May 122013
 
Challenge: Why Is This Wall Decoration in India Genius?

“Why is the decoration in this alley so smart?” our New Delhi guide asked our India teacher tour group with an evil smile.

The seven of us clumped together in the tiny yellow alley, staring at the porcelain tiles showing Buddha, Jesus Christ, Ganesh, and assorted other deities. We were stumped.

We knew India has a passion for religion (or rather, a sea of many religions), but why would someone want to hang all these religious [...Read More!]

Apr 282013
 
The Tallest Brick Minaret in the World: Qutb Minar, India

Did you know that in 2006, more tourists visited Qutb Minar than the Taj Mahal? Though lesser-known to foreign tourists, Qutb Minar contains the tallest brick minaret in the world, and wields a hypnotic power, particularly on a misty Delhi day like the one when our India teacher tour visited.

Qutb Minar reaches 239 feet towards the sky, and was completed in 1368 AD. It is part of the multi-building Qutb Complex, with ancient buildings [...Read More!]

Apr 082013
 
Loving India's Little Taj Mahal: Humayun's Tomb

I have a new favorite building! When our India tour leader declared that we were headed for the “Little Taj Mahal” in Delhi, it was clear we were in for something astounding. However, not one of us was prepared for the caramel-colored confection that soon burst into sight.

Behold, stunning Humayun’s Tomb!

Humayun’s Tomb was completed in 1572 C.E. and was commissioned by Bega Begum, the first wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun to [...Read More!]

Mar 242013
 
Funny Cultural Differences in Snack Chips of India

Snack shopping in a foreign country is hilarious. Who knew that Lay’s potato chips made a popular flavor called “India’s Magic Masala” in Asia?

During our India tour, my brother eagerly bought a bag of the snack, shoved a handful of chippy goodness into his mouth then screamed: “SPICY!”

“What did you expect?” asked our guide with a grin. “Masala usually means spicy here!”

We moved down the snack aisle and came face to [...Read More!]

Mar 102013
 
16 Fun Moments on a Rickshaw Tour of Old Delhi, India

I couldn’t stop laughing, flipping through these final Old Delhi photos from our teacher tour of India. As you may have seen from the previous two articles, Old Delhi is chaotic on foot, so you can imagine how much more of a crazy rainbow whirlwind things became when our guide hailed a pack of bicycle rickshaws to zip us around! In the moment, I hardly realized what my camera was capturing.

Now [...Read More!]

Mar 022013
 
Wonderful India Travel Photos from Streets of Old Delhi

Here’s a budget travel secret: One and a half blocks in Old Delhi, India can provide more delicious photography opportunities than miles and miles of another region of the world!

When we last left off, our teacher tour of India was in day two of our adventures. We had lapped up the sights at the largest Mosque in India, and gotten some fabulous stares, sights, and photo bombs from our first steps into [...Read More!]

Feb 242013
 
Are the Best Sights of India in Old Delhi? Look Here.

You’ve likely heard of New Delhi, India, but what about OLD Delhi? Our India teacher tour spent part of our second day touring Old Delhi. By the first minute, we’d breathlessly declared, “Old Delhi has the best sights in India so far!” Check out these photos to see why.

But first, what exactly is “Old Delhi?” Old Delhi, originally called Shahjahanabad, was formally walled in by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan starting in [...Read More!]

Feb 092013
 
We Spent Christmas at the Largest Mosque in India!

I am a half Jewish, half Christian gal who spent Christmas at the largest Islamic mosque in India. And it was beautiful!

Though I love gathering with family during the winter holidays in America, I’ve never been obsessed with gifts. How freeing, then, to spend December 25 in a country where just 2.3% of the population is Christian, and holiday consumerism isn’t ubiquitous!

T’was the morning of Christmas and the second day of [...Read More!]

Feb 032013
 
A Sikh Temple in New Delhi, and Neat Facts on Sikhism

“You will like the Sikh temple we’re about to visit,” our guide, Manu, explained after our intense first hours in New Delhi, India. “Gurudwara Bangla Sahib has a great vibe to it.”

We perked up. Our teacher tour needed a good vibe after the hectic sights of India we’d gulped in all day. “Just one thing,” Manu cautioned. “You must remove your shoes for the remainder of the visit.”

We yanked off our shoes [...Read More!]

Jan 272013
 
Dancing With Street Children in New Delhi, India. Video!

When I heard we would be visiting a famous shelter for street children on our first day in New Delhi, India, I pictured doing some tranquil arts and crafts projects, or reading a few good books with the kids. What I never expected was what actually occurred: a full-out dance party!

Our teacher group had started the day with an intense walking tour of the Paharganj neighborhood of New Delhi and we were in [...Read More!]