"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

architecture

Wandering Westward: Into The Vortex

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Picture of spiral staircase taken in the Supreme Court, Washington DC


Wandering Westward: Capitol Venture

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Picture of the Capitol, Washington DC, viewed from the east.


Feat Of Clay..

From Tingmosgang to Basgo,
a centuries-old monastic fort complex, built of mud rather than stone.

 Though Norvo, our driver, had seen it all many times before,
many, many times before..

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Taj Redux?

Our driver, Ravinder, had looked after us brilliantly in Delhi.

Today he was to take us to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
It was a five-hour journey through busy traffic, variable roads and worsening weather.

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During my first visit to India, the Taj Mahal was high on our must see list.
My family fulfilled this “tryst with destiny”.
I did not.
Though tantalisingly close to the Taj, I spent the allocated day completely unable to leave my hotel bathroom. 

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On this, my second visit, I watched what I was eating with greater care and, as we arrived in Agra, my bowels remained pleasingly quiescent.

But the same could not be said for the weather.
Unseasonal monsoon rains were falling so heavily that the long-awaited tour was still unattainable.
Again I spent my Taj-time in an hotel bedroom,

One step closer to the Taj Mahal, I reflected, than a bathroom. 

The guide hired by Ravinder suggested we delay our scheduled early morning return to Delhi. We would all meet up again at 6:00 in the morning.
If it was dry, we might take our tour before breakfast, when the climate was cool and the site less crowded.

We awoke to some mist
But no rain.
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The sheer size, perfect symmetry and breathtaking beauty of this monument to love and loss are staggering.

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The Taj Mahal’s impact is almost overwhelming.

 Its drama touches people in different ways.

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But the experience remains unforgettable.

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All photographs taken on this tour of the Taj Mahal.


Entombed

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After a morning in the Red Fort,
our afternoon was spent at Humayun’s Tomb, often regarded as the Taj Mahal in prototype.

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Pictures taken at Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi. 


Heavenly Vaults

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The vaulted roof of Truro Cathedral, Cornwall.

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Cloistered

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Salisbury, quite apart from its tall spire and ancient clockalso claims a record for Britain’s largest cloistered quadrangle: 
A slightly odd achievement for this beautiful medieval cathedral, which never housed a monastery.

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Rather than being designed as the enclosed walk for a “cloistered” religious community, it seems to have served the purpose of housing clergy and choir when they assembled prior to processional entrance into the cathedral. 

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An eloquent testament to the grace of Gothic architecture and spiritual aspirations.

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Pictures taken in the cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, UK.


The Nature Of Stone

From our kind hosts’ garden

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To still glorious ruins

The transience of beauty.

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Pictures taken in the Yorkshire Dales and the ruins of Fountains Abbey.


To The Palace

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From Nanjangud we reached Mysore and its spectacular palace.
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The present Mysore Palace is only 100 years old.
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It was designed by a British engineer, in what was to become the “Indo-Saracenic” style, a fantasy of Indo-Islamic, Gothic and Classical forms – Disney meets the British Raj.
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It is, nonetheless, impressive!
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The Passage Of Light

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Pictures taken during my visit to the Kerala Lalithakala Academy Archive. The building was designed by Laurie Baker, a pioneer of low-cost, “environment-friendly” architecture in India.

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