India: An Eye Opening Experience!

Day 3 – Delhi – December 1st, 2017

Acupuncture time again. This was very much needed. I am unsure if rest would have sufficed nevertheless I had 32 days to go and I needed to get better. I had requested a driver the day before so he was able to take me around to the places I wanted to see. Second stop was Akshardham. Sadly, no cameras are allowed inside, otherwise I would have spent the whole time capturing everything. Your breath will be taken away and your jaw will drop numerous times. Being a new modern mandir, this place is super clean. Akshardham is a Swaminarayan mandir and as soon as you walk up the steps past the super ornate pillars and doors, you find yourself in front of a huge Swaminarayan murti. Everything is intricate here. Everything! Make sure you take time to read the large paintings as it gives you a timeline on how Swaminarayan came to be. This place truly is magnificent. It’s calm, peaceful and spiritual. One thing to possibly expect during weekdays are large groups of school kids. I guess they come here for field trips? How awesome is that! After a bite of samosa chaat and a visit to the store, I took a walk around the compound. On one side of the compound there are various statues laid out that depicts a given time in India’s history. From warriors to dancers to kings and queens. Pretty cool.
The next stop was Rajghat. This place is a memorial dedicated to Gandhi. You are supposed to take off your shoes before going into the memorial area, the spot where Gandhi was cremated. Since I saw other folks not paying, the guy wanted money from me. Wtf? I asked him for my shoes back and left the place. All in all, there was nothing really special to see here. My driver was an idiot and didn’t speak any English at all, even
thought he said he did. As a tour guide I would have expected even some knowledge in Hindi but nada. So all he did was drive.

Next stop was Jama Masjid in Meena bazaar in Old Delhi. The idiot driver parked so far away so that meant I had to walk all the way up. I made it up the steps to gate 3, the north entrance. I, looking like a foreigner, had to wait about 10 minutes amongst some other guys before entering. I got a cloth put on me since I was wearing shorts and had to have the legs covered, no worries. I was expecting chaos inside but to my surprise it was calm and peaceful. No one bothered me for money, just glares because I was wearing a robe hah! I spent some time, clicking pics and made it down to my lazy driver.
Qutb Minar was a distance away. The driver didn’t want to but I made him go all the way. Not paying the standard foreigner fee, I waltzed in with no problems. As you walk in, you are greeted with the huge minaret. It’s massive! As you walk closer and closer you get to see the intricate carvings in the red sandstone. Surrounding the Qutb Minar are several other buildings of significance which include a mosque and an iron pillar of Delhi. You will be surrounded by hoardes of people trying to get a perfect selfie with the Qutb Minar but if you walk away from the crowd onto the monuments you will also get some great views. The tomb of Iltutmish is laid out with sandstone which has intricate carved lattice work. If you appreciate architecture and carvings, then you will definitely want to visit this. This brought an end to the day since I had my lazy driver for only 8 hours… and he cost me ₹1600!

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