Posts Tagged With: monkeys


Dargar Danesh has an open courtyard and several beautiful gates to enter the building.

The most beautiful gate was mobbed by people wanting their picture taken, I gave up and photographed strangers to get a whole picture of it.

Each gate is decorative and beautiful. Where else would you see anything like it?

Ellen took my picture in this gate.

And I took her picture in another gate.

A bit of detail shows what I believe is the Hindu  God Ganesh.

Around each gate are beautiful, carved marble panels.


Here’s Hugo and Kris. They finally got their chance in front of the “peacock” gate, as we began referring to it. It was a crush of people in front of them; I couldn’t get a frontal picture.

I waited long enough for a close up of the peacock gate.

The courtyard is rented out for weddings and other celebrations. An old ex-royal lives here. These men were carrying food to his apartment on the far side of the courtyard. Not long after, I saw him leave in his Rolls Royce.

But on to the hunt. These are the canters, open seating with roll bars.

The first thing we spotted was a monkey of a different color. It never faced us and I never saw another of that color anywhere.

Here a protective mother.

A newborn has little hair.

The road got a bit rough. If you meet another vehicle, someone has to pull over or back up. It was early morning and we were all bundled up against the cold with blankets provided.

Near a lake, a crocodile slumbered on the opposite bank. And, we did see tiger tracks. They eat about every 3 days.

Tigers favorite food the rangers call tiger orderves.

Peacocks are plentiful in the wild. The peacock is the national bird of India.

I don’t remember bird names in my country very well. I usually have to look them up.

Deer are plentiful. If I remember correctly, both males and females of this breed grow horns.

Beautiful colors.

A wild boar.

Another type of deer roams the park. It is called a blue bull. I was never able to catch a photo of one. And we were unable to see a tiger but we have another hunt to try again tomorrow.

Our palace tomorrow.

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We fly to Jaipur and eat lunch at a barbecue restaurant before checking into our hotel. The waiters bring skewer after skewer of chicken, fish, beef and lamb to cook at special tables. It seems disconcerting to eat meat without the rice and vegetables we would normally put on our plate at the same time. dsc09677-copy

We eventually get to many wonderful buffet items and enjoy a sumptuous feast. They had great clay pots of lamb, beef, or chicken dahl along with the usual Indian specialties.


In the morning, Theo and I are scheduled for a Balloon ride, (optional event), but it is canceled because it is very hazy and visibility is poor. Instead,  our bus takes us through this 300 year old city, the first planned city in India. Our city guide, Vinot tells us Jaipur has wide boulevard Streets, with shopping squares. It is the 10th largest city in India and has a modern metro where certain cars are reserved for women only. Special seats in every car are reserved for women.


The loads and the streets are just as busy, but the streets are well paved and cleaner it seems to me. The city was planned by a Hindu Maharajah and the color pink was chosen for all major buildings. Jai means victory.


On the opposite side of the boulevard-elephants in the midst of traffic. They banned elephant traffic in Dehli, but here no one regards it as unusual except tourists.


Jaipur is host to an elephant festival every year. Vitor tells us that today is an auspicious day for Hindo weddings and that about 10,000 weddings will take place this week in India because of the positive astrological forecasts.


All are painted it seems. Pink toenails on this one.


The glare from the window is fearsome but his elephant blanket was so colorful I couldn’t resist. He is preparing to go to his wedding.


This drover looks as though he carries his bed with him.


On the outskirts of town is a walled citadel, the Amber Fort-Palace.  We load into jeeps to drive us up a winding road as high as we can go.


Paul is too tall to fit in the back with the rest of us so he gets a front seat.


From the open back, I catch my first site of sacred cows since arriving in Jaipur. Ranvir has suggested that to keep people from starving, the cows were religion-ized to prevent the people from killing them all. They can use the milk, of great value as a high protein food, and the cows, in theory anyway, feed themselves.


The parking lot is steep and Ranvir warned that we would be walking up, up, an up to view the aspects of the Maharaja’s walled fortress that kept his enemies away. It was never besieged and conquered. Theo is not feeling well and decides to stay and sleep in the jeep.


The place is so vast, it can hold an army in the square to fend off enemies.


And, those armies, must be fed. At one level looking out, the wall is visible going up over the mountain. It is said to be the second greatest wall next to the Great Wall of China. The well is a lake with floating platforms to grow food augmented by the surrounding forest and wild life.



Some are stairs and some are walkways. As we move from level to level we come to the Ganesh Pol, built in 1640 to honor the God Ganesha.


This is the gate to Ganesh Pol, with beautiful frescoes and carved marble and sandstone walls.


A fresco of Lord Ganesha at the base of this arch. The colors are still vibrant because most were made from natural pigments.


A ceiling fresco.


Every spot has some sort of decoration.


Where outdoor light didn’t penetrate, the walls were decorated with reflective pieces of mirrored glass to enhance the candle light.


Doors are shaped to the architects’ design of the building.


This is one half of the lock, demonstrated by Vinot,  that could repel any attack.


Sandstone pillars, if repeatedly polished with a soft cloth, get a sheen and a hard surface that resembles marble. Only a Maharaja could afford that kind of labor.dsc09759-copy

Another set of beautiful arches.


Formal gardens have replaced the playground of the Maharaja’s concubines. He had many wives and concubines plus he supported their servants. He most likely had no relations with most of them since they were accepted for political alliances. Other kings would be glad to send him their daughters for their care and protection. This large area was where the women visited and played games and entertained themselves under the watchful eyes of eunuchs.


Kathy had her picture taken with these Muslim men, I think because she is blonde and they wanted the picture? And, I asked for my picture after she stepped away. Anyway, aren’t they a handsome bunch?


The sparkling mirrored walls do not reveal their true beauty to a camera. dsc09780-copy

A flowered marble slab has two distinct black spots that are holes through which someone could peek, if I’m remembering correctly.


The walls are decorated lavishly and permanently. The rooms are sparse without furniture except for a bed and maybe a luxurious set of curtains or a bath.


Gigantic kettles were used by the eunuchs to cook meals.



At the highest point we look down, then turn to retrace our many steps.


In the parking area, we find the monkeys playing cars.


From the lot, we can look over the edge at part of the walled city below.











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I’ve taken a cruise ship once and decided it was an expensive floating hotel with sumptuous food and contrived activities to keep you entertained between brief stops. I swore I’d never take another, but I signed on for this cruise because I remembered Barry Goldwater admitting he should never have voted to flood Glen Canyon for the dam after a group of environmentalists took him for a tour before the dam was completed. I’ve seen the pictures of Glen Canyon, now forever lost. I wanted to see the beautiful Yangtze River Canyon before the Chinese flooded it with their huge dam. It  displaced  millions of families, that’s millions of families. It was a very controversial dam, protested by people around the world. Anyway, our ship is nice.

After dinner, our first night, we are lavishly entertained with a program of Chinese dances and costume representing eleven dynasties of male and female clothing.

Dress clothing of the aristocracy, of course, not the everyday clothing of the working people.

It was a fabulous and enjoyable show, rich and colorful.

The extent of such finery, and pageantry surprised me. I’ve read very little Chinese history and woefully felt the lack as I listened, learned and enjoyed.  Since, I’m an early riser, at 5:30 a.m. the next morning,  I went to the gym on board to exercise and saw the crew busily waking up the ship, getting breakfast ready for us, and attending to all anticipated needs of passengers.  At breakfast I learned a little more of the new history of China. The lavish performance  of the previous night was done by the ships servers, who work hard all day then double as entertainers, staying up past 11:00 p.m. to entertain us. I’ve never been very good about setting politics aside no matter what I’m doing.

The river is and will remain a major transportation corridor for ships and barges like this coal barge, besides producing electric power.

We got a look at Bye Bye Bridge.  So called because it will soon be under water. By 2004,  the canyon is already half flooded. The canyon looks misty but mostly the mist is bad air quality. Chinese homes are predominantly  heated with coal.

We pass half flooded caves that at one time held Japanese soldiers who lived in the canyon, unable to return to their homeland. They were in such a steep, rocky section of the canyon, they were unreachable by anyone in power. They lived on fish and birds and what few vegetables they could cadge from local farmers. In one cave, with binoculars, we could see a mummified body hanging. Another controversy in the scientific community around the world  because archeologists wanted to study them and find out who they were. They were refused by the Chinese government.

The remnants of terraced gardens can be seen everywhere. The Chinese working people eat every bird, insect and plant they can devour. We saw a few waters birds, some monkeys, who will now probably become extinct because their habitat is being flooded, and fish.


This farmer, could at one time walk from his ancestral land to visit and trade with his neighbor.

The land bridge between them is flooded. For awhile, they visited each other by boat. Now that option is also gone. This farmer clings to his land until he has to take his boat and leave. It is very heart wrenching for them.  Older people, hate it. Some younger workers love it.  One worker on the boat told us she has her first apartment that she can own in Wuhan (oohan)  City. She lives in 120 meters with a family of three. On the farm, she lived in 400 square meters with an extended family of eight. She  showed us the government pictures of the canyon before it flooded. The much vaunted beauty does not compare to Glen Canyon in my opinion.

I was much more interested in the people and activity we could see along the river.

Another farm will be soon flooded.  The steepness of the canyon farms were pretty amazing.Some farmers fought the flooding by building dikes, all for naught.

It had to be grueling labor to eke out a living on such land. This is old China. Here people live without knowing what goes on in their country. No electricity, or amenities.  Just hard labor from hand to mouth.

At dinner, we learned to sing Happy Birthday in Chinese.

Our second day, we visit a side canyon.  More tomorrow.

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