Gallery India

Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple – symbol of peace, purity, love, and immortality!

Location: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, India.

Date and Time: Around 4:30pm on August 11, 2015.


Taj Mahal


Taj Mahal!! WOW… just a WOW!!  It is beautiful, it is unique, it is precious, it is huge, it is the symbol of love, and it is one of the wonders of the world. Watching this giant white marble mausoleum change its colors from glowing golden to pinkish hue, to milky white over the time lapse in a day is truly magical. Taj Mahal is one of the universally admired masterpieces of UNESCO world heritage sites.

The Taj Mahal is considered as one of the most beautiful architectural sites ever created. This exquisite marble structure is a mausoleum proudly standing out on the right bank of Yamuna river in Agra. Agra is a big city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India and is approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Delhi, India.

The Taj Mahal was built in 1648 by Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor, as a memorial to his wife. Today, it is listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Here, I am not going to write the great history behind this magnificent monument, instead I will try to showcase the beauty of the graceful Taj Mahal! These photos are from our most awaited visit to Taj Mahal on August 12th of 2015.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best time to Visit: Though Taj Mahal can be visited at any time of year and at any time of day, early summer months in India (March to June) are the best time to visit
    • October to March: Pleasant weather, but expect big crowds and high prices. Be prepared for foggy mornings in December to January.
    • July to September: Humid and hot, expect rain, but less expensive.
  • Fly Into: Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. Agra can be visited on a day trip from Delhi by taxi, bus, train or air.
    • By Taxi: 3 to 5 hours, flexible, private, comfortable, hassle free, but expensive. You can ask for a rental car or taxi from your stay in Delhi
    • By Bus: 3 to 5 hours, shared ride, but less expensive. The pick up points are mainly in north and northwest Delhi like Mori Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Akshardham Temple, Anand Vihar ISBT, and New Ashok Nagar. The drop off points in Agra are Agra Bypass, Rohit Cold Storage in Kuberpur, Bihari Ji Family Restaurant in Kuberpur, Agra Toll Plaza and Agra Fort which are around 10-15 kilometers from Taj Mahal. You can book a bus ticket here.
    • By Train: 2 hours, comfortable, most popular and less expensive ride. You need to catch a train from New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS) near Paharganj to Agra Cantonment (AGC). Upon arriving at the Agra Train Station, you can get a prepaid taxi or rickshaw to reach Taj Mahal which is about 20 mins drive from Agra Railway Station.
    • By Air: 1 hour, but expensive. Taking a flight from Delhi to Agra is the easiest way when compared to other major cities in India including the metros like Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru Chennai, and  Hyderabad as they do not have direct flights to Agra.
    • If you plan to reach Agra by Bus, Train or Air, make use of the 24-hour official prepaid auto rickshaw and taxi booths just outside the bus stand, railway station, and airport to reach your hotel.
  • Clothing:
    • It’s warm and humid, so wear light and loose clothes. There is no dress code but it is a good idea to wear something that covers your knees and shoulders. Cotton Kurtis, Salwars, Long Skirts, Maxi dresses, Cotton Shirts, Pants, T-shirts, Blouses, and comfortable footwears.
  • Accommodations:
    • A one or two night stay is enough to explore Taj Mahal and Agra city. There are a number of hotels, resorts, guesthouses, homestays, and serviced apartments in Agra. Some hotels even offer the best views of Taj Mahal. Book hotels wisely that best suits your budget, your taste of food, and travel distance.  You can reach the Taj Mahal by hiring a cab or a rickshaw from your hotel. 
  • Opening Hours:
    • Open year around from 6am to 7pm (30 mins before sunrise and 30 mins after sunset) and Fridays remain closed. 
    • Opens for night viewing from every 2 days before full moon day to 2 days after full moon days from 8:30 pm until 12:30 am. Night viewing hours are suspended during the holy month of Ramdan.
  • Entrance Fee
    • Indians: Around 50 rupees
    • Foreigners: Around 1,100 rupees that includes a water bottle, shoe covers, a tourist map of Agra and a golf cart or bus service to the entry gate.
    • Children under 15: Free
    • It is better to have exact change to buy entrance tickets.
    • Tickets can be purchased at ticket booths near the entry gates or online at this website.
  • Try to visit the Taj Mahal during Sunrise. Undoubtedly it is the best time of the day for the best lighting, thinner crowds, and to avoid midday heat. East side of the monument has the best lighting in the early morning. 
  • Arrive early to the ticket booth. The actual entrance to the Taj is about 1km from the ticket booth. You can walk on the well maintained path or you can hire rickshaws. Wheelchair services are available.
  • Make sure you choose the right entrance gate among the East, West, and South Gates. The West gate is the main gate which means more crowd;  the South gate is the least used gate, so less crowded but opens after 8am and is near to the market; and the East gate is very close to the number of hotels.
  • Avoid visiting on weekends and public holidays
  • Everyone needs to go through a security check before entering the entrance gate. Food, smoking products, chargers, tripods, and large bags are not allowed. There are lockers available at the entrance.
  • Eating and smoking is strictly prohibited inside Taj Mahal.  Also no photography inside the main mausoleum
  • Walking paths are clean, paved and well maintained. Wear comfortable footwear. Note that you may have to take off your shoes or wear provided disposable shoe covers while entering the mausoleum.
  • Carry enough water.
  • Carry sunglasses and a hat and don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
  • Request a guide if you want to know the history and related stories about Taj Mahal. You can check with your hotel for a tour guide too.
  • Official website
  • Relish and embrace the beauty of Taj Mahal. Take a relaxing walk around the Taj Mahal complex that includes passing through the huge gateway of Taj Mahal – Great Gate (Darwaza-i rauza), the beautiful large garden (Charbagh), a reflecting long pool, a red sandstone Jawab Masjid mosque, and exquisite white marble mausoleum, Taj Mahal.
  • Take as many pictures as you can from all angles.

Bubbles over Niagara Falls

Bubbles rally over incredible Niagara Falls!

Location: Niagara Falls State Park, New York, USA.

Date and Time: Around 7pm on May 18, 2019.

Gallery India

Exploring the Backwaters

A peaceful view of fishermen on their wooden boats in the Suvarna River Backwater

Location: Suvarna Backwater, Near Bengre, Udupi District, Karnataka, India.

Date and Time: Around 2:30pm on July 28, 2018.

Gallery India

Tea Estate

Flavorful Tea Estate of Samse.

Location: Tea Estate, Samse near Kalasa, Udupi District, Karnataka, India.

Date and Time: Around 4:30pm on August 10, 2011.


Ausable Chasm – The Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks


Ausable Chasm is one of the popular getaway attractions in the Adirondacks region of Upstate New York. This beautiful sandstone gorge is renowned as the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks, not to be confused with the Grand Canyon of the East which is Letchworth State Park. Both are impressive; one is in the Adirondacks region and privately owned and the other one is in the Finger Lakes region and a state park. Ausable Chasm is about 3 miles west of the beautiful Lake Champlain in Vermont and about 40 miles south of the Canadian border.

The scenic Ausable Chasm is the oldest and largest natural attraction since 1870. This is a two mile long, narrow sandstone gorge, filled with gorgeous waterfalls, a beautiful Ausable river, well maintained hiking and adventurous trails, water activities, and much more. You will be amazed by the Ausable Chasm in many ways whether you choose to walk through the trails, tube down the Ausable River, raft down the Ausable rapids, or view the Chasm from the cliffs.

These photos are from our visit to Upstate New York on the labor day weekend of September, 2021 and was our first outing since the pandemic.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • 5 hour drive from New York city; 2 hour drive from Montreal, Canada.
  • Best time to Visit: May to October. Summer and Fall are busy seasons.
  • Accommodation: There are a number of hotels near Ausable Chasm; Plattsburgh is a good choice for a stay as it is just 13 miles away. Campsites and cabins are available inside the Ausable Chasm with plenty of activities like swimming, playgrounds, shuffleboard, basketball, volleyball, and disc golf.
  • Weak or no cell phone signals, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed. 
  • The land of Ausable Chasm is privately owned by the local power company. There will be an entry fee for access to the trails and other attraction tours.
  • Ausable Chasm is open year round from 9am to 4pm (5pm in summer) weather permitting.
  • There will be a lot of climbing and walking downhill, so wear sturdy shoes. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. 
  • Carry a change of clothes, water shoes/sandals with a heel strap if you are planning for tubing/rafting down the Ausable river. Remember to carry a waterproof bag to avoid your belongings getting wet on the raft floor as there are no lockers near the Table Rock raft tour area. 
  • Admission tickets to basic trails and adventurous tours/hikes can be purchased at the Welcome Center. The Welcome Center has a nice museum about the geological and tourist history of Ausable Chasm, cafe, gift shop, and restrooms.
  • Many of the sections of the trails have no safety rails, but the trails are wide enough. 
  • The pathway, staircases and bridges may be slippery and some sections with no study railings. Take precaution. 
  • There are picnic tables and a couple of port-a-potties along the trail. For safety, no strollers and no pets.
  • Start early to have more elbow room on trails.
  • There are shuttle buses which can be used to return to the welcome center instead of walking.
  • Bring snacks and water bottles. 
  • For more info, check Ausable Chasm.
  • There are several tour packages that offer hiking, rafting, and tubing through the gorge, via ferrata, rock climbing and rappelling. Choose a tour that best suits you. 
  • Best Things to Do
    • Enjoy the Scenic Hiking Trails: Inner Sanctum Trail, Rainbow Falls/Elephant’s Head Vista, Rim Walk Trail, Dry Chasm Trail and the guided Ausable Chasm Riverwalk.
    • Stop at the parking lot near the Gatehouse/Ausable Chasm bridge. Take a short walk on the Ausable Chasm bridge and peer down to view the beautiful Rainbow Falls.
    • Get a thrilling experience by any of the tours: Ausable River Tubing,, Ausable Chasm Rafting, guided Adventure Trail, guided Rappelling and Rock Climbing, and guided Lantern Tour.

Palace of Gold

Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, New Vrindaban, West Virginia.

Location: New Vrindaban, 3759 McCreary’s Ridge Road, Moundsville, West Virginia, USA.

Date and Time: Around 4:30pm on May, 28, 2011.


High Falls Gorge


High Falls Gorge has gorgeous waterfalls under the shadow of whiteface mountain in the Adirondacks region in Upstate NY. The High Falls Gorge is a privately owned nature park. A well maintained mile trail with modern bridges and a glass platform pathway features beautiful waterfalls, the impressive Ausable river, dark pools, and NY’s largest pot holes. During spring, waterfalls are at their highest volume due to runoff from melted snow. Because of the series of four beautiful waterfalls, it’s known as the “Ancient valley of foaming river” by native Americans. It is located on NY-86, Wilmington, just about 8 miles from Lake Placid and 12 miles from Whiteface Mountain Summit. If you are around Lake Placid, you can try to visit High Falls Gorge.

These photos are from our visit to Upstate New York on the labor day weekend of September, 2021 and was our first outing since the pandemic.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Weak or no cell phone signals, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed.
  • Opens daily from May to October from 9am to 4pm.
  • Parking is free, but there will be an entry fee.
  • There is a cafe, a gift shop, and restrooms.
  • An easy one mile loop well maintained walking pathway with bridges and stairs gives excellent views of the waterfalls.
  • Check the website for more info.

Hindu Jain Temple

Hindu Jain Temple of Pittsburgh

Location: Hindu Jain Temple, 615 Illini Dr, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, USA.

Date and Time: Around 12:30pm on May, 29, 2011.


Victoria, British Columbia


Victoria is the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Victoria is a small charming town with a touch of English influence with impressive architecture buildings, pretty colorful streets, beautiful gardens, and great museums.  Most of the attractions are within a walking distance of each other. 

This was the last port of call on our Inside Passage Alaska Cruise before heading back to Seattle. We dropped the idea of doing any shore excursion because of the chilly rainy gloomy day. Instead, we took a shuttle to downtown and wandered around the picturesque streets of the downtown area. We enjoyed roaming around the Inner Harbor pathway and streets of colorful buildings, floral hanging baskets, sculptures, and some of the most stunning architecture in British Columbia: the BC Legislature Building and the Fairmont Empress.

These photos are from our visit of a few hours to beautiful Victoria on August 29th, 2013.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Butchart Garden
  • The most picturesque downtown area
  • The Inner Harbor
  • Royal BC Museum
  • Hatley Park National Historic Site
  • Beacon Hill Park
  • Chinatown
  • Craigdarroch Castle


View of downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington, near the Duquesne Incline!

Location: Duquesne Incline, Carson St. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Date and Time: Around 9am on May 29, 2011.


St. Thomas, USVI


St. Thomas is the doorway to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. It is very exciting and has busy ports for many cruises. It is renowned for turquoise pristine beaches and snorkeling spots. In the 1600s, the Danish founded the territorial capital Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie is the largest city in the US Virgin Islands and the busiest cruise ship destination.

These photos are from our Eastern Caribbean cruise trip during the second week of February, 2019.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Visas and Documents
    • U.S. citizens: No visa required, need to carry a valid ID
    • For non-U.S. citizens: Need a valid passport and visa
  • Fly into: Cyril E. King Airport (STT)
  • Cruise Terminals: Havensight, Charlotte Amelia
  • Driving
    • Drive on the left hand side of the road, but all vehicles are left hand driven. Use taxi or rental car to get around.
  • Best Time to Visit: December to May
    • Peak Season: December to March
    • Affordable season: April to May
    • Hurricane Season: June to November
  • Clothing
    • Weather is warm, so pack lightweight casual t-shirts, shorts, sundresses, tank tops, swimsuits and a light jacket for the cool evenings
  • Best things to do
    • Rent a car and drive through the island. Here is the Google Map for popular stops.
    • Book a sightseeing tour bus.
    • Take a skyride to Paradise Point. You can buy tickets at the Paradise Point Base station at Havensight.
    • Book a day cruise to British Virgin Island.
    • Enjoy picture perfect beaches
      • Magens Bay Beach: Popular, crystal clear, turquoise water with all amenities, but be ready to hit a huge crowd. There will be an entry fee.
      • Hull Bay Beach: Tranquil, natural, crowd free small beach, but no amenities.
      • Lindquist beach: Most beautiful and pristine beach with turquoise water. Amenities include lifeguard, picnic tables and bathrooms. There will be an entry fee.
      • Coki Beach: Small but pretty, no entry fee. The amenities include waist high showers, restrooms, changing rooms, and food stalls.