Saturday, March 16, 2013

More pictures from India

Sorry this post is not current, but it took a while to get things organized with pictures and getting around to writing this up.  I hope you like it!

After a few days in Delhi, we started our tour of the Golden Triangle.  Technically Delhi is part of the Golden Triangle, which also includes Agra, which is where the Taj Mahal is, and Jaipur, which is a cool city that has a lot of old stuff, including the Amber Fort.  Between Agra and Jaipur is another place called Fatehpur Sikri, which was the capital of the Mughal empire and has a bunch of similar-looking architecture.  The Taj Mahal will have its own separate post coming later (even though we saw it before this stuff).
  • So from Agra, we drove to Fatehpur Sikri (capital of the Mughal empire).  When we got there, we went to a parking lot and from there took a tuk-tuk (rhymes with the word took) or autorickshaw to the site of the fort/palace.  This was the only time we took one of these, and boy was it bumpy!
  • Some pictures from inside:

  • Inside that white building is a tomb where some special guy is buried.  From what I understand, he helped one of the rulers have a son (Shah Jahan, maybe?).  People go there to make wishes by tying strings to this grate:

  • Another way to make wishes is by putting a piece of fabric on the tomb.  Of course, you have the option to buy string or fabric to use to make a wish.  "Small fabric, small price.  Medium fabric, medium price.  Big fabric, big price."  Of course, the process is that you buy the fabric, then put it on there, then they take it off in a few minutes and sell it to the next person.  They say the money goes to women and children for charity, but who really knows.  And it's a hard sell.  We did not buy any of this, fabric or story.

  • To go into the room with the tomb, you need to cover your head, so here is Sam with a basket that they lent him to cover his head.  It's not actually a basket, but you could use it as one.  It was plastic.

  • A cool view from inside, where you can see how the screen is see-through from the darker side (inside).  You can't see in very well from outside, and this is what women would sit behind to watch things going on outside:
  • A typical view of India:

  • The highways were very interesting.  Look at this truck that looks like it's overflowing:
  • We drove from Fatehpur Sikri to Jaipur, which was a great city.  We did all sorts of things there, including barfing (just for me).  We rode an elephant:
  • Saw the Hawa Mahal:
  • Visited the Amber Fort
    • Here is a picture of a door from the Amber Fort for Jenn:
    • This carving in the marble is cool because it has parts of like 9 different kinds of animals if you cover up the right areas.  For example, on that flower at the top, if you cover up the outside part of it, you can make the middle look like an elephant trunk, or if you cover up a little bit more, it is like a lion's tail.  I can't remember all of them, unfortunately.

    • The best part of the Amber Fort is the Sheesh Mahal (yes, that's really the name).  Sheesh means mirror and Mahal means palace, so this is the Mirror Palace.  It's almost as amazing as the Taj Mahal, because it's entirely covered in little mirrors.  Here's us reflecting in one of them:

    • And here are some more pictures from the Sheesh Mahal:

    • We also drove by the Jal Mahal, or Lake Palace.  It's a palace built in a lake!  I think during the dry season sometimes there isn't a lake there, or else maybe it's a man-made lake?  I can't remember for sure.  But it's incredible to see:

    • And here's a picture of thali, which is something we ate.  As best as I can tell, it just means this type of combination, not any particular part of it.

    • We finished up with the Jantar Mantar which is essentially an observatory from the 17th century that is still accurate today.  Sam loved it a lot.  It was really cool looking:
    •  And it has the largest sundial in the world (pictures with us for scale):
    • Here I am by the Aquarius station:
    • And then we went to the City Palace and museum, which had some more pretty stuff:

    • It has the 2 largest silver vessels in the world, which were constructed when some ruler wanted to bring his own water to England because he didn't trust the water there:

    • And finally, here I am with a cannon:

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