We got to our hotel at 2:45. That’s 2:45 AM. And then we woke up just in time to go on a full day of sightseeing.
Our first stop was the largest mosque located in old Delhi. Which is actually the 7th Delhi. Because Delhi has a history of being invaded, destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed,and so on.
The mosque is a gorgeous example of muslim architecture. The design required the high priest to conduct the ceremony at the front, and the king sat in the very back. So they had two relay speakers so that the king could hear what was being said. Except that I picture something more in line with the whisper game where you whisper something into your neighbors ear, then they whisper what they thought you said into their neighbors ear, and finally, when you reach the end, the last person says what they heard out load. And it’s never the same.
They also require all women to be covered from head to toe … actually, it’s more like shoulder to toe because we didn’t need to wear a head covering.
Then we took a rickshaw tour of Chandni Chowk (the old market just outside of the mosque).
Apparently this is a very conservative section of Delhi and very few women were out and about. So we were already an oddity. Our group being half female, that is.
Then you add in our pale complexions, light hair, and you have a recipe for interest.
One particularly interested motorcyclist spent so much time looking at Lisa that he forgot to look at the road and drove straight into another vehicle.
He did look really sheepish when he realized what he had done. And I’m reasonably certain his comrades will never let him live it down.
Our next stop was Gandhi’s shrine. And Humayun’s Tomb – thought the be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.
At Gandi’s shrine, we ran in to a group of school girls waiting to enter. To get back to our vehicle, we had to make a path through the group. And they were all waving and saying hello. We felt like rock stars.
But when we got to the tomb, our guide informed us to ignore any school boys we might see at this location because they can be “quite naughty.” We didn’t question her and later we found out that all the male citizens of India can make a foreign girl feel very uncomfortable.
Followed by lunch. Old Delhi style. But not actually in the old market. Because I’m not sure my stomach would ever recover. Even if the ingredients were fresh, the “cooks” reuse the oil to the point of rancid. So that’s nice…
Then we went to an even older section of Delhi. To see the Qutub Minar.
When the Mongols invaded, the king left his most trusted slave behind to carry on in his stead. So the slave did what any reasonable slave would do, he declared himself emperor. The dream career progression.
Anyway, he wanted to leave his mark behind so he built a tower. Or started building a tower. It took another 100 years to finish.
The next emperor wanted to build a bigger and better tower. But he wasn’t well liked, so when he died, the work stopped. And his tower never got off the ground. So I guess the moral of this story is that if you want a tower with your name on it, make sure your people like you when you die.
Tomorrow, we leave Delhi by way of a flight to Jabalpur and a 4 hour drive to Bandhavgarh National Park.