Saturday, 10 December 2011

Sightseeing in Delhi

Shanti Stupa
Today was a free day so we enjoyed being tourists.  First of all we visited the Shanti Stupa in Indraprastha Park.  This is a modern stupa, inaugurated in 2007, and is very beautiful.  It is set in a large park which provides a wonderful green space for the people of Delhi and respite from the busy bustle of the streets.

A driver had been arranged for us by Delhi Bed and Breakfast where we are staying.  He now passed us into the care of a cycle rickshaw because cars cannot go into Old Delhi.
Old Delhi
Our driver told us where we would be going with the rickshaw and how much we should pay.  He also warned us about pick pockets and taking care of our bags.  We got to the lane in front of where we expected to be - the Jama Masjid, the great Mosque, where 25,000 people pray every Friday, but then things became a bit confused as we were told we had to change to another rickshaw.  He took us to the markets in Old Delhi and a Jain temple.  We did eventually get back to the mosque, where we refused to pay the exorbitant charge for the extra ride we had not wanted.  We paid what we thought was reasonable based on what we had been advised and our 20Rs rickshaw ride of the previous evening.  This is pretty typical of India in my (admittedly limited) experience, which is why I tend to prefer Nepal. 

The Red Fort
At last we were back with our driver who took us to the Red Fort which covers a huge area and includes a great many beautiful buildings.  It must have been truly magnificent when all the water channels and pools were functional and before the tiles had been mostly stripped of their colourful semi-precious stones.

Marble tile still with inlay
We had a delicious lunch at a busy restaurant near India Gate and then finished our tour at Humayun's Tomb. The architecture of this building was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.  Here most of the water channels are filled and several have fountains.   The layout of the gardens and symmetry of the buildings are inspiringly eloquent.

Humayun’s Tomb
Even though it was a Saturday there were many groups of schoolchildren wherever we went.  They were delightful and all very smart in their school uniforms.  One strange thing that kept happening was people asking to have their photograph taken with us.  This happens in Kathmandu as well, but there we had always assumed it was because we were wearing Buddhist robes.  At Humayun’s tomb a whole bunch of little boys asked to have their photograph taken with ’ö-Dzin.  Afterward they surrounded him and all wanted to shake his hand.  I so wished I had had a camera with me to photograph this amusing scene.  ’ö-Dzin takes such wonderful photographs that I don’t usually carry a camera myself.

Tomorrow is the day I teach.  The venue has been changed to Club Patio, South City 1, Gurgaon. This is quite a way out of Delhi so we have a fairly early start tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Nice information and attractive images i like it most great work for sightseeing in Delhi lovers. people comes in Delhi from every corner of the world because everyone knows Delhi is capital of India.


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