Touchdown New Delhi!
Like many cities in India, Delhi is as crowded as the Tsukiji Fish Market Auction at 5.00am, i.e., packed to the gills. New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the new. Delhi as a city, is very modern in relation to the rest of the country. Roads are wide and organized unlike some other rural parts of India.
The best way to see Delhi is to catch an auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk look-a-like) to the Red Fort and then just start wandering around the bazaars and old markets. We, however, did not get to spend much time in Delhi on the 1st day, because we were off to Agra at the crack of dawn the next morning.
It’s true. You will really notice the changing landscape from rich to poor .. from order to chaos, as you leave New Delhi. The rhythm and the style of life is different to the new “developed” India. To me, this is the real vision of an India which is beautiful, exotic, vibrant, sometimes shocking and always fascinating.
You cannot see clearly because of the limited ability of my “point and shoot” but this man’s face is a intricate mesh of lines and scars… he looked extremely weathered and extremely wise… He sold us our shoe covers for the Taj...
The Taj Mahal. It glistened in the sun. It took my breath away.
One of the greatest love stories ever told! The crowning jewel of Indo-Islamic architecture, the Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most beautiful and beloved structures. The monument was built in Agra, India, for Mumtaz Mahal, the favorite wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Construction of the tomb began in 1632 and employed more than 20,000 laborers for 20 years. According to the French jeweler Tavernier, who claimed to had seen the construction of the Taj Mahal from beginning to end, the white marble monument was erected at a time when the resources of the Mughal Empire were such that only the finest materials were utilized for the structure and its embellishment and when the quality of the craftsmanship available in northern India was probably superior to that of any previous period.
Known for its symmetry, the Taj Mahal sits on a raised platform surrounded by four minarets. Inside are delicate mosaic works and marble walls adorned with intricate patterns of inlaid precious stones. The emperor Shah Jahan is said to have celebrated the anniversary of his wife’s death in the mausoleum, kneeling before the cenotaph of white marble studded with gems and semiprecious stones, as prayers were offered up for the peace and repose of the empress’ soul. He was later buried next to his wife. How romantic!
The Taj Mahal, Agra is a must see for anyone traveling to New Delhi, India!