Well it’s only been nine months since my last post, that’s not so long is it? I did more travelling since you’ve heard from me last. The big trip this time was India. I was going to write one blog post for the whole thing but I realized there is just too much to cram in. So I’m doing a post on every city/area I visited. We’ll see if I make it through all of them…
It’s quite a country of contrasts. From huge, elaborate palaces to very poor conditions. But it’s certainly fascinating and memorable.
The first city I visited was Delhi. I went to Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation. I also saw the stunning Humayan’s Tomb, which the Taj Mahal was modelled after. It’s not white though, it’s made of red sandstone. Sandstone is commonly used in conjunction with marble and quartz in Indian buildings. Another beautiful example is the Jama Mosque, built in 1656. I had to wear a sheet-like outfit when I was there for religious reasons, very fashion forward, lol.
Another sandstone building is Qutab Minar, a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled. I didn’t try it, but who knows?
The Sikh temple, Gurduwara Bangla Sahib is not made of sandstone. It’s made of white marble with stunning gilded domes. The Sikhs believe in the tradition of serving others and this temple feeds hundreds (if not thousands) of people every day for no charge. It was amazing to walk through and see the giant cooking pots and all the people eating their meals.
I must admit though, for all the beauty of the temples and mosques what I loved the most about Delhi was Old Delhi. All of India is chaotic but I think Old Delhi wins the prize, this is one crazy place! They are very ingenious when it comes to wiring and electrical wires run everywhere in the narrow streets. It looks a bit like a wild, steel spider’s web. The markets there are wonderful, I only had time to visit the spice market, but oh, the colours, the smells, the people, fantastic! I also went on a super fun but slightly terrifying rickshaw ride. There don’t seem to be any traffic rules in India, lol. On the first day there the taxi driver said “In some countries people drive on the left, in some countries people drive on the right, in India people drive anywhere they can”. And he was right, lol.
So that’s just one city! Stay tuned for the next!