First full day in Delhi and it’s certainly been an experience. This city is a study in contrasts. Some of the world’s wealthiest people live almost along side some of the poorest. The colours here are incredible. The women in their colourful saris and other traditional attire are eye-catching and gorgeous. So much sparkle and so much colour everywhere.
Started off with a lovely breakfast buffet, everything from fantastic fresh fruit to surprisingly delicious tuna salad to tangy yogurt drinks and a variety of amazing Indian dishes (I can’t remember the names of the ones I tried but they were all yummy) or even mutton stew or chicken livers if you felt so inclined (I however, did not).
We visited both a mosque and a hindu temple in the morning. They were both beautiful. I’m enjoying learning more about the various religious beliefs and practices of all the major religions in the country. In the mosque it was funny watching the ladies of the group all shuffle around in their foot coverings wearing their borrowed robes.
There was also a brief stop at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial. It’s such a peaceful place in the heart of the city.
We also visited an archeological site that was originally a hindu temple and then destroyed and converted into a mosque. The minaret is the tallest structure which does not use mortar or iron just interlocking stones. The site is quite interesting and the intricate carvings on some of the walls are cool to see.
The most entertaining part of the visit though was the young lady who asked to have her picture taken with me which then became me joining in with their full family photo! Another group of ladies took turns taking pics with me until I had to leave to find my group. It was hilarious! Not sure what that says about me. I don’t dress pretty when I travel, but I don’t think I’m that funny looking. hahaha. Now I’ll be in random family photos. ; )
We also stopped at a Kashmiri industry shop where the virtues of single knotted carpets were extolled. Really interesting actually but I did not purchase an amazing carpet today.
We walked down one of the main market streets in Central Delhi. I know for sure I really don’t love markets. I’m not one to barter. I don’t like being grabbed or followed and the children begging for money breaks my heart. I know some people love getting in there and bargaining for a deal but I just get so overwhelmed and end up leaving with nothing.
Tidbits of Learning:
- The swastika is an important symbol – when drawn clockwise it brings positive energy
- It’s said there are 330 million different gods and goddesses in the hindu religion, essentially that there are too many to count. But their trinity consists of: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Somehow I just love that Brahma rides a duck.
- I never knew that Buddha is believed to be the 9th reincarnation of Vishnu
- When Kali is depicted with four arms, one of the meanings is that a woman is more than she believes. She can do many things.
Just came back to the room after our welcome dinner buffet at the hotel. Tried lots of interesting and unpronounceable dishes and all were very good. Mmmmm fresh hot naan to dip into everything!
Time now to get packed up so I am ready to hit the road for our travel day tomorrow. We’ll be driving to Jaipur in the morning. I’m excited to see what tomorrow holds!