Sunday, February 12, 2012

Now I can die happy, I've seen India

Eleven of us at the Taj Mahal (Webb stayed on the bus because he'd
 already  seen it) plus our Indian guardian angels,
Mr.. Joachim and Fr. Prasad.

I never had any interest in visiting India. I love to travel, having visited 49 U.S. states, parts of Canada and Mexico, even Cuba as a young child, and many Western European counties, but India...well, it just wasn't on my to-do list. Nevertheless, when my church's Indian pastor, Fr. Bala, planned a trip to India, I decided to go. And now I can't wait to go back. For a month next time.   
India is amazing. It's hard to put it into words, but I will try. Pictures will help.

Fr. Bala's a Franciscan priest "on loan" for 5 years to the US, and St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin won the lottery on this one. Unfortunately, Fr. Bala could not come with us at the last minute because of an immigration snafu, so the 12 of us, 11 women and one man, ranging in age from 42 to 84, were in the capable hands with Frs. Prasad, Sleeva and Bhaskar, also Franciscans.

Part of the trip was sightseeing, and that's the part I'm going to talk about first.

Everything you've heard about the Taj Mahal is true: it's the most beautiful building in the world. No, I haven't seen all the buildings in the world, but I have seen quite a few and nothing even comes close. It's impossible to take a bad photo of it, and I'm really good at taking bad photos and even I couldn't manage it here.

We took in quite a few Muslim mosques and fortresses and Hindu temples and palaces. The temples aren't my cup of tea, although interesting, but the Muslim architecture is quite spectacular. The red sandstone is stunning. 

What's coming in that they needed these giant doors? In the year 1500?

Qutb Minard (tower) in Delhi.

 Another red sandstone mosque. They often incorporate water into the design--this was true at the Alhambra in Spain too.
The palace at Mysore was built in 1898. The women's saris are as beautiful as the palace.   

 Love, love, love the turquoise and coral with gold accents in the palace. That old maharaja had some style.  

Girls on a school trip at Hindu temple in Mysore. This temple is home to dozens of monkeys, who make themselves at home on the temple walls.

Stay tuned...more to come soon.