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On the Hoogly–Gaur

October 4, 2009

Gaur is a quiet, deserted place that was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in the 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th centuries.  We took an air-conditioned minivan through the city of Jangipur for a full-day excursion to Gaur.

In the tranquil early morning  I saw the banks of the Hoogly and the bridge we had traveled over the night before that would take us back to Jangipur and on to Gaur.

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We drove past fields and rice paddies and stopped for gas.

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The mosques were clear signals that this was an Islamic part of India.

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Jute bags made locally were used to carry anything and everything.

Soon we turned off the highway on to dirt roads and obstacles!

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How did the term Holy Cow Originate?

Holy cow (expression)

“Holy cow!” is an exclamation of surprise used in American and Canadian English. Halsey Hall, a former Minnesota sportscaster was the first to coin the phrase.

“Holy cow” was the catchphrase of legendary baseball player and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto and legendary broadcaster Harry Caray.

It is widely believed to have stemmed from the Hindu belief of reincarnation. Travelers commonly shout the expression as to not hit one of these “reincarnated creatures” while driving.

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Whenever we stopped at an archaeological site, village children greeted us and followed us.  They weren’t used to seeing foreigners.

We walked past their Hindu shrine and on to an ancient Islamic mosque.

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Our British friends walked ahead with our guide.  We were the only Americans.

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Back in the village, Bill found haystacks.  He has a collection of pictures of haystacks from all over the world.  Hmmm…

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Driving in our minivan to another site, we saw villagers honoring a local Hindu deity.

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At the next site there were fishermen drying their nets and more figures of Hindu deities.

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IMG_1773IMG_1774IMG_1775IMG_1777IMG_1779IMG_1780Across from Fath Khan’s Tomb was a shrine with prints of The Prophet’s feet (Peace Be Upon Him).

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IMG_1786The caretaker could only let us take pictures from a distance but not inside, although he did let us go in.

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We peeked inside to see the original mosaic floor of the mosque.

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This Lottan Masjid had the most magnificent brick work so it was a fitting place to end our visit to Gaur.  We traveled back to The Sukapha in our air-conditioned minivan and were welcomed with rolled cold washcloths and a glass of mango or guava juice.

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