The Indians call it Birla Mandir. So, if you’re catching a cab, that’s what you would tell the driver. Often, your pronouncEments of the name of a location or site is different to the locals than to tourists. It gets tricky. But, Delhi Tourism got me there with no problem. The temple was really beautiful. The guide was impressive in her explanations. It’s one of the few times that I’ve come out of a temple feeling that I would like to go back and see it again. No pictures were allowed inside, though.The Indians call it Birla Mandir. So, if you’re catching a cab, that’s what you would tell the driver. Often, your pronouncEments of the name of a location or site is different to the locals than to tourists. It gets tricky. But, Delhi Tourism got me there with no problem. The temple was really beautiful. The guide was impressive in her explanations. It’s one of the few times that I’ve come out of a temple feeling that I would like to go back and see it again. No pictures were allowed inside, though.
Through this little office pass some of the best tour guides in Delhi.
I went to the Delhi Tourism office at about 8 AM to take the morning tour and what did I see spread out at for blocks in front of their office? A raging flower market. Not just any old flower market, this one was huge. I was told that it happens every day starting at 4 AM. The activity was mind-boggling. The trash was overwhelming. It was impossible to walk. I had to be extra careful not to step on or get too close to any of the stray animals and risk getting bitten, kicked, butted or otherwise injured. Only in India can the beauty of a million flowers be ruined by the insanity of a market.
This is the vegetable chow mien that I believe was the start of my physical undoing in India. I noticed that it was significantly spicy. After eating at the restaurant a second night, I became very ill. I think the proper medical term for my condition was Poopin’ and Pukin’ and, since I figure that gives you a good picture of my illness, I won’t provide details. I will say that it did make an impact on my stay in Delhi. For the 36 hours after the second restaurant visit, I rarely left my hotel room. I spent that period trying to shake off the symptoms of my illness. I did so with some degree of success. However, I missed a good, full day of sightseeing and that irritated me. In all seriousness, though, it’s so much better to err on the side of caution in situations concerning my health when I’m overseas.
Yeah, that’s my tour bus and a great tour bus it was. The City of Delhi puts on a an excellent tour at a really great price. The cost was 300 rupees ($7) for and all day tour. What a bargain! Hey, the fun I had with the people on the tour was worth the $7.
The guys at India Tourism are great. They made every attempt to help me. I strongly recommend that you go see them when you get to Delhi. You’ll read or hear from some sources that they are a waste of time, but I found them to be quite helpful. They are easy-to-find, if they don’t move.
It’s the Red Fort in Delhi. It was completed in the middle of the 17th century and is quite imposing. In the 350 years since it was built it has served three main entities. First, the Mughal emperors who lived in the fort until the British came and declared war. Second, the British who came and tore down a lot of the interior of the fort to make room for English style barracks and third, the Republic of India, who eventually turned into the tourist trap is is today. Note that it is a tourist trap well worth entering. I did so and I’m glad I went. It is a walled fort on a river and the circumference of the wall is over one mile. The wall has a height that ranges from 50 feet to about 100 feet high. Remember, this baby is made out of red sandstone. It’s one big mutha…
I just took the picture ’cause I really liked the architectural style.
This is the alley where my hotel was located in Delhi. It’s an area called Paharganj. Lonely Planet calls it "hyperactive" and says that ""with its seedy reputation for drugs and dodgy characters – (it) isn’t everyone’s cup of tea." I’ll second that. I’d call it pure chaos and I wish I could remember reading that statement before I rented a room there. The odds are, I won’t rent a room in the area again if I ever go back to Delhi, I don’t care how well situated it is. There has to be better value elsewhere. There couldn’t be much cheaper. I’ve come to believe that $8 a night for a room, even in Delhi, may be a little too cheap.
These are the immigration lines in New Delhi, India. Were they long? This is just one. They were incredibly long. I almost thought that there were some union organizers from the U.S. who had come to India and were working with the Indian Immigration Officer’s Union in an attempt to raise union membership by slowing down the work so that the government will hire more people. Sorta’ like they do in the United States. Luckily, they opened up another line to the right of me and I jumped at the chance, getting to be the third person in line. Two little Jewish ladies from New York in track shoes beat me to it. I remember waiting with our driver outside of the gate for someone else going to the hotel that the driver was supposed to pick up off the same flight. The next day I met the guy for which the driver had been waiting at the hotel and he said it took him more than an hour to get through immigration.