Friday, October 18, 2013

Delhi, India

Country #17! We finally made it to India on September 27. Thanks to our new friend Andy from New Zealand, we mapped out a good plan for Rajasthan. But we stopped in Delhi for 2 nights first.

Two lines had to be formed before boarding the plane for one last pat down

Hello, country #17

Walking around by our hotel in Delhi

The hotel we stayed at helped arrange a car and tour for the next 8 days. Our first tour was of Delhi where we hit all the major attractions - Red Fort (Lal Qila), Raj Ghat, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple, Qutab Minar, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, and Laxmi Narayan Temple. It was a long hot day so we may or may not have just snapped pictures from afar in the comfort of an air conditioned car.

Just some normal traffic as we headed to our first stop - the Red Fort

Red Fort from the side entrance - completed in 1648

Walking towards the front entrance of the Red Fort

The Red Fort (Lal Qila) was built of red standstone; it took 9 years and 3 months to build

Lahori Gate - main entrance to the Red Fort

This is a chhatta chowk, which means covered bazzar. A chhatta chowk in 17th century
India was not common and this one is especially unique because of its Mughal
architecture.

Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-'Am)

Two museums are housed at the Red Fort - I found an "elevator turkey" in the Indian War
Memorial Museum 

Eagles galore

Lovely ladies - I love the bright colors

Indian palm squirrel (after much debate about whether or not it is a chipmunk)
hanging out in some pigeon feathers

Just some perspective of how small he was

This guy asked me to take a photo for him and his lady - I obliged despite the
fact that the photo I took did not magically appear on his camera

Nahr-i-Bihisht - the 'Canal of Paradise' provided a continuous supply of water throughout
the gardens and interiors

The grounds were really pretty and well kept

Walking around the Hall of Public Audience

Doggie looking for some food

It took a few days for me to get used to seeing Paul without Capt'n

Our next stop was Raj Ghat, the memorial to the Father of India, Mahatma Gandhi and the site of his cremation.

Site of cremation

We walked around on the upper level

There were lots of school children visiting as well

They were excited to see foreigners

The site is a big park with tree lined walkways 

Humayun's Tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. It took 7 years to build and was completed in 1572.

Walking towards the tomb

I stopped to take photos of this door but I also like taking photos of Paul's impatience with me

See, isn't this a cool looking door?

This was the first structure to use red sandstone (construction started in 1569)

Side view

Humayun's Tomb

More tombs - maybe Humayun's wives

I liked this angle of the building

I really liked these insect eaten leaves

Also in the complex is the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi - an Afghan noble who fought against the Mughals. Isa Khan's tomb was built in 1547-1548 (before Humayun's Tomb was built).

Isa Khan's tomb

Isa Khan's mosque

The next landmark to visit was the Lotus Temple. The Lotus Temple is a Bahá'í House of Worship. According to wikipedia, the Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. I don't know, when I saw the Lotus Temple, I thought it might have been related to Scientology.

This is as close as we got

It was pretty enough for me from afar

Qutab Minar - a stone tower 72 meters high built in 1193

We then headed for a drive by of Rashtrapati Bhavan, a 200,000 square foot palace that is the largest residence of any head of the state in the world.

I took this picture from inside the comfort of an air conditioned car

India Gate is right down the street from Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Another arc to put in the books

Yes - from inside the car as well!

Our last stop for the day was Laxmi Narayan Temple. Built from 1933-1939, the temple is dedicated to Laxmi Narayan and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. Laxmi Narayan usually refers to Vishnu (the Supreme God of Hinduism) who is also known as Narayan - when he is with his wife, Lakshmi (the Hindu Goddess of wealth, prosperity, fortune, and the embodiment of beauty). We weren't allowed to take photos inside so here are just a few from the outside.

Looking up

A better shot of the entire temple 

Monkey statue

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