Entrances

 

 

At the entrance to many villages in Nepal and India, welcome gates have been constructed, spanning the road or trail, leading to the village. Three examples are shown below.

 

Annapurna 2007
Welcome gate at the village of Marpha, Kali Gandaki Valley, Annapurna, central Nepal.

 

Sydindien 2008
Evening light on a welcome gate, constructed of bamboo, Honnavar Forest, Karnataka, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nepal 1985
Welcome gate at the village of Ghasa, Kali Gandaki Valley, Annapurna, central Nepal. One of the children is wearing a garland of marigolds, a so-called malla, around the neck. Such garlands are often worn during Hindu festivals. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Alperne 2017
Alperne 2017
Old wooden doors in the castle Chateau Valère, Sion, Valais, Switzerland. Originally, this castle was a fortified basilica, founded in the early 1100s. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2013
Rusted flower ornamentation on an entrance gate to a private home, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tanzania 1988
Entrance gate to Gereza, an Arabian fort in the town of Kilwa Kisiwani, on the Tanzanian coast, built on the order of the Sultan of Muscat, c. 1800. – Read more about our adventures along the Tanzanian coast elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: Tanzania 1988 – Experiencing African bureaucracy. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bali 2009
This temple guardian in front of the entrance to a Hindu temple near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, keeps evil forces at bay. – Read about Hinduism on this website, see Religion: Hinduism. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bornholm 1977-96
Bornholm 2008b
On the island of Bornholm, Denmark, many half-timber houses have been conserved, as these in the towns of Gudhjem (top) and Rønne. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tunesien 1987
Tunesien 1987
Doors in private houses, Sousse, Tunisia. In the lower picture, mussel shells have been used as decoration in the wall. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Gate and late afternoon shadow, Eriksberg Stränder Nature Reserve, Blekinge, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In 1965, when the Chinese leader Mao Tse-dung invented the term ‘Cultural Revolution’, religious practices were forbidden, and a mass destruction of cultural treasures began in all Chinese territories. Religious paintings were destroyed and icons smashed, and Buddhist monasteries were torn down by gangs of ravaging Red Guards. In Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, the monks were driven out of Jokhang, the largest religious sanctuary in Tibet, and the marvellous building became a pig-pen.

Following the death of Chairman Mao in 1976, and the arrest of the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, conditions changed. The Cultural Revolution came to a halt, restrictions on religious practice were somewhat eased, and Jokhang was re-opened.

Read more about this temple, and about Tibet in general, elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: Tibet 1987 – Tibetan summer. About Tibetan Buddhism in general, see Religion: Buddhism.

 

Tibet 1987
Entrance to the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Tibet 1987
Old-fashioned handle on a worn wooden door, Sera Buddhist monastery, Lhasa. Note that a tuft of sheep’s wool has been tied to the ring, maybe to make it less sharp. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Californien 2013a
Rusted entrance gate to an abandoned farm, the ‘Quail Rock Ranch’, depicting a family of California quail (Callipepla californica), Mohave National Preserve, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A gopura, or gopuram, is an entrance tower, leading into a Hindu temple or temple complex.

 

Sydasien 1976-77
Sydasien 1976-77
These pictures show a gopura in a temple in the city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India, dedicated to goddess Minakshi, a South Indian name for Shiva’s shakti, or female energy. The gopura is adorned with thousands of sculptures. In the lower picture, a detail of the gopura depicts a scene from the epic Hindu drama ‘The Churning of the Milk Ocean’, from the Bhagavata-Purana. Read more about this drama elsewhere on this website, about the concept of shakti, and about Hinduism in general, see Religion: Hinduism. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Cambodia 2009
Carved faces on the southern gopura, leading into the Hindu Khmer ruins at Angkor Thom, Cambodia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Skandinavien 2001-14
Old-fashioned hatch in a preserved farm house, Himmelsberga Museum, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011
Chile 2011
Church door, made of cactus wood, in the village of Toconao, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sjælland 2012-16
Sjælland 2012-16
I found these old-fashioned doors on an abandoned farm in Zealand, Denmark. Handle and key hole in the farmhouse (top), stable door with rusted chains and an old bicycle lock (bottom). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Sneakers, drying outside a door, Lugang, western Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Varanasi 2008
Paria dog, scanning its surroundings from a doorway, Varanasi, India. – More pictures of paria dogs, as well as other members of the dog family, are found elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Dog family. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Door and tackle in an old fisherman’s shed, Gräsgårds Hamn, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In November 1618, the Danish King Christian IV ordered one of his admirals, Ove Giedde, to be the commander of a fleet of five ships, bound for India. The aim of this journey was to establish a trading station under the Royal Danish East India Company, to be able to bring cheap spices and textiles to the Motherland.

Two years later, Giedde and his crew reached the Coromandel Coast, at the mouth of River Kaveri in present-day Tamil Nadu, South India. Following negotiations with the Prince of Thanjavur, Giedde obtained permission to build a trading station, which was called Trankebar (in English Tranquebar) – a corruption of the local Tamil name of the place, Tarangambadi, which means ‘singing waves’. In 1660, a fort was completed, named Dansborg (’Danish Castle’). Behind this fort, a town sprang up, fortified with moats and walls, through which a number of gates gave access to the town.

 

Sydindien 2000-01
This picture shows the most striking of the town gates of Tranquebar, named Landporten (‘Land Gate’), as of year 2000. It has since been restored. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 1992
Double door, one of cast-iron, one of wood, leading into a private home in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sherif Baha el-Din is a renowned Egyptian herpetologist, who has described several new species of reptiles in Egypt, e.g. the Mount Sinai gecko (Hemidactylus mindiae) and the Qattara gecko (Tarentola mindiae). (His wife’s name is Mindy!) Earlier, he has worked with birds and the threatened Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni).

 

Egypten 1999
Sherif Baha el-Din (left) and Danish biologist Uffe Gjøl Sørensen, standing in front of a fancy welcome gate in the Zaranik Protected Area, Sinai, Egypt. When this picture was taken in 1999, Baha el-Din was working with the Egyptian tortoise in Zaranik. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Indien 1994
Ornate door in a Rajput fort, built in the 1400s, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. – Read about Rajputs elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: India 1986 – His name is Muhammed! (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Obviously, these doors in the city of Taichung, Taiwan, are no longer in use. Various weeds are growing in front of them, in the upper picture e.g. a species of dayflower (Commelina), with oblong leaves and blue flowers, and a species of amaranth (Amaranthus), with heart-shaped leaves, in the lower picture downy bur-marigold (Bidens pilosa). – Read more about amaranth and downy bur-marigold on this website, see Nature: Urban nature. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In 1987, I stayed a couple of weeks in the town of Shigatse, Tibet. At that time, Chinese authorities had already begun levelling huge areas of the town to create a ‘modern’ (i.e. communist concrete style) town. Today (2018), very little remains of Old Shigatse. – Read more about my stay in this town, and about Tibet in general, elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: Tibet 1987 – Tibetan summer.

 

Tibet 1987
Door in a traditional Tibetan house, Shigatse. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Tibet 1987
A dog and a cow are resting at the entrance door to a traditional Tibetan house in Shigatse. In many traditional Tibetan houses, you would enter a courtyard before arriving at the living quarters. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Sydindien 2008
Roadside restaurant with an entrance gate, made from bamboo poles, Mukkali, Kerala, India. The language on the signs is Malayalam. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Fanø 2001-12
Typical local house, with straw roof and bay, in the village of Sønderho, Fanø, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1998
Very small dog, guarding a house in the village of Braga, Upper Marsyangdi Valley, Annapurna, central Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

During the era of the great trading caravans, a side branch of the Old Silk Road led through the city of Jaisalmer, in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India. Travelling along this route, numerous camel caravans brought goods to and from India, trading with faraway China, Persia, Turkey, and Europe. As wealth accumulated in Jaisalmer, rich traders built extravagant and ornate sandstone mansions, called havelis, their walls and balconies decorated with beautiful and detailed carvings. – Read more about Jaisalmer, and about the Thar Desert in general, elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: India 2003 – Camel safari in the Thar Desert.

 

Nordindien 1985-86
Nordindien 1985-86
Nordindien 1985-86
Nordindien 1991
A collection of doors in Jaisalmer. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nordindien 1985-86
Relaxed reading position in a door-way, Jaisalmer. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
Frankrig-Spanien 2007
Old-fashioned house door in the village of Binies, Aragon, Spain. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Fyn 2010-17
Entrance to a farm on the island of Langeland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, north-western India, was founded in 1459 by Rajput Prince Rao Jodha. The Old Town is aptly called ‘The Blue City’, as most of its houses are painted a light blue. Originally, these blue houses were inhabited by Brahmins, and their colour indicated that here you could ask advice about disease as well as religious issues. Furthermore, the blue paint contains copper oxides, which keep termites at bay. Around 1460, Rao Jodha also ordered the imposing Mehrangarh Fort built on a hill top, 125 metres above the city.

Read about Rajputs elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: India 1986 – His name is Muhammed!

 

Nordindien 1991
Door in a blue house, Jodhpur. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nordindien 1991
One of the six armoured ancient entrance gates, leading into the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

Taiwan 2013
One among numerous wall paintings, made by a retired soldier in a suburban area in Taichung, Taiwan, which, for this reason, has been dubbed Tsai Hung Tsun (‘Rainbow Village’). – More pictures of his art work are found elsewhere on this website, see Culture: Folk art of Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, was founded in 1726 by Jai Singh II, who was the Maharaja of Amer, a mountain town c. 10 kilometres from present-day Jaipur. Amer was facing a problem of increasing scarcity of water, and the Maharaja decided to move his capital to the nearby plains.

The Old Town of Jaipur has been dubbed The Pink City, as many of its houses are painted pink. This tradition goes back to 1876, when Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales visited the city. As pink denotes the colour of hospitality in India, the Maharaja decided to have the entire city painted pink, as a sign of welcome to his royal guests.

 

Nordindien 1991
Nordindien 1991
Two entrance gates in the city wall, surrounding Jaipur. The posters on the wall advertise typical Hindi movies. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
People were indeed small in the old days, evident from this picture of a door in an old farm house in the village of Föra, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Irland 1987-99
Warning, scribbled on a door in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011a
Ornate entrance to a private home in Valparaiso, Chile. – More pictures of Valparaiso houses are found elsewhere on this website, see: In praise of the colour red, and Culture: A place to live. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Jylland 1991-95
Rows of common horse-chestnut trees (Aesculus hippocastanum) and sycamore maples (Acer pseudoplatanus), leading up to the entrance gate of a farm in eastern Jutland, Denmark. – The latter species is dealt with in detail elsewhere on this website, see Nature: Invasive species. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Taiwan 2013
Old-fashioned doors in the town of Lugang, western Taiwan. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tunesien 1987
Woman, passing through a door-way in the medina (the old Arabian quarter), Sousse, Tunisia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Jylland 2000-05
Jylland 2000-05
Two entrance gates, leading into the cathedral in the town of Ribe, Jutland, Denmark. The bronze in the lower picture depicts symbols of the four Christian evangelists: Matthew (winged man), Mark (winged lion), John (eagle), and Luke (winged ox). – Read more about these evangelists, and about Christianity in general, elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Christianity. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bali 2009
It seems that the padlock on this door, leading into a Hindu temple near Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, is no longer necessary. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011a
Cat, sleeping in front of a door, full of graffiti, Valparaiso, Chile. – Read about the domestic cat elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Guatemala 1998
Guatemala 1998
Guatemala 1998
Guatemala 1998
Guatemala 1998
A collection of doors in the city of Antigua, Guatemala. – Read about this city, and about Guatemala in general, elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: Guatemala 1998 – Country of the Mayans. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Kirgisien 1999
Door in the city of Karakol, Kyrgyzstan, advertising Coca Cola. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sjælland 2006-11
Cast-iron entrance gate, depicting a blacksmith, Vemmetofte, Zealand, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Alperne 2017a
Door handle in the village of Plan Cerisier, Rhone Valley, Switzerland, consisting of a branch from a grape vine plant. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tanzania 1993
Tanzania 1993
Old wooden door, Zanzibar Town, Tanzania. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013
‘Tree House’, an ‘apartment’, carved into the trunk of a huge coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Leggett, California. – More pictures of these impressive trees are found elsewhere on this website, see Plants: Ancient and huge trees. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1985
Beautifully carved wooden door in the city of Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016a
This roller shutter in a kindergarten in Taichung, Taiwan, is decorated with a painting of Snow White and the seven dwarves. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bali 2009
Decorated door, leading into a private home, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Alperne 2017a
Hatch in the former customs building, Little Saint Bernhard Pass, on the border between Italy and France. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2016
Knob, casting a long shadow on a dilapidated door, Old Town, Haverhill, northern Massachusetts, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011a
On this entrance gate to a Catholic shrine for Virgin Mary, in Cartagena, Chile, is written: “Thank you for participating in keeping this place clean.” – Read more about Catholics, and about Christianity in general, elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Christianity. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sjælland 2012-16
Door in an oven, formerly used for lime production, Boesdal Kalkbrud, Stevns, Zealand, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Skandinavien 2001-14
Lom Stavkirke, a stave church in the Gudbrand Valley, is one of the largest stave churches in Norway. It was probably erected during the 1100s. This picture shows a detail of one of its doors. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In spring and autumn, the Rohtang La Pass, Himachal Pradesh, northern India, is a very popular destination for Indian tourists. Below the pass, numerous dhabas (small road-side restaurants) have sprung up helter-skelter. Weather permitting, most guests prefer to sit outside the restaurants, as the interior is often a dark hole.

 

Nordindien 1997
This dhaba below the Rohtang La Pass offers juice and ‘snex’. The guests are sitting outside the restaurant, as the entrance leads into a dark hole. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Entrance to a farm house, Gillsätra, Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Construction of Great Zimbabwe, capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, took place between the 11th and 15th Centuries A.D. It is believed that this stone city, which covers an area of 7.2 square kilometres, was the residence of a local king. At its peak, it would have housed about 18,000 inhabitants.

 

Sydlige Afrika 1996-97
Evening light on a reconstructed entrance to the ‘King’s Palace’, Great Zimbabwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In Taiwan, entrance doors to Daoist temples are almost always adorned with paintings, often depicting various guardians, which protect the temple against evil forces. Read more about Daoist temples, and about Daoism in general, elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Daoism in Taiwan.

The following 7 pictures show doors in Taiwanese temples.

 

Taiwan 2012
Taiwan 2010
Guardians on doors in Tien Hou Gong (‘Heavenly Empress Palace’), a temple for the Mother Goddess Mazu, Lugang. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2017a
Taiwan 2017a
Taiwan 2017a
These three pictures from a door in a Mazu temple in Beigang illustrate various seasons: ‘severe heat’, i.e. height of the summer; ‘little heat’, i.e. autumn; and ‘severe cold’, i.e. height of the winter. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2017a
Dilapidated door in Gong Fan, a Daoist temple in the town of Mailiao. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2015
Only once a year, about two hours before midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve, entrances to Daoist temples are closed. They will be re-opened at midnight, marking the start of the new year. – This picture was taken New Year’s Eve in Fushing Temple, a Mazu temple in the town of Xiluo. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Tibet 2004
Would you visit this ‘restaorant’ in Tingri, Tibet, even if you were very hungry? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Construction of Topkapı Sarayı (‘Topkapi Palace’), Istanbul, Turkey, began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II (1432-1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror. Originally, this palace was called Yeni Saray (‘New Palace’) to distinguish it from an older palace in the city. The name Topkapı (‘Cannon Gate’) was applied to it in the 19th century. This palace served as seat for Ottoman Sultans for more than 500 years.

 

Tyrkiet 2006
The outer gate of Topkapı Sarayı, Bab-i Ali (’The Sublime Porte’), has been preserved in its original form. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Tyrkiet 2006
Entrance to the harem, of Topkapı Sarayı. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

 

USA 1998-99
A wagon wheel and the skull of an ox have been displayed at the entrance to this ranch near Thedford, Nebraska, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Door in a dilapidated barn on the island of Öland, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bornholm 1999-2005
Door knocker, depicting an eagle, Gudhjem, Bornholm, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Above all doors and windows in a Hindu temple, a so-called toran is placed, a gilded, semi-circular brass or copper plate, often depicting Hindu deities.

 

Nepal 1994
This toran above the Sun Dhoka (‘Golden Gate’) in the Royal Palace, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, depicts the 4-headed and 16-armed Hindu goddess Taleju, protector of the former Malla Kings of the Kathmandu Valley. To the left beneath the goddess is Garuda, the man-eagle mount of the god Vishnu. – Read more about Hindu gods, and about Hinduism in general, elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Hinduism. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 2000-15
This door, leading into a former laboratory building in the nature reserve Vorsø, Jutland, Denmark, has been blocked by a dense growth of elecampane (Inula helenium), meadow sweet (Filipendula ulmaria), creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), and common nettle (Urtica dioica). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Village scene, Hulterstad, Öland, Sweden, with a black-and-white door, a blue bench, common hollyhock (Alcea rosea), and common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Frankrig-Spanien 2007
Door handle with two faces, sticking out their tongue, Latin Quarter, Paris. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Zimbabwe-Kenya 1994
Mud nest, built out of a key hole by a species of solitary wasp, Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

(Uploaded January 2018)

 

(Revised continuously)