Asia

Exploring temples in Jaipur’s Old City

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The Old City in Jaipur is a great place to explore. Not only are there major sights here such as the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), but there are lots of small temples, which you can wander into. These can be more fun than the major sights as there […]

India

Four Doors in Jaipur

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The City Palace in Jaipur is an exquisite maharaja’s palace. I wandered around the complex amazed that each section seemed even more impressive than the last. Built in the 18th Century for the Maharaja of Jaipur, the palace is still a royal residence today. In an inner courtyard called Pritam Niwas Chowk, there are four […]

India

Victoria Terminus, Mumbai

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Chhatrapatri Shivaji Terminus (CST) or Victoria Terminus (VT) is the largest railway station in Mumbai.  From here one of the world’s greatest railway networks originates, and terminates.  Next to the station lie the Central Railway Headquarters, and behind that, Mumbai’s GPO (General Post Office). Opened in 1887 and named after Queen Victoria, the station is […]

India

GPO Mumbai

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One day I set off to the post office in Fort, which is Mumbai’s General Post Office.  I found the whole place had unexpectedly been decorated, inside and out, in celebration of the Post Office’s anniversary. On the floor there were these beautiful designs made in coloured powders.   There was a scale model of […]

India

St Thomas Cathedral, Fort

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I really like this church in Mumbai.  Bright white, offset with gold features, St Thomas’s Cathedral looks dazzling against the blue sky. It is situated in Fort, my favourite city precinct to wander around.  The cathedral provides a cool, quiet space for calm and reflection, away from the heat, noise and hustle of the streets […]

India

Benaulim beach

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We hung out at Blue Corner, a restaurant on the beach with sun loungers out at the front.  You could stay there all day, resting on the sun loungers, going for a walk or a swim, and eating in the restaurant when you get hungry.  The seafood in Benaulim is very good.  The sun loungers […]

India

Benaulim, Goa (2)

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A walk in Goa We stay in a guesthouse tucked away in the forest, just outside Benaulim. We take this path through the forest, passing giant banyan trees. We walk towards the centre of Benaulim village. We take a side road through the fields, and pass these holiday homes with beautiful gardens.  The abundance of […]

India

Benaulim, Goa (1)

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We fly from Delhi to Goa with IndiGo.  Arriving in Goa’s airport, some way south of Panjim (Goa’s main city), we take a pre-paid taxi further south to Benaulim, a small and serene fishing village. On the journey south we pass forests of palm trees, fertile fields and unending blue skies. Our driver does not […]

India

Old Delhi

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Old Delhi We take an auto-rickshaw into Old Delhi, to the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in all of India.  It is surrounded by a vast and sprawling bazaar, which fills up the labyrinthine streets made of compacted earth.  The bazaar is such a throbbing hive of activity that nobody notices us; they are too […]

India

New Delhi

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New Delhi We disembark from the rickshaw near Connaught Place, and wander off along the wide, clean streets lined with grand white buildings.  The cycle rickshaw ride was fun but none of us are sorry to get off.  Coming into New Delhi is like emerging into an entirely different place.  There is very little traffic […]

India

Paharganj, Delhi

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We travel from Agra to Delhi by National Highway – on broad, open, empty expanses of toll road, where our bus can drive fast all the way.  On the approach to Delhi we drive through two entirely new cities, being built from the ground up.  These are vast developments emerging on the open plain.  There […]

India

Agra

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The day after visiting the Taj Mahal we go to Agra Fort, a vast red castle strategically located on a meander of the Yamuna river.  It is built of red sandstone and dates from the 16th century.  Within its broad, high walls are several self-contained palaces, and mosques.  You can see the Taj Mahal across […]

India

Homesickness

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I have been in Mumbai for more than three months now, and when I left my brother at the international airport I started feeling homesick.  His presence here had thrown me back into a world where it is normal to have all my family and friends around me, and deeper than that – the comforting […]

India

Taj Mahal

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The road to Agra We travel by bus from Jaipur to Agra.  All the guide books and travel advice blogs I have read recommend train travel well above buses, but I cannot understand why.  Trains have to be booked in advance, and even then it is quite common for there not to be any tickets […]

India

Bandra Skywalk

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Bandra has a skywalk, which runs for about 1.8km (1.1miles).  It connects Bandra East and West with the station, a series of interconnecting footbridges (or one long one), providing a safe, elevated platform for pedestrians to walk along. The Bandra skywalk was finished in June 2008 and was the first one in Mumbai.  There are […]

India

Haji Ali Dargah

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A photo tour of Haji Ali island tomb and causeway. On the approach to the Dargah. Inside the Haji Ali complex. This is the view upon leaving the tomb.  Note the stacks of sandals all around! An empty fountain beside the tomb chamber

India

Mahalakshmi

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Just beyond Mahalakshmi station and over the rail bridge lie the dhobi ghats.  These are concrete vats where dhobiwalas wash laundry every day; loads of washing are brought here from all over the city to be soaked and beaten at the dhobi ghats.  Mumbai’s dhobi ghat is said to be the largest outdoor laundry in […]

India

Elephanta Island, and the spirit of E. M. Forster

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I visited Elephanta, an island that lies in Mumbai’s harbour, about seven miles north-east of the jetty in front of the Gateway of India.  I went down to the Gateway and bought a ticket for the ferry to the island (Rs 150 at time of writing), and then queued up on the jetty with groups […]