Two or three more pics of the Main Bazaar where we’re staying:-
A peanut seller – we’ve never seen so many in one place!
They trade at street level and store above – two young lads are carrying bales of linen up a bamboo ladder and into the stores above the shops.
A chap with his bicycle loaded to the limit with baskets.
Our first visit of the day was to the Bahai (Lotus) Temple. We got there by the superb Delhi Metro system. It was as cheap as chips, clean beyond belief and easy to find our way around. We were told by tourist agents (four in total) that the metro was full of pickpockets and very difficult to find our way around. Instead, they would get us a “car” to take us to where we wanted go (at an enormous cost!) We smelt a rip-off, which it turned out to be the case, and got the metro anyway!
After a brilliant metro trip we arrived very close to the temple. It’s the most recent Bahai place of worship in the world and is constructed of gleaming white marble. Its a stunning building surrounded by gardens and fountains and it’s aim is to signify the equality of all religions. Inside the design is very simple but sadly there was no photography allowed.
After the Lotus Temple we took a tuk-tuk to the Haus Khas district of the city where the “village” is a car free zone and full of designer shops and expensive establishments. We took advantage of one of the expensive establishments and had a drink and a meal on a rooftop terrace.
After our expensive meal we entered ‘real India’ again and had a walk through one of the many slum areas of the city. This one is sitting side by side with the affluent Hauz Khas neighbourhood and next to some stunning medieval tombs.
We felt quite safe as we walked through the street (as we seem to do in any of our escapades!) – the people were charming and friendly if a little perplexed that two ‘blond’ men (that seems to be how we are described!) should appear on their street. The day time temperatures in Delhi were about 18 deg C but that falls quite quickly to a night time of 5 deg so we saw many little fires lit in the streets as the light faded.
Side by side with the slums is the historic medieval site of the Hauz Khas Complex. (meaning Royal Water Tank).
The complex dates back to the 13th century and the Delhi Sultanate and it’s studded with the domed tombs of Muslim royalty.
The lake (or Tank) was dug out to hold and supply water to Siri, the second medieval city of the Delhi Sultanate.
The ruins are in wonderful condition considering the age and the lack of protection it gets from the footfall of visitors. There seems to be no part of the complex which is out of bounds to the tourist. Can’t imagine this sort of thing happening in the UK!
We regularly get asked for photos with people. They get very excited when they see a ‘blond’ person (especially one as tall as James!)
It feels like a Indian version of Pompeii ……..
…… and some of the architecture is stunning in both its design and condition.
The domed buildings are all tombs dating between 14th and 16th centuries.
Outside the complex, and back into the modern world, we come across a flip-flop seller wheeling his cart down a very busy road. (witnessing this sort of thing, it’s really difficult to try and describe Delhi).
Our third day saw us take the (three hour late) train from Delhi to Agra. We travelled third class a/c for the three hour journey and the next few pics are taken from the train window (hence the hazy look!). Peoples home are literally next to the railway line ………..
…… and they don’t think twice about using it as part of the furniture. This group of men are playing cards!
People walk quite happily along the lines.
Inside the train things felt a little safer. Our 3rd class a/c compartment held eight people, all of us having our own bed if we felt like a bit of a relax. Doug had forty winks (a few times!) during the 3 hour journey …………
……… while James, lying on his bed next to the window, continued to be fascinated by the outside world!
Well, we arrived in Agra around 5 o’clock ( quite a bit later than planned but that’s life!) as the light began to fade and booked into the Hotel Taj Plaza. Grand in name but mediocre in reality it was to serve us in that guise for our one night stay. Our reason for getting to Agra, of course, was to visit the Taj Mahal which we’d planned for the following day.
As night time fell on the city the approach road to the Taj, where our hotel was situated, was beautifully paved and it’s half mile length was cleverly lit all the way to the gates.
At night the hotels on the approach road tried to outdo each other with their lighting designs which all added to our excitement and anticipation of the next day!