DELHI, CITY SIGHTSEEING | GRACE FILLED TRAVEL JUNKIE

DELHI, CITY SIGHTSEEING

I am back in Jakarta! After 9 days of India, I am more than happy to be back here. I love exploring new places, but nothing is better than being at home! Other reasons of being so happy to be back will be visible in my posts about India, so wait for it. For now, lets start with my first days in India where I tour Delhi, the old and new.
A casual family day in Delhi.

On this trip, I was traveling with a good friend of mine since junior high school. As an architect, he loves to see the majestic buildings in India. As a travel blogger, I just want to localize myself and see what most travelers don't see in India. And so, our journey began after a 7-8 hours long flight. 

Since we only had 9 days before reality hits, we made the most of it by traveling to 4 cities in India. Our route is also known by most people as the golden triangle of India: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The fourth city we added was Bikanner. Each of these cities will be covered on my blog posts on a weekly basis, so don't miss it!

Back to Delhi!

After arriving at the hotel at around 9 PM local time, I was wide awake. With nothing much to do in the plane, I slept the whole flight and woke up very refreshed after dark in India. I decided to get something to eat before trying to sleep again. At first, I thought I was lucky to find street food vendors nearby our hotel!
First meal in India!
He was like: "that looks good!" She was like: "that looks disgusting."
I know what people say about India's street food, but I didn't believe them. I thought my stomach was trained enough by Jakarta's street food that India's street food won't have different effect on me. Not long until a German couple sat next to our table looking quite disgusted by the condition of the place. To me, it was just like a normal street food place in Jakarta. Soon enough, I bit my own tongue.

I ate a plate of jeera rice with some dal. The taste was just okay, the after effect was horrible. On my first night in India, I had digestion problem that lead to stomachache the next morning. The German's instinct were more than right!

Putting that aside, I enjoyed the city sightseeing in Delhi. Delhi is a national capital territory of India. Even though it was a big city, relatively, everything was quite cheap. Knowing this, we took a city tour that only costs us around Rp 240k the whole day! Not a bad deal at all. All these sites I write in this posts were covered in 2 days, which is very possible if you wake up early and rush through your days.

Religious Sites
In India, most of the main attractions are temples and mosques. In Delhi itself, our first temple visit was the Laxminarayan Temple. Also known as Birla Mandir, this temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu. We took off our shoes as a sign of respect and walked in.  

Laxminarayan Temple
Laxminarayan Temple was not as strict as the other religious sites we visited in Delhi. Akshardam Temple didn't allow us to bring any electronic gadgets inside. Truthfully, Akshardam Temple was the most beautiful temple I've ever visited in my whole life. Too bad I couldn't capture anything! Even my smartphone has to be put inside their locker outside the temple. The only picture I could show you was this photo taken from a photo booth. What a way to make money.
Akshardham Temple
Another temple we visited in Delhi was the Lotus Temple. Its design was minimalist and futuristic. I loved it very much! But then again, we were not allowed to bring professional camera. This was the best photo I took using my smartphone.
Lotus Temple from a far.
With all these religious sites banning professional cameras and photographs, I was very happy when Jama Masjid allowed me to bring one! Too bad, I was wearing shorts on that day. Jama Masjid is located in Old Delhi, nearby the Red Fort. 
Shirt, sunglasses and a saroong. What a combination!
Memorial House
Other than the religious sites, Delhi was also famous for 2 memorial houses. One for Mahatma Gandhi and one for Indira Gandhi. These two places were incidentally located 15 minutes away from each other. I loved reading the quotes and stories by the famous Mahatma Gandhi and learning from the respectable Indira Gandhi.
Indira Gandhi's news coverage on the wall.
Traditional fabric weaving located outside Indira Gandhi's Memorial House.
Mahatma Gandhi's last walk before he was shot 3 times in the chest at close range.
"My Life Is My Message." - Mahatma Gandhi
Inside Mahatma Gandhi's museum.
Mahatma Gandhi's bedroom.
Very detailed museum! It explains the origin of Mahatma Gandhi until his last 48 hours on Earth.
One of my favorite quote from Mahatma Gandhi. A very selfless person indeed!
World Peace Gong made in Jepara, Indonesia, placed in front of Mahatma Gandhi's memorial house. Touching.
It was encouraging to learn that such people existed in India's toughest times. I ended up leaving the place questioning myself, what have I done for others? Have I been selfless? It was a good place to reflect and learn from these inspiring figures.

UNESCO's World Heritages
Delhi itself is known for its UNESCO's World Heritages. The first one I visited was Qutub Minar. The feeling upon arrival was remarkable! Qutub Minar is the tallest brick tower in the world built in 1192. Imagine that! Way before we have the technologies and machines, that tower stood strong for 8 centuries until today. Being there, experiencing it first hand was amazing.
Qutub Minar, 72.5 meters tall.
Surrounded by pretty gardens and historical buildings, this tower is everyone's favorite on the weekend!
Qutub Minar was said to be built by a Muslim. However, it involves many beliefs aesthetic features in it. Take the pillars for example. It has Jewish writings, Arabic letters, Hinduism pattern designs and many more placed next to each other. How amazing would it be if it is practiced in our love-crisis-world today?

Other than religious beliefs carved on the pillars, it also exhibits the famous kamasutra from India. Luckily we have a guide who told us this interesting information. It was funny to see how Indians see sex as a form of literature study, yet some countries in Asia doesn't talk much about sex openly.
Elements of religions on one pillar.
Kamasutra positions.
A saree wrapped beaut.
Fun fact: Indian males love taking photos of themselves.
The second world heritage site was Humayun's Tomb. Influenced by Persian architectures, this tomb was beautiful beyond compare. It is the tomb of emperors and their relatives made from the year of 1572. It is said to be one the best preserved tomb in India. I couldn't agree more. 

Our plan of a short walk turned into hours of taking photos and observation of the locals and their respect to their elders. As much as possible I tried to sulk myself into the history that couldn't be more alive than it is today.
A lovely family.
Birds flying over a mausoleum.
Red and white, most building colors in India.
Brotherhood goals.
Majestic.
My first two days in Delhi were so much fun! Delhi was not a bad city for us to adapt and localize to the environment in India. Right after then, I hopped on to a sleeper train to Agra to see Taj Mahal! More about that next week!

For now, I wish you a happy Chinese New Year! I hope you get to spend some time with your family and loved ones, just like these fellows in a bajaj
Happiness is simple!

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