Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Delhi



As our last destination before leaving India, Tanzeela, Emilie, and I visited Delhi (New Delhi). As I mentioned in the last blog post, we stayed at an awesome hostel called STOPS because it was in a good location, had very friendly staff, and was very clean. Delhi consistently ranks in the top five most populous cities in the world, as it is home to roughly 25 million people. Throughout history, there have been "seven cities of Delhi", including Qila Rai Pithora, Mehrauli, Siri, Tughlakabad, Firozabad, Shergarh, and Shahjahanabad (see "Seven Cities of Delhi" in 'Useful Links' for more information). This city is rich with political, cultural, and architectural history, and is the capital of India. Traffic is crazy, the food is to die for, and the sites are unbeatable. In the two-and-a-half days we had in this awesome city, we saw A TON. As with Jaipur, the best format for the post will be to show pictures and then describe what we saw. I hope you enjoy.


Chhatarpur Temple in Delhi is the second largest Hindu temple complex in India...this specific complex is associated most strongly with the Katyayini, a warrior goddess who is one of nine forms of Parvati.


Built in 1974, this temple complex includes architectural styles of both the north and south...for instance, a goparum is present, which is very reminiscent of South Indian temple design, even if this temple exists in North India...we took the Metro to see this place, and it was extremely clean, safe, and efficient to travel on!


Qutub Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the largest brick minaret in the world...this tower was commissioned by the first Delhi Sultanate, Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in 1200 CE


The style of the Qutub Minar is characterized by red sandstone and Arabic carvings of the Qur'an


The Qutub Minar site contained many ruins from empires of the past...this particular photo was of a graveyard of sorts where many important leaders are buried


The Lotus Temple is an amazing structure that was funded and built by people of the Baha'i Faith, and showed me once again the vastness and diversity of religion in India


Selfie with Emilie and Tanzy at the Lotus Temple...no pictures were allowed inside as the sanctuary's integrity was to be maintained with an aura of relaxation and reflection


With about 6 million followers (with almost one-third living in India), the Baha'i Faith recognizes the validity of all religions, and thus, lets anyone of any religion worship in their spaces...founded for the goal of a united humankind, this religion promotes peace, tolerance, and equality


Similar to the architectural style of the Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb was commissioned by Emperor Humayun's son, Akbar


Outside the complex...Humayun's tomb is another Islamic garden, and was built in the mid-1500s


Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi, India


With Tanzeela and Emilie outside of Dilli Haat, a famous, open-air market where we did a lot of shopping!


Chandni Chowk is one of Delhi's oldest, most-well known wholesale markets where one can shop for sarees, shoes, jewelries, scarves, you name it. This is not my picture because I did not want to seem conspicuous and stop to take a picture in the middle of the street, but you get the idea! It was not overwhelmingly crowded during the day, but took much concentration to get to dinner through the side streets at night...in fact, if you can spot the "Karim's" sign in this picture, that is where we ate dinner one of the nights we were there (and it had the best nan ever by the way)


The Jama Masjid was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and is one of the largest mosques in India


The beautiful entrance to the Jama Masjid


In the courtyard!


The Red Fort of Delhi


A Delhi sunset at one of the city's most-famous sites


The Indian flag flying over the Red Fort...on 15th August of each year (India's Independence Day), the Prime Minister (currently Narendra Modi) hoists the flag over the fort and gives a speech


Also called Lal Qila, this structure is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Delhi


Although inconvenient in terms of getting there and the amount of security we had to go through, it was totally worth it...Akshardham was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life, and it was enhanced by the elegant lighting throughout the whole complex...use seeing Akshardham at night as an excuse to visit India (I did not take this picture as cameras were not allowed, but I think it is necessary to show)


An aerial view of Swaminarayan Akshardham...completed in 2005, this Hindu temple complex is the largest of its kind in the entire world


India Gate is a memorial to the approximately 82,000 Indian soldiers who died in World World I


Hours before our flight out of India after our incredible four month stay...Changezi's Chicken was a superb last meal and the guy who baked our nan for us told us to come back to Changezi's when we were in Delhi next...we were all on board for that plan!

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I love you, India!

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I hope you enjoyed reading "Delhi" and I hope I conveyed how much of an amazing time I had in this city through my pictures and writing.

As always, please post your comments or questions if you have any.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you will read my last post, "Saying Goodbye", which I am going to post within the next few days.

Love,

Kara

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