January 7, 2012 2 Comments
With the north east completed we headed to delhi for the next leg of our tour. The kingfisher flight I had booked was rescheduled for an early departure. Checked with the kingfisher office only to find that the flight had been rescheduled for afternoon. I had asked the office people to intimate me if the flight had got rescheduled again, ,which luckily didnt happen.
A 5 hr flight saw us land in delhi around 8 at night. An hours drive in traffic and we were at the hotel. The golden quadrilateral leg of our tour would begin the next day. Since we had an entire day, I had asked the driver to come a little late. We started with a short stop at saravana bhavan for breakfast before heading of to lakshminarayan temple.
Lakshminarayan or the birla temple as it is called is dedicated to goddess lakshmi. The construction of the temple was started in 1933 and completed in 1939. The temple was built by Baldeo Das Birla of Birla family and hence it is known as Birla temple. The maintainence of the temple is done by the birla family
The main shrine is dedicated to lakshmi and narayan. There are also smaller shrines dedicated to hanuman, ganesha and shiva and buddha. Due to security concerns cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple. One need to deposit them in the safety lockers present in the entrance before going to the temple.
Spending sometime at the temple visiting the shrines we then headed to India Gate. A big crowd was already present by the time we went there. During my roopkund trek, we had a day to roam around delhi, however due to the heat we could just visit Red Fort and Qutub Minar. Now with the weather being favorable, and having more time we could cover all the important tourist places.
First Look at India Gate
India Gate is constructed as a memorial and was built in the memory of 90,00 soldiers who laid down their lives during world war I. It was constructed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and was built in 1931. The monument also contains the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame of the immortal warrior.
There were photographers present there offering to take photos from various angles for a fee. We went closer to the gate and took a few more snaps. As this is one of the important landmarks and monuments, tight security is present around it.
We spent some time at the gate before going back to the car. A quick look at the parliament house and a stop for a few minutes in front of rashtrapathi bhavan for a couple of snaps we were of to the next location
The next place we visited was Indira Gandhi Memorial.
Indira Gandhi Memorial
The place is a museum housing countless photos and things of Indira Gandhi. The museum provides a insight into the life of the late prime minister. One can see photos of her in various avatars. Honarary titles and medals awarded to her are also some of her achievements and failures. The museum built within Indira Gandhi’s house also has a section dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi. The place also contains the spot where Ms Gandhi was assassinated by her bodygaurds.
The memorial is a worth a visit as one can get an glimpse into the life of Indira Gandhi.
Inside the Indira Gandhi Memorial
Indira Gandhi Memorial
Qutub minar the world heritage site was next in the iternary. As expected there was a huge crowd to see the monument built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak.This is one of the largest minarets in India.
The place was like an oven when I visited in june. The cooler weather made the visit this time more enjoyable. The place was given a major makeover and huge photos of other world heritage sites were put on display. A quick glance at the photos and we were off to see the minar. There was a guide explaining the history to a group of foreigners and we spent a couple of minutes listening to it before moving on. While my wife was looking around the complex I could experiment by taking photos from various angles.
Qutub Minar in various angles
The qutub minar complex also contains the tomb of illtumush.Spending some more time at the complex we went back.
It was already afternoon by the time we came out of qutub minar. The driver then took us to Delhi Haat an authorized govt handicraft ans cloth showroom. There are various handicrafts displayed there. Quills, sarees and other clothes are also present at the same place. Since the place is run by govt, prices are fixed and bargaining is not possible.
Couple of hours were spent shopping there and we broke for lunch.
Post lunch we visited lotus mahal which is a Bahai House of worship.The building is built in the shape of a lotus as the bahai believe the lotus symbolizes purity. The building is a meditation chamber.
The walls of the building contains the teachings of bahai. There’s also a pond surrounding the building
As the place is a meditation place one needs to maintain slience inside. Groups are formed by the people standing outside and they are let inside the building. We spent sometime meditating inside before going back. The place remainded me of the Pyramid Valley in Kanakapura which is built for the same purpose.
Lotus mahal was the last place for the day and we headed back to the hotel thus concluding a exciting day of outing