Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Delhi, India

After discovering that it was going to take us 48 hours on a third class train to reach New Delhi, we looked into flights. Along the way we talked to a guy from New Zealand about our destination. He loved and hated the city, claiming that it was full of wild sights and activities, yet one of the dirtiest cities out there. We found both to be true.

THE RED FORT

The Red Fort was the first on the list of things to see. It has seemed that many of the cities that we have been to have a "red fort". What is inside the wall is what differs.


Big gates, and high walls surrounded by a large moat. Most tickets are very highly priced on Indian standards. The price for the Red Fort was the equivalent of 2 nights at our hostel.

The Red Fort was completed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1648 after 10 years of construction. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site


At the entrance there were guards posted in sandbag nests with machine guns.


The interior, a former palace for Shah Jahan, was beautiful.





An architectural masterpiece blending Persian, European and Indian influences.




Ornate limestone archways.







The sun set over the entrance gate and silhouetted the Indian flag.


THE STREETS

Throughout our stay in New Delhi, we had numerous immersions into life on the streets in India which are dirty, noisy, stinky, and sometimes a bit sketchy.

An Indian experience as we lived it included a number of regular and expected daily occurrences.

  • One must bargain for everything; your taxi, your meals, and your hotel room.
  • A few pictures cool, there came times it was too much. There were too many young men wanting to take take pictures of "us" (Chelsie).
  • Being very careful what kinds of foods we ate and how sanitary the preperation appeared to be.
  • We were always being sold something or asked for money.










This is the tourist/backpacker section of town known as called Paharganj.
If you look closely you may find "ANOOP HOTEL" our lodging during our stay in New Delhi.




Watching from the rooftops.

Our street bustled at night, as this is when the dusty shoppes opened to haggle with the tourists over rugs, incense, clothing, paintings, chess sets, jewelery, silks, statues, and more.

MAUSOLEUMS

After looking on the map for historical places to visit and things to see. We settled on a park which included some mausoleums of past emperors.


The gardeners wheelbarrow.


We have seen so many monkeys since we have been in India, it was cool to see that there were wild parrots as well.








THE MOSQUE

We learned that the largest and best known Islamic mosque, Jama Masjid, was located nearby to where we were staying. We decided to make a visit.

Unfortunately it was a hazy day, making it poor for pictures, which is always a damper on my spirit. Overlooking this fact it was still fascinating to visit another masterpiece of architecture from the middle of the 1600's. It was commissioned by emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the great Taj Mahal as well as the Red Fort shown above.


The view of the Red Fort from the Mosque was terrific.

We observed as pilgrims came to wash in the pool.



The floor was sectioned into prayer rugs. As you crossed the floor in your bare feet, you could feel slight depressions in the granite, where knees would rub on the floor during times of prayer.

One each side of the mosque stood a minaret made of white marble and red sandstone 40 feet high.

Paying a small fee and ducking our heads into a small doorway, we ascended dozens of stairs arriving at the top.

A beautiful view of the entrance gate to the mosque.

The opposing minaret.

The old city of New Delhi.

Keep your eye out for our next stop; Agra and the Taj Mahal

1 comments:

Jeff said...

Well, at least the Anoop Hotel was near a perfume shop.

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