Category Archives: {India}

Holi 2015 {India}

In 2015 while I was traveling in India with my group of friends and with my Guru Dr. Kathy Kangarloo, we celebrated Holi with the entire country.  We were staying at the famous Hotel Ganga Kinare. Tarun Gulati the owner of the hotel delighted us with a private Holi celebration just for us to take part in. Tarun brought in professional dancers, singers and drummers. With my Sony DSLR Camera wrapped in plastic wrap, I took these photo. These photo will last a lifetime of memories.

Holi is celebrated all over India since ancient times, Holi’s precise form and purpose display great variety. Originally, Holi was an agricultural festival celebrating the arrival of spring.
This aspect still plays a significant part in the festival in the form of the colored powders: Holi is a time when man and nature alike throw off the gloom of winter and rejoice in the colors and liveliness of spring.

Holi also commemorates various events in Hindu mythology, but for most Hindus it provides a temporary opportunity for Hindus to disregard social norms, indulge in merrymaking and generally “let loose.” The legend commemorated by the festival of Holi involves an evil king named Hiranyakashipu. He forbade his son Prahlad from worshiping Vishnu, but Radhu continued to do offer prayers to the god. Getting angry with his son, Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahlad to sit on a pyre with his wicked aunt Holika who was believed to be immune to fire. (In an alternate version, Holika put herself and Prahlad on the fire on orders from her brother.) Prahlad accepted the challenge and prayed to Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika was burnt to death, while Prahlad survived without a scar to show for it. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. According to some accounts, Holika begged Prahlad for forgiveness before her demise, and he decreed that she would be remembered every year at Holi.

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Gurudwara Bangla Sahib {India}

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is the most prominent Sikh gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi, known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan, and the pool inside its complex, known as the “Sarovar.” It was first built as a small temple by Sikh General, Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783, who supervised the construction of nine Sikh shrines in Delhi in the same year, during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II.anthonylujan-GurudwaraBanglaSahib-anthonylujanphotography-1anthonylujan-GurudwaraBanglaSahib-anthonylujanphotography-2

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That’s me wearing a bandana as we had to have our heads covered as we entered the temple. So I purchased it right over my left shoulder.

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The dinning hall where everyone eats their meals on the floor.

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Inside the kitchen

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My friend Kathy volunteering her time.

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My friend Shrin

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My friend Judy

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Saw a beautiful flower and had to capture it

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Amazing sunset. Had to take several photos of it!

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My friends from the trip.

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I loved this reflection.

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I was not the only person checking out the sunset.

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This is a true Sikh! Love the details in his eyes…if I only had a translator with me to hear his stories.

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My friend Judy

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My friend Chuck

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Our tour guide

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Pilgrams

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This is a family we helped by donating food to them. The lady in purple was fully deformed and seemed really appreciative.anthonylujan-GurudwaraBanglaSahib-anthonylujanphotography-45

It is situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi and is instantly recognizable by its stunning golden dome and tall flagpole, Nishan Sahib.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib was originally a bungalow belonging to Raja Jai Singh, an Indian ruler in the seventeenth century, and was known as Jaisinghpura Palace, in Jaisingh Pura, an historic neighbourhood demolished to make way for the Connaught Place, shopping district.

The eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan resided here during his stay in Delhi in 1664. During that time, there was a smallpox and cholera epidemic, and Guru Har Krishan helped the suffering by giving aid and fresh water from the well at this house. Soon he too contracted the illness and eventually died on March 30, 1664. A small tank was later constructed by Raja Jai Singh over the well, its water is now revered as having healing properties and is taken by Sikhs throughout the world back to their homes.

The Gurdwara and its Sarovar are now a place of great reverence for Sikhs, and a place for special congregation on birth anniversary of Guru Har Krishan.

The grounds include the temple, a kitchen, a large (holy) pond, a school and an art gallery. As with all Sikh Gurdwaras, the concept of langar is practiced, and all people, regardless of race or religion may eat in the Gurdwara kitchen (langar hall). The Langar (food) is prepared by gursikhs who work there and also by volunteers who like to help out. At the Gurdwara, visitors are requested to cover their hair and not to wear shoes. Assistance to foreigners and visitors with Guides, head scarves, and shoe-minding service can be found inside the compound and are available free of charge. Anyone can volunteer to help keep the shoes in the shoe-minding room, and cleaning the precincts of the Gurudwara.

The complex also houses a higher secondary school, Baba Baghel Singh Museum, a library and a hospital. Air Conditioning has been done inside the Gurudwara and also for the Langar Hall. A new “Yatri Niwas”, and multilevel parking space have been constructed. A toilet complex is also constructed. The space around the back entrance to the Gurudwara is also being spruced up, so as to give a better view from the roadside.

The Bangla Sahib Gurudwara complex has appeared in several literary works.

India Gate 2015 {India}

At the center of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an “Arc-de-Triomphe” like archway in the middle of a crossroad.

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Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.

Gandhi Memorial Museum

While in India, I visited the Gandhi Memorial Museum in New Delhi. It’s where Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life. It was such an incredible experience.

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While I was taking a selfie, I noticed a hawk flying over my head.

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After a few times circling overhead, it landed on the building and stared at me. It was one of those amazing awe inspiring moments when nature notices you and stops and looks back.

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A little information about the memorial site:

Gandhi Smriti formerly known as Birla House or Birla Bhavan, is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, situated on Tees January Road, formerly Albuquerque Road, in New Delhi, India. It is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on January 30, 1948. It was originally the house of the Indian business tycoons, the Birla family. It is now also home to the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum,which was established in 2005.

The Birla House was purchased from KK Birla, in 1966, by the Government of India, after protracted and tough negotiations, in which, according to some reports, he even included the cost of fruit trees in the sale price. Eventually KK Birla, sold the property to the Government for Rs 5.4 million ( Rs 54 Lakhs) in cash and seven acres prime urban land in exchange, which was considered a very profitable deal. Birla House opened for the public on August 15, 1973, renamed the Gandhi Smriti (or Gandhi Remembrance). The museum in the building houses a number of articles associated with Gandhi’s life and death. Visitors can tour the building and grounds, viewing the preserved room where Gandhi lived and the place on the grounds where he was shot while holding his nightly public walk.

The Martyr’s Column now marks the place where Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation” was assassinated.

The Gandhi Smriti or Birla House is located at 5 Tees January Marg, a couple of kilometres from the Connaught Place, one of the Central Business District’s of New Delhi.

Outside the house stands a pillar that contains a swastika symbol. The prominence of the pillar means that it has been used as a visual example of the way the ethical meaning of the swastika symbol has changed in the West in the 20th century. The same pillar also contains the Sanskrit symbol for the meditation sound, Om.

The Bahá’í House known as the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India

Once we landed and got a full nights rest in India. We were off to The Bahá’í House of Worship also called The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India.

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Since its inauguration to public worship and visits in December 1986, the Bahá’í House of Worship in New Delhi, India has drawn to its portals more than 70 million visitors, making it one of the most visited edifices in the world. On an average, 8,000 to 10,000 people visit the Bahá’í House of Worship each day. These visitors have admired its universal design in the form of a lotus and have been fascinated by the Teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, especially its tenets of the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind.

The Architect Fariborz Sahba, a Canadian citizen, was born in 1948 in Iran. He received a master’s degree in architecture in 1972 from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University.

In 1976, the international governing body of the Bahá’í community selected Mr. Sahba to design the Bahá’í House of Worship for the Indian subcontinent in New Delhi, India. This project, on which he worked for 10 years as the architect and project manager, was described by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson as “one of the most remarkable achievements of our time, proving that the drive and vision of spirit can achieve miracles.” With over 3.5 million visitors a year, this building, commonly known as the “Lotus of Bahapur,” is one of the most visited sites in the world.

In 1987, Mr. Sahba was assigned by the Bahá’í World Centre the task of designing 18 terraces as a majestic approach to the Shrine of the Báb, the martyred Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, one of the most holy places of the Bahá’í Faith. He was also appointed project manager to execute the Bahá’í World Centre building projects on Mount Carmel. The Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb received the 1998 Ephraim Lifshitz Award from the Municipality of Haifa and the 1999 Magshim Award from the Council for a Beautiful Israel.

Mr. Sahba has received many international awards, among them the First Honor Award in 1987 for “Excellence in Architecture” from the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture, an affiliate of the American Institute of Architects. Articles about his work have been published in almost 400 magazines and newspapers throughout the world.

Below are some photos of me shooting from the window of our bus.

No matter where….if you must go…..you must go!

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Street gambling

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Delivery man

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Marketing signs

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City Night Tour, Dubai {Dubai}

Monday, April 26, 2010 – 2:30 am City Night Tour, Dubai

The remaining images from my India trip is from the very last stop which was an 8 hour layover in Dubai. I was so excited to see Burj Al Arab Hotel and the worlds tallest building the Burj Khalifa. With no time to waste we checked into a hotel next to the airport. While checking in a lady was passing fliers in the lobby for a city night tour starting at 2:30 am. Yes that is right 2:30 am. Since we landed in Dubai at midnight and checked in the hotel at 1:30 am it was perfect! So with no further delay. Here are the photographs that I’ve taken at  2:30 am while on the city night tour. Please note these are not my best as I brought the weakest tripod and it was extremely dark with horrible lighting.  Why didn’t Dubai keep the lights on for me??

Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab (“Tower of the Arabs”, also known as “Arab Sail”) is a hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and is the only 7 star hotel.

At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the second tallest building in the world that is used exclusively as a hotel. The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure to mimic the sail of a ship.

Atlantis, The Palm

Atlantis is the majestic focal point of Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island that has captured the world’s imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity. From the moment of arrival, you’re immersed in a dazzling world of imagination, pleasure and luxury. The resort offers relaxation and thrills for couples and families alike, including a landmark hotel, unique marine habitats, an exhilarating water park, pristine white beaches, world-class cuisine, indulgent spa and cosmopolitan boutiques. To stay or visit is to live out your dreams amidst warm Arabian seas.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa (“Khalifa Tower”), known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010. The building is part of the 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Burj Khalifa at the “First Interchange” along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s main business district.

The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill of Chicago. Adrian Smith, who started his own firm (Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture) in 2006, was the chief architect, and Bill Baker was the chief structural engineer for the project. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea, who also built the Taipei 101 and Petronas Twin Towers. Major subcontractors included Belgian group Besix and Arabtec from the UAE. Turner Construction Company was chosen as the construction project manager. Under UAE law, the Contractor and the Engineer of Record, Hyder Consulting, is jointly and severally liable for the performance of Burj Khalifa.

The total cost for the Burj Khalifa project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire new “Downtown Dubai”, US$20 billion. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the Chairman of Emaar Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World Congress, said in March 2009 that the price of office space at Burj Khalifa had reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per m2) and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, were selling for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m2).

The project’s completion coincided with a worldwide economic slump and overbuilding, and it has been described as “the latest … in [a] string of monuments to architectural vacancy.” With Dubai itself mired in a deep financial crisis that forced it to seek repeated billion-dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi, the opening ceremony and surprise renaming of the tower to Burj Khalifa, after UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been viewed by observers as an “attempt to boost confidence in Dubai by showing who is backing Dubai”.

The photograph taken below was a quarter of a mile passed where I really wanted to stop. The driver didn’t want to stop as we were on a freeway overpass over the water. Luckily no traffic at 2:30 am. Regardless we forced him to stop so we could capture this beautiful skyline.  I wish I asked him to make a u-turn or back up that quarter of mile as there were boats to the right of the image that were in the water perfectly being shined on by the buildings.

Please be sure to follow along as I made my way through India:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 – Out of office reply – off to India
Saturday, April 17 & Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Photographing out the window
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – The Red Fort, Agra, India
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – The City Palace, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Jaigarh Fort Amber, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Hawa Mahal & Jal Mahal, Jaipur, India
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 – Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Red Fort, Old Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Chandni Chowk, Naya Bazar, Old Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – In search of monkeys
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – Qutub Minar, South Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – India Gate, New Delhi, India
Monday, April 26, 2010 – 2:30 am Night Tour, Dubai

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Inland Empire, Orange and Los Angeles Counties
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Children & Newborns | Pet | Travel
www.anthonylujanphotography.com
www.anthonylujanphotography.com/blog

India Gate, New Delhi, India {India}

Sunday, April 25, 2010 – India Gate, New Delhi, India

Last stop before heading to the airport is the India Gate located in New Delhi, India.

Originally called the All India War Memorial, the India Gate is a colossal structure that commemorates the death of all the Indian soldiers who fought the 1st World War. Burning under it since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the immortal warrior), an eternal flame that burns day and night under the humongous arch to remind the nation of soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.

The India Gate is a 42 m high structure and on its buff sandstone are engraved the names of nearly 90,000 soldiers who died in various wars, including WW I. It is simply amazing to read all the names which appear to be written in the same font size from top to bottom.

The architecture resembles that of the arch in Victoria Park, in Leicester, England, also designed by Lutyens. Bordered by a lush green gardens and an emerald pool, the place makes a good place to laze out winter afternoons.

Needless to say, a war memorial built to commemorate 90,000 soldiers who died during the 1st world war will trigger an awe, but the colossal India Gate offers much more than that, a promise of recreation, to every tourists. Nestling on the Rajpath in New Delhi, this 42 meter high gateway was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was completed in February 1921 with the lying of the foundation stone by the Duke of Connaught. Burning under it since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the immortal warrior), a never-ceasing flame that burns day and night under the humongous arch to remind the nation of soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971. Besides, the India Gate is situated in the heart of Delhi and is, perhaps the most easily accessible tourist destination in the state.

Please be sure to follow along as I made my way through India:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 – Out of office reply – off to India
Saturday, April 17 & Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Photographing out the window
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – The Red Fort, Agra, India
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – The City Palace, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Jaigarh Fort Amber, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Hawa Mahal & Jal Mahal, Jaipur, India
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 – Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Red Fort, Old Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Chandni Chowk, Naya Bazar, Old Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – In search of monkeys
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – Qutub Minar, South Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – India Gate, New Delhi, India
Monday, April 26, 2010 – 2:30 am Night Tour, Dubai

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Inland Empire, Orange and Los Angeles Counties
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Children & Newborns | Pet | Travel
www.anthonylujanphotography.com
www.anthonylujanphotography.com/blog

Qutub Minar – World Tallest Minaret {India}

Sunday, April 25, 2010 – Qutub Minar, South Delhi, India

Last day in India and have taken in as much as I can. So we traveled back to Old Delhi to see the worlds tallest minaret the Qutub Minar.

Qutab Minar is one of the prime attractions amongst all the historical monuments of India. Situated in the Qutub complex at Mehrauli in South Delhi, it is one of the finest examples of Indo Islamic architecture. With regard to the name of the tower, historians have conflicting views. Many historians believe that it was named after Qutubu’d – Din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of India while the others contend that it was named in honor of Khwaja Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from Baghdad, who was highly venerated by Iltutmish. Moreover, the Qututb complex is also surrounded by many other architectural marvels.

Interesting & Fun Facts about Qutab Minar
  • Qutab Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world.
  • The Qutub Minar and its adjoining monuments are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The diameter of Qutub Minar is 14.32 m at the base and 2.75 m on the top.
  • The height of Qutub Minar is 72.5 m.
  • There are 379 stairs inside the tower, which lead to the top.
  • The foundation of the tower was laid down by Qutubu’d – Din Aibak in 1199 AD.
  • The purpose behind the construction of Minar was for the use of mu’azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer.
  • The first story was completed during the reign of Aibak.
  • Many historians believe that the Qutub Minar was named after the first Turkishsultan, Qutb-ud-din Aibak. But there is a different view also. Other historians contend that it was named in honor of the Sufi Saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki
  • The next three stories were added by Shamsu’d-Din Iltutmish, the son – in – law of Qutubu’d – Din Aibak.
  • The fifth and the last story were constructed by Firuz Shah Tughlaq.
  • All the stories are surrounded by protruding balconies, encircling the tower.
  • The Minar contains numerous inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari characters, which narrate its history.
  • As per the inscriptions on its surface, it was repaired by Firuz Shah Tughlaq and Sikandar Lodi.
  • The Minar was also repaired and restored by Major. R. Smith in 1829.
  • According to the Archeological Survey of India, the site at which Qutab Minar is located was once occupied by 27 Hindu and Jain temples.
  • Qutab Minar is made up of red and buff sandstone, containing intricate carvings and verses from the Holy Quran.

Please be sure to follow along as I made my way through India:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 – Out of office reply – off to India
Saturday, April 17 & Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Photographing out the window
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – The Red Fort, Agra, India
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – The City Palace, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Jaigarh Fort Amber, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Hawa Mahal & Jal Mahal, Jaipur, India
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 – Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Red Fort, Old Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Chandni Chowk, Naya Bazar, Old Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – In search of monkeys
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – Qutub Minar, South Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – India Gate, New Delhi, India
Monday, April 26, 2010 – 2:30 am Night Tour, Dubai

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Inland Empire, Orange and Los Angeles Counties
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Children & Newborns | Pet | Travel
www.anthonylujanphotography.com
www.anthonylujanphotography.com/blog

In search of monkeys {India}

Sunday, April 25, 2010 – In search of monkeys

Last day in India and yes I’m in search of more monkeys! Outside of the hotel and down the road on Shooting Range Road I have seen and heard of lots of monkeys. Well leaving the hotel I had my camera in my hand and was totally disappointed that I didn’t get to photograph the monkeys I’ve previously seen on the wall/fences on Shooting Range Road.  Well at the very end of the road I started to see one monkey here one monkey there. All of a sudden I see what our driver called an army of monkeys. He quickly pulled over after I yelled stop! I got out of the car came around the back and started photographing. All a sudden I look down and got scared as I was so close to a group of them it caught me off guard.

So with no further delay, here’s the last set of photographs I have from monkeys in India.

Please be sure to follow along as I made my way through India:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 – Out of office reply – off to India
Saturday, April 17 & Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Photographing out the window
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – The Red Fort, Agra, India
Saturday, April 17, 2010 – Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – The City Palace, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Jaigarh Fort Amber, Jaipur, India
Sunday, April 18, 2010 – Hawa Mahal & Jal Mahal, Jaipur, India
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 – Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Red Fort, Old Delhi, India
Saturday, April 24, 2010 – Chandni Chowk, Naya Bazar, Old Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – In search of monkeys
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – Qutub Minar, South Delhi, India
Sunday, April 25, 2010 – India Gate, New Delhi, India
Monday, April 26, 2010 – 2:30 am Night Tour, Dubai

Anthony Lujan Photography
Serving Inland Empire, Orange and Los Angeles Counties
Individual | Family | Wedding | Maternity | Children & Newborns | Pet | Travel
www.anthonylujanphotography.com
www.anthonylujanphotography.com/blog