Showing posts from November, 2007

Sinhgad Fort

The DXG group and I took a trip to Sinhgad today as a team-building exercise. It was very fun and educational, and I got to see much more of the countryside around Pune. I rode in the car (along with Swapna and one other alternating DXG engineer depending on who wanted to ride a bike at the time). The rest of the DXG group rode bikes - here is the DXG-Pune Biker Gang riding off into the hills:

We stopped for breakfast at a little roadside restaurant. They served rice and chai.

Finally, after roughly 30km of driving over rough, twisty roads, we arrived. All the subsequent pictures are labeled relative to the numbers on this map (you can find an aerial photograph on Google Maps - note that it is turned 90 degrees - on this map, west is up).

Point #1 - the entrance - here is the group, trekking through the gate:

We climbed up and turned around for a quick photo:

...and then headed across the plateau. Just across the narrow point from the entrance gate (approximately at point #2 - the ar…

Pune, India

I arrived in Pune yesterday morning after a rather pleasant flight on Jet Airways. They still serve meals on Indian domestic flights... I did not have much of a chance to photo or blog yesterday, but this morning I got up early and wandered around a bit. First, I went to the top of the hotel (Le Meridien), which has a rather nice terrace:

From there, I took some photos of Pune (unfortunately, it is hazier today than it was yesterday - yesterday I could see the foothills of the Western Ghats from here). Here is looking NW:

And here is looking S. Although it looks much hazier, this is a side effect of scattered light because you're looking much more toward the sun:

I finally managed to get a good photo of the Indian House Crow, Corvus Splendens, which is very common. Looks just like an American crow, except for the grey head:

I then took a walk from the hotel to the Sangam Bridge over the Mula Mutha river (you can see both on the map here, I walked from the hotel west to the bridg…

Agra, India

One of my dreams has always been to see the Taj Mahal, which is located in Agra, India, about 200KM from Delhi. After checking and finding that the trains were all full, I found a tour operator who would take me by car. At 6:30 this morning, the car showed up - I shared my tour with a nice man named Henry from San Francisco - and this was our trusty steed for the next 14 hours:

On the one hand, the road trip took substantially longer than the train would have - it took 4:30 by road, and the train would have taken around 2:00. On the other hand, we got to see lots of things on the road that we would have missed on the train. Like, decorated autorickshaws:

And a variety of domesticated animals pulling things. Cows pulling carts:

Camels pulling carts:

We saw water buffalo pulling carts too but I did not get a good picture. Fairly frequently, you would see roadside shrines such as this:

After this journey, we arrived at our first destination - Agra Fort - the palace built for Moghul empe…