Monday, February 13, 2023


            Delhi, whose greater metropolitan region is home to more than 28 million people, is an absolute crush of humanity with an amazing mix of sights, sounds, and smells around every corner. Above and below are photos of flowers for sale along the Chandni Chowk, the main avenue in Old Delhi. 

            Thanks to #Sharonwalterstravel and #Alluring India for setting up a great trip! And the guide through Alluring India, Vikram could not have been better!

The electrical wiring system strikes the visitor as a spider web of interwoven cables, a pattern repeated in every city. Somehow, though, it manages to provide power throughout the metropolis. 

A bicycle rickshaw ride is a fun way to experience Old Delhi, but the roads are mobbed with every type of vehicle, and space is tight!

The Raj Ghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is a solemn slab of black marble, with an eternal flame at its head.

                                    Approach to the courtyard housing the black marble memorial stone.

               I stood out enough in the crowd to present a favorite photo opportunity to touring groups of schoolchildren.

                                                               Dogs roam everywhere in India.

The Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, was commissioned by Shah Jahan, the same emperor who erected the Taj Mahal. The mosque was completed after six years of labor by more than 5,000 workers. The courtyard, below, can accommodate 25,000 people.

Delhi--Good Works

In a city--a country--of striking poverty, it is refreshing to witness acts of good will and kindness that seem everywhere. As just a few examples, the Salaam Baalak Trust works to save young men and women from the streets. Often desperately poor, and from rural areas, they typically become involved in prostitution, crime, and drugs once they arrive in major cities and their dreams of a better life evaporate. 

Also impressive is the Sikh Temple, below, which offers a daily community service breakfast and serves thousands. 


Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb

The Qutub Minar is the tallest stone tower in India, at 238 feet, and was constructed in 1193. It towers above the first mosque in India.

Mogul Emperor Humayun's Tomb is a site to behold, along with the several other burial sites in the complex. 



 Humayun built the tomb below for his trusted confidant and friend, his barber!


Varanasi, the City of Light

 The traffic is insane, the cattle rule, and there is almost a carnival-like atmosphere to what many view as the spiritual heart of India. There is a poignancy here, as one recognizes that the city is one for those awaiting their final days on earth.


                                                     A major cremation site on the riverbank.


                   Evening lights cast a beautiful glow on aged buildings and the still waters of the Ganges.


                                       Witnessing the aarti, the nightly recital of spiritual songs.

Varanasi Morning Bathing Ritual

More than 90 ghats, or steps to the River Ganges, line the four-mile stretch near central Varanasi. In the morning, people bath to seek prosperity or to cleanse their souls. Although the water is known to be polluted, the faithful believe that it remains spiritually pristine.


                                              Every umbrella signals the presence of a Hindu priest.


                                                  A cremation site on the banks of the Ganges.


                                  The streets of Varanasi are cramped, colorful, and a confusing maze.


                           The twigs below are sold for the tips to be chewed into shreds for use as a toothbrush.


                                                    This loom is still in use after generations.

Taj Mahal

 What can you say? Twenty thousand craftsmen labored for eighteen years, beginning in 1631, to complete this stunning memorial to the wife of Emperor Shah Jehan. A World Heritage site since 1983, the artistry, symmetry, and elaborate decoration are simply stunning.


                                                        The gleaming marble is non-porous.


                     Every inch of wall seems delicate and fragile, yet has endured for generations.


                                               The garden setting enhances the structure's beauty.