North America, Asia, Europe · 45 Days · 329 Moments · January 2018

Brad & Dave Go To India 2018


23 February 2018

I have CIRCLED THE ENTIRE EARTH & I made it home to my loved ones (my dear Tenzin couldn’t make it to the airport)! Thank you, everyone, for following & sharing my adventures!
Edmonton!
TO to Edmonton!
Pearson Airport...
Frankfurt to Toronto...

22 February 2018

Around the Frankfurt Airport.
Delhi to Frankfurt!

20 February 2018

Back in Delhi. A really fat dog (so rare in India)! A “tiger” dog. Chai wala Cheesecake at Ama Clear views of the bridge. My final Delhi meal: momos at Big Apple Restaurant!
While in the state of Maharashtra, I could not help but notice two things missing, that are common to the other parts of India: Dogs & Cows!

20 February 2018

Aurangabad Airport It is similar to the airport in Khajuraho. Both in building style & in being only lightly used!
The drive to Aurangabad...
The hotel grounds...
The giant leaf hopper who came to visit & the ant that had to check it out.

18 February 2018

Our cottage.
This pic shows a pic of the waterfall created by the monsoon rains & the overhang...
The langurs at the front gate. They are waiting for people to offer them fruit. The people buy the fruit from the hawkers.
Ellora, part 10... See pics 4 & 5...
Ellora, part 9...
Ellora, part 8...
Ellora, part 7...
Ellora, part 6...
Ellora, part 5...
Ellorq, part 4... including a picture of a squirrel.
Ellora, part 3...
Ellora, part 2...
Ellora caves, part 1... The overhang, visible in pic 9, becomes a waterfall during the monsoon season.
The hotel we are in is about 200 feet from the entrance to the Ellora site. These are pics on the road outside our hotel.
An interesting hawker in Ellora
The view of the caves from our cottage.

17 February 2018

A few more scenes on the way to Ellora.
Sights on the way to Ellora...
On our way to Ellora. The state of Maharashtra is a major producer of cotton (pic 5). This is also the first time I have seen a combine in India. I suspect the combine are specialized for cotton, so as to reduce the requirement for labour.
This is the “Interpretive” centre & museum but I have been told it is not up to the job...
& the final Ajanta set...
Even more...
More...
A few more...
Some more...
yet more...
& again, we have more...
& more...
Even more... (really, if you haven’t been here, ya gotta come visit!)
More...
More...
Going through the caves...
The beginning of the Ajanta caves. I’ve skipped over the long stairway that gets you to the caves...

16 February 2018

Views around the hotel.
Our hotel in the Ajanta area...
On the way to Ajanta. So from Jalgaon we hired a tuktuk.
After an overnight train trip, we arrived in Jalgaon.
More scenes on the way to Satana & a couple at the train station in Satana.
Today we are traveling to Satana, where we will catch the train to Jalgaon. From Jalgaon, we will head to Ajanta, to see the painted caves...
Chai wala

15 February 2018

A very good chai wala! & the breakfast he sells! This is THE cleanest chai stand that I have seen ANYWHERE in India! Also the most consistent...

14 February 2018

We’ve met 2 of the students who are staying here at Hotel Jain. The students are from the faculty of art of a university in Tamil Naidu. Most of them are sculptors but all are multi disciplined. This is their last day here. Their activity for the day: bicycle tour to one of the near by Nationsl Parks.
Night shots of the Shiva festival...
Mushroom soup & tomato soup at Agrasen Restaurant!
Some pics of my young friends...
The Shiva & Parvati wedding parade! They have 2 kids done up as Shiva & Parvati! In addition there were other deities, including Ram! & a pic of Pradeep & a selfie of me!
Preparations for the wedding parade for Shiva & Parvati...

13 February 2018

Scenes...
The mela site nears completion...
The last 2 days in Khajuraho have been foggy. serious fog. Train stopping fog! The 2 days before that were rainy, with the second day being particularly wet. Amusingly, the weather station says sunny & clear! Although, by night, enough of the fog has cleared that stars can be seen! As well, 28 art students from Tamil Nadu arrived a day & half ago. Noisy & boisterous as students are wont to be!
I am always impressed by how momos have become embedded in Indian cuisine!
Omprakash also showed us some of the raw materials he has on hand, as well as some actual antiques.
We went for a longer visit with our friend, Omprakash. Today he demonstrated his process for decorating pots.
One of my favourite flowers but with more purple; an interesting motorbike; & 3 scenes and a sign.

11 February 2018

We woke today to the sound of the Shiva mela (festival) being setup! The festival is in celebration of the Shivas marriage to Parvati.
Arriving back in Khajuraho, we found out that Ravis’ cousins wedding is today! Can’t miss that!
We stopped here on our way to Chittrakoot. Its very good so we had lunch here again!

10 February 2018

Scenes...
many langurs...
There were many langurs...
Today we head back to Khajuraho. On the way, we stopped at another mountain temple.
This is the ashram that was our hotel for the night. There is a stable at the back for cows; I guess the cows just wander in from the street. The sadhus come & take care of the cows.
Rather than climb a mountain, we decided to settle for chai in clay cups! The gentleman in pic 5 stopped to chat & of course ask “the questions”. After a good discussion, he insisted on paying for our chai! The blue box in last pic is a public water tank.
After the boat ride, we went to see some mountain top temples.
More river! & better views of Hanuman...
We went for a boat ride on the river! Very pleasant! Note the Hanuman statue in the last pic...
More selfies!
A curious cow...
After the university, we got a tour of this agricultural & Ayurvedic research centre. It is also an educational institution. One of the research projects is in regards to high quality nutritional supplements for cows & buffalo. They are testing a fast growing high protein aquatic plant. They also have a field of aloe vera!
Chittrakoot has some very beautiful cows...

9 February 2018

A highlight of this excursion was a visit to the local university. The students, who were outside for a phys ed class, were very eager to meet & chat. Mostly, they were interested in what we thought of India, their university, & Prime Minister Modi! A very pleasant group!
While the fort was built by a Hindu ruler, the site has a mosque!
Monkeys & peacocks at the fort...
Fort...
And yet more fort...
More fort... Pic 10 is a monkey turd...
More of the fort...
I think the the fort is called Kalinjar.
More landscapes. A planned stop on the way to Chittrakoot is a an old fort on top of a mountain. In this set, we pass through the town below the fort & we slowly make our way to the top.
More landscapes...
Some of the landscape on the way to Chittrakoot. And a selfie.
Finally, the whole mess is deftly & skillfully folded into a little packet. I then popped the packet into my mouth. Initially, you chew it but don’t swallow. It is then held in your cheek; periodically, you move back into your mouth, where you chew it up more, again not swallowing the wad but you do swallow the juice. Over the next hour or so you repeat this process until the wad has completely broken down & slowly disappears.
Next, a variety of flavourings are added. Some are sweet, some are savoury.
Today we are going to Chittrakoot. On the way, our driver wanted to stop for chai & paan. Being adventurous, I tried the paan! First, a betel leaf is selected & trimmed. The leaf is then coated with a spice paste.

8 February 2018

An Indian power meter.

7 February 2018

One evening, our friend Norval invited us for dinner. Of course,w we accepted. He also invited a British gentleman named Peter. He was very interesting. He was born in India, & his father was a British official involved with some bureaucratic aspect of the Partition. There were also several of Norvals Indian friends. Well, long story short, the conversation turned to politics! It was VERY lively (but still friendly)!

7 February 2018

The weather has taken a turn to cold! We’ve had a smattering of rain but temperatures have taken a deep dip in the mornings! In fact, I wore my long johns yesterday in addition to both my coats! Brrrrr!
Dave as crazed tuktuk driver.
Besia (water buffalo)!
Chausath Yogini temple ruins. This is the oldest extant temple in Khajuraho. It is one of very few Yogini temples in India.

6 February 2018

My favorite apple pop. It used to be the apple pops by Pinafel, a Mexican beverage maker. This is more natural tasting. I’m gonna have to find a Canadian substitute...
Tonight we ate at Indiana Restaurant. Tandoori chicken (done in a pan) with fancy garnish. Dave had Chicken & corn soup and a tomato salad. Weird coloured orange juice. Tasted totally normal...
Um, I appear to be experiencing some weather. I want my sun back!
A very hungry goat...
I have noticed there are many plants in India that have wicked spines. I think these are in response to goats, which try to eat everything...
The palaces around the temple mountain.
On the way down, I spotted this odd tree. Laxman says that in about 2-3 weeks the tree will be covered in red blooms. After flowering, then the tree will produce leaves.
Here are some pics of my buddies Hema, Barat, & Pradeep. As well, some scenery around the mountain & a nice pic of the family.
After Laxman & family visited the temple to pray, we had a lovely picnic lunch. While eating, Laxman fed the ants! The goats might have gotten fed as well, but they were to rude & ill-mannered. The last pic shows an ant tunnel up a tree.
The excursion today is to Gauraiyya Mata Temple, which is on the top of a mountain, with Laxman & his family. I was very honoured to be here as it is not part of the usual tourist visit. The 9th pic shows a birds nest in a bush!

4 February 2018

This is our friend Norval. He is the most reasonable money changer in Khajuraho.
Someone is looking to build a mall in Khajuraho...

3 February 2018

Todays big event: a local cricket championship! I am totally into cricket now! The athletes have great total body development. The game itself is interestingly complicated. The field is 4X larger than an American football field! Watching the pro games, it is my hypothesis that they hit harder than ANY baseball or hockey player!
Part of Indian weddings is the parade & loud music with public dancing. This decorated truck is used to lead the wedding parade. In addition, there is a ridiculously large sound system on board which “announces” the wedding & provides the music. An interesting fact about Indian weddings (at least rural obes...): ONLY the men dance & party hardy!
Pretty flowers
Deluxe thali
A few more dance pics...
For tonights excitement, we went to a performance of traditional Mahdya Pradesh dance. The “female” dancer in red was incredible! After the performance, I found out that “she” is a he!
My tailor in Khajuraho

2 February 2018

Starting at #1: One of the interesting local characters... A group of schhool girls going to the temples. Our buddy, Banglash & Dave 3 thru 7 is of the beginning of a wedding party!
Really delicious chicken at Indiana Restaurant
Back at the hotel, they made a rangoli for the puja.
After the puja, there was a free lunch. Following lunch, the conclusion of the puja is a parade with wedding buggies & temple carts!
Toward the end of the puja, Banglash introduced Dave & I to his teacher.

1 February 2018

More of tge puja... The nearer gentleman in pic 1 is Vijay, our host at the Hotel Jain.
The puja was fascinating! Our friend Banglash, was one of the “hosts” of the puja (he’s the gentleman with his arms up in pic 3). His teacher is the gentleman in white (without a shirt). During the puja, the “audience” was building offerings (the trays) in response to the chanting.
Todays adventure is attending a Jain puja! In preparation, they decorate the temple. These ladies are making rangoli.
Milk delivery
The shiny items are awaiting the “antiquing”. The tall item in pic 2 & 3, he won an award on. NOTE: there will be more pics of his work later. Additionally, I will be setting up a webpage about him, including some video.
At the home of Omprakash. The area he lives in is the old village of Khajuraho. His home consists of several sections; some of the sections are VERY old. The dried out plant growing on the one section comes back after the monsoon rains. So, who is Omprakash? Well, when you cone to visit India, you will be inundated with souvenir vendors. Some will try to sell you very pretty “antiques”. Some of the “antiques” will be engraved metal objects. Guess what? They are ALL new (or newish)! SOME of the objects are REAL antiques, but the engraving is new. The rest are new objects, decorated, & aged. Omprakash is one of the highly skilled & talented craftsmen who makes these items!
On our way to visit Omprakash...
Lunch at the Hotel Jain: Aloo subaji for me & mutter paneer for Dave. And an interesting part of their menu!

31 January 2018

A very delicious coffee from Agrasen Restaurant
Me in my new kurta (long shirt), tolia (scarf & towel) & vest! Aren’t I handsome?
Supper tonight: pizza! And it was very good!
Night of the Blood Moon...
Here is the wedding buggy at night! It’s the same one we rode in earlier today!
Some random pics...
After a short ride, we were done. Of course, for good luck we gave them an “offering”! The shiny parts are made from sign-makers materials! It is thin metal laminated to plastic sheets.
On our way back, we came across these 2 gentlemen & their shiny wedding buggy! Apparently, they just finished it & are going out for its maiden “voyage”! Being strange looking touristy types, they invited us for a ride!
A pic of a bus for my darlin’ Susie!
Hmmm...
The oracle has pet peacock. A very interesting animal! A sweet child & a view down the lane.
This gentleman & his family are one of the recipients of a smokeless stove. He is locally revered as an oracle. The way that works is that he becomes possessed by a Hindu god or demi-god, who then speaks through him. We attracted quite a crowd of kids. As well, his brother & his brothers family were there. The 2 girls trying to hide in pic 4 were very sweet! They REALLY want to see but they are TOO shy! Lol!
Our friend & owner of the Hotel Jain, Vijay Kumar. Yes! He IS Jain.

30 January 2018

We got invited to eat! Potatoes & bhajia with fresh, hot chapatis! EXTREMELY DELICIOUS! Sadly, I don’t think I can get bhajia in Canada! Also a few pics of the inside of their home. & a palm tree with a light
Scenes at Laxman’s parents farm. Pic 3 is Laxman’s mother & 1 of the grandkids. Pics 4 on, are of Laxman’s sister-in-law making chapatis for supper. It was fascinating watching the chapati making; from the dexterous handling of the chapati as it is shaped to the precise timing of the cooking process! While making & cooking the chapatis, she also manages the fire; interestingly, the fire is virtually smokeless due to the close management. I have been told that amongst the rural Indians, this is an important skill for women; in fact, the inability of a daughter to properly make a chapati is cause for great stress & worry amongst parents!
As the day drew to close & the sun started to go down, the chickens returned to their natural habitat: the trees! Once in the trees, the chickens patiently wait for darkness. At full night the chickens sit quietly, waiting for their prey to walk beneath the tree. When close enough, they leap upon them and suck their blood! Oh wait! Thats just the plot to a bad sci-fi story! But the chickens DID ascend the trees!
More scenes at Laxman’s parents.
Something interesting: I have seen this growing in various locations. This is cotton.
This is Laxman’s’ parents farm. The 1st pic is of an old mausoleum. The farm abuts a small local lake. Pic 5 is the hand dug well. Laxman & 1 of his brothers Pic 8: one of Laxman’s brothers caught these 3 fish in the lake. They will be sold in the local market. Laxman & the kids! As the purpose of this trip was to distribute smokeless stoves, here is where we gave the first stove, to Laxman’s’ parents.

29 January 2018

Brads Camera Clinic! The always generous Dave has brought an action camera for Hema & Barat Raikwar. My contribution was to provide some basic lessons on how to use the camera. As well, Dave had previously provided Hema & Barat with android tablets. These had been “acting up”, so I provided a bit help with those as well.
A lovely painting in the Indiana Restaurant.

28 January 2018

Another chai wala...
Local village women going to the Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho.
At a National Park...part 4 The black rocks are the remains of an ancient volcano.
At a National Park...part 3 The area has naturally occurring composite rocks!
At a National Park...part 2. The stone wall & “road” are a 500 year old structure, built so the Maharaja could safely hunt tigers!
At a National Park...part 1. The waters here have crocodiles! After the monsoons, this area is inundated with massive quantities of water! So much that the rocks are no longer visible. Plus a few selfies!

28 January 2018

Todays breakfast vegie fried rice & Mirinda orange pop! The 3rd pic is from the pop label.
One of todays extra special treats: haircut & a shave! Little Barat, Laxman, David, & I, all headed down to the bus station, where the barbers are. Barat got a haircut, Dave & I haircuts & straight razor shaves! Poor Laxman didn’t get his though! We took to long! Lol! First time I’ve been in a barbers chair in over 34 years! It was great! It included powdering, a little head massage, & sweet stink’em for men! And I am blown away by the quality of a the shave! Wilkenson & Gillette CANNOT compete on closeness of shave! ***UPDATE*** Next day, & it’s still incredible smooth. The stubble is NOT as heavy as it usually is is!
I have come to the conclusion that my popularity as a photo subject is likely because of my beard! For 2 reasons: 1- as I have been told many times, I look like a Chinese martial artist. 2- my hair, short though it may be, is dark & my beard grey. I look old but also not old. Basically, I think I look pleasantly weird to most Indians. & so long as it makes them happy, gives them smiles, I will cooperatively pose! 😁
A temple lit for the sound & light show...
A delicious meal at Agrasen Restaurant!
A very interesting temple...don’t recall it’s name but it was in a large field with goats, cows, dogs, & water buffalo. To complete the picture, it had several giant pipal (bodhi) trees...
The Jain temple complex including Parshvanatha temple
Duladeo temple...plus a few selfies
Bijamandal temple
Chaturbhujia temple

26 January 2018

The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 8
An ant for Marcus
The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 7
The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 6
The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 5
The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 4

25 January 2018

The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 3
The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 2 plus some selfies
The Western Group of Temples at Khajuraho...part 1 These are the temples with the sex statues...except we have all been mislead! Yes, there are statues on the temples of sex. But they are only part of imagery. The temples are in fact covered in statuary depicting ALL aspects of life: from sex to war to feasts!

24 January 2018

Our first meal in Khajuraho at the Agrasen Restaurant & the view from the cafe.
My first daytime view of Khajuraho, from our hotel, the Hotel Jain.

23 January 2018