What was it like to visit India?  “Challenging”! Although not dangerous, it is crowded, humid, dusty, hot (over 100

every day on our visit), unsanitary, and poor. But India is so much more than that!   It is especially colorful.  Its

people are very friendly and really like Americans (many speak English because of Britain’s prior   colonization).

 They are intelligent, hard-working, and extremely well-educated.  Even 25 years ago, India had more English-

speaking electrical engineers than did America.

Religion is overwhelmingly present within their country, comprising Christians, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Muslims, and

Buddhists.   In Calcutta (Kolkata) our first visit was to the humble abode of Mother Teresa, recently made a saint

by the Roman Catholic Church.  Her work with Calcutta’s poorest of the poor was admirable, and from my own

experience of seeing their poverty—desperately needed.

In Delhi, India’s national capital, we visited a Sikh Temple to share a meal with its religious devotees.  We then

went to a UNESCO World Heritage ancient mosque site in Old Delhi.  The most memorable and moving experience

for me was touring the home where Ghandi lived, which is now a shrine, museum, and memorial in tribute to his

memory.  All of us know of him especially because of his successful use of non-violent resistance to British rule, a

technique adopted later by Martin Luther King as he also successfully waged his Civil Rights campaign to advance

racial justice and dignity here in America. 

Jaipur was our next stop (named “The Pink City” because of its ancient buildings erected with pink sandstone).

 Highlights here arte 3 world heritage sites: an ancient astronomical observatory, the Amer Fort, and the Palace

of the Winds—a building with 953 windows that the king’s concubines used to gaze upon the public with their

privacy protected. Be sure to check out the colorful painted elephants and the not-so-colorful cobra snakes (as

Indiana Jones is fond of saying, “I hate snakes”!—but it seems a rite of passage for tourists to view them).

 A major highlight included jungle tours in the Ranthambore Tiger Preserve.  We saw lots of wildlife, some of

which could be quite lethal to humans.  And yes, we did get up close to some tigers in the wild.  Frankly, if you

don’t look at any other sets of pictures of the India trip—be sure to view these photos.  The tigers were

completely in the wild, and utterly magnificent. At Ranthambore Camp, we viewed a 1200 year old step-well.  

For Week 2 of my India trip, click here.