It was too misty to get a clear shot of the Golden Temple of Shiva. It lies immediately adjacent to this mosque, built on the ruins (and actually incorporating parts of) an earlier Hindu temple, and which Hindu extremists wanted to tear down. The wooden barriers in the foreground had been erected by the soldiers (seen to the left) sent to guard the site of this Muslim mosque in the most Hindu of cities. They did so effectively, we heard, keeping the two crowds of worshipers from tearing each other apart this time. This mosque is immediately adjacent to one of the most important Hindu temples in Varanasi, the most Hindu of Indian cities. Armed guards with machine guns were standing watch against the possibility of interreligious conflict at the site; the Ayodhya riots had taken place not long before. The Mughal pattern of destroying Hindu temples explains why there are relatively few really old ones in North India, where their influence was greatest. It would be wonderful to go elsewhere to experience traditional Hindu architecture, but our tour itinerary didn't allow us to see much of this sort of thing.