Old Delhi and New Delhi...
Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
137Trip End Mar 16, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Mahatma Ghandi assasination site
Today was a very busy day of visiting sights around New Delhi and Old Delhi, we started our day at Qutab Minar Complex, and here we saw the highest stone tower in India. Construction of the tower began in 1196 and was completed in 1206, the tower was seven stories high, until an earthquake in the 18th century knocked down two of the seven stories. At this same site, we walked around the ruins of the mosque and other buildings; the architecture that was used is amazing, stone on stone, no mortar, no cement, yet many of the structures are still standing. At this same site, we saw an iron pillar that was erected in 1199; the pillar stands among the ruins of the mosque, it is 11 meters in height, and has never rusted, there is a legend, that if you stand with your back to the pillar, and you can wrap your hands around it and have your fingers touch, you will be blessed with good luck. We are no longer able to try this, as they do not allow the iron pillar to be touched anymore as they fear it could fall down, I guess that would not be very lucky
Next, we stopped in at the home where Ghandi spend the last 144 days of his life, and we also visited the site of his assassination. This was a very special part of our journey for me, as Ghandi has always been a hero to me, somebody whom I believe is an inspiration for all people.
We went to see the President's residence, it is the largest palace in India although we were not allowed to enter the large gate, currently the president is a woman, the president has no power, all the power is with the Prime Minister, and the president simply signs. I am having a hard time understanding why they have a president, who really has no role, but clearly commands a large salary and beautiful palace; nobody could explain this to me other than to say that is just the way it is. This area is in New Delhi, there are many large buildings, parliament, ministry of defense and so on, it is a beautiful area, with amazing grounds.
From the President’s Palace, in the distance you can see India’s Gate, which was our next stop. India’s Gat is dedicated to the Indian soldiers who died in WWI. India’s Gate was built by the British, it is 42 meters high, construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1939.
We made our way to Jama Mosque in Old Delhi, it is India’s largest Mosque, it is also the only mosque that allows women and the public to enter, construction of this mosque was from 1649 to 1656. Today was Sunday, and the amount of people was incredible, to enter the mosque we had to walk through thousands of people on the street at the markets and making their way to the mosque
Our last stop of the day was at the Akhshardam Temple, this is a Hindu temple that was built in 2000, construction is still underway, it is huge and I am told the people who belong to this temple are very wealthy. We actually decided not to go inside as the line up to enter was probably over an hour, and the amount of people waiting to get in actually made it dangerous to wait. Our guide suggested that soon they would be calling ambulances as people would be fainting and suffocating as they all try to cram in the line that was enough for us to decide we had seen enough temples!
From there, back to our hotel, here are a few things I learned today; again I did not check the validity, just repeating what I was told verbatim. There are 28 languages in India, every state has its own language, there are 2176 dialects used in India.