After a relatively comfortable flight, I have arrived at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, New Deli. What an incredibly beautiful start to this journey. Follow me as I explore some of India’s most beautiful areas.
Up early and ready for our first day, a tour of old and new Delhi.
I was expecting some history, masses of people and an assault on the senses. I don’t really enjoy masses of people and so didn’t expect to enjoy it – but I was so wrong. What a brilliant day! Admittedly a lot due to an excellent guide, great planning from the company organising everything and wonderful hosts!
Something I certainly did not expect was to find peace and tranquility in a number of hidden little spots, in a city of over 18 million people.
One day in Delhi is not enough!
The driving is chaotic, zebra crossings are merely road decorations, lanes are irrelevant, every driver alternates hands between the steering wheel, the hooter and their cellphone, but it works. However almost every car has “Delhi decal”: dents, scratches and scrapes. Our driver told us that drivers in Delhi need 4 good things:
1. Good horn
2. Good brakes
3. Good nerves
4. Good luck.
It seemed to me that most male motorbike drivers wear helmets – passengers and women less so.
The detailed artwork, with marble and other inlays, in the buildings is a constant marvel and, as one of my photos showed, there are times when patterns are only visible with a camera – how and why?
Old Delhi is merely the original Delhi, built about 400 years ago and walled in for protection against invaders, but most of the wall is barely visible or built into with modern buildings. It is a relatively small area, when you consider the size of the rest of Delhi. Originally built for a population of about sixty thousand, it now accommodates about ten times that amount.
New Delhi still has some incredibly old parts to it and a lot of the same character and atmosphere.
I loved all the hidden spots of tranquility. Some large like the 90 hectare Sunder nursery, others small and intimate, but captivating and attractive nonetheless.
The Taj Mahal – I have been looking for inspiration for words, but failing.
The experience is quite profound. To think of what this man did for his wife and how he ended up.
So much bigger than I expected. So much detail and thought.
“A tear-drop on the cheek of time”