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Taj Mahal

Things here in Utter Pradesh have been good but challenging, due primarily to the heat and crowds. Yesterday we made it easily from Leh to Delhi, dropped off some belongings at the Likir House, and proceeded to the Bahai Lotus Temple for an hour's tour. We then set out for Agra, a drive which we made in the reasonably good time of 5 hours. A stop at Akbar's Tomb, the gardens of which are home to deer, peacocks, monkeys, and parakeets, made for a needed respite from the road. We then had a slow and dissapointing dinner at a restaurant near our hotel here, and retired, exhausted, for the night. This morning we were up before the heat became too oppressive in order to visit the Taj, reaching the gates by 6 AM. A couple hours there was pleasant, after which we had breakfast and returned to the hotel for a morning siesta.

Now it's noon and we're getting back in the vans for the return to Delhi. Time permitting, we'll spend a couple of hours in Majnukatilla before hopping on the bus for Dharamsala at 8 PM. We should reach McLeod Ganj by tomorrow morning, when we'll rest up a bit before proceeding with a day's tour of the Tibet Museum, Namgyal Monastery, as well as our scheduled discussion with writer/activist/freedom fighter Lhasang Tsering and a screening of 'Tibet:Cry of the Snow Lion.'

Folks are hanging in there-hot and occasionally irritated by all that is Agra, and eager to get back into the hills. We'll be tired when we get there, but look forward to some great days starting tomorrow.

Also, HH Dalai Lama is giving public teachings this week and Peter has not only confirmed space for us to attend, but is awaiting a response on his request for an audience.

More to come from Dhasa.