New Delhi, India
After the stressful 24 hours I spent stranded in Tokyo, as I mentioned in my prior post, I was finally in New Delhi, India. My flight arrived in the evening so I didn’t see much of the city except for the horrible traffic the city is known for. I checked in to my hotel but I kept most of my things untouched in my luggage as I would be checking out in the morning. Falling asleep wouldn’t be a problem this night. I was still taxed by the experience in Tokyo and fell asleep after dinner.
Morning came and I waited for my driver who would accompany me on the six day tour, originally seven day tour amended by being stranded in Tokyo. He brought my tour guide for the city, as well. I would get a tour guide at each city along India’s Golden Triangle. Our first visit would be Qutub Minar, a minaret and victory tower inside Delhi’s oldest fortified city of Lal Kot. It’s a beautiful brick minaret that is the center piece to the Qutub complex mostly built between 1199 and 1220. This complex was built by Muslims from the west who migrated here to escape the Mongol Empire. The complex is filled with beautifully detailed structures, my first experience of India’s amazing architecture. This is one of the most visited tourists spots in the city and it was definitely crowded when I arrived. My guide said it was eve worse in the afternoon. It also happened to be one of India’s biggest holidays, Republic Day, which helped increase the number of visitors to the site.
The second site we visited was Humayan’s Tomb. The first Mughal garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It was built in 1560 where Persian and Indian craftsmen built it and it was far more grand than any tomb before it in the Islamic world. So much so, it inspired many more structures. The tomb is synonymous with Mughal architecture which reached its peak 80 years later with the Taj Mahal. The tomb also inspired one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.
My tour would also included a visit to Jama Mosque and Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. But, holiday celebrations closed certain areas and streets of Delhi and we were unable to visit these sites. So, after lunch, I was on my way to Agra. We dropped of the guide and the driver and I were on the road that would take 4 to 5 hours to reach my next hotel in Agra.