Sep 072014
 
Did You Know This About Visiting the Taj Mahal in India?

Don’t slap me for procrastination, but I’m FINALLY writing about seeing the Taj Mahal during our 2012 India teacher tour. So without further ado, here are 12 things to know about visiting the Taj Mahal: the world’s most famous monument to love, built by emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 in memory of his wife.

1. Contraband. There are all sorts of items you are not allowed to take into the Taj Mahal. Study the sign above and see if you agree that some [...Read More!]

Jun 292014
 
Monkeys, Imprisonment, and a Fall at Agra Fort, India

“This is where they say Shah Jahan, the man behind the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned BY HIS SON.”

Our India teacher tour guide paused dramatically, and our group gazed around Agra Fort, soaking in that shocking history.

Agra Fort in Uttar Prasdesh, India is really more of a giant walled city than a mere fort, and each corner of it has layers of history dating back as far as 1080 CE. It also has… MONKEYS! Upon entering the fort’s hulking red [...Read More!]

Jun 012014
 
Surprises in India at Keoladeo National Bird Sanctuary

Let me be blunt about the first surprise of Keoladeo National Park and Bird Sanctuary in India: On the day we went, the air was so cloudy that we could have seen further by sticking our heads into bowls of oatmeal. Look how ghostly the birds appear in the next photo…

We had to squint and crane our fog-fluffy heads forward, asking: “Is that a bird, or a tree?” and, “Is that [...Read More!]

Apr 062014
 
The Hidden Danger of a Famous Tourist Attraction

Some dangers are so surprising, they become funny. Let’s see if you can guess this one, spotted during my teacher tour in India last year. The scene takes place at the Jama Masjid mosque in the town of Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, the city most famous for housing the Taj Mahal.

The Jama Masjid mosque is gorgeous and giant, and was completed in 1575… over 430 years ago! So what’s the danger here? [...Read More!]

Mar 042014
 
Can You Believe the Size of This Hole in the Ground?

In the romantic Indian state of Rajasthan, in the dusty village of Abhaneri, there lies a massive hole in the ground. To be specific, this hole is called Chand Baori, and is one of the largest ancient step-wells in the world, plummeting down 100 feet to slurp water from the earth for the thirsty local population.

The well is around 1,200 years old (wowza!), constructed in 800 C.E. by King Chandra of the [...Read More!]

Jan 302014
 
Wow! I Never Thought I'd See THAT On The Road...

As I re-learn to drive with a new baby in the car here in Boston, I thank my lucky stars I am not re-learning to drive in India, which has some of the most hectic roadways I have ever seen.

Check out these shocking (well, for my sheltered American eyes) vehicular sights from our teacher tour of India last year…

Wowza. Doesn’t India bring “diversity in action” to a whole new level? So, which of these modes of [...Read More!]

Dec 152013
 
Are These the Most Beautiful Doorways in the World?

Last year at this time, my husband Colin, my brother David, and I were gearing up to take a teacher tour of India. Believe it or not, I still have hundreds of photos from that trip which remain to be put into articles… so here’s the next batch! These images are of the most beautiful doorways I’ve ever seen, spotted at the City Palace in Jaipur, India.

Lap up the colorful details [...Read More!]

Oct 272013
 
Dealing With Smells During India Travel. (Yes, You Must)

I am REALLY glad that we traveled to India before I got pregnant. A bionic sense of smell is a major pregnancy symptom, and given the infamous odors of India, that would have been a problem.

Yes, it is true that India has more smells– both delicious and noxious– than any other country you may visit. Why? See the photo above for four reasons: street animals (and their resulting dung), vehicle traffic, [...Read More!]

Oct 022013
 
Amazing Fashion of Women Doing Manual Labor in India

India has the most beautiful clothing in the world. Its embrace of color, drape, and texture makes the heart dance! What I didn’t realize before our December teacher tour of India, however, was the fact that many woman in India wear these remarkable clothes even when doing arduous manual labor.

What this means is that wherever you go in India, there are female manual laborers — bricklayers, hedge cutters, roadside merchants, farmers, [...Read More!]

Sep 152013
 
Photo Essay: Is India's Amber Palace Your Dream Home?

It’s weird looking at photos from a few months ago, before I became pregnant… I look so bite-sized tiny! But the fact remains that I have waterfalls more photos taken during our wonderful India teacher tour from earlier this year, and you shall have these pictures, even if it takes another year for me publish them all.

What we have here are the final photos from our tour of the Amer Fort, also [...Read More!]

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