8 Delhi, India: The Golden Triangle PART THREE

8 Delhi, India: The Golden Triangle PART THREE

Yamuna River Delhi, India

We were nearing the end of our tour of the Golden Triangle. As we approached Delhi from the Southeast, we crossed the Yamuna River again. We went through densely populated, poorer areas. As we neared the town, I noticed that most buildings were tall and rectangular. We finally reached New Delhi, the capital of India. This part of town, with its beautiful, modern buildings, tall trees, green lawns, and lush shrubberies, starkly contrasted with Old Delhi. We booked into the beautiful Taj Palace Hotel and settled in for the night.

Red Fort, Delhi, India

Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned this palatial complex in 1639 when he decided to move his capital from Agra to Delhi. Mughal emperors continued to live in this UNESCO-listed Red Fort (Lal Qila) in Old Delhi. In the Mughal architectural style, the buildings combine Indian traditions with Persian palace architecture. 


Central Delhi crowd, India

Old Delhi is undoubtedly a busy, noisy, and densely populated place. People thronged the streets, hawkers plied their wares in every available space, and motorcycles, green and yellow trucks, and buses caused further congestion. 





Bicycle Tuk-Tuk ride, Old Delhi, India


We experienced the sights and smells of Old Delhi up close and personal when we took a bumpy bicycle tuk-tuk ride through the bustling Chandni Chowk market to the Jama Masjid. Rows of cycle tuk tuks lined the streets, drivers stretched out fast asleep while waiting for business. A thin, balding, middle-aged man pedaled our tuk-tuk. We entered a narrow street where the rooftops nearly touched each other, and wires dangled crisscross overhead. Children hunched against large, corrugated iron doors. Hidden in the confusion were shops displaying beautiful dresses on street clotheslines. As we jolted along the uneven road, there would be a sudden confusion of beautiful, bright lengths of embroidered cloth hanging from the walls, a jumble of sandals heaped in a pile, or a pushing cart with different colored curry powders. This tuk-tuk ride was a riveting, eye-opening experience.


Gate of India, Delhi, India


We caught our breath on the bus and enjoyed the smooth ride to see more New Delhi's iconic sights. We stopped at India Gate, a monumental sandstone arch about 138 feet in height. The Imperial War Graves Commission ordered the erection of the Gate of India to commemorate the troops of British India who died in battles between 1914 and 1919.








Raj Ghat, Delhi, India

Visiting Raj Ghat, a memorial marking the site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, was a welcome change to the adrenaline rush of the city. We strolled along the manicured garden paths and enjoyed the green lawns. I looked down at the memorial from the top of one of the slopes and then sat on one of the benches to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Debby crossed a low bridge and followed the path below to visit the cremation slab up close.

Indian lunch, Delhi, Indian

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at an Indian restaurant with charming hostesses. Although I could not identify the various small plates and bowls, I was willing to taste a variety of offerings.  






Qutub Minar, Delhi, India

Our last stop was at a UNESCO site, Qutub Minar, the highest tower in India, measuring 240 feet. Muezzins call Muslims to prayer from minars. We fought long lines of people waiting to get in and tried to stay together. The entrance had the following signs as guidelines for the queues: Foreign tourists, Indian ladies, Indian gents, children, and emergency gate. Families enjoyed the gardens around the buildings. Qutbu'd-Din Aibak built the first red and buff sandstone story in AD1199, and his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish, added three more twelve years later. Supported balconies decorated like honeycombs surround the different stories. The Qutub complex has other interesting sites: a mosque, a domed gateway to the mosque, an Iron Pillar, and a burial place. I was fascinated by the Arabic and Nagari characters and images carved in stone.


Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi, India

We enjoyed our last few hours at the beautiful Taj Palace Hotel on six acres of green gardens. We had a lovely view of beautifully manicured shrubs and trees from our window. I decided to swim in the beautiful big swimming pool. I had hardly done a single length when the weather suddenly changed. One moment, sunny and bright; the next, dark skies, rumbling thunder, and a deluge! By the time I reached the door to the hotel, I was walking through ankle-deep waters and drenched to the bone — certainly a memorable end to an amazing life-changing tour and a highly recommended Viking cruise. 

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