The central pillar of Diwan-i-khas, Fatehpur Sikri, India on Flickr.

Fatehpur Sikri, the city was founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585.

Diwan-i-Khas: the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, is a plain square building with four chhatris on the roof. However it is famous for its central pillar, which has a square base and an octagonal shaft, both carved with bands of geometric and floral designs, further its thirty-six serpentine brackets support a circular platform for Akbar, which is connected to each corner of the building on the first floor, by four stone walkways.

Source : Wikipedia

Sun temple ruins at Martand, Kashmir on Flickr.

Temple ruins is not something one associates with Kashmir. However, Martand near the city of Anantnag has these sun temple ruins. The temple was built in the 8th century.
Built on a plateau, these ruins at Martand provide stunning views of the Kashmir valley and the surrounding snow covered peaks.

By Sandeepa and Chetan (http://sandeepachetan.com)

Women at Sani Festival, Zanskar valley, India on Flickr.

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Sani festival is a big event in the Zanskari calendar. People from all over Zanskar, dressed in their festive best come to Sani for this festival.

People are in a gung ho mood meeting friends and relatives. It is a great moment to soak in the camaraderie and the joyous atmosphere.

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Journey from Kargil to Leh, India on Flickr.

Kargil is the midway of the Srinagar-Leh highway, NH1-D. It is suggested halt for the night before reaching Leh for altitude aclimatisation. Our bus left Kargil at around 4 AM. Just as we were getting out of Kargil, we were greeted with this beautiful sky.

Happy faces at Sani, Zanskar on Flickr.

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The Sani monastery festival is a big social event in Zanskar. Excitement is in the air as people meet their friends and relatives from all across the Zanskar valley, everybody looking forward to a day of dance and music.

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Fish market in Mumbai, India 

Ferry wharf, locally known as “Bhaucha dhakka” is the biggest fish market in Mumbai. Trawlers venture out into the seas in
the night and get to Mumbai by 5AM. The fish is then unloaded and auctioned to the fishermen from all across the city.

The fishermen who belong to the Koli community are the oldest and the original residents of the city of Mumbai. The cacophony of this morning market, the crowds of people and the omnipresent smell of sea is an interesting experience, highly rewarding for the fish lovers. Something we would highly recommend in Mumbai, albeit not for the faint hearted!

Read more stories from Mumbai.

By Sandeepa and Chetan ( http://sandeepachetan.com )

Sani, Zanskar valley, India on Flickr.

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This was our homestay in Sani. It was the house of the only shopkeeper in the entire Sani village.

She was the daughter of the house and in charge of the kitchen responsibilities. She even gave us some impromptu cooking lessons.

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House in Dras, Jammu and Kashmir on Flickr.

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Dras, is the second coldest inhabited region in the world, with temperatures plummeting below -40C in the peak winters. Located after the Zojila on the way to Ladakh, at an altitude of over 3200m, it’s a stark contrast to the preceding Kashmir valley. The forest covered mountains transform to formidable barren look.

However, in the summer months, Dras has a very pleasant climate throughout the day. Barley is a common grain there, and the barley fields render a lush green look to the entire village.

Stone houses around Zanskar valley on Flickr.

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This is a slightly modified version of the exposed stone houses in the Zanskar and Ladakh regions. They are coated with a layer which is a mixture of local mud, cattle dung and other things.

The terrace on the top is part of every house. This is where wood, dung, grass and any other source of fuel is set to dry for use in the winter months.

The straw basket on the stone wall is hung by women around their heads and left at the back. This gives them both their hands free to do other tasks while carrying everything from mud, plants, sheep or their babies in these baskets.

Ongoing prayers to God, Zanskar, India on Flickr.

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An old Zanskari woman, wearing a goatskin coat, chanting with the help of prayer beads. She was walking down the streets of Sani village in the Zanskar valley.

Prayer beads are ubiquitous in the mountain towns of Ladakh and Zanskar. Religion, prayers and love of God are a way of life here. Living in the midst of such harsh nature, it is not surprising!