Sunday, May 25, 2014

An Evening in Delhi

There's nothing quite like a completely unplanned trip. This past Sunday, my mom and I spontaneously decided to head to Delhi. We're staying in Chandigarh, which is in Punjab (north India), so Delhi is roughly a 5 hour drive or 250 km from here. A 5 hour drive back home in the U.S doesn't seem like too big of an endeavor but in India, 5 hours feels twice as long. To make things even harder, the temperature was 109°F. Even though the car had air conditioning, we still had to bear the brunt of the heat. There were some pretty unique sights on the way so that kept the journey exciting. Half way to Delhi there were farmers taking a large group of camels along the side of the highway. I got to see baby camels for the first time and they were sooo adorable. Super bummed I wasn't quick enough to snap a picture of such an extraordinary sight! 

We finally reached Delhi at around 5:45 pm and the first place I wanted to go to was the India Gate. Our driver wasn't really sure how to get there so I had to guide him using the GPS on my phone, thank god for Google maps or we'd have gotten lost every 5 minutes! We reached the India Gate just before the sun started to set and luckily the weather got a lot better so that made it easier to walk around outside. The area around India Gate was filled with Sunday picnickers and ice-cream stands. I really wish I lived in Delhi so I could come to India Gate and enjoy this whole setting in the evenings! My mom and I decided to walk along Rajpath, which is the road that starts from the President of India's Estate and the Parliament area down to India Gate. We walked a few minutes on the grassy area on Rajpath when we saw a man with two monkeys walking around asking if anybody wanted to see a show. I thought it would be fun so we asked him to go ahead. The monkeys were quite smart and while the female one danced, the male one showed the audience how old men act. People who were walking by started to gather to enjoy the show. Since we were the ones who asked him to do the show, the man sent one of the monkeys to ask us for money. My mom gave him 100 rupees and when the man asked other people to pitch in, no one was willing to spare even five cents. So basically around 20 people watched the whole monkey show for free while we essentially paid for them...typical India. After this, my mom and I walked back towards India Gate and it had gotten dark so it was lit up, making it look absolutely breathtaking. 

Later on we decided to drive through the roads that house members of the government because this part of Delhi is literally the most beautiful area in the whole city. All of the security outside these absolutely gorgeous and huge bungalows makes the members of the government of India seem like they are living on a whole different planet from the rest of the world. We drove through Janpath Rd, Ashoka Rd, and Akbar Rd. On Janpath, I was pretty excited to see the house of Sonia Gandhi, who is the president of the Congress Party and daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. On Ashoka Rd, we drove past the BJP party headquarters and due to Narendra Modi being elected Prime Minister in the recent General Elections, it was lit up and decorated as if a wedding was happening there. On Akbar Rd, we drove past the Congress Party headquarters and I must say it was looking pretty empty due to the Party's recent defeat in the elections. 

Next, we decided to go to the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara which is a Sikh Temple located close to the government area of Delhi (Lutyens Delhi). I had visited the temple during the day but going there at night was such a magical experience. The temple structure and surrounding area is made out of marble so the moonlight was reflecting on the floor and walls, making the whole place look so serene. The air was filled with the smell of jasmine and the marble felt cool and soothing in the hot was literally like a dream. Although I was only in Delhi for the evening, the experience I had in those few hours was so surreal. I can't wait to go to Delhi again because it is such a wonderful, diverse city. Here are some pictures from the trip:  

India Gate lit up in the evening 

Monkey show!

In front of 10 Janpath, Sonia Gandhi's house, this is about as much as you can see because of all the security measures 

No comments:

Post a Comment