Our beauty rest lasted for about 3 hours because we had to wake up and prepare for our tour of Delhi. But before that, we got to take our breakfast at their restaurant, Linx. Its a modest buffet breakfast with limited choices of Indian dishes, western dishes, bread, butter, cheese, and coffee/tea, juice, cereal, and fruits. Nonetheless, the ambiance was clean and modern plus the food servers tried their best to be attentive to our needs.
The places we got to visit on this day were as follows: the India Gate, a memorial built in memory of the soldiers who died in world war I, Raj Ghat where the creamation of Mahatma Gandhi took place (I am not so sure about this one), Qutb Minar, the highest stone tower in India buld in the 12th Century by Qutubuddin Aibek, Jama Masjid, the largest Mosque in India and Rashtrapati Bhawan.
|Mahatma Gandhi near the India Gate|
|Maan got some herbal meds from this Ayurvedic Doctor|
|My sister and I at Qutb Minar|
The Taj Mahal which is made of marble is the resting place of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. This structure was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died during childbirth. This was built in 22 years by approximately 20,000 skilled workers.
The Agra Fort, on the other hand, was built in 1565 by Akbar and was later expanded by his son Jahangir and grandson Shah Jahan.
|Agra Fort - - Ms. Alice with our |
Tour Guide, Bigotilyo (harhar)
|Taj Mahal - - Inside Taj Mahal, some of the marbles glow in the dark.|
If you will notice in the photos, it seems cold in India but in our trip, it was really hot and we were fanning ourselves like crazy. Still, we noticed that locals were mostly clad in formal wear. Men were wearing pants and polos (short sleeves and long sleeves). Women were in colorful long dresses. Some dresses were even shiny. Cows were everywhere because cows are deemed sacred. Most of the locals, especially in the stores we visited, were quite good in the English language so there is no such barrier in terms of this. However, some of the vendors were really persuasive and would peddle their wares to us insistently. According to our guide, the way to deal with these people is to give them a stern look in the face with a matching hard enunciation of the word "NO". This was difficult for me because I am usually very cordial (a Filipino inherent trait). Still, it might be necessary to go this direction because Indian vendors are a persistent lot. We also got to visit other places before finally heading back to Delhi for dinner and then to the Airport.
|This guy is creating a design out of marble stone.|
|This is one example of a marble art piece. |
Some parts glow in the dark.
|A dancer and a musician (probably his dad) outside |
the restaurant where we had lunch
Overall, India is fascinating. Its culture is really evident everywhere and people are very religious (with so many effigies of their gods everywhere). The caste system still exists and according to the driver I interviewed, it is still based on their surnames (Brahman, warrior caste, merchant caste, etc.) but people are gradually becoming more liberal about it...well, at least the younger generations. India has great potential as there are so many smart people here (from what I heard in Cupertino where many engineering geniuses are Indian).
So that is how our 2 days and one overnight stay ends. It was a quick but long journey as well as an experience of a lifetime. Now, off to Mesopotamia (Parts of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq) and China, the other earliest civilizations.