Entering the Inner Gate at the Taj Mahal

Well let me tell you just a little bit about my adventure(s) in India, while I was there several months ago. It takes time to process and decompress from being on the ground for over 5 months, separated from most of life and living on the edge. I finished my tour of duty overseeing a project that was building an orphanage for 75+ kids. And was given a week to travel before, I returned back home to the U.S.A.

The first part of the week was spent traveling up to New Delhi, and then to Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. I’m the second member my immediate family to visit there, the last time was over 50 years before, when my father was able to visit the Taj in the 1960’s. I spent the night at the
Jaypee Palace Hotel in Agra, very nice hotel, has a nice setup with all the amenities you could wish for, and has nice walkways through gardens and palm trees to enjoy, as one listens to the birds singing in the trees, and watch a butterfly flit from flower to flower, beside a clear blue pool of water.

The next morning, we (a friend and me) grabbed a taxi for the day, and drove towards Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory), where we found Jodha Bai’s Palace, with such sights as the Anup talao, the Diwan-i-Kas, and the Queen’s Inner Palace. Spend most of the morning there viewing the sights (I would recommend visiting the Palace, it’s peaceful and not a lot of tourists visit it. On the other hand, though Akbar the Great’s Palace, which is only a couple of hundred feet away, teems with life almost all day long. It’s main attraction is the Tomb of Salim Chishti, which is in the Jama Masjid  courtyard of Akbar’s Palace. There were thousands of people there, and it was the middle of Summer, with the heat beating down. You are required to remove your shoes when entering Akbar’s Palace, but not Jodha Bai’s Palace, the stones are so hot even at 10 am, that you can burn your feet from walking on them for only a few moments, I should know, I got blisters from that event.

We then went to the Moon Garden, back in Agra, and enjoyed several hours of resting in the shade of the trees and looking across the river at one of the most beautiful sights in the world, the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal (Crown of Palaces) was first started in 1632 A.D. and completed almost 21 years later in 1653 A.D. There are some fascinating stories about it, but I will hold off on sharing, dear reader, because you can find out about that from other sources.

We entered the Taj Mahal’s grounds via the East Gate, and walked towards the inner gate which leads in to the main grounds before the Taj Mahal. As you enter, I have been told there is an optical illusion that can be seen when entering the first gate towards the Taj. I’ve seen it, at first the Taj Mahal is far away, then as you draw closer and are entering the portal, it seems larger, as you move through the passageway, then the Taj recedes in the distance, and the optical illusion is lost.

Here is the Image I shot, that shows this.
IMG_4045

rupal.jpg

Update 9/20/12

Hello friends and family, I’m in the process of going through over 50,000 shots that I took in India while I was there Feb-July of this year. I hope to have some great shots on the site here in the next 2 weeks. Will be sharing with you some of my experience there, and just a few recommendations on some topics.

 

All the best. – Andrew Ch

Traveling to Orissa

As I was traveling in relative comfort in my Mahindra Scorpio with friends to Jeypour, I noticed this boy sleeping on his mothers shoulder, and hanging on tightly. He was resting in the safety of  his mothers arms, and didn’t wake because of the tooting of the horns, or the bounce of the rutted road, he knew it was safe where he was. I thought this was sweet, how trusting he was there.

 

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India, my home

I got the opportunity to go overseas recently, through some great and awesome adventures. About over one year ago, I knew that I was coming to India, at the time I didn’t know how or when. Though some different events that happened, I was involved with a conference at a school I attended and had the opportunity to meet several people who became influential on my career path from being a Computer Information Systems admin to having a strong desire to work in International Development. There was a period of time when I didn’t know when anything might come together. In late November I received a call from a friend, that led to getting hired by a NGO, and moving to India for a year. So I’m here now…. and here is an image that tugs at the heart strings…

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Highland Bull

From the wind and rain swept Scottish Highlands comes a different bred of beef cattle, the Highland bull. With rugged long wavy coats of red or black hair, a handsome lot who can survive in the northern climates where others would die. Here along a highway in Eagle, ID, I found a fold of them and captured the following photos.

This photo is being published in the Best of 2011 – G+ Photography Book. Highland Bull – This character was munching some grass, when I stopped the car, and walked over to the fence with my trusty camera. There was about 6-7 of these highland cattle including some youngsters quietly enjoying some hay, some were nursing, while others played games of follow the leader and butting heads… I started snapping shots to capture the moment, and this rather large bull came over and took some interest in what I was doing beside the fence. Kind of a shaggy creature, with some weathered lines in his face (I’m just imaging this), he had quite the coat and seemed warm in comparison to the temperature outside. Wonder what he thought of this strange human, who hasn’t brought any food, and is making this clicking sound. I think he had a sense of humor or something because he then let out a bellow, but unfortunately I had focused on the others at the time and missed the shot… darn it! #PlusOneCollection

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Along the Payette River

Got to drive up the Payette River a few years ago while I lived in Eagle, ID. The drive starts off in the foothills with the high desert filled with sage brush, then as you drive higher, the rocks and a sparse number of trees start to show. Higher into the canyon, evergreens and pines begin to appear.

Images found on Lost on an Adventure by Andy Christiansen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.