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My trip to India 2011

Kanha National Park

01resort
My trip starts at the Kanha National Park. My colleague organized a wonderful trip here for us. This is the resort we stayed at.
01tiger
Kanha National Park is famous for its tigers. You can get as close as 3 meters to them.
01monkey
The park does not just have tigers, but also tiger food.
01cow
The park has also plenty of other animals.
01village
The humans around the park live a bit less comfortably. The village at the park entrance consists mainly of animals, dirt, and collapsing huts.
01sun
We left Kanha after 2 days.

Hyderabad

02cow
Hyderabad is in the center of India. We came here for a conference. Here is a first impression of the city. Traffic is chaotic, to put it mildly, as the traffic participants exhibit a wide variety in the number of weels and legs.
02bazar
This is the bazar with the central mosque of Hyderabad in the background.
02dance
I also got some inspiration for my dance class.

Goa

03house
With friends and colleagues, I am on my way to Goa. Goa was once a Portuguese colony.
03window
It is famous for its colonial-style houses. We found two of them.
03dirt
The others are seemingly hidden beneath a considerable amount of dirt, slums and animals.
03church
The churches of Goa are part of the World Heritage.
03beach
Goa is also famous for its lonely beaches. It's just that nobody knows where they are.
03mari
We left Goa after 2 days. Big kudos to my colleague Mari for her patience with the picture session.

Mumbai

04gate
The plan was to go to Jaipur today with my travel mate. But due to a flight rescheduling problem, we found ourselves in Mumbai. We decided to make the best of it and stayed one day. The picture shows the Gate of India, built for the British King when he visited India in 1911.
04tree
A street in Mumbai -- with my awesome travel mate Zeynep. The background shows a tree with freshly trimmed lianas.
04university
This is the university of Mumbai.
04mosque
To go to the Haji Ali Mosque, we have to cross this pathway. As in St. Malo, the pathway gets submerged in water with high tide. We got our fair share of waves and water, but managed to get back before high tide.
04temple
Unfortunately, it is forbidden to take pictures inside the marvellous Hindu temple area behind this entry door (the Mahalaxmi temple). We found ourselves queuing with a hundred people, who all wanted to bring flowers to the goddess.
04henna
These are different types of colors for putting a dot on the forehead. The color code is: yellow=single, red=married, orange=married, plan to break up soon.
04wash
This is the laudry place of Mumbai -- a huge area dotted with little wash cells like these.
04woman
As explained here quite plastically, this place in the bus is reserved for women. Trains also have compartments for women and mixed compartments.
04train
This is me riding the city train. The trains have no doors, which makes riding them much more fun.
04family
My travel mate, me, and our little Mumbai family. We always wanted to take pictures with locals, but were afraid to ask. In fact, locals also always want to take pictures with tourists, but are afraid to ask.

Jaipur

05winds
We arrive in Jaipur, the pink city. The most important landmark of Jaipur is the “Palace of Winds” - a facade behind which the rich women of the city could watch street ceremonies incognito.
05tuk
This is inside a Tuk-Tuk, our main means of transportation. In India, people officially drive on the left side of the road. But you can stay here for several weeks without noticing that.
05citypalace
The City Palace of Jaipur is still the home of the Ex-Maharatcha.
05observatory
What may seem like a collection of modern art objects is in fact a large park of astronomic devices from the 18th century, which serve to measure the position of stars and planets.
05monkey
The 'Monkey Temple' is located outside the city. It is inhabited mainly by four-handed creatures. Hindus come here for ritual bathing.
05monkeytemple
The temple structure itself is beautiful, but in a desolate state of maintenance.
05garbage
On our way to the temple, children threw stones at us. If they used the stones to repair the temple instead (and if they cleaned up the place a bit), they could probably make this an attractive tourist destination.

Pushkar

06view
To escape from noisy Jaipur, we make a daytrip to Pushkar, a holy city built around a lake.
06shop
Pushkar is a colorful city, with one shop next to the other. However, the atmosphere is much more relaxed than in Jaipur.
06city
As so many other places here in India, Pushkar covers a wide spectrum on the beauty scale.
06temple
This is the most important temple of Pushkar. Photography is not permitted inside, but tourists are.
06tuk
Again, traffic is an adventure. We counted 10 (in words: ten) people in this tuk-tuk. Communication is honk-based: 1 second honk = Caution, I will pass your car; 2 seconds = I am angry; 30 seconds = I am very angry; 1 hour = I fell asleep on my steering wheel.

Fort Amber

07door
Fort Amber is the castle of Jaipur, built in the 17th century.
07mirror
Mirrors were imported from Belgium. The fort had all types of luxury, for example a jacuzzi with warm water, a sauna, and an ancient type of air conditioning.
07way
Culture has regressed since these times. Most of our hotels do *not* have warm water.

Agra

08taj
Yes, folks, this is it: The Taj Mahal!
08green
Built in the 17th century as a tomb for the emperor's wife...
08stones
...the Taj is covered all over with handcrafted decoration, made from precious stones imported from all over the world.
08garbage
The Taj is one of the main tourist attractions of India, giving the city of Agra a constant source of work and wealth.
08fort
The city of Agra also has a fort, which is listed here mainly for completeness.
08shadow
Today, we go to Delhi, where my travel mate will leave me to head back home.

Bodhgaya

09bus
I am on my way from Patna to Bodhgaya. The trip is 150 km, the time is 4 hours and the cost is 1 EUR (a bit cheaper if you travel outside of the bus).
09garbage
Small garbage heaps along the road contribute to the olfactory diversity of the country side.
09food
We stop at a local fast food restaurant. I have not yet had any stomach problems since I am in India. 4 years of food at the university cafeteria in Saarbrücken have not been in vain.
09market
Bodhgaya is a very busy place.
09mass
The city is very important for Buddhists. The picture shows a buddhist mass under a tree.
09buddha
Bodhgaya is the place where Buddha was fasting to seek enlightment.
09sujata
When Buddha was fasting, a girl from the village came and said that if he would not soon eat something, he will not find enlightment, but death.
09bigtemple
Buddha agreed, ate what she gave him - and found that enlightment must not be deprivation, not excess, but the middle way. People built a big temple at the tree in his memory.
09temple
My guides here are a local psychology professor and the head of the police. This is because I once helped a PhD student from India by counseling him by e-mail. The PhD student turned out to be the chief of the police of the entire state of Bihar.
09inside
He has since moved to another state. But he has done so much good here that he is still revered by the people. Now, he has asked his friends to be my guides here in Bodhgaya. Thank you all!

Varanasi

10ganges
I am in Varansi now. Everything in Varanasi happens around the river Ganges.
10wash
People use the river for everything. Washing clothes, teeth brushing, sewage disposal, ...
10bath
... bathing ...
10burn
... and burying the ashes of the dead (fire on the right).
10foot
The Ganges is holy for Hindus and whoever manages to bath in it will have his wishes fulfilled, health issues cured and afterlife secured. Picture shows self-experiment.
10ritual
In the evening, people hold masses at the river. Less pious people use the time to worship a female deity instead, called Mary Huana.
10silk
Varanasi is also famous for its hand-woven silk. This is particularly interesting for computer scientists, because the machines use punch cards to weave the complicated patterns (hanging top left).
10street
Varansi itself is the most non-European city I have visited so far.

Delhi

11mosque
I am in Delhi now, the capital of India. This is the Jama Masjid mosque, long India's largest mosque.
11fort
The Red Fort (here in white) is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
11city
Delhi itself was not founded by the British. The city has its own pittoresque style of architecture.
11cows
In many aspects, it is similar to Varanasi. The picture shows a bovine couple, asking for vegetarian food.
11traffic
School's out! My taxi driver here was a Sikh. He wore a turban, but lied to me. I wonder why he applied the principles of his religion so selectively.
11bahai
This is the Lotus Temple of the Bahai religion. The Bahai believe that all great prophets (Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha etc.) essentially taught the same thing. Therefore, the Bahai faith tries to encompass and unify all of them.
11gate
Today, I leave India.

Paris

12arc
I am on my way to Paris now. Paris is known for its century-old architecture.
12notredame
The city is full of temples. People worship a threefold deity here.
12eiffel
Overall, I believe it is a good place to stay.
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