North America, Europe, Asia · 11 Days · 143 Moments · March 2018

LifeTraveled India 2018

10 April 2018

The big bird taking us home!

9 April 2018

Old carved gates museum in Bombay.
On our way to the airport flying from Jaipur to Mumbai to Munich to LAX. Phew! I get tired just saying all that! 2.5 days long trip. Let the games begin! See you all home!!!
Such a beautiful temple!

9 April 2018

One more site to see before we leave, the Munshi Old Temple. No time to waste, in the car and on the way.
The old city is absolutely stunning.
Monkeys decided to put on a show for us.
Getting his protective bracelet at the temple.
Getting blessed at the temple.
Happy and rested, ready for the new adventure. Visiting the Sun Temple, or the monkey temple, at the top of Jaipur overlooking the entire city. Carved in rock, it’s a wonderful site. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

8 April 2018

Beautiful hotel for our last night in India. An old palace transformed into a hotel. The Taj Jai Mahal Palace. Will want to stay here again.
The camel safari in Pushkar was quite an experience. The sites were breathtaking and the ride was very comfortable. The plan was to ride to the site and camp in the desert for the night. All was good until we got there and I realized they didn’t joke when they said camp in the tent. I took one look at told them we need to drive to Jaipur that night, and checked into the Taj hotel. We needed one night of pampering :-)
At the entrance to the only Brahma Temple in India. Unfortunately pictures were not allowed inside, but it’s small and very beautiful.
Praying at the holy ground.
The market in Pushkar. Animals, people, spices, garments, motorcyclists, cars, all cohabiting in perfect harmony.
Everyone is vegan in Pushkar. Being a holy city, they don’t even sell anything other than vegan dishes.
Waiting for the temples to reopen at 3 pm.
There are over 550 temples around this holy lake, and the only Brahma Temple in 🇮🇳 India.
Most of the homes here are carved out of pink sandstone. They are truly spectacular!
Our hotel for two hours in Pushkar. The Holy city, there are 550+ temples here. All the Rajasthani come here to pray.
On the road again, driving to Pushkar.

7 April 2018

This is the women’s wing, and their exercise room. They would want around this room to keep fit, and had small windows to peak at the outside world. Nobody but the Raj was allowed to see them.
This is one of the entertainment rooms where the mistresses would entertain the Raj and dance for him. 🤪
The stairway leads to one of the many hidden passages that the princesses would use if the fort was attacked. The stairways were foldable so once they got into the passage they would be removed so that the enemies would not know how to find them.
Toys for the royal babies made of ivory.
Another family who wanted to take pictures with Malina. :-) and lots of artifacts from the palace. The fifth picture is a bamboo screen that is wrapped in silk and was used around the windows. They used to put essential oils on the silk, and as the breeze was blowing, the oils would spread all over the room. 😍
I’m just in awe! It’s truly breathtaking!
At the gate of the fort, looking down towards Jodhpur, one can understand why it is called the blue city. The blue homes are homes of the holy people. Priests and temple helpers. In the ancient times, only holiday people were allowed to paint their homes blue, so that when Muslims attacked the city, they would know not to attack those homes.
The Jodhpur fort was built on top of a rocky mountain, carved beautifully over the centuries. There are many additions to the fort, as each royal family for established and added to it, and it is the only completely intact fort built over 500 years ago. It’s beautiful carvings in sandstone are breathtaking and so well preserved. It’s really a site everyone should see and experience.
This is the memorial the queen built for the Raj from the same marble as the Taj Mahal. The family we took a picture with wanted to play for us. Such joyful family!
Holy ground for burial for the royal family. The temple is carved of the same while marble as the Taj Mahal. It’s beautiful. The story is that the Raj was very depressed and came to this garden to meditate. As he spent his days here, he befriended a peacock and spent every day together. Their friendship was so real, that when the Raj passed and they burned his body as is the Hindu tradition, the peacock flew into the flames and burned with him. When the queen heard what happened, she built a memorial for the peacock as well. It’s the one in the third picture. This is the only memorial that is as big as an actual Raj. No other family members of the royal family are allowed to have a memorial this big than a Raj (king). Such a beautiful story!
In order to see the Raj, people had to bring a gift. There was a time when clocks were really popular, so he got many magnificent clocks made of gold and silver and diamonds.
Part of the museum inside of the palace.
Visiting the royal palace in Jodhpur was magical. The palace is carved from pink sandstone. It’s absolutely magnificent. Part of the palace is a museum, another part is the living quarters for the royal family of Jodphur and the last section is a hotel.
Our drive from Jaipur to Jodhpur took 6 hours and was chaotic. But we made it. 😃
Saying goodbye to Jaipur and Rohit who took care of us the entire time and made us feel so welcome! Thank you Rohit for making our trip so memorable!!

6 April 2018

Quite the culinary experience. Topped off with an elephant ride.
Enjoying the traditional Rajasthan culture at Chokhi Dhani Resort.
Last night in Jaipur Malina decided she knows the city well enough so she is driving us to see the Lakshmi Narayan Temple for the Goddess of Money.
Getting their certificates for a work well done. Very proud of you kiddos!
Last evening in Jaipur we had to get our henna hand paintings.
Couldn’t say goodbye!
Selfie time with Malina. :-)
The school wanted to thank us for our time. Getting ready to say goodbyes.
Sharing the love and the “samosa” lunch with the school.
Last day at the school. Had lots of work to do, and they have proudly shown me everything they did today with Jaden and Malina. Our hearts have been forever touched and changed by their hearts, their thirst for knowledge and their smiles.

5 April 2018

Went shopping for Pryia. Even the shopping bags complement the festival of colors all around us. They are made of beautiful silk decorated with beautiful colors and designs.
Chapati seems really easy to make, but whole wheat flour is needed 😏
Making the sweet balls. They are similar to “Gogosi”
Learning to cook Indian style. Making Chai, Sweet Balls and Chapati- Indian bread.
Making love packages for the children. Our parting gifts for tomorrow. Volunteers from Germany, Ireland and Switzerland helping us.
Sightseeing through Jaipur and getting a freshly squeezed sugar cane juice.
Pick up time is a festival of color as all the moms dressed in their beautiful sarees walk through the gates.
They love to take selfies. 😃
A little more work and play after lunch. The kids get water from the pots and ask politely every time they want to go and get some.
Kids wanted to eat”Samosa”. They loved it. I was really worried, as it’s real street food, prepared with bare hands, but was overruled. We decided to buy lunch from there for the entire school for our last day.
Proudly sharing their work. Made telephones with the 6th grade. They were a hit!
I am so proud of Malina and Jaden. It’s day three of volunteering at the school, and they couldn’t wait to get there and start teaching. It is hard work, they are exhausted at the end of the day, but they can’t wait for the next day to start again.

4 April 2018

Dinner with the Sharma family in true Indian tradition.
Visiting the women’s empowerment center in Jaipur. Volunteers teach computer and English classes to disadvantaged women.
Did a community visit today and met some families in the slump. The room is shared by the mom, dad, and three adult children, 17, 20 and 21. Learned about the saree, the meaning of bindi and how arranged marriages work.
Day 2 of volunteering. Jaden representing I5 proudly even when giving back.

3 April 2018

Learning Hindi from the author of the book “Hindi Made Easy”. Jaden was too tired to take part, but Malina learned quite a few things.
Sightseeing in Jaipur after our first day volunteering. Everyone is excited and exhausted.
Finally at the service project in Jaipur. Both Malina and Jaden are teaching in different classes. It’s a joy to see my kids and the children at the project interact and learn from each other.

2 April 2018

We got stuck for a couple of hours in some political demonstration. A little scary, but history is written every day, and we were part of history in India yesterday.
On the way to Jaipur.
A few more pictures before we leave this magical place. We made a friend, and bought Indian fidgets.
Diana’s bench. The famous picture that captured the melancholy of a wonderful human being. You will forever be remembered!
The animals of Taj Mahal
Falling in love with this place. Apparently it’s even more beautiful in the full moon. As the moonlight strikes the building, it looks like it’s made of glass, and all the precious stones come to life in a multitude of colors. ❤️💕
Through the looking glass.
Getting ready to walk inside the mausoleum. There are 14,000 precious stones alone, and everything is carved from single blocks of marble. The love one person must have for another to build such a temple is overwhelming. They called our names inside, and echoed through the walls. Our names will stay there forever!
Sun is finally rising and my fire spitting dragons are hard at work. 🤪
Can you see the Taj in their eyes? How about them and the Taj in mine? 😍
It’s 6am, and we are waiting for the sun to rise.
The magnificent Taj Mahal. I can see now why it was voted as one of the seven wonders of the world. Built over 400 years ago, of solid marble and precious stone cut to perfection by hand.

1 April 2018

They act like they own the place. No, really. :-)
Then they kept giving me their camera to take more selfies. And then a random family came to take pictures with us. It was comical.
A group of recent graduates thought we were a wonderful site to see, and wanted to take a picture with us. That transformed into a hundred pictures, and several hundred selfies😂🤪.
You can see the Taj from the palace. Such a wonderful site! And Malina playing with the panoramic feature. Only she could think something like this up. 🤪
They are becoming each other’s best friends. 😍
This is all done by hand, and has been standing for almost 600 years.
Such a wonderful site! Definitely worth visiting. Built in the 1500s.
Malina gets friendly with the chipmunks.
Couldn’t decide which one to post, so I posted all of them.
So beautiful!
Visiting the Agra Red Fort. So much history. Learned a thing or two about Kama Sutra as well 🤪
A room with a view. Not any view, but of the Taj Mahal. Going to see it at sunrise tomorrow morning. Can’t wait!! We saw some monkeys on the buildings on the way in, but didn’t get a chance to take a picture.
On the way to Agra.
Our servers loved us so much they wanted to take pictures together. Couldn’t say no. :-)
A few games before breakfast. They slept for 3 hours and are as fresh as a daisy. Me, not so much. 🤪
Finally out of the airport and ✈️

31 March 2018

A few more hours. Malina is trying to drink through a stirring stick she’s so tired.
Best plane ride ever, and we haven’t even left the airport yet. 😂
Filling up the bellies before the flight.
On our way to the big bird!