And an eventful Friday photo walk at Jama Masjid, Delhi. So nice to be reunited with my photopals, Sara and Arun, on this one.
Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Winter, Haze. All the ingredients for an engrossing morning.
One of the big entrances
Why use a tap when you can wash at the tank?
It takes a lot of focus
Jama Masjid, the Friday mosque
One of the popular selfie guys
No birds were harmed during our shoot, but we did our bit, shooing them around
Take a picture, make a friend
This shot has been 3 years in the making for me
Waiting.. and posing ..
For a small additional fee, you can climb up a minaret, and pause at the terrace
Did I say, “Haze” already?
On a clear day, you might see the Red Fort in the distance, but this was not one of those days
This man claimed his photo was in every country in the world, and I believe him
We rewarded our industriousness with a paratha feast in the famous Paranthewali gali. We may have ordered everything on the menu there!
One of the wonderful aspects of Delhi is that old and new structures all stand together, and sometimes, when you are waiting at a traffic light and just glance around, there’s a 500-year old monument right there. Reva wished to tour the newly restored Humayun’s tomb, and I wanted to get to the wedding venue, so we went our separate ways, and I caught up with the monument a few days later, considering it was going nowhere.
It was my second visit there, but the first time that I drove in Delhi all by myself, that put a smug grin on the face. Naturally, I wanted to be there at sunrise. Got there early enough but had to cool my heels at the entrance waiting for the ticket seller. Apparently you can get a daily pass if you like your morning walks in the grounds, and then you can catch the sunrise. So I was the first paid visitor of the day, and spent a jolly couple of hours walking about, soaking in the calm, enjoying the sun’s rays in the cool morning, and getting my money’s worth in photos.
It’s a beautiful structure, commissioned by Humayun’s first wife, Bega Begum. It seems she was devoted to him, but he was in love with his second wife, Hamida Begum, who was the mother of Akbar. There’s a lot that’s been said about the architecture, the first garden-tomb in India; it’s major claim to fame being that it is the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. However, I wouldn’t care to compare the two. The Humayun’s tomb holds its own, and can probably offer a better experience of Mughal splendour. Besides Humayun, his two wives are also buried here, as are a number of other nobles in other tombs on the premises.
Some natural and some man-made wonders:
The scenic beauty of Vietnam is something I can never stop gushing about!
The spectacular limestone ‘Paradise’ caves:
Emerald rivers amidst rice paddies and mountains:
Almost as spectacular man-made structures – Mughal architecture in India in all its glory!
Lal Qila (Red Fort)
Sikandara (Akbar’s Tomb)
Taj Mahal (Shah Jahan’s Tomb)
And finally, an expression of wonder:
February was the season for flowers in Delhi, and I had my visual feast, all around town.
I caught up with my friend, Dola, at the Garden of Five Senses:
The flowers were predictably amazing:
And the vegetables, surprisingly charming:
The garden was made more festive with some added colour and interesting sounds:
Not to forget the holy cow!
Then the Mughal gardens were opened to public. After having heard rave reviews from Ma over the years, I insisted on dragging her and Joy back there to see the glory of the President’s estate. No electronics were allowed inside, and these pictures are all I could manage from the outside:
I wouldn’t call it a garden, as much as a display of gorgeous flowers – not a leaf out of place. I guess the ‘no cameras, no mobiles’ rule kept the chaos out, and all the senses on full alert. Well worth a visit.
This was my most interesting trip to Delhi ever! The nicest weather, my visit objectives were met, and there was lots to admire, not much to eat (thanks, diet) and endless goodies to shop.
I had my heritage fix from a quick dash to Hauz Khas village & Tughlaq tombs, with Souvik & Joy & Ma:
Then Ma & I followed it up with a ride in the hop on-hop off bus (called HOHO!) to visit Lal Qila & Purana Qila:
The rain couldn't hide the grandeur of Red Fort
Lahore Gate (Faces Lahore)
Mughal art - fabulous even in disrepair
Fine, fine details in Diwan-e-khaas
Sher Mandal (where Humayun fell down the stairs)
Birds at the Baoli (stepped well)
The bus service had some great features (valid for 2 days within a week, coffee discounts), though we didn’t cover all the sights …. a good reason to head right back.
23rd Sep was a day for remembering Uncle, and we started it off by driving to the temple at Chhattarpur at dawn. We ran into a bunch of temple visitors from Gujarat, who brightened our day. More colour followed – at an impromptu stop for a picture of the Qutub Minar, we discovered a flower market, and were dazzled by the riot of colours of marigold, roses, gerberas and lilies.
The rest of the day zipped by in meeting friends, especially Dola & Arpita, who starved all day so that they could pig out at dinner with us (so reminiscent of the days at Walchand College). Needless to say, we had a long ‘sabha’ and all our crazy cackles!
With so much to see, do and shop, and the lack of internet access, there was no real opportunity to blog. We spent an inordinate amount of time hearing and discussing all the chaos related to the Commonwealth Games that affect Delhi-ites in a big way – fresh new jokes by the hour keeping pace with every new horror. Also drove out to see the Yamuna river in spate, threatening to flood the city (pictures to follow soon). And a fun ride on the Metro, just for kicks. Pounced on all the dal makhani and paneer in sight.
A visit to Nehru Place to buy a computer almost put me off, but I was determined to get it all done! Then Ma’s saree shopping goals were partially met in Nalli. Finally, a long call with the wi-fi people, and we are now very “internetted” at home in Delhi!