Delhi and neighbourhood

Our arrival to Delhi was a bit hectic. It was the National Day and many streets were closed because of the parades going on. The very left picture below shows our group after the arrival at the railway station. We were accommodated at the guest house of the Indian National Science Academy, the gate of which is shown below. As you can see from the short sleeves, we experienced the first warm days of our India trip. We also experienced the famous Delhi smog.
 First Moments in Delhi  Delhi, Waiting for the Taxi again  Delhi, Morning Smog
New Delhi is a capital of India with large areas of government buildings, Paris-like avenues, arches, statues etc., all  illuminated at night. We did a lot of sightseeing.
 Prof. Siddiqi and Michal at Gvmt Buildings  Delhi, from President Palace to India Gate
Lodi Gardens and Tombs are located in South Delhi, close to the diplomatic quarter. The tombs of Lodi rulers are from 15th and 16th century. Beautiful gardens with peaceful athmosphere.
 Delhi, Lodi Gardens  Delhi, Lodi Gardens  Delhi, Lodi Tombs  Delhi, Lodi Tombs  Delhi, Philippe and Claire in the Lodi

We saw a number of places connected with the Mughal reign of this part of India (1526-1858). Mostly tombs. Many of them are built of beautiful red sandstone combined with white marble. With the exception of  the all white Taj Mahal, of course.

Safdarjang's tomb. Built for Governor and later Wazir Safdarjang (Mirza Mukhim Abdul Khan, died 1754) by his son. The architecture follows the tradition of the older Humayun's tomb.

 Delhi, Safdarjang's Tomb  Delhi, Safdarjang's Tomb, Decoration  Delhi, Safdarjang's Tomb, Interior  Delhi, Safdarjang's Tomb, Detail
Humayun's tomb. A typical example of the Mughal style of tomb, a predecesor of Taj Mahal. Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor in the mid 16th century. The tomb was built by his senior widow and mother of his son Akbar, Hamida Begum. She supervised the entire construction of the tomb (1564-73), camping on the site.
 Delhi, Humayun's Tomb  Delhi, Humayun's Tomb  Delhi, Humayun's Tomb, Interior
Jantar Mantar. This is an open air observatory, built in 1725 by astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II. A smaller brother of the Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur, it consists of  grand scale "instruments" for very exact measuring of various astronomical data. It looks like a Salvator Dalí, doesn't it?
 Delhi, Jantar Mantar  Delhi, Jantar Mantar  Delhi, Jantar Mantar  Delhi, Jantar Mantar,
 Delhi, Jantar Mantar  Delhi, Jantar Mantar  Delhi, Jantar Mantar, Michal  Delhi, Jantar Mantar, Daniela
We also visited Agra, a city about  200 km from Delhi. Why? To see the Taj Mahal, of course. It is a must for every tourist. Behind it flows the Yamuna river, one of the holy rivers of India.
 What can this be?  Taj Mahal  Taj Mahal, Yamuna river  Taj Mahal Police Force  Visitors to Taj Mahal
The Taj is a major tourist attraction in India. As such it is surrounded by a dense tourist industry - hosts of street vendors selling all sorts of things. It is hard to escape  their enthusiasm, their chanting "Mister, mister!" and  their hands. Especially children are very sticky. Quite an experience. There was a good moment. A guy below looked at me (Daniela), turned to Michal and asked: "Wanna  whip?"
 `Mister, mister, buy...'  Taj Mahal, Street Vendor  Taj Mahal, Street Vendor
 Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Akbar, the third and greatest of the Mughals, as an entirely new capital, some 40 km west of Agra. We visited one more palace of the dead. The bees (last picture) were very much alive, though.
 Fatehpur Sikri  Fatehpur Sikri, Looking through the Window  Fatehpur Sikri, Musicians  Fatehpur Sikri, Beware of Bees

We took lots of pictures of the Delhi streets. As always, the best ones remain only in our memory. Things we saw and could not take from different reasons. Next time we will know better. Or will not?  Anyway, these are samples of what we did take.

Delhi traffic is hectic. Thousends of rikshaws, mostly motor riskhaws. Blaring horns. Still, you can see an elephant (2nd picture, in the middle)

 Rikshaw Experience  Delhi Traffic (don't miss the elephant)
Delhi streets
 Local Street Market in Delhi  Delhi, Tibetan market  Delhi, Doma means Home in Czech  Tibetan Market in Delhi  Leo Tolstoy Guarding the Dept. store
 Delhi, Long Vehicle  Delhi, Sewage  Agra, Hi-Tech Computer Centre  Siesta at the Connought Place  Delhi, Snake Charmer

Time was running out fast in Delhi. There were still  many things to see but we felt tired. Our minds were bursting with "India". Finally, as we sank into our seats and watched the airhostess spray away malaria  from the plane, we knew. What? That something was ending. That this something had changed our lives. And only  time would tell how.

Goodbye, India !

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April 21, 2001 Copyright 2001 Daniela and Michal Kocvara