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NE-GQ Tour: Delhi — Day 2: Temples, Memorials and Tombs — Part 2

The driver had told us he would be coming late as there were less places to cover the second day. A relaxed start saw us head to humayun’s tomb first. Though this was not in the iternary , I had asked the driver to take us to the place. A couple of schools had taken the kids for a sightseeing tour, and as usual there was a huge rush.

Humayun’s tomb is one of the important tourist attraction for people visiting delhi. The monument was built in the memory of humayun. This is one of the first garden tomb made in India. This is one of the finest mughal architectures in the country.

The entry to the Humayun’s Tomb is through a long axial processional track. On the way, there are gateways, which offer a glimpse of the tomb. The tomb is octagonal in shape and placed over a platform with colonnades, under which there are numerous graves of lesser known people and can be ascribed to various nobles and workers of Humayun’s period. A great central chamber has four offsets, double storeyed in height and with arcade on their facades. Their openings closed with perforated screens. Three emphatic arches dominate each side, the central one being the highest. The central room contains the cenotaph of the emperor Humayun. and his queen Bega begum. The tomb is crowned by 42.5 m high colossal double dome.

Way to Humayun’s Tomb

Passing through the long corridor one can see the huge entrance to the tomb

Entrance to the tomb

Renovation work is going on to restore the tomb to its former glory.

Humayun’s Tomb

One can see a clear view of Jama Masjid and Qutab Minar. A bird’s eye view from the roof would show you many ruined tombs and ancient structures belonging to various nobles.With the sun beating down, we spent some time at the top taking photos before goin down

Humayun’s Tomb another view

The front entrance to the tomb was crowded with people, however the back side was relatively empty. A short walk around the tomb, a couple of photos and we went back.

Humayun’s Tomb in Monochrome

Back Portion of the tomb

The next destination we headed to was the Red Fort which is another world heritage site. Though I had visited it during our stopover in june. The heat and our heavy rucksacks meant we couldnt get to see the inside of the fort.

Red Fort

Tickets cost Rs 25 which includes a visiting the museum as well which is present inside the fort. Passing through the mandatory security checks we headed inside the fort. I was suprised to see a busy market place inside the fort. One can purchase various items for reasonable prices.

Market inside the fort

Passing through the market area we reached the main complex which contains Moti Majsid, Zafar Mahal etc

Map of Red Fort Complex

The moti majsid , mumtaz mahal amd khas mahal are all adjacent to each other. We went about visiting each monument and clicking a few snaps. Renovation work is going on for a few buildings.

With a large no of tourists present we couldnt spend much time at the complex. Snapping a few pics of the monuments we made our way to the museum which has some the weapons and armored clothing used by the mughals and photos of the World Wars.

Monuments within Red Fort

The museum houses an impressive collection of weapons, clothing and other items from the mughal era. It also has a photo of various medals and a miniature naval fleet used in world war. One can see how the weapons used by the mughals to fight.

Artifacts

It was time to head back after completing the red fort tour. The driver then took us to akshardham. After the terror strike, security has been beefed up at the place and as usual no camera and mobile phones are allowed. Lot of security personnel are present around the place. Passing through the mandatory checks we went inside the temple. The entire temple and the surroundings can take a couple of hours to visit.

The garden has statues of Rama, Sita , warriors like Maharana Pratap, visionaries such as Aryabhatta amongst others. The huge temple has idols of Rama and Sita, Hanuman are present. The interior of the temple is made out of pure marble. The other attractions of the complex are three exhibition halls spaced around two huge ponds, where one is a venue for light-and-sound show. The three halls are “Sahajanand Darshan”, “Neelkanth Darsdhan” and “Sanskruti Vihar”. “Sahajanand Darshan” is where life of Swaminarayan is displayed through robotic shows, while “Neelkanth Darsdhan” has a huge I-Max theatre screening movie based on the life of the Lord. Another amazing presentation is “Sanskruti Vihar” with 12-minute boat ride experience of India’s glorious heritage.

Couple of hours were spent exploring the temple after which we broke for lunch at the food court present within the temple premises before exiting.

No visit to delhi is complete without paying a visit to Rajghat. This would be the last place to visit as we would be driving to agra the next day. Paying our respects to gandhi we went back to the hotel concluding a wonderful time in delhi

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NE-GQ Tour: Delhi — Day 1: Temples, Memorials and Tombs — Part 1

With the north east completed we headed to delhi for the next leg of our tour. The kingfisher flight I had booked was rescheduled for an early departure. Checked with the kingfisher office only to find that the flight had been rescheduled for afternoon. I had asked the office people to intimate me if the flight had got rescheduled again, ,which luckily didnt happen.

A 5 hr flight saw us land in delhi around 8 at night. An hours drive in traffic and we were at the hotel.  The golden quadrilateral leg of our tour would begin the next day.  Since we had an entire day, I had asked the driver to come a little late. We started with a short stop at saravana bhavan for breakfast before heading of to lakshminarayan temple.

Lakshminarayan or the birla temple as it is called is dedicated to goddess lakshmi. The construction of the temple was started in 1933 and completed in 1939. The temple was built by Baldeo Das Birla of Birla family and hence it is known as Birla temple. The maintainence of the temple is done by the birla family

Lakshminarayan temple

The main shrine is dedicated to lakshmi and narayan. There are also smaller shrines dedicated to hanuman, ganesha and shiva and buddha. Due to security concerns cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple. One need to deposit them in the safety lockers present in the entrance before going to the temple.

Spending sometime at the temple visiting the shrines we then headed to India Gate. A big crowd was already present by the time we went there. During my roopkund trek, we had a day to roam around delhi, however due to the heat we could just visit Red Fort and Qutub Minar. Now with the weather being favorable, and having more time we could cover all the important tourist places.

First Look at India Gate

India Gate is constructed as a memorial and was built in the memory of 90,00 soldiers who laid down their lives during world war I. It was constructed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and was built in 1931. The monument also contains the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame of the immortal warrior.

There were photographers present there offering to take photos from various angles for a fee. We went closer to the gate and took a few more snaps. As this is one of the important landmarks and monuments, tight security is present around it.

India Gate

We spent some time at the gate before going back to the car. A quick look at the parliament house and a stop for a few minutes in front of rashtrapathi bhavan for a couple of snaps we were of to the next location

Rasthrapathi Bhavan

The next place we visited was Indira Gandhi Memorial.

Indira Gandhi Memorial

The place is a museum housing countless photos and things of  Indira Gandhi. The museum provides a insight into the life of the late prime minister. One can see photos of her in various avatars. Honarary titles and medals awarded to her are also some of her achievements and failures. The museum built within Indira Gandhi’s house also has a section dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi.  The place also contains the spot where Ms Gandhi was assassinated by her bodygaurds.

The memorial is a worth a visit as one can get an glimpse into the life of Indira Gandhi.

Inside the Indira Gandhi Memorial

Indira Gandhi Memorial

Qutub minar the world heritage site was next in the iternary. As expected there was a huge crowd to see the monument built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak.This is one of the largest minarets in India.

Qutub Minar

The place was like an oven when I visited in june. The cooler weather made the visit this time more enjoyable. The place was given a major makeover and huge photos of other world heritage sites were put on display. A quick glance at the photos and we were off to see the minar.  There was a guide explaining the history to a group of foreigners and we spent a couple of minutes listening to it before moving on.  While my wife was looking around the complex I could experiment by taking photos from various angles.

Qutub Minar in various angles

 

 

The qutub minar complex also contains the tomb of illtumush.Spending some more time at the complex we went back.

Tomb

It was already afternoon by the time we came out of qutub minar. The driver then took us to Delhi Haat an authorized govt handicraft ans cloth showroom. There are various handicrafts displayed there. Quills, sarees and other clothes are also present at the same place. Since the place is run by govt, prices are fixed and bargaining is not possible.

Couple of hours were spent shopping there and we broke for lunch.

Post lunch we visited lotus mahal which is a Bahai House of worship.The building is built in the shape of a lotus as the bahai believe the lotus symbolizes purity. The building is a meditation chamber.

Lotus Mahal

The walls of the building contains the teachings of bahai. There’s  also a pond surrounding the building

Pond

As the place is a meditation place one needs to maintain slience inside. Groups are formed by the people standing outside and they are let inside the building. We spent sometime meditating inside before going back. The place remainded me of the Pyramid Valley in Kanakapura which is built for the same purpose.

Lotus mahal was the last place for the day and we headed back to the hotel thus concluding a exciting day of outing

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