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India

In November 1989 I planned to go to India with a friend to visit his father's grave.  His dad was killed in Burma in World War II, and is buried in Kohima.  Then part of Burma, but now in a remote part of India called Nagaland.   But you need special permits to visit Nagaland, and they didn't come through by the date of our trip.  We know now that just about the only way to visit war cemeteries  in Nagaland is with a Royal British Legion 'Pilgrimage' trip.

India at that time was not a wealthy country, and had few facilities for tourists.  It's probably a lot better now, and I plan to go back before too long.

On the way from Delhi to Agra, four hours by car on the busy Indian roads. As we passed through each Indian state, the driver had to get out to pay a new set of road taxes.

Everything you do in India needs a form filled out, including 'Mother's maiden name'.

Cows roam loose in the streets.

A stop at a roadside cafe. Note the German SS major just on the right...

 

The Taj Mahal. Our guide, a very learned Indian scholar, insisted on showing us all of the intricate marble work, and told Michael (then a saddle manufacturer) that no one used riding saddles any more!

The Taj Mahal is made from beautiful white marble. It is not a palace as you may think, but a mausoleum, with little inside.

The Mughal Sheraton hotel in Agra. They gave me a slightly torn rupee note in exchange for dollars, then refused to accept it in payment, as it was torn.

View from the Red Fort, in Agra. In this room the Indian King who built the Taj Mahal was imprisoned by his son for 20 years, so he had a long time to admire his handiwork.

This is our 'airconditioned car with driver' provided by Kuoni. The German SS major said, "Is this your car? Is it broken down?" "What about the war then?". was all we could say, long after his Mercedes had left, covering us in a dust cloud.