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Street Scene The streets of India are filled with bicycles, scooters, animal-drawn carts, tractors, pedestrians, and countless auto rickshaws that are often carrying as many as 12 or 15 passengers, all competing chaotically with cars and trucks to make their way. The scenes along the sides of the road provide views of the people of India as they live, eat, and work, as well as of cows, monkeys, and other animals. Tangles of hanging electrical wiring are common and, newly added since the Mumbai massacre, there are soldiers in sandbag bunkers.

The Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort are located in Agra, a few hours drive south of Delhi. The Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan, is truly magnificent, whether viewed from a distance as a complete structure or up close looking at its beautiful semiprecious stone inlays and carved marble. It is hidden from view as you first approach it by a building that serves as the entrance gate to the garden in which it and its associated mosque are located. Across town is the Agra Fort, built by Akbar in the 16th century.

Semiprecious stone inlays in wall of Taj Mahal

Red Fort A prolific builder, Shah Jahan constructed the Red Fort in what is now called Old Delhi. It contains a number of well preserved buildings including the pavilion for public imperial audiences containing his throne.

Other sites in Delhi are the Jama Masjid Mosque, the Bahai House of Worship, a monument to Ghandi and his cremation site, ancient ruins, the president's residence, and Humayun's Tomb. We also visited a Sikh Temple, including their kitchen where we were told they feed 100,000 people per day.

Kitchen at the Sikh Temple

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All photographs taken in India are Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Barth, All Rights Reserved.