Day 2 – Delhi – November 30th, 2017
I woke up around 1AM and realized my mistake. I would have gone out for a walk but the back pain was in the back of my head and not wanting to risk anything I just lay in bed. After a refreshing shower, breakfast was provided. Tea, fried eggs and toast, simple! I met another traveller named Oscar from New Jersey who was also backpacking. The first order of business was getting my back taken care of. I found a place called Kapur Acupuncture and booked an appointment for the same day. This was my first acupuncture experience and at first I was kind of skeptical, but after the session I actually did get some relief. The doc applied acupuncture tapes on my right ear on pressure points which should help relieve some of the pain onwards. All in all, the session costed around ₹4600. Finally I can start seeing the sights!
Up first, Lal Qila or the Red Fort. One thing to note; if you look like a foreigner and I guess I somewhat do, you will be scammed. So why not return the favour? Entrance to a lot of these historical places comes with a fee. Foreigners ₹500, Indians ₹35. So I gave it a shot and and went to the Indian line and voila! I paid only ₹35! Score! Even though I don’t look like a local they still asked me where I’m from and I told them Gujrat. This is the same thing I would do to all the other historical places
The fort itself is massive. You need at least 1-2 hours to see inside. Pay attention to the detail, the symmetry and the architecture. Its insane how such symmetry was established. The build was commenced in 1639 by Shah Jahan with the Mughal style of architecture. This kind of architecture is prevalent across India. The British also had a play in the Red Fort as they also stood up buildings.
As you enter the Lahori Gate, you will walk through a small bazaar called Chatta Chowk. There are stores selling the usual type of items such as jewelry, handmade items, textiles etc. Once you pass the stalls, you enter the main grounds. You will see a Masjid, Hammam, Museums, Mahals etc. It is really worth the time to explore each building as they have their own unique identity.
Nizamuddin Dargah was interesting. I was hoping for something semi-peaceful and nothing chaotic. I was wrong. Even before you enter, you get bombarded with people selling flowers. So I did. When you enter the dargah, there are a lot of people asking for money. Buy this, buy that. What the heck!? I thought this was a place of worship which turned out to be anything but. All they wanted out of you was money. Maybe I fell in the trap. Walking with the two plates of flowers, ether and string, a kid spotted me and told me to come with him to the first ‘room’, drop the flowers on the tomb, walk around, follow him to the main ‘room’ and drop the second plate of flowers. Then he came with a donation book where you write down the amount per column and then you donate that amount of money. Wtf kind of place is this?? My main reason to come here was for the Qwalli music. Soon after, a crowd gathered and the singing or chanting started. This was enjoyable now that the taking of my money was complete!