Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ooty and Coonoor

From the sea... to the mountains! The weekend after Christmas, we visited Ooty and Coonoor in the state of Tamil Nadu, colonial hill stations originally established by the British as summer headquarters. These photos show some of the lovely mountain views and tea plantations for which this area is famous -- I think deservedly so. We also enjoyed a taste of the Raj era while staying in a restored mansion, filled with antique furniture and fireplaces in every room!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Kerala's known as one of India's most beautiful states... a well-deserved reputation, as you can see in these photos. The weekend before Christmas, a friend visiting from NYC and I spent a few idyllic days there, staying at a small resort of cottages in Alleppey, with views of the water and hammocks to relax in! The highlight of our visit was a tour in a canoe, which allowed us float through some very narrow canals. We were privileged to observe life along the canals: the people there depend on the water not only for transport, but to clean their clothes and dishes, themselves and their children.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Taj Mahal

My work trip to the north of India took me only about an hour away from Agra, so I had to take a morning to see the Taj Mahal. It is a stunning sight. Agra Fort is another beautiful structure nearby. I doubt any photo can truly convey the magnificence of the Taj Mahal, but I tried my best with these.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Vrindavan kitchen and schools

Happy New Year! When I was in Vrindavan, I spent a couple of days checking out kitchens and schools, all while marveling at the rugged beauty of the countryside, as you can see in these photos. Here my host organization has a centralized kitchen (with an amazing machine that can bake up to 10,000 pieces of Indian bread in one hour, and pots that can cook over 100 kg of rice in less than 20 minutes!) as well as employs local women to prepare school meals in rural areas that aren't easily accessible.