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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Day 2 Varanasi


I sat in the hotel lobby for a little while knitting, which brought a lot of interest as usual.


Parveen took me to see some silk weaving.


The looms are amazing, they all very Heath Robinson to me.


Loads of happy smiley schoolgirls wanted their photos taken.


Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater tp a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm.


Went to see a Jain - the priests are naked - and Bhuddist temple.



Fab wall paintings.



Parveen took me on a boat down the Ganges, the number of people was amazing, saw many funeral pyres.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Varanasi


Today I arrived in Varanasi.


Was collected by Simon.


Given a whirl wind education in rug making.


Hand tufting.


Machine tufting.


Saw mountains of wool, trucks on the road piled high.


This is familiar.


Traditional hand knotted on a wooden loom.


Indo-Nepal


More wool ready to go.




Flat weaving

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Agra


New Delhi Railway Station, 5am.


First Class


Meals on wheels, I also had cornflakes with hot milk amongst other things.



Fanciest grid yet, for Louis and Betsy.


These Mughals loved their arches.


A pink balaclava, in this heat?


Burial procession, apparently this was someone who had lived past 90, extra shiny and noisy.


A portable bathtub for a queen - portable by elephants.


Baby Taj, when you've seen one Mughal tomb you've seen them all - I saw 5.


These urchins asked for money, chocolate and soap, in that order.


Tundla station, I wouldn't be surprised if you could smell the washroom!


The three hour wait wasn't so bad, apart from the stench, I had knitting, my favourite biscuits and South Riding on the ipod. Of course everyone wanted to know about the knitting.


The station was full of birds, what a racket.


Tundla station 8pm, the only woman on the platform, they were staring hard so I thought I'd take a photo.


Bed for the night.


My view, lots of snoring.


Varanasi 6.30am, they still use hooks to handle the bales of goods - like the old dockers of about 50 years ago.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Old Delhi


I arrived in Old Delhi this morning just after eight, it doesn't actually get busy - that's busy Delhi style - until the market gets going 11 - 3 and the shops open.


I arrived too people shaving, brushing their teeth and finding something to eat for the day. Sacks of flowers for the temples everywhere.


I did not see a single westerner, and was told it was unusual for one to actually walk through the market, usually they pass through quickly by rickshaw.


I can imagine the way of life here hasn't changed much for thousands of years.


It's a wholesale market so everywhere there were bales and sacks piled high and tiny men of just skin and bone pulling and pushing enormous carts.


Once splendid buildings in complete decay.


The tiny passages were accessible only because the traders had not yet opened, this passage would be heaving when the shutters were raised. It's really only the breadth of one person. Don't think I could have coped with it full on.


Fabulously ornate doors and arches.


Just a crack of sky.


This way to 'Delight Hair Salon', I went down and had a look, not the word I would use to describe it.


The Red Fort


I could not possibly convey the smells, from one end of the spectrum to the other.


Littered with places of worship of every kind.


I eventually got to the Crafts Museum, the land that time forgot, but actually an amazing collection of textiles, although you wouldn't think it on entering. All the 'guards' where asleep with headphones in their ears. No photos allowed but I took loads, no-one awake to stop me.


I think I was a bit late for a drink!

I walked back 4.5km to my hotel because the auto drivers have begun to annoy me, they quote a tourist three times what an Indian would pay, you can haggle but I just didn't want to give them my rupees on principle. The thing is, very few people walk in Delhi and I don't think most tourists have a map or have any idea where they are, I got more than a few bemused stares.