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  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, flower seller
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, flower seller

    Just outside the entranceway into the dargah, a woman makes and sells flower garlands for pilgrims to offer inside. At the next stall, green glass bangles hung from the roof are sold for the ritual performed at the tomb shrine of the saint's mother.

  • Thumbnail for Khuldabad, tomb of saint, Jalal al-Din or Ganj-i-ravan
    Khuldabad, tomb of saint, Jalal al-Din or Ganj-i-ravan

    In Khuldabad, a town of many Sufi tombs and dargahs (shrines), the shrine of Jala al-Din, also known by his epithet Ganj-i-Ravan (Flowing Treasure), is a pilgrimage site favored for its miraculous powers. In the courtyard of the dargah is a tree said to have been planted in a miraculous way by the saint. Just outside the dargah is a spring-fed pond known as the Fairies' Tank (pariyon ka talab) which is understood to have healing properties.

  • Thumbnail for Hevajra and Nairatmya
    Hevajra and Nairatmya

    As described by the museum label,"This sculpture represents the Esoteric Buddhist deity Hevajra dancing and embracing his spouse, Nairatmya, whose name means 'No-soul.' Paired male and female deities usually symbolize compassion and wisdom in Vajrayana Buddhism, but in this instance Hevajra himself signifies both. His multiple hands hold various creatures of the universe, including animals, humans, and other gods. It is clear from this iconography that Hevaijra is a deity of all-pervasive, universal power." -- Nepal, Kathmandu Valley -- Gilt bronze and pigments -- Coll. Art Institute of Chicago (James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, 768.1978)

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)
    Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)

    Around the entranceways to the caves are figures of amorous couples symbolizing the good fortune of fertility and happiness. Sitting comfortably with the bodies touching, the woman leans against her partner's knee, while he reaches to stroke her face. Lotuses frame the scene.

  • Thumbnail for Painted Padmapani Bodhisattva
    Painted Padmapani Bodhisattva

    In Cave 1, a well-preserved painted mural features this image of Padmapani Bodhisattva, carrying the lotus (padma) in his right hand and viewing the suffering of the world.

  • Thumbnail for Ryoanji, rock garden
    Ryoanji, rock garden

    Yet another quiet day at the famous rock garden at Ryoanji...

  • Thumbnail for Shisendo, upper garden
    Shisendo, upper garden

    Southern portion of the inner (â€upperâ€) garden as seen from the Shisendo. Built by samurai Ishikawa Jozan (1583-1672) beginning in 1636. He bacame a scholar and based Shisendo on retreats of mid-T’ang dynasty Chinese poets and scholars.

  • Thumbnail for Katsura Detached Imperial Villa, detail, garden
    Katsura Detached Imperial Villa, detail, garden

    Detail, stone lantern in garden at Katsura. Begun in late 16th c., completed in second quarter of 17th c. (between 1620 and 1642, various dates given by different sources). Begun by Prince Hachijo Toshito, completed by his son, Noritada.

  • Thumbnail for Ryoanji, Pond garden
    Ryoanji, Pond garden

    Pond garden at Ryoanji. Said to date from the original Heian period estate at site.

  • Thumbnail for Khuldabad, Aurangzeb Mosque
    Khuldabad, Aurangzeb Mosque

    Before entering this verandah area, men remove their shoes and perform the ritual ablutions before prayer. On this open platform, men from the community pray at the five designated times during the day.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, child sitting in the balance
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, child sitting in the balance

    This child in her finest dress and blud scarf sits patiently in the metal crate of the balance as she is weighed against the bags of sweetbreads to be distributed to the community. Following a custom widely practiced in all religious communities in South Asia, the girl, as the primary participant in the ritual, wears a garland of fresh flowers.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese house, entryway
    Japanese house, entryway

    The front entrance of my host family’s house. Upon entering the house, family members shout “Tadaima!†(I’m home!) to announce their arrival, and remove their shoes. In the display case on the left are a box of artificial flowers, baskets with travel-size tissue packets, and wooden puzzle-sculptures that my host brother, age 7, had made. On the right, the behind the two closed sliding doors is a compartment where my family stores their winter shoes/boots during the summer, lightweight shoes during the summer to conserve storage space.

  • Thumbnail for Khuldabad, Aurangzeb Mosque, Mehrab
    Khuldabad, Aurangzeb Mosque, Mehrab

    The niche in the wall, the mehrab, is placed in the direction of Mecca so that all facing the mehrab for prayer will also be facing Mecca. On the wall are the names Allah and Muhammad representing the creedal statement, the Shahada: There exists only one God and Muhammad is his messenger. Also, on the wall is the clock, a reminder of the 5 daily prayer times.

  • Thumbnail for Aurangzeb Mosque main clock
    Aurangzeb Mosque main clock

    Every mosque prominently displays a clock. The clock reminds Muslims of the injunction to pray five times daily. This colorfully painted and decorated clock is located on a pillar just in front of the mehrab and notes the subsequent prayer time.

  • Thumbnail for Qawwali performance at the Dargah
    Qawwali performance at the Dargah

    A senior singer plays harmonium and leads the qawwali by singing verses praising particular saints. Other singers, like the man sitting next to him in this photo, sing antiphonal or chorus-like responses to each of his verses.

  • Thumbnail for Bhajan singing 2
    Bhajan singing 2

    As noted in the description for Bhajan singing 1, audience members as well as singers are wrapped in woolen shawls enjoying the devotional songs in the winter night air.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh inner courtyard
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh inner courtyard

    After walking up the stairs and through the arched main entranceway to the dargah, one enters the courtyard which leads to another set of steps and another arched entrance. Behind that doorway lies the tomb of the saint, Zar Zari Zar Baksh, and a second tomb for the mother of the saint. Both of these tombs are sacred sites, important to pilgrims seeking help and consolation.

  • Thumbnail for Aurangzeb Mosque, sign
    Aurangzeb Mosque, sign

    Sign in English and Hindi for the Tomb of the last Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. Behind this sign is a small sign explaining that anyone who vandalizes this monument will be subject to imprisonment of up to three months, a fine of up to 5000 rupees [more than $100], or both.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:  Frozen Shrimp
  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Ganapati Temple, inner sanctum doorway
    Ellora, Ganapati Temple, inner sanctum doorway

    The small inner shrine of the temple is set off from the rest of the temple by this decorated doorway. Devotees ring the bell to announce their presence to the god and then step over the door frame to perform their puja and receive darshan. Barely visible just inside the door is the image of the elephant-faced deity.

  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, bangles as symbols of pilgrims' petitions
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, bangles as symbols of pilgrims' petitions

    At the Tomb Shrine of the mother of Zar Zari Zar Baksh, women tie glass bangles over the door lintel into the shrine room as symbols of their petitions.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall, seated Buddha in stupa
    Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall, seated Buddha in stupa

    Inside Cave #10, the Buddha is seated on a lion throne within a stupa. The Buddha is shown in the teaching posture in this hall. Celestial beings surround him and bodhisattvas stand at his side.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, inner sanctum
    Kailash Cave Temple, inner sanctum

    This photo shows the steps leading up to the doorway of the Kailash Temple inner sanctum. In the center of the small shrine room is a large Shiva lingam and yoni positioned to allow only a single line of people to circumambulate this aniconic representation of the divine. This inner sanctum is continuously illuminated by one kerosene lamp.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, Kamadeva and Rati with Apsaras and Gandharvas
    Kailash Cave Temple, Kamadeva and Rati with Apsaras and Gandharvas

    God of desire, Kamadeva, and his consort Rati are flanked by their assistants, a sensuous apsaras or heavenly nymph and gandharvas who are charming celestial musicians.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Datta Temple, ascetic figure
    Ellora, Datta Temple, ascetic figure

    This image of an ascetic in a modified lotus position sits in a niche in the upper outside wall of the temple.