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Roast chicken on a sizzling plate

Peace Pagoda

As with other Peace Pagodas around the world, its aim is to unite peace seekers to create the calm they hope for.

Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling or Darjeeling Peace Pagoda is one of the Peace Pagodas designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace. It is located in the town of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. Like most of the other Peace Pagodas, it was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan-Myōhōji Buddhist Order.

The foundation stone of the pagoda was laid on 3 November 1972 by Nichidatsu Fujii, and was inaugurated on 1 November 1992. The pagoda was designed by M. Ohka, and it took 36 months for constructing it. It houses the four avatars of Buddha including Maitreya Buddha. The height of the pagoda is 28.5 metres / 94ft and diameter is 23 metres / 75ft.The Pagoda is situated on the slopes of the Jalapahar hills of Darjeeling, a few kilometres from the town of Darjeeling. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Pagoda,_Darjeeling

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_00001e.htm

https://1001things.org/japanese-temple-and-peace-pagoda-darjeeling/

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=peace+pagoda+darjeeling&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjt39HN0__ZAhWFFHwKHdqdAKMQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=734

Mahakal Temple

This charming temple is situated on top of a hill. Inside, a cave is designated as a holy site for worshippers of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. Previously the location of a Buddhist Monastery, it continues to be an important site for pilgrims.

Rising abruptly from Chowrasta is the hilltop. Situated atop is the ancient temple of Mahakal, a form of Lord Shiva. There is a cave sacred to worshippers in the temple. In Sanskrit, the word "Durjay Ling", means "Shiva of invincible prowess, who rules the Himalayas." There is a suggestion that the name Darjeeling could have emanated from this name. The place where the Mahakal Temple stands was once occupied by the Buddhist monastery. It is still a place of great sanctity for the Bhutias. Bells ring in the midst of fluttering flags, which are used to pray in the shrine. Monkeys are seen in plenty at the Observatory Hill. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observatory_Hill,_Darjeeling

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000014.htm

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=mahakal+temple+darjeeling&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivhoHVy__ZAhVpxlQKHb9UDGoQsAQIRA&biw=1536&bih=734

Darjeeling Mall

Darjeeling Mall

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Enough airline offices - Sunday and closed

Enough airline offices - Sunday and closed

Sign was not in the usual KFC red but pink

Sign was not in the usual KFC red but pink

Glenary’s

Then a late lunch at Glenary’s. Chicken corn soup 100 Rupees / NZ$2.10 / US$1.50 and roast chicken 350 Rupees / NZ$7.40 / US$5.40 kind of fancied me … I suppose it was the grandeur of the old colonial British setting with its white table cloths and pictures around the wall which lead me to having the roast chicken. Plus it came on a sizzling plate.

This in its heyday would have been one of the places to dine at. It still is.

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000051.htm

https://www.facebook.com/glenarysdarjeeling/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/darjeeling/restaurants/glenary-s/a/poi-eat/449583/356540

View from the restaurant

View from the restaurant

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=glenary%E2%80%99s+restaurant+darjeeling&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsjdOg1f_ZAhUGAXwKHcD7AxEQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=734

By now the air was cold so while less than 3kms walk back to the hotel JD, Tova & I got a taxi back.

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Sunset from the hotel

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Posted by bruceontour 20:45 Archived in India Tagged temple peace_pagoda Comments (0)

Lights ... Camera ... Action

Day 1 Kolkata

Alarm set for 5.45am / 05:45. With birds chirping, the grey morning fog greeted me as I left the hotel at 6am / 06:00 for the meeting point of my day’s first tour some 20 minutes away. Just out of the hotel and my camera was still in the bag when a cyclist passed with live white chickens tied to his handlebars and at the back. Must have been over 30 chickens. Will I see this scene again? Hope so.

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How quiet the city was with the occasional cyclist either carrying milk churns or stacked with newspapers on route to the stands and stores around town. On the sidewalk the papers were being sorted before loaded onto the bikes.

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Those sleeping rough were either lying across the payment or under their makeshift shelters.

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Met Manjit from Calcutta Photo Tours.

http://calcuttaphototours.com/

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Off we headed for the first of today’s two tours.

Tour: Culture Kaleidoscope Tour
Starting time: 6.30 am
Duration: 3 hours
Starting point: Air India building
Cost: INR 3500

http://www.calcuttaphototours.com/tour3.php

Just love the red brick buildings. Two police stations opposite to each other and outside were their Enfield bikes. Why were the 2 stations opposite each other? Because they serve neighbouring districts.

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Baudha Dharmankur Sabha

The Baudha Dharmankur Sabha is a Bengal Buddhist Temple and unfortunately a place that not many locals know about. Shame.

http://www.bengalbuddhist.com/

I was too lazy to take my shoes off so it was shooting through the windows.

Love how the dog was there outside the gate when we entered and still there as we left

Love how the dog was there outside the gate when we entered and still there as we left

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Bow Barracks

Bow Barracks is a locality in the central Calcutta region. The locality is a small hub of mainly Anglo-Indian population who have lived here for generations. The families living here do not pay any rent for their stay in Bow Barracks as the building is owned by the KIT and they have refused to accept a meagre amount of ₹30 paid as rent throughout the years without any increment in rent by the families for their stay. The government has declared this building ‘unsafe’, dangerous and plans are afoot to build a highrise and other structures in its place.

Bow Barracks is located in central Kolkata — just behind the Bowbazar police station, off the Central Avenue (now Chittaranjan Avenue).

The easiest way to get to Bow Barracks irrespective of the distance is to catch an underground train at the Kolkata Metro. Central Avenue and Chandni Chowk are two metro stations that will get you within a 2-minute walk of Bow Barracks.

It is a narrow lane between Hare Street and Bohu Bazaar police station. The place, named Bow Barrack is in central Kolkata, on Central Avenue. The narrow lane is bordered by six blocks of three-storeyed buildings, which look old but hardy. Their red brick color appear a bit shabby. The green windows frame gay curtains that catch the light breeze now and then.

The Bow Barracks was a garrison's mess built for the army during World War I. But there are no written records to prove these facts. When the soldiers left India, they handed over the apartments to the Anglo Indians who took them on rent. Today, 132 families live in the Barracks. Of them, 80 percent of the residents are Anglo Indians. It has acquired a reputation of sorts for its Christmas celebrations. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_Barracks

http://www.thebeaconkolkata.co.in/bow-barracks-chrimas-bow-fest/

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=bow+street+kolkata&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPqbOUg-XZAhUEVbwKHZBOAWcQ_AUICygC&biw=1536&bih=734

A film crew was using the streets as their set and we didn’t know that they didn’t like photos being taken.

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Parsi

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica,
Parsi, also spelled Parsee, member of a group of followers in India of the Persian prophet Zoroaster. The Parsis, whose name means "Persians", are descended from Persian Zoroastrians who emigrated to India to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims. They live chiefly in Mumbai and in a few towns and villages mostly to the south of Mumbai, but also a few minorities near by in Karachi (Pakistan) and Bangalore (Karnataka, India). There is a sizeable Parsee population in Pune as well in Hyderabad. A few Parsee families also reside in Kolkata and Chennai. Although they are not, strictly speaking, a caste, since they are not Hindus, they form a well-defined community. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsi

https://www.justdial.com/kolkata/Parsi-Dharamsala-Near-Cmba-Hall-Bowbazar/033P6856640_BZDET

https://www.facebook.com/Kolkata-PARSI-Dharamshala-1207940792559219/

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/parsi-communities-ii-in-calcutta

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/kolkata-s-parsi-community-on-the-wane-117020500151_1.html

https://parsikhabar.net/india/kolkatas-parsi-community-on-the-wane/14846/

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Havana, Cuba here in Kolkata?

The old run down colourfully painted buildings reminded me of the buildings in Cuba, particularly around Havana. Others in Manjit previous groups said the same. They were certainly right.

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Worked out what it is? (goat)

Worked out what it is? (goat)

Posted by bruceontour 14:40 Archived in India Tagged temple enfield buddhist_temple bow_barracks enfield_motorbikes Comments (1)

Meenakshi Temple

Day 11 Meenakshi Temple Madurai

Off to Meenakshi Temple.

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Visited the gorgeous Meenakshi Temple which is considered to be the finest in South Indian religious architecture. This enormous temple complex is dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvati, or Meenakshi. Even before passing through the massive stone walls of the temple, the nine striking gopurams (monumental gateways covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals and monsters all painted in vivid colours) loom high above.

Wikipedia has an excellent breakdown about the temple.

I will let my i phone pictures do the talking as no camera were allowed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenakshi_Temple

http://www.maduraimeenakshi.org/

http://www.culturalindia.net/indian-temples/meenakshi-temple.html

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/asia/india/meenakshi-amman-hindu-temple/

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Prem and local guide Nagendra

Prem and local guide Nagendra

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Denise

Denise

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Stand here

Stand here

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Look there

Look there

This is what you see

This is what you see

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Denise and Sophia

Denise and Sophia

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I just loved the ceilings and floors.

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Talk about being crushed

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The Thousand Pillar Hall contains 985 (instead of 1000) carved pillars.

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Love how this person in pink could have been easily part of the murals.

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Some of the 985 carved pillars.

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Sugar cane

Sugar cane

While writing this blog after the trip … Wow ... we are lucky to be one of the last public to be able to take our own photos inside Meenakshi Temple as now even mobile phones with its cameras are banned. Plenty on Google images anyway but that is not the point.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-to-visit-madurai-meenakshi-temple-1539720

After visiting the temple complex, visited a handicraft shop to capture the temple view from their roof top. I kind of suspected as we came down the different floors looking at the different craft items on display that it was a sales trap for the unwary ... “Do you want to buy …”

No, I didn’t want to buy a silk carpet nor a wooden carving but happy to take some photos as my memory.

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Just before reaching the bus, saw a street side tattoo artist at work. Yes, he was wearing gloves but …

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Then back on the bus and off for lunch ...

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Hotel Supreme’s Gurya Vegetarian Restaurant for a plate of Hakaua vegetarian noodles 110 rupees / NZ$2.30 / US$1.70 plus being hot the beer 210 rupees / NZ$4.40 / US$3.25. All up 326 rupees / NZ$6.90 / US$5.00.

http://www.hotelsupreme.in/

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Posted by bruceontour 02:52 Archived in India Tagged temple maduri Comments (0)

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