1961 Visit to India

Deli, New Deli & Agra - May 29-31

Keith's military tour of duty in the Middle East was over.  He had the opportunity to fly back to California on a US Embassy flight heading east over south Asia and the Pacific.  After a short stop in Pakistan, was a layover in India.  While just a short visit, it afforded Keith a chance to see a small part of this fascinating country.  A short time after he returned to the States, he wrote a letter to an Army buddy which included this description of of this brief visit:

Then about 3 hours flying over the Indian Desert and we were in New Delhi, India.  Here we had a scheduled crew rest. That night two Air Force lieutenants  and myself saw the "non-touristy" sites of Old and New Delhi from Motorcycle cabs (India's modern version of Gerry Carts).  The next morning the same two lieutenants and myself were up early and on our way to Agra, India, (about 126 miles from Delhi) to see the Taj Mahal and the other sites of interest around the area.  It was a hard drive due to the crowded condition of the road, having to stop quite often to let the car cool off, and the fact that it was just damn hot.  Still it was definitely worth it.  The Taj Mahal is a fabulous place and, even though we saw it in 113 degree temperature (plus high humidity), I can now readily see why it is one of the wonders of the world.  Impressed was I.  The next morning, Wednesday, we rumbled out to the airport and were soon roaring off into the wild blue yonder.  Next stop – Bangkok. [See last "Letter Home."]

 These slides are old and suffered from years of poor storage.  Memory for specifics are also fading.  If you have any corrections or suggested additions, please contact Keith at .   Apparently only the first 2 photos were taken in New Delhi on the day of arrival - the remainder were taken on the trip to and from visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra.


1

Entering New Delhi we were greeted with this impressive arch known as "India Gate."
2

We would stay 2 nights in this elegant colonial style hotel - I believe it was the Imperial Hotel..?
3

Heading south out of New Delhi on the road to Agra.
4

Obviously a morning chore for the ladies of this area - i.e., carrying water from the local well..??
5

Cow power was a common source of energy seen from the road.
6

Here cow-power is used in pumping water for agricultural irrigation.
7

A visit to India would not be complete without the performance of a roadside snake charmer.
8

Not sure what the kids were doing here? - Maybe a well ... don't think it was a school bus stop...
9

Camel power was being used in this pumping station.
10

We arrive at Agra & come to the first building of the Taj Mahal complex.
11

This is probably the long walkway leading up to the main entrance building.
12

Mother & child greet the visitors.
13

... and this beautiful building is just the front door!
14

What a grand sight as we enter the grounds & get our 1st full view of this wondrous edifice.
15

This view was from the upper level of the entrance building.
16

Two local lovelies add the human touch to this photo.
17

This view was framed with one of the many archways in the entrance building.
18

This view, looking back to the entrance, is from the front of the platform of this most famous marble mausoleum.
19

A view from the platform of the river flowing behind the complex, plus part of one of the 2 side buildings.
20

Another view of the river that is just behind & below the Taj Mahal.
21

One of the side buildings, believed to be a mosque...?
22

The beautiful white marble of the Taj Mahal is decoratively inlaid with thousands of pieces of polished stone - a technique demonstrated by this worker.
23

Several such workers demonstrate this inlay procedure in the entrance building - selling souvenir articles made of white marble & colored inlaid stone.
24

Heading back towards Delhi, we drive past many ancient sites like this.  One wonders at the history.
25

Waiting for this train to pass, our hired car gets some time to cool a bit.
26

Another stop to cool the car, our driver/guide, his son and my 2 new Air Force officer friends pose for this roadside photo.
27

Women getting their afternoon water supply from this roadside well.
28

A fascinating, but efficient way of carrying heavy loads
29

We meet this ox cart as we near Delhi.
30

Cows definitely have the right-of-way even as we begin to enter the busy highway near New Delhi.

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