Delhi

Trip Start Jun 21, 2009
1
12
Trip End Jun 25, 2009


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Where I stayed

Flag of India  ,
Sunday, June 21, 2009

This time, I had two choices of airlines: Air India and China Southern. I took China Southern, because I had a chance to visit Guangzhou of China, but it turned out to be a wrong choice. We were involved in a trouble due to the lack of information of my travel agency. Fist of all, the airplane from Nagoya was supposed to arrive at Guangzhou, but it stopped by Shanghai. It was quite a trouble, because the flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou was domestic, not international. So, in Shanghai airport, we had to get off the airplane and to pass by the transfer gate for a domestic flight and the check point to get a Chinese visa and to show our belongings. Then we got back on to the exactly the same airplane for Guangzhou. That was truely ridiculous.

At the time of our arrival at Delhi, it was about 9 in the evening, which was a little bit earlier than estimated. It was quite easy to finish all the procedures to get out of the airport and not time-consuming in the least, although I had heard the airpot would be a "nightmare". So our guide was not at the arrival gate yet, but fortunately he came earlier and found us only five minutes later we arrived at the meeting point. He spoke to us in fluent Japanese from the beginning, so we, especially my mam seemed to enjoy talking with him. It was not hotter in India than we had expected and it was clear during all the three days of our stay.
 
On the day of the arrival, we headed for City Park Hotel in New Delhi immediately after we left the airport. I was amazed by so many auto-rickshaws or threewheelers around the city. People were walking even at around 10 in the evening. Unfortunately, I couldn't see strolling bulls on the night, which was the feature I expected from an Indian city.

On the next day, I got up at 6 in the morning, earlier than usual, and went for a walk around the hotel. There was nothing special to see but broken sidewalks and street venders, but City Park had some animals such as stray dogs and chipmunks and some young guys were playing criket in the field even in the early morning of Monday. I tried to buy some candies to break a large bill for tips for hotel service, but one candy cost only one rupee, which discouraged me from breaking the note. However, it was O.K. for the first morning in India. After I came back, we had a good breakfast in the buffet restaurant. The Occidental foods of the reastaurant were much better than Indian cuisines we had expected.

After breakfast, we headed for Lakshmi Narayan Mandir. I didn't know so much about the mandir, because all the tours from Japan don't include it, although it is popular among Delhiite. Beside I had never seen the pictures of the inside, because photographing is prohibited and I had to leave my camera, wallet, and shoes at the gate. However I learned more than I had expected in the mandir. Probably I couldn't if I visited there by myself, but thanks to our guide, who is a Hindu, I learned a lot about Hinduism in the mandir with pictures and god and godess statues. In fact, I hadn't known anything about Hinduism since then, although I had visited some Hindu mandirs in other countries. So the mandir is one the most important places for me to know Hinduism and the best place to visit first in your Delhi travel, because Indian are religious and the fact is that Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were originated from India. After the explanation of my guide, I liked Hinduism, becasue of its convenience. There are 330 million of gods in Hinduism and you can believe any gods you like at any time. For example, if you pray for success of your business, pray to Ganesha, a god with an elephant head. You would pray for physical strength and courage in front of Hanuman, a god of monkey. Krishna, a god of love and peace and the eighth Vishnu avatar or incarnation, was the most memorable to me.  By the way, Vishnu is the second god, the Preserver. Shiva is the third god, the Destroyer, and the first God Brahma is the Creator and Everything in this world are controled by the three gods, getting through three stages: created, preserved, and  destroyed.  

The next destination was the India Gate. On our way to the gate, we passed by the President Office. It was a huge office complex, but not interesting very much, so all I did was take a picture from the car. The area was well-paved and the Republic Day Parade is held on the 26th of January every year. Except this area, Delhi was dirty, although the dirtiness was a charm of India to me. After the Presidential Palace, we stopped at the India Gate, which reminded me of the Arch of Triumph of Paris. The Indian Gate was a similar large gate with an Indian flavor and a good spot for tourists to take a picture. An eternal flame was burning under the gate for unknown dead soldiers, which must be important for the peaceful country to remember the war and its victims. I found a henna painting artist near the gate and if I had had time, I would have tried it.
 
After visiting India Gate, we paid a visit to Qutub Minar. Honestly, this was the best of all the destinations to me, because I hadn't expected that the tower ruin was so high and beautiful. Taj Mahal was as great as I had expected, but Qutub Minar was beyond my expectation. It was a small site, but enough to touch me. It was a pity we couldn't go up the tower, but even the view from the bottom of the tower was impressive. The tower was a 72.5m high minaret, which was completely different from modern towers like Eiffel tower or Shanghai tower, so the point was its grandiosity, not the view from the top. In addition, the carvings on the tower were beautiful.

Then we paid a visit to Fumayun's Tomb. The tomb must have been the best tomb of India, without Taj Mahal. The tomb was the second Mughal emperor's one and a model of Taj Mahal. It was interesting as I thought of it as a tomb, but it looked like a Islamic mosque I had visited in another country. We saw a few coffins in the tomb, but emperor's body was not in any of them and it was under the ground below a coffin. A lot of bats were also sleeping in the tomb. Even after visiting this tomb and Taj Mahal, we saw some huge tombs in India, but I didn't want to spend time in similar tombs. In the beautiful garden of Fumayun's tomb, there was a large lime tree and I remembered Buddha had got enlightened under a lime tree. Some people were taking a nap under the lime tree. Anyway, Humayun's tomb was our last destination of Delhi and we headed for Agra, the most attractive city during our travel with Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.


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