Sunday, February 15, 2015

Via Delhi

Its been a while since a travel post. Not because we haven't been travelling, oh no! Its because our most recent trip was to India. North India, to be precise, and I had so much to share, I was quite frankly overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. So, inspired by Pickwick's posts, I decided to split the trip into the pitstops we took along the way. Also, these set of posts are going to be quite heavily architectural, so if unparallelled beauty in stone are not your thing, turn away now.
Right, We didn't have too much time in Delhi, it was supposed to be a brief stopover on our way to Agra, to show the kids the Taj (and for us, both our parents insisted we'd seen it when we were not even two, my parents further insisting I took a swan dive in the water fountain in front of the taj and thus spent most my trip there in shirts and underpants. A tale that was recounted by the grandparents to Pickwick much to his delight). So we decided to spend our day dropping in at the Qutub Complex - a journey made easily enough by the Delhi Metro, however, as with all things in India, what they forgot to mention was that the metro station wasn't really walking distance from the Qutub Complex. Oh no. That would be far too easy. So we need to take a Rickshaw (tuk-tuk for my foreign friends) from there to the complex. Short distance - If the Rickshaw - wallah isn't trying to hardsell the local markets to you or take you through shops where he's promised a commission. *sigh* So much for Atithi Devo Bhava
But the complex itself was marvellous! Pickwick was excited to see what he called 'India's first skyscraper' and the little one was just excited to see parrots roosting in the ruins. Me, I was freezing, but couldn't get over the architecture and the inscriptions, and the inscriptions on the amazing rust-resistant Iron Pillar.
The 'ancient India sky-scraper'

The iron pillar- originally a Dhwaja -Sthamba from a hindu temple

Inscriptions at the complex. Not in terribly good shape, although I heard the ASI is trying. 

The things that fascinated my little one. 

And the things that fascinated me :)
Another short-Rickshaw- metro- cycle rickshaw (yes those marvelous contraptions that run on human pedal-power) later, we find ourselves outside the Red Fort - which, for reasons unknown was shut to the public. Nevermind. We didn't lose the opportunity for a history lesson for the kids, and the whole 'Tryst with destiny' speech. and felt ourselves swell with national pride... for all of 30 seconds before we were glared at by a family of fellow Indian tourists for dallying at the spot for too long and ruining their photo-op, all the while trying to politely shoo away a bunch of vendors trying to sell us postcards.
The Indian Tiranga
Oh-kaay, time for another behind-numbing rickshaw ride- to Jama Masjid this time. Where we were greeted with more pigeons than people. Seriously. What is with those birds? Anyways,  if you've read my posts before, you know how much my kids love to chase these... winged things around. Apparently, at the Jama Masjid, wrong move. No chasing the birds. But apparently when they're sitting all peacefully, it is perfectly okay for one of those Masjid Caretakers to clap loudly so the startled birds take off as one, do a perfect circle around the masjid in formation and then resume eating their grain. *slow clap* (no literally, not too loudly in case we get shushed and chastised again)
military-formation birds-in-training

We did have time for Momos, and Desi Parathas long the way, and then it was on to Agra, and the Taj!

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