Trips   2007

 

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India

Well, this was actually in 2007 - but what is a little inaccuracies between friends.

I was in India on business so didn't go to the usual tourist places. We visited Hyderabad (officially now the second largest city in India after Delhi!), then Ahmedabad, Baroda, Chandigarh, Mohali, Jalandher and Karnal. It was really interesting seeing people going about their normal days. We ate the most wonderful food, and most of it wasn't very "hot" at all, shopped in roadside markets, met wonderfully hospitable people and managed to live through Indian traffic! Crossing a street is a real adventure but you can't do it too often or the stress will kill you.

I never managed to get a photo but one abiding memory is of traders sitting beside dusty roads selling gloriously sparkling chandeliers!

Traffic Food

One of the ever-present bullocks. This one was in Hyderabad.

Wonderful stone tracery on a famous mosque in Ahmedabad. It is close to Pakistan and has quite a large Muslim community and, from the women's dresses, they seem to be rather fundamentalist.

Charminar in Hyderabad - it is like the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge of Sydney. It is the defining image of the city.

The Bangle market is close to Charminar. Rows of shops selling wonderfully decorated bangles. Surprisingly however, my Indian friends said they could not bargain at all - and they were pretty good at it normally!

Outside the shops of the bangle market are dozens of "kids" selling cheap "pearl" and stone necklaces. Hyderabad is famous for its real pearls. I bought some "urchin pearls"!!

Charminar is in a muslim area of Hyderabad and the community there is very fundamentalist. Women are all fully covered from head to foot in black with just the eyes showing.

It is a very beautiful building. The four minarets were built at the time of some epidemic and were meant as a charm to ward off disease and the evil eye! From older postcards it seems that traffic used to drive through it - now the traffic goes around.

In Chandigarh is the fabulous Rock Garden. It was built secretly over ten years by Nek Chand - it is truly labyrinthine! No wonder it remained a secret for so long.

More markets near Charminar

In the Rock Garden hundreds of figures are fashioned from rocks and from discarded material - crockery, pottery, tiles, wire etc

Enjoying the Rock Garden - Indian ladies like to dress colourfully.

Morning street scene in Ahmedabad.

Typical graffiti on walls around the towns - also with the ubiquitous piles of rubble. Not being able to read it, I am not sure if it was ads or graffiti.

On the way to work - I don't know how they can appear so relaxed when they are walking along a city road! Traffic is going in all directions around them..

The Punjab Cricket Club - verrrrry pukka!

The club is in Mohali - just outside of Chandigarh.

My host, Mr Bawa, in the club dining room under a photo of "our Don".

Getting the kids ready for school.

Colourful saris and Punjabi suits!

The older women typically wear saris and the younger ones - Punjabi suits.

More astonishing artistry from the Rock Garden.

Isn't it amazing what can be done with a few cracked dishes?.

Lovely waterfalls and interesting root systems.

A peaceful part of the garden.

Peaceful and relaxing.

The size of the garden is awe-inspiring. The number of individual figures must be in the thousands.

There is a lot of humour too!

Just wonderful - a real treat and highlight of Chandigarh.

Just approaching the waterfall area.

A child near one of the street markets. He was so excited to have his photo taken and see it in the viewfinder of the digital camera.

You could never say India was boring

The young boy with his mother posing for yet another photo - but it was getting dark.

These older boys at another market also want their photo taken.

Constantly asking "What country missus?". When you reply "Australia", the response was almost always "Ricky Ponting, Ricky Ponting"! They are really passionate about their cricket.

What a couple of "cool dudes!"

This is what happens to your statue if you lose the election in India! No destruction, just a simple cover-up!

Hyderabad has a large Christian minority also. At one point my itinerary said I was being picked up by Infant Jesus and.....taken to St Joseph!

When you see the electricity wires in the street you become very careful switching anything on! It doesn't look like it should work at all.

Some "cow-pats" prepared for sale as fuel - along a major road.

The pollution was very visible - even from close up! You don't just see the smog over the city in the distance.

Indian people do seem to be much more overtly religious than most westerners. Whether Hindu or Christian, there are often little shrines in offices. This one of the Sacred Heart had the "hindu" garland replaced each Friday. The fairy lights were on all day.

An outddor market where I managed to support the Indian economy a little!

Baroda Airport just hit you with a riot of colour - mostly from the brightly dressed women against the strong brick coloured backdrop.

Chandagarh is a planned town. Most roads are beautiful boulevards with very large, landscaped roundabouts at all corners. The traffic here is almost "normal" - until you get off onto a small sidestreet - then it reverts to "indian"

Roadworkers in Ahmedabad. It seemed that the majority of road workers are women.

A relatively peaceful road scene - a rarity!

A bullock roaming freely in the street in Baroda.

A bullock heard - apparently kept for milking.

A few monkeys near a market in Ahmedabad.

A smiling Sikh policeman.

Unbelievably intricate detail on the mosque in Ahmedabad. This is the Sidi Saiyad's Mosque and this Tree of Life "jali" is the unofficial symbol of Ahmedabad.

The photo doesn't do justice to this Sihk gentleman's beard - it flowed both sides of his face and looked a little like small wings as we followed him along the road.

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