India

Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar: "Gandhiji and the Princess"

Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar

State of Gujarat

India

March 8, 2007

 

Dear Family and Friends,

I am going to Gujarat. Gujarat? 

A few people asked me, "Where is Gujarat?"  I didn't know either until I looked at a map.

South of landlocked Rajasthan, Gujarat is on the west coast of India. It's a large state with mountains, desert, marshland and a 1600km (1000mi) coastline. The population is almost 51 million.

Agra to Fatehpur Sikri: "Rush Hour Traffic"

 

Agra

Uttar Pradesh

India

February 16, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

Agra is not just The Taj. The Taj, as magnificent as it is, is not Agra.

Agra is also Agra -- and there's more to see.

"The Agra Fort was built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1573. (Remember Akbar's Tomb?) Its imposing red sandstone ramparts form a crescent along the river bank encompassing an enormous complex of courtly buildings ranging in style from the early eclecticism of Akbar to the sublime elegance of Shah Jahan."

Delhi to Agra: "Vrindavan, Akbar"

The Golden Triangle - First Leg

Agra

Uttar Pradesh

India

February 13, 2007

 

Dear Geometric-philes,

The most popular itinerary for first time visitors to India is The Golden Triangle: Delhi south to Agra, Agra west to Jaipur, and Jaipur northeast to Delhi. On a map of the Indian Subcontinent, this area is barely more than a thumb print or two. Nevertheless, the sights are splendid all along the route.

New Delhi Part 2: "Happy Where I Am"

New Delhi

India

February 12, 2007

 

Each morning my driver Suresh and I agree on an itinerary.

Suresh negotiates his way through the traffic to a stop at Lakshmi Naravan, an unusual Hindu temple . . . unusual for its tones of yellow and red- brown. Another stop at Rajghat, a beautiful park with a simple square platform of black marble that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948. A host of schoolchildren smile and wave to me.

New Delhi Part I: "What is, is."

February 11, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

 

Just recently my friend Siri sent me this note:

India has been interesting. I have to be honest that I don't much like it so far, but I'm trying to wait until the end of my trip to make any judgments. Varanasi is way better than Delhi which I hated and was a nightmare! Hopefully it will just get better.

Yes. I agree. It is easy to "hate" New Delhi. Just as any other frenetic city of 14 million souls, it can be a "nightmare." (Yes,14 million. That's all of New York City and all of the City's suburbs combined. Plus two million more.)

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