Fatehpur Sikri

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Fatehpur Sikri– Fatepur Sikri is a palace-fortress and mosque complex about 40 km from Agra built by Akbar the Great, one of the Mughal Emperors of the mid-to-late 16th C. Fatehpur means “victory city.” It was completed in 1572 and … Continue reading

Taj Mahal

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Taj Mahal I’m pretty sure I can’t say anything about this place that hasn’t been said before….except that this is my second visit, the first occurring more than 50 years ago. Described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as “the tear-drop … Continue reading

Varanasi III

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Varanasi III   Sarees seem to be a major industry here. I never saw so many shops. Some of them advertise their factories as well. In the middle of all my temple-hopping tour, we stopped and met an elderly small … Continue reading

Varanasi II: The Hindu Riviera

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The predominant experience of Varanasi is the permanently precarious nature of it, the common tightrope-walk hardly distinguishing between multiple near-death experiences occurring multiple times a day and the ongoing spiritual restoration. I also notice that I am not worried about … Continue reading

Varanasi I

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My train from Kolkata was two hours late. But no matter, I thought. I’m here. Though I had little idea what “here” meant. It was dark. I found my way out of the train station, knowing I would encounter enterprising … Continue reading

Jokhang

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For a couple of days already before entering the Jokhang Temple, I had become familiar with the human traffic around it because my hotel was so close. The commercial scene, the human traffic and the security presence are all permanent … Continue reading

Ganden & Norbulakhang

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Although Ganden is one of the six principal Gelug monasteries in Tibet (of which I have now visited 5) and the location of Tsongkapa’s burial stupa, its distinctive feature is not so much what’s inside the grounds, but what’s outside. … Continue reading