Friday, December 30, 2011

Purana Qila

Purana Qila is not far from our house, but we went there for the first time the other day. It was a very nice, sunny morning--perfect weather for visiting the large and pleasant grounds of the old fort. It was built in the 16th century, much of it by Sher Shah from 1540-45 but some of it had been constructed by Humayun in the 10 years prior to Sher Shah's rule. The fort is an impressively large area with huge gates, thick walls and buildings spread about the well-manicured lawns. Nestled among the trees and rooftops were our favorite green parakeets. The boys loved running around and climbing while the adults enjoyed reading about the history on the well-placed and informative signs. Overall, a lovely morning out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Exploring Jantar Mantar...

The other day while running an errand, we stopped by Jantar Mantar. It's a place I've been wanting to see but never managed to make time to visit. So, with the boys and my mom, we had a fun morning. 

Jantar Mantar was built in 1725 by Jai Singh II, the ruler of Jaipur, as an open-air observatory of the sun, moon and stars. It was also used to calculate time. Apparently, it was pretty accurate.

The kids loved walking up and down the stairs and exploring the depths of these huge cement structures.

Arthur found a special spot.
Then some friends found him.
And, one by one they got a photo with the boys (all in all at least 10 different pics were taken).
Jantar Mantar is a fun place to visit and the boys did not want to leave! We will definitely be back soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sanskriti revisited twice

It's funny sometimes when you learn about something new or go to a new place and as soon as you have this new awareness, the new thing or place keeps popping up. That is how Sanskriti has been for us, as soon as our friend Sejal introduced us to it back in October, we have been back twice for two different events. And, it is always a haven of peacefulness and cleaner air when we go.

The weekend of November 26th Sanskriti hosted Bookaroo, a literary festival for children. It was fantastic. There were storytellers, authors and activities for kids aged 4-16. You can visit their website: BOOKAROO. If you're in Delhi next year around the same time and you have kids, I highly recommend going!

Jeeva Raghunath kicks off the day with a story:
 Dorian enjoys:
 Making a book with French author Malika Doray:

 Hearing a story and song by John Dougherty:

Then, a few weeks after Bookaroo, the weekend of December 10th, Sanskriti hosted Potter's Haat. A two-day celebration of all things made from clay. There were demonstrations, kids activities and potters selling their beautiful wares.

Dorian enjoyed seeing the demonstrations:

 And, I enjoyed buying some pots (view of the merchandise area):

All in all, our three outings to Sanskriti have been fun each in their own way. It's my new favorite place and any new event I hear about being hosted there will definitely make its way on our calendar!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pushkar...the town

We had a nice late afternoon trip into Pushkar town. Driving past all that was the camel fair, we walked through the small, shop-filled streets that all seemed to lead us to the lake. Pushkar seems to grow out from it. And, for good reason. The following is from my Rough Guide to India:
According to legend, Pushkar came into existence when Lord Brahma,the Creator, dropped a lotus flower (pushpa) to earth from his hand (kar). At the three spots where the petals landed, water magically appeared in midst of the desert to form three small blue lakes, and it was on the banks of the largest of these that Brahma subsequently convened a gathering of some 900,000 celestial beings -- the entire Hindu pantheon.
Needless to say the town is not only one of the oldest in India, but also one of the most important for Hindu pilgrims. In addition to the sacred lake, there is the Brahma temple, one of only a few in India. Here are some photos from our visit.

Puja (prayers) with priest:

 The Brahma Temple (no photos allowed inside):

 Dorian picking out some Rajasthani shoes (and some for Arthur, too) before heading back to the hotel:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pushkar...the fair

We absolutely loved visiting the are some highlights:

The first sign (literally) we saw from the car on the way from the train station to the hotel:
 And here they are:

Water time:
 All dressed up for a walk around the arena:

The boys accessorize:
 Check out these teeth:
 Holy cow, really:
 A man and his horse: