. Namaste is the greeting used widely in this country despite many languages spoken. Guests are considered like gods and service is very important. Delhi is the second largest city in India, 20 million population. Mumbai is the largest with 22 million. India is the second largest country in population, next to China. There are 1.5 billion people living in India.
Delhi is rich in diversity of all kinds. Religion categories include Hinduism which is the oldest religion practiced by 82% of the population of India. Followed by Muslims at 12.5%, and third Christians at 2.5%. The Sikh religion is 400 years old, relatively young in age and less than 1% practice, .7%. Buddhism is practiced by less again. Why? We will talk about it more another day. The city of Delhi is the city of dreams and opportunities with many universities and educational facilities.
Delhi is the book that narrates the history of India. Del means heart and this city is the capital of India. 20% of the city is covered in green space. 180 sq miles is this city.
Diversity is also seen in wealth, with the very very rich and the very very poor. All people sail and are enjoying life and are happy, says Luv. This makes India a most exotic destination and different from any other. Our tour is called Royal India and we will learn about the land of the Kings and Queens of India.
India has been taken over some 7 times in history. This 26 January marks Republic Day, a celebration of independence for India. India celebrates many festivals for such things as full moon, half moon and no moon! Life itself is about celebrations and happiness, says Luv.
Our first stop is Qutab Minar. It is a very ornately carved and stunningly beautiful minaret situated in a park like peaceful setting with plenty of green space and many ruins around it.
Neem trees are medicinal, used for toothbrushes.

Referred to as the┬áTower of victory, this Minaret is the tallest. 72.5 meters, 379 steps, 5 stories and considered the “Pride of Delhi”. From 7 and 8 century this was a place of worship. ┬áRulers took over and divided the people and tried to stop the religion. In 1199 began construction of the World largest brick minaret.
Looks like lotus flower in ground from aerial view. Access is closed here due to suicides. Also on the property is the “Tower of Jealousy”. Calamities happened and it was never finished. ┬áKarma??? ┬áPast rulers demolished all temples that were here prior .. Now just the ruins remain …

Also, we were treated to see the first mosque, which faces to the west. More mosques in India than any country in the world. First mosque and largest mosque in Delhi and New Delhi.

We also visited today the Lotus Temple, which is the Baha’i House of Worship. It is made completely out of white marble and has 27 massive lotus petals. Once inside we were treated and blessed by the chanting and prayers. The sound was so moving it brought tears to my eyes. What an experience!
Lotus flower is symbol of creation and is the seat of the thrown of Lord Brahma, God of creation. The temple to him is in Pushkar and we will go there later on the tour.
Lastly we stopped at the burial and cremation ground of Mahatma Ghandi – another powerfully moving place. ┬áSecurity is high in Delhi, in preparation for the Independence Day anniversary celebration in a few days time …. however we are making our way :).
Tomorrow we will tour the Taj Mahal. Described as a poem of love in marble. We will stay tonight at the Trident Hotel in Agra, part of an Indian chain of hotels of very high quality. It is considered an oasis in Agra.
Namaste
Pamela