Beware the Monkey Temple

Got a monkey on his back at the Monkey Temple in Jaipur, India

Hanuman, the popular monkey deity in Hindu religion, can be found in statues and carvings at temples and shrines throughout India. But that’s not where Galwar Bagh, the Hindu pilgrimage site near Jaipur, India got its name. No, the origins of the site’s nickname comes from a less spiritual source. Real monkeys – both Rhesus …

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The Art of Henna

henna art application

Mehndi, the ancient henna art of intricate yet temporary tattoos, is popular with girls in America. Found at theme parks such as Disney’s Epcot, girls choose stencil designs that are drawn freehand with a dark brown paste that later washes off, leaving an orange tattoo. The process is simple, but the results vary by artist. …

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Exotic India Beguiles at Amber Fort

Amber Fort elephant and a flute seller at Amber Fort- Jaipur, India

The India of myth and magic – elephants and tigers, enchanting scents and spices – enchants even the most jaded travelers to Rahasthan. Dubbed the “land of kings,” medieval cities have long prospered amidst the Great Indian Desert covering much of the Republic of India’s largest state. One of the most intriguing of these ancient …

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Train to Jaipur

Child rolling luggage - Train to Jaipur - Delhi, India

When researching family travel in India, I perused brochures about luxury trains. Works of art in themselves – envelopes within envelopes, ribbons, seals, and gold, lots of gold – the brochures featured trains with exotic names like the “Golden Chariot” or “Palace on Wheels” promising a bounty of earthly delights. Our own train to Jaipur …

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The Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal Indian family photo

A lot has changed since last I visited the Taj Mahal in 1990. Air pollution has decreased significantly since factories were relocated out of Agra, India. There’s also a new ticket building – with bathrooms – and a shuttle system.  What has not changed is the age-old human story and the timeless architectural beauty of …

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The Road to Agra

Delhi to Agra by road

On the day before India was to debut a new 6-lane expressway that halves the travel time between New Delhi and Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, I made the trip on a road that was decidedly NOT an expressway. Road to Agra The last time that I visited the Taj Mahal, it was in …

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