The scene behind the Taj Mahal on an early Monday morning.
Just a few yards from the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world. A labour of love built about 500 years ago by the Emperor of India in memory of his favourite wife. Took 20,000 artisans 22 years to build. Attracts millions of visitors every year.
All these mean nothing to these poor boatmen for whom it is just another day at work.
Driving around in Uttarakhand or anywhere in North India, you can be assured of tasty treat of hot parathas in the wayside eateries for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Though the taste is not uniform, you can be sure it is palatable and wholesome. Dahi and pickles are the standard accompaniments. You can get a variety of vegetable curries too.
This is a dhaba we stopped at soon after leaving the tony resorts of Jim Corbett National park for Kausani, via Ranikhet. The fact that we were hungry made us ignore the ambiance and enjoy the food.
Amma veedus are the palatial houses where the minor queens or the consorts of the Travancore king used to stay. There are still a few amma veedus in the West Fort area of Trivandrum. One of these has been tastefully converted into a fine dining restaurant.
The house in the image is opposite that restaurant, taken from its second-floor window.
A historical town like Delhi can throw up surprises. One such surprise to me was the Agrasen ki Baoli. It is situated on Hailey lane a kilometer from CP but still under the shadows of its multi-storey buildings.
This was believed to have been built by king Ugrasen of the Mahabharat era but rebuilt by the Agrawal community in the14th century. It is about 60 m long and 15 M wide. It has about 100 steps.
The main well shaft opens out to the sky and there was no water when I visited. The rubble and stone masonry is well preserved (probably recently renovated).
Unlike the step wells of Gujarat,this has no sculptures.
There were hardly any tourists when I visited but many young students and couples. The monument became more popular thanks to a controversial Hindi movie.