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I begin the trip in Delhi with visits to some of the key tourist attractions that include: the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, the shopping bazaars (Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, and the Main Bazaar), India Gate, President's Palace, the Baha'i Lotus Temple, Gandhi Smriti, Birla Mandir, and the National Museum. I joined up with the India staff of R2R along with other US sponsors of R2R. We headed out in the morning to visit two schools we had provided with libraries and library training along with our local partner, Prantham.
I then flew to Khajuraho where I stayed for two days to tour the World Heritage site of the well-preserved Hindu monuments, temples, and erotic sculptures dating back to the 9th through the 13th centuries. They were rediscovered hidden under jungle vegetation in 1838 by a British engineer named T.S. Burt. There were once 85 temples here, but now there are only 25 in varying stages of preservation.
With my car and drivers, I headed back toward Jaipur and stopped along the way at a number of towns including Jhansi, Orchha, Gwalior, Fatehpur Sikri, and Bharatpur. At these stops, I often toured the markets or forts. At the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, my rickshaw driver showed me many beautiful birds and animals.
In Jaipur after touring the city, I again met up with the India staff of R2R, and I drove with them south for about two hours to visit three villages. The last hour of driving was on washed out one-lane dirt roads. The libraries in each of the villages were the magnet for the children where they read books, were entertained by puppet shows that carried messages of nutrition, public health, reading, and respectful behavior.
I ended my trip to India by visiting Agra and touring the Taj Mahal, a truly beautiful wonder of the world.
This video is 47 minutes long, and I filmed it November 2004.
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