Retroblog – Dharamsala

Revisiting an epic trip.

One of the most epic trips of our year in India involved our travels from Delhi to the remote village of Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalaya, where we met up with old friends for a few days around New Years’ Eve. The travel itself was the most challenging – but the time in Dharamsala, with its visit to a school for Tibetan refugee children, and the headquarters-in-exile of the Dalai Lama, was entrancing. A hike up to snowy Triund Pass on a sunny New Year’s Day offered incredible views. Check out the story of the round-trip journey, of Dharamsala itself, and our hike on New Year’s Day, for the full story. It’s worth a visit!

We stop at a tea stall, while hiking with the Hookes to Triund pass in Dharamsala.

Delhi and MobiCom

A quick trip to Delhi allowed me to explore a little.

I’m just back from a quick trip to Delhi – less than four days on the ground, and less than six days away from home – to attend the MobiCom conference.   The conference was great – interesting talks, colleagues, and friends – but I did take some time to get out and explore the city.  I’ve been there before – most recently last November – and had already seen all the major sites.  This time, I was most interested in just walking the streets and seeing what I might encounter.

Police in dress uniform assemble near the India Gate in Delhi.It was a week of intense smog… though, arguably, not as bad as last year. On Monday, I visited Jama Masjid and the streets of Old Delhi. On Wednesday, I strolled down to India Gate and encountered the crowds gathered for a VIP dignatory function related to Unity Day; most interesting were the police in dress uniform, and the (all-women) SWAT team. On Friday I visited the Red Fort in Old Delhi and an old step-well in New Delhi.  (The step-well was a new site for me.  Interesting!)

Check out all the photos.

Ugrasen ki Baoli, a stepwell in New Delhi.

Mystical India

Two lovely weeks touring northern India with Dartmouth Alumni Travel. Magical! More stories, and photos, in this blog post.

I’ve just returned from India, where Pam and I had the opportunity to host a Dartmouth Alumni Travel group for a two-week tour of the history, architecture, culture, and arts of northern India.   We joined a wonderful group of 12 interesting individuals, and an outstanding tour guide from Odysseys Unlimited, for a bustling tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and Varanasi.  I think what struck me most about the agenda was its fascinating mix of the sights (palaces, temples, mosques, etc.) with the culture (villages, markets, families. religion) and arts (dance, music, weaving, pottery, jewelry, stonework, carpets, and even paper).  Read on for a summary of our journey, and for a sampling of the many photos!

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A quick week in India

Photo of Charminar building, Hyderabad.
Charminar market area, Hyderabad.

I’ve just returned from a quick six-day trip in India, visiting Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore (each for two days) in support of our research on the use of mHealth technologies in India. I met collaborators at IIT Delhi, explored new research collaborations at MediCiti near Hyderabad, and presented a paper at the NetHealth workshop in Bangalore.

Children at a government-supported child-care center in the village of Rajballaram, near Hyderabad.
Children at a government-supported child-care center in the village of Rajballaram, near Hyderabad.

But I also had some time to get out and explore, by poking around the streets of New Delhi on Sunday afternoon, exploring the historic sites of Hyderabad, and visiting my favorite places in Bangalore.  Although I enjoy snapping photos of the monuments and historic sites, I have to admit that it’s the people that I enjoy so much.  I’ve collected about a hundred good shots in one slideshow, and (with great difficulty) whittled it down to a top-20 slideshow for those who just want a quick peek.

Purana Qila, National Museum, Delhi

A few sights that I had missed on previous visits to Delhi.

I had an extra day in Delhi so I decided to see two of the many sights that I had missed on previous visits: Purana Qila and the National Museum. Read on!

Bada Darwaza = west entrance; Purana Qila, Delhi
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Qutb Minar

Finally, a visit when I can actually see the historic tower.

On my first visit to Delhi, in December 2008, I was disappointed by our visit to this monumental piece of history.  It was, as so often happens on December mornings, densely foggy.  We could barely see higher than our own heads, and thus the towering minaret of Qutb Minar, 73m in height, was virtually invisible.  Today I finally got to see it! read on…

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IIT Delhi

A visit to IIT Delhi.

Today I visited the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Delhi [location].  I enjoyed my stay at the Guest House and my conversations with faculty and students in the department.  

IIT Delhi: the computer services building.

Before breakfast I took a walk around campus, capturing a few photos.  It is a beautiful campus, though much smaller than the other IIT campuses.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Back to Delhi

First stop on a tour of northern India.

We returned to Delhi, where we met up with Pam’s sisters Amy and Karen, and niece Louisa.  We’ve embarked on a tour of northern India, specifically Delhi, Jaipur, Rathambore, Agra, and Varanasi. Read on.

Top of India Gate.
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To and from Dharamsala

An arduous journey – both ways!

It’s 2am and time to stop for a tea break.  The sleepy roadside teawallah, bundled up against the damp chill, fires up his two-burner stove and puts the tea on. Platters of fried snacks beckon, but I’m not sure how long they’ve been there. In any case, greasy food is not advisable: in a few minutes we’ll be back on the dark road, barreling at high speed up twisty narrow mountain roads in dense fog, Bollywood music cranked to the max, swerving around heavy trucks coming downhill. Read on, and hang on: this is a rough ride…

It was cold and dark, but the roadside teawallah took off his outer wrap for this photo.
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We’re off to Delhi and the north.

We visited Delhi just after Christmas.  I had heard good things – incredibly rich history, diverse cultures, and fantastic food – and bad things – crowded, terrible smog, and horrendous traffic. In retrospect, Delhi is all those things, and more. Read on, and check out the galleries: photos of sights, photos of people.

Humayun’s tomb: the tomb built for Humayun, the emperor, by his wife. [Delhi]
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