Time to Really see Delhi
New Delhi Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
October 10th, 2009 – by: lekdrol
The travel agent sent over a driver at 8am in the morning. His name was Pawan Sangaliya and since we were about to spend the whole week together, i said we better be friends.
it's time to really see the sites of Delhi. First thing i saw was the Red Fort, my driver, dropped me off to a cycle-rickshaw to ride into the fort. The Red Fort Built by Shah Jahan in the 18th century, it's become a world heritage site. There is actually 5 or 6 Red Forts in India, but the one here in Delhi is the biggest. Though they say the army no long uses it, i have to say there were a lot of soldiers there. this has to be the first time I've ever had a gun pointed at me (i didn't do anything wrong, it was just pointing and i happened to be right where it was pointing).
After that, got a very quick picture of the Jama Masjid (the biggest Mosque in India), but if possible i want to go back here before i leave India.
When I was brought back to my driver, I got to try my first Indian coffee. Delicious!
Next we went to the Gandhi Museum. This is where he lived and walked. The statues were great but the really interesting stuff was on the inside. There were panels telling and story of his life and little boxes with scenes recreated from his life with what looked like dolls to me.
The last and most humbling part of the Gandhi Museum was his bedroom. It's where he spent the last 144 days of his life, it was very simple but knowing why it was simple is makes it it so amazing. I had the same reaction to this place as I had to seeing the hotel where Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee.
Next I went to the Lotus Temple. It is beautiful. the walk up to it is nice and clean. There were alot more tourists around the lotus temple than I've seen in other areas of India so far.
It wasn't as hectic around the temple as around other things either, it was very much a calm and orderly fashion. A woman explained what to do inside and why and also gave a little info on the Baha'i faith before we went in. the inside, i wasn't allowed to take pictures, was similar to a church, i went in did my meditation, prayer and walked around for a bit, very nice.
It was during this day trip that i first witnessed some of the poverty in India, On my way to see the Red Fort i saw people sleeping on the streets. But the real eye opener was during a stop at the traffic light. The poor will wait there and beg from the cars while they are stopped. A young girl with a baby came to our car to beg, she showed me the baby's bottle which was empty. She's crying in the 90 degree (Fahrenheit) heat and i'm looking at her baby wondering if its even alive, all the while Pawan is telling me to ignore her. Every travel guide says to not give to beggers, give to charities instead. That's not so easy.
the last landmark that my driver took me to was Humayun's Tomb, Humayun was a mughal emperor who, when he died, his wife had this monument built in his honor.
It's architecture is what inspired the Taj Mahal. And if this is this nice, i can only image how in awe i will be at the Taj.
After that we went back to the the travel agency so i could pay the rest of what i owe. this was the first of my money troubles, it seems that my bank has froze my account. Nice, I'm on the other side of the world and i can't get to my money. I send some emails and texts. Wahid tells me to go ahead and start the trip and pay Pawan when I receive my money.
Back at my Hotel I used the internet while I waited for my Uncle's friend Ina and her husband Kartik to come by and pick me up.
They got there and we all went to Kentucky Fried Chicken (yup, KFC!) for lunch. We talked and got to know each other.
They took me to a market place and I bought a 2 disc CD of popular Indian music, only $2 in U.S. money. During our walk around the market place a little kid followed us around with his hand out. Ina tried to shoo him away, but eventually Kartik gave him some money. A few minutes later I saw the kid sitting down and eating.
Then, after I mentioned that I like to study religion and asked about a Temple i saw, they took me to it. It was a Sikh Gurudwara, similar to the Golden temple in Amristar (which I would've loved to seen).
After that we went to Dalhi Haat and had some Dim sum from the Northeastern parts of India. We walked around the market but i realize that I have so little money and space to carry, that I, sadly, probably won't be able to bring back gifts for friends and family back home.
Ina and Kartik invited me to their home for a home cooked meal. I also got to try some Indian beer (king Fisher, not bad). The food was delicious, the company was great, this has been a great first couple days of India.
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