A tree only hits in self-defense


As with people, I love taking pictures of modes of transport in other countries.  In celebration of my last set of photos from India….I present to you transportation in India.


Don’t be silly, that is really not the typical transportation in India.  So many impressive ways to travel. So many interesting machines.

Most of them packed full and still too many cars on the road.

Cycles are also a huge form of transportation. Bicycles and motorcycles.

Further, animals and over the top over-loaded transport.  So crazy!! So impressive!!

One of my favorite modes though is simply this.


Other posts on transportation.

  1. Public Transportation – Cambodia
  2. Watching the Wheels in Vietnam
  3. Stock Car
  4. The bike as the stowaways
  5. Layers and tiers
  6. C is for Confused Car
  7. Stratofortress
  8. Becoming Ironwoman
  9. A flight to Detroit
  10. Lingering visions
  11. Mildred Belle

The people make the place…


My favorite photos to take are of the people of the places I visit.  For me the photos define the place.  I hope you enjoy. India.


Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have. ~~Margaret Mead


Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.   ~ Ismail Haniyeh

Other Interesting blogs bout people and stuff.

  1. Perfect Time
  2. Photographing People
  3. Street Photography
  4. Hard Shadows
  5. The Tourist
  6. Power
  7. Harvest time
  8. Playing for Gold
  9. Cocoon
  10. Shredding

Agra Fort – A contrast to Love


Contrasting the love that surrounded the building of the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort ended up being a prison for Emperor Shah Jahan.  Shah Jahan had become ill, and though he eventually fully recovered, his eldest son declared him incompetent and put him under house arrest.

Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort, from which he had a view of the building erected for his deceased wife. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a tower with a beautiful marble balcony. ~Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

Can you imagine? The ONLY view you have of a monument you built out of love is from a prison created by your child.  Wow!!! It blows me away.  Of course we all know there are always two sides to every story.  I like to use my imagination as to what might have actually happened.  If you are interested in finding out you’ll have to research it yourself.  I do know that his oldest daughter chose to live with him in confinement for his 8 final years of life.  What a story.


Agra Fort (Hindiआगरा का किलाUrduآگرہ قلعہ‎) is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It should be noted that the fort was not built as a prison and it had been around since at least the 11th century.  Many other rulers used it and lived in it.  Incredibly huge and impressive.  When I say huge, you cannot imagine how huge unless you actually go there.  I spent about an hour walking around and came no where near to seeing even half of it.  It truly was a walled city.


Just a few more pictures to give you a bit of an idea of how huge this place actually was.

Long Description —
The Red Fort and the Taj Mahal bear an exceptional and complementary testimony to a civilization which has disappeared, that of the Mogul Emperors. Agra’s history goes back more than 2,500 years, but it was not until the reign of the Mughals that Agra became more than a provincial city. Humayun, son of the founder of the Mogul Empire, was offered jewellery and precious stones by the family of the Raja of Gwalior, one of them the famous Koh-i-Noor. The heyday of Agra came with the reign of Humayun’s son, Akbar the Great. During his reign, the main part of the Agra Fort was built.

The Red Fort of Agra is a powerful fortress founded in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) on the right bank of the Yamuna; it is placed today on the north-west extremity of the Shah Jahan Gardens which surround the Taj Mahal and clearly form, with them, a monumental unity.

This bastioned fortress, with walls of red sandstone rising above a moat and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions, encompasses within its enclosure walls of 2.5 km, the imperial city of the Mogul rulers. Like the Delhi Fort, that of Agra is one of the most obvious symbols of the Mogul grandeur which asserted itself under Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

The wall has two gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate. The original and grandest entrance was through the Delhi Gate, which leads to the inner portal called the Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate. But now the entrance to the fort is only through the Amar Singh Gate.

The citadel comprises a large number of fairy-like palaces: the Khas Mahal, the Shish Mahal, the octagonal tower of Muhammam Burj, as well as reception rooms: Diwan-i-Khas, built in 1637 and the many pillared Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), constructed in 1628, under the reign of the luxury-loving Shah Jahan (1630-55). Within the palatial complex, there are two very beautiful mosques of white marble, the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, constructed in 1646-53 by Shah Jahan and the Nagina Masjid built under the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707).

Several of the buildings are made from pure marble with beautiful carvings; all of these monuments mark the apogee of an Indo-Muslim art strongly marked by influences from Persia which already manifested itself in Timurid art.

Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort, from which he had a view of the building erected for his deceased wife. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj, a tower with a beautiful marble balcony. ~~ Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

Daily Post Photo Challenge – Contrasts.  Other posts of the same genre I enjoyed.

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The Taj Mahal

Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.

- Emperor Shah Jahan

I do not have much to say about the Taj Mahal except that if you have a chance, you should visit this monument that was built out of love.  It was allegedly constructed in honor of Emperor Shah Jehan’s third wife who died during the birth of her 14th child. Or at least that’s the story I heard.


The entire structure has complex design elements to include sculpted marble, detailed carvings, inlay stones made of marble, jasper and jade, calligraphy made of jasper and black marble with inlaid white marble panels.  The details were absolutely amazing. Based on Islamic prohibitions of the time, the decorations are mostly simple and complex abstract forms and such as flowers, colorful designs or calligraphy.  It was truly a sight to behold.


Architecture is not an inspirational business, it’s a rational procedure to do sensible and hopefully beautiful things; that’s all. ~~Harry Seidler

Other inspiring posts I liked:

  1. Daily Post’s Between
  2. Where’s my BackPack Travel Theme Shine
  3. Daily Post Photo Challenge:  On Top
  4. Wind Against Current – Extra
  5. Travel Theme : Shine | That Montreal Girl
  6. Extra – Koi and Flower
  7. The Ambition Drifter: What’s on Top
  8. Ajua Beach Between the Rocks | Unique So Chic
  9. I spy a KISS guy – B’s Words
  10. 2812 Photography – Extra
  11. Uncle Spike’s Adventures:  On top
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  13. Photo Roberts blog – extra
  14. Wise Monkey Abroad
  15. Scottseyephotos – on top
  16. Indomoto – between
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: Between & Travel Theme: Shine | WordsVisual
  18. Chittle Chattle – Between
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  24. Ese’s Voice – Between
  25. Travel Theme: Shine | Wind Against Current
  26. In a Snap
  27. Travel Theme: Shine | Northwest Frame of Mind
  28. Undefined by Design – Between Laughter.
  29. Wind Against Current – Between
  30. Daily Post Extra Extra
  31. Travel Theme: Shine | Miscellaneous Eclectica
  32. My vivid visions
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  35. Grit and Satin – On Top
  36. Weekly Photo Challenge: ON TOP | The Adventures of Iñigo Boy
  37. Humbled Pie – Between
  38. Weekly Photo Challenge – On top – Looking down. |

Moon Garden

 No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson

So back to India.  Arriving in Agra on a Friday was a brilliant plan because the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.  Doesn’t sound like a brilliant plan does it.  Well, arriving when the Taj was closed allowed us to visit all of the places I have shown you so far.  We were also able to get a pre-sampling of the Taj in all of its glory from the Mehtab Bagh (Hindiमेहताब बाग़Urdu:ماہتاب باغ‎, translationMoonlight Garden). DSC01262 This was a beautiful garden spot across a little river and mort of the Taj Mahal complex with Agra Fort on the other side of the Taj.  I have read different stories from different sources that claim the garden was built by Shah Jahan in the 1600s or that it was built by the Emperor Babur in the mid 1500s but the truth of the matter is I could care less who built it.  It was amazing to walk through this garden, smelling the flowers and watching the people tend it and suddenly look up and see the amazingness of the Taj Mahal across the river. DSC01268 We were a little concerned that by sneaking a peak at the Taj from this angle might ruin the first grand impression of the hall the next morning, but not to worry.  The next day it was still a shocking and grand surprise. Just a few more of my favorite photos of this evening.

There is a legend that surrounds this area which I will go into more detail on in a future post.  Just a taste though…

The garden was designed as an integral part of the Taj complex in the riverfront terrace pattern. Its width was identical to that of the rest of the Taj.[2] Legends attributed to the travelogue of the 17th century French traveler Jean Baptiste Tavernier) mention the wish of Shah Jahan to building a black marble mausoleum for himself, as a twin to the Taj; however, this could not be achieved as he was imprisoned by his sonAurangzeb. – WIKIPEDIA

Sponsored by Travel theme: Gardens (March 14)

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