Thursday, April 20, 2017

4/16 -- Exploring Delhi

We had been to Delhi before in the interim between our Thailand and Nepal trips, but the planes and trains left and arrived in darkness and all we ever did was transfer from a travel mode to an overnight stay and back to transit, so this was a new experience for us.  It sort of wore thin around 3pm when me dual nights of less than 3 hours sleep each night caught up with me, but it was generally pretty interesting.

Buses are not allowed to stop for us to take photos, so we mostly had to shoot thru the bus window except for the two excursions when we got off the bus.  Plus, it was seriously hot. Summer has arrived early and it was at least 104 outside as we explored. This made mostly being on the bus a good thing, but the most interesting parts were out in the heat.

We  met our fellow travelers at 10 am, along with our trip leader, Chimi, a Bhutan native. This is an unusually small group of 8 (which suggests that at least 2 people had to bail after the trip was committed) and Jim is the only man. He will either be run ragged trying to excel at helping all the  ladies or be basking in the attention.

We drove through New Delhi, primarily built by the British, to Delhi, the old city.We ended up spending a lot of time in an old section, near an enormous mosque that looked more like a stadium from the outside. We got a pedicab ride through the Muslim area, then walked through the surrounding  lanes, getting a closer look and explanations of what we saw. There were several old and large buildings that were unused, called haveli . In the past these had been places of business, possibly with residential  space but were no longer productive to use. However, customs keep people from selling because if someone sold the building the local presumption would be that they were bankrupt which would be bad for the real business which operated elsewhere.
Above and below: sights on the way from New Delhi to Delhi

Boys in the background are swimming in this decorative pool.

Crowded Sunday Market

Electrical connections in the old parts of Delhi

Lynn and Jim with our pedicab driver. He had
to work pretty hard to pull the two of us.

More wires

Two of three domes in the huge  mosque

Exterior of a haveli. People are hoping to raise funds to turn
it into a hotel.
Our last stop was an unfinished mosque (called the Alai Darwaza) that replaced a Hindu temple, so it was a combination of styles. The very tall tower called Qtub - Minar had been completed as well as a small dome, but a larger tower barely got off the ground and the other domes were poorly constructed.  
The uncompleted tower

The complex from a distance

Jim at the unfinished tower

Jim's artistic capture of the tower.

Tower closeup

Above and below: Outside and inside of the true dome

The heat was awful -- 105 -- and we were operating on less than 3 hours sleep we were able to get in before the days' activities started, so my interest  level was somewhat lacking. I was very glad to get back to the hotel and rest a bit before our Welcome Dinner. At dinner, we had either started adapting to heat or the restaurant had really cramked up the AC and we all ended up wearing jackets and sweaters, which was an improvement from melting outside.

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