The Grandeur of India
As part of an exploratory to the Andaman Islands, Jessica and I flew to I ndia in the Spring of 1980. Our intention was to set up a combination diving and touring program.
For a week, we traveled across India sampling attractions which our potential clients would see on their way to the diving portion of the adventure. The program would be modeled on a similar program we were running which combined a week diving in the Maldives Islands with a week touring in Sri Lanka.
While the diving program never materialized for reasons you will read about in our Andaman Island Gallery, we were thrilled with India. There were palaces and forts everywhere, all easily accessed, in some cases on elephant-back. The Amber Fort, the Tiger Fort, The Temple of the Winds in Jaipur, and of course the Taj Mahal in Agra. In Varanasi, we watched children weave fine tapestries of silk and gold. Thousands gathered by the banks of the Ganges at dawn to bathe and burn the bodies of those recently deceased.
In Agra, the Taj Mahal is considered the most beautiful building in the world, but most people don’t know the story behind it. It was to be the first of two, the White Taj and the Black Taj, burial vaults for the king and queen. The project, however, was bankrupting the country.
The king’s two sons overthrew him, imprisoning him in the majestic Red Fort. Ironically, from the chambers atop the Red Fort, the captive king could see the White Taj on the river bank in the distance, and across the river just the foundation of what was to be the Black Taj.
Another unique site is a cluster of temples to eroticism in Khajuraho. The temples were constructed between 850 and 1050 A.D. Only a quarter of the original temples of a Moon-worshipping culture remain, but it is a site one never forgets.
India is full of monuments to a ruling civilization that peaked in influence over 400 years ago. The amazing national wealth to support the hundreds of forts, palaces and temples found everywhere is staggering.
In these galleries we will view some of the astonishing sites we saw in our visit. Everything is built on a massive historic scale, yet at the time of our visit, India was a very poor country.
However, Capitalism and technology are creating a rebirth of prosperity in the country, and it appears to be headed (with China) for a leading economic role in the world.
We download a small library of images to display on each of these gallery pages. That takes a number of seconds, but we think you will very much enjoy the result!