Happy Earth Day!!!

In adoration of Mother Earth, I visited a bonsai park in southern China and attempted to capture her divine grace via photography and color pencil.

– Quiet Riley Jr –

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Last Day in India, Part 2 (Kolkata)

To conclude, traveling through India isn’t only about samosas, chai tea and the Taj Mahal, it’s about self-discovery and cultivation, seeking a higher-consciousness and expanding your boundaries, both socially and spiritually. So if you’re interested in those things (plus much, much more*), I recommend that you go. I’ll be there, following my dharma, doing asanas and, of course, sharing a cup of chai with a new friend.

 

* find out for yourself 😉

Last Day in India, part 1

After experiencing a wonderful journey through India, the time has come to post my final days, starting with Sarnath, the city where Buddha first taught the dharma, and ending in Kolkata, the official capital of West Bengal.

I hope you enjoyed my photos!

– Quiet –

Varanasi Art and Kama Sutra

Night or day, Varanasi is a succulent feast for the eyes. Covering the ancient walls and floors are paintings of every taste imaginable. And for the sweet-toothed are tantalizing sculptures of various kama sutra positions; but be warned—these displays are not for the faint-hearted.

Final Night in Jaipur

During my last evening in Jaipur, I visit the oldest museum in Rajasthan, the Albert Hall Museum. Inside, I admire the exquisite decor and myriad of paintings, sculptures and textiles from India and other regions of the world (including ancient Egypt).

Afterwards, I enjoy a traditional Rajasthani dinner and head back to my treehouse hotel, Jaipur Inn. Overall, my stay in Jaipur is bittersweet: although I’ve learned so much, met so many amazing people and seen things forever ingrained in memory, two days had not been enough. I could have done so much more with more time. In other words, if you are planning a trip to the Golden Triangle, do yourself a favor and stay at least 4-5 days in Jaipur.

Forts, Cattle and Rustic Views

Because Jaipur is vast and eclectic in so many ways, this post will be separated into different categories. The first is Hawa Mahal. Built in 1799, this “royal honeycomb” was used mainly by princesses and aristocratic women to view street parades via one of its 953 windows.

This category is called Meandering with a View. At the bottom of the Aravalli Hills, I tell Suresh to drop me off so that I may walk to Nahargarh Fort. “Are you crazy?” he says, “It’s 6km uphill!” Following a flock of blue peacocks, I disregard his warning and immerse myself in the sights and sounds of nature.

In my opinion, Nahargarh Fort has the best panoramic views of Jaipur. In addition, there is a cool sculpture gallery and plenty of monkeys to keep your camera clicking.

This last category contains modern sculptures constructed by local artists. My favorite is the blue-faced beauty, Migrant, by Ravinder Reddy. Located in elegantly-decorated rooms, there are 25-30 unique sculptures in all.

Relics of India

 

Different museums throughout Delhi offer different things. The Museum at Red Fort chronicles the British occupation of India. The Gandhi Museum narrates the story of a global (yet humble) hero. And the National Museum exhibits relics from ancient civilizations like Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. But my favorite is the Tactile Museum for the Blind which not only allows visitors to read descriptions in Braille, but allows them to touch the ancient statues and artifacts with their very own hands, helping them form a better understanding of India’s rich and beautiful history.