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DOCUMENTS:
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Letter to Karin


From Taj Mahal

Claes-Göran's and Petronella's journey to India in 1996.

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal in the early morning. We found this monumental grave of a wife enchanting.
 
Snake charmer
A snake and tourist charmer.
 
Elephant ride
Riding elephants mean another pace in life than the one we are used to. Nice for a change, though. Petronella is passenger.
 
Dal Lake
Dal Lake, close to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. The life rhythm is determined by the paddle.
 
Houseboat Kismat
While foreigners in older days were not allowed to own land in the state of Kashmir, they built summer palaces on boats instead. Kismat (behind Claes-Göran) has living-room, three bedrooms and a bathroom.
 
Wedding on board
A traditional wedding on board takes three days. On the third day the bride (center) and groom will meet for the first time. Their parents made the choice for them.
 
Silk carpet
Can you pay in advance for a silk on silk Kashmir carpet, and then rely on in to be brought to your home abroad? Yes, you can! By ordinary snail-mail! We did.
 
Collapsed road
A collapsed road forced a break to our car drive towards the higher mountains.
 
Horses
Near the road-slid horses for rent were offered as a more adaptable resource of transport. A young librarian from Lima in Peru joined us.
 
Boat veranda
"Kashmir is Asia's Switzerland", said minister Farooq (see opposite picture). But only lasting peace will bring more than just a few foreign tourists to the quiet life of Dal Lake houseboats, Petronella and I believe.
Cool marble
Matrimonial love seems to flourish on the cool marble of Taj Mahal. Petronella and Claes-Göran.
 
Petronella
A quiet moment in the early morning just before tourist rush. The Red Fort on the other side. Petronella contemplating.
 
Harem house
There once used to be one wife behind each single window in this huge harem house.
 
Our chauffeur
Low-voiced, polite and service-minded in a smart way, our chauffeur reminded of an English butler. He is also an excellent driver.
 
Mr Rahim
Mr Rahim has a travel agency in Delhi and most of his family in Kashmir, making their living on the tourist market. He is a real pro.
 
Meat for wedding dinner
While people eat mostly vegetarian food, they make an exception in wedding time; 24 different kinds of meat are expected on the "table" (i.e. the floor).
 
Spices
The supply and the scents of exotic spices are plentiful.
 
Like a queen.
In my eyes Petronella looked like a queen in the horse-saddle.
 
Soldiers
Soldiers of different kinds were everywhere in Kashmir. There is still murder, robbery and rape every day. What do their gods think about it?
 
Prime minister
The chief minister of Kashmir, mr Farooq Abdullah, (upper left) kindly invited us for lunch together with his and the new tourist minister's (upper middle) families, when we happened to cross their way through the mountains.
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Claes-Göran Lönnroth, Stockholm, Sweden. Updated aug 2012.