A Travellerspoint blog

17 ~ Sea of faces : Bikaner

Bikaner’s havelis


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It was 2.15pm / 14:15 when we set off into town by tuk tuk with the wait by the railway crossing waiting for an inter-city train to pass. A captive sea of faces for my lens with the beautiful afternoon light. Soon the barriers were up and off we went to see the outside of some of Bikaner’s havelis.

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Posted by bruceontour 00:58 Archived in India Tagged haveli Comments (0)

16 ~ Really expensive wedding coming up : Bikaner

The Lallgarh Palace ~ Laxmi Niwas Palace


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The Lallgarh Palace

It was only 45 mins in the Fort itself before off to The Lallgarh Palace.

This vivid palace was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob and built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. This grand architecture was built using red sandstones. The Lalgarh Palace is a classic example of Indian, European and Mughal architecture, and is famous all over for its lattice sandstones. The palace also houses a museum and the fourth largest private library in the world. The complex features magnificent pillars, elaborate fireplaces, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework and filigree work. The Karni Niwas wing houses the Darbar hall and an art Deco indoor swimming pool.

https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/rajasthan/lalgarh-palace-and-museum.html

https://www.lallgarhpalace.com/

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Indoor swimming pool

Laxmi Niwas Palace

Next door was Laxmi Niwas Palace where that night in the grounds a rather lavish and expensive wedding was to be held and it was being set up.

http://www.laxminiwaspalace.com/

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Posted by bruceontour 00:24 Archived in India Tagged the_lallgarh_palace laxmi_niwas_pa Comments (0)

15 ~ Cloak & dagger stuff with insider help : Junagarh Fort

Beautiful colours streaming in with the sun behind


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Got into Bikaner at 1pm / 13:00 and it was straight to Junagarh Fort.

Look at the sequence of photos of the sign being changed while we waited the 10 minutes for Javed my local guide for the afternoon to arrive. Told him about my photography interest and away we went. He listened and just gave me what I will call the “Reader’s Digest” version of the Fort’s history but more importantly took me to best places to shoot photos. This was because he was a photographer himself!

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Junagarh Fort

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Although Junagarh Fort is one of Rajasthan's lesser-known forts, it's no less impressive. What's particularly notable about it is that it's one of the few forts in India that isn't situated on a hilltop. The fort is right in the midst of Bikaner and the city grew around it.

Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, built the fort during his reign from 1571 to 1612. He was a well-traveled expert in arts and architecture, and this knowledge is reflected in the fort's superb structures. Subsequent rulers added elaborate palaces, ladies quarters, audience halls, temples and pavilions.

The fort's original name was Chintamani. The renaming of it to Junagarh (Old Fort) took place in the early 20th century, when the royal family relocated to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. However, they continue to maintain it and have opened part of it to the public. Guided tours are conducted, and there are also two museums with many compelling royal artifacts and memorabilia.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-palaces-and-forts-in-india-1539345

Junagarh Fort is located amidst the Thar Desert and was built by Raja Rai Singh in 1594. Located on a sprawling land of 5.28 hectare, this place is studded with temples, palaces and pavilions. Its 986m-long wall, with 37 bastions, is surrounded by a (now dry) moat. Within the vicinity of fort, there are 7 palaces, viz. Bikaneri Havelies, Phool Mahal ("Flower Palace"), Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Ganga Mahal, Badal Mahal and Bikaneri Havelies.

https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/rajasthan/junagarh-fort.html

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Javed took me to a “secret” passageway with the stain glass providing beautiful colours streaming in with the sun behind. This passageway was not accessible to the tourists, so we waited to they had passed before I could enter. All cloak and dagger stuff with his insider help!

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Afterwards gave Javed a list of places from the various travel guides in Bikaner that I would like to see in the remaining time that we had.

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Posted by bruceontour 23:17 Archived in India Tagged junagarh_fort Comments (0)

14 ~ Temperature – 3.4C. Yes, MINUS : Mandawa to Bikaner

Day 4 : But I was toasty in my room


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Was told at breakfast that overnight the temperature fell to – 3.4C, yes MINUS.

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After a hearty filling breakfast, left at 9am / 09:00 and drove through to Bikaner.

The country roads had few vehicles and the low morning fog blanketed the fields.

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Pass a group of pilgrims going to Salis Temple.

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Saw fields of onion, wheat, garlic, kinnow a high yield mandarin hybrid and oranges. Many fields were being irrigated.

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Khejri tree

Used for firewood and fodder. It has no leaves.

Khejri tree is a tree mostly found in the desert. They have berrylike food called sangari. They can grow without much water. Its bark is used for medicine. These fruits are eaten by bishnoi tribes.

Culturally, the tree holds a very important place in lives Rajasthani people, especially the Bishnois. The tree (Prosopis cineraria) is considered as sacred as 'Tulsi' by many giving it an important religious significance. Before they begin construction of a new well, they offer prayers under a Khejri tree.

https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-google-coop&cx=partner-pub-6518056906525827%3A5879979398&ei=oHxLXPWxNMferQG08Ja4Dw&q=Khejdli+tree+&oq=Khejdli+tree+&gs_l=psy-ab.12..0i13j0i13i10j0i13j0i13i10l4j0i13l2j0i13i10i30.165697.165697..168542...0.0..0.174.174.0j1......0....2j1..gws-wiz.UUlKati4xe0

Another interesting article about the khejri tree …

http://peepli.org/blog/2015/09/17/the-sacred-tree-of-the-desert/

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Had to wait for a while at the railway crossing at Lachhmangarh.

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Lachhmangarh

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Onions

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Milk

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Chillis

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Time for the 10.30am / 10:30 morning tea break at Bharpalsar Bidawatan on the outskirt of Ratangarh.

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A field of Aleo vera plants with their orange tip.

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Posted by bruceontour 00:57 Archived in India Tagged khejri_tree Comments (0)

13 ~ Shame Mandawa Havelis need so much work to restore them

Age old beautiful buildings & paintings with little or no restoration or conservation efforts


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Left the hotel at 3.30pm / 15:30 for Mandawa.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

The small market town of Mandawa has more of a rural Rajasthani village feel and dozens of decorated Shekhawati havelis. However, some of them are sadly dilapidated. The town is dominated by an imposing fort, turned into a hotel. For a panoramic view over the town, head up to the terrace of the Mandawa Castle.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/shekhawati-rajasthan-travel-guide-1539655

What does Wikitravel have to say?

Mandawa is a town of approximately 25,000 in the Shekhawati region, Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. It is famous for its numerous havelis and the Mandawa Fort. The Mandawa Fort was built by Thakur Nawal Singh in 1755 AD. The fort has now been converted into a heritage hotel and is not freely accessible to visitors. Visitors have to pay a sum of Rs. 500 to visit the fort.

There are many grand havelis in Mandawa, noteworthy among which are the Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, the Goenka Double Haveli, the Murmuria Haveli and the Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli. All the havelis are adorned with beautifully painted frescoes on the walls and ceilings depicting Rajput rulers, traditions, mythological events and general daily happenings. Most of the havelis are however not accessible from inside, as they are locked or entry is barred by the owners. However, one can view a considerable amount of frescoes from a streetside view on foot. As almost none of the owners reside currently in these havelis, the conditions of some of the age old beautiful paintings are deplorable, with little or no restoration or conservation efforts.

https://wikitravel.org/en/Mandawa

Mandawa is also known as an “Open Art Gallery” due to the profusion of beautifully painted havelis both in the town and surrounding areas. I certainly agree that more than a few rupees are needed to restore them to their former glory. Unfortunately, many are left abandoned with just a caretaker looking after it as the owners have moved to the cities.

Deepak was my local guide of the havelis.

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Deepak

These are mansions of a unique residential architectural style that evolved around courtyards to serve the purpose of family security, privacy for the women as also protecting the inhabitants from the long, harsh summers. The enormous havelis with fascinating murals were built by the wealthy Rajasthani merchants (Marwaris) in the 19th century.

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Chokhani Double Haveli - Two separate wings built for two brothers

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Sneh Ram Ladia Haveli

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Sneh Ram Ladia Haveli

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View from roof top of Sneh Ram Ladia Haveli

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View from roof top of Sneh Ram Ladia Haveli

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Sneh Ram Ladia Haveli

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I was fortunate to be on the roof top of a Haveli when the sun went down around 5.35pm / 17:35, so I stayed a bit longer here to see it.

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In the fast fading light there was time to see another Havelli.

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It was a short walk back to the car through Mandawa’s short main shopping street. Again would have loved to spend more time here.

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Naveti Haveli turned into a bank

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Asked if I wanted to see some local hand sewn items such as the mirrored and embroidered patchwork which I did and guess what … “Do you want to buy?” It was so different to the textiles that I saw yesterday in Delhi. These were what I will call “rustic”. Not for me.

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Now 6pm / 18:00 and it was dark so time to head back to the Udai Vilas Palace for dinner.

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Three waiting staff, me and another couple for dinner. What better service could I ask for?
Dinner = Kadai Murg - A traditional preparation of chicken flavoured with onion and capsicum finished with tomato and grounded spices & gravy 490 rupees / NZ$9.90 / US$6.80.
Onion garlic naan 110 rupees / NZ$2.20 / US$1.50.
Mulgatwani Soup - a mouthwatering Indian soup made of lentils flavoured with ginger, garlic and lemon 250 rupees / NZ$5 / US$3.50.
Plus GST and a tip came to 950 rupees / NZ$19.20 / US$13.30.

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Weird and reminded me of my stay in the Sacred Valley in Peru where again I was one of the few guests and that time the only person at the hotel for dinner.

http://v2.travelark.org/travel-blog-entry/bruceontour/7/1326010033

Posted by bruceontour 00:56 Archived in India Tagged mandawa havelis nand_lal_murmuria_haveli chokhani_double_haveli sneh_ram_ladia_haveli naveti_haveli Comments (0)

12 ~ Why are most cars painted white? Delhi to Mandawa

Day 3 : Fields of golden yellow mustard


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

A 7.30am / 07:30 departure to try and avoid Delhi’s infamous commute traffic so it was an early up and breakfast.

It wasn’t that bad leaving Delhi in amongst the morning winter’s fog, or was it haze and pollution. I suspect a bit of everything.

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One thing that I quickly noticed was the abundance of white painted vehicles. Very few cars of other colours. Reason … Easy to repaint after the inevitable minor dings. I also will say tongue in cheek “a person who learnt to drive in India can drive in New Zealand but someone who learnt in New Zealand can’t drive well in India”. With the lack of road markings and how close they can drive next to other vehicles, tuks tuks and pedestrians, I was amazed that I didn’t see too many accidents. Just the odd near miss or “touch”.

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About an hour later after passing the airport, soon we were out of the city limits.

Then there were the many trucks going into Delhi loaded up with gravel.

School where Ashok’s children goes to.

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Passed Rewari where Ashok lives.

One feature of this trip would be passing kilometers and kilometers of fields of the golden yellow mustard.

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Passed a group of Jain with no shoes walking along the road. They practice ahimsa to the point that they wear no shoes so that they do not step on insects and kill them.

What is Jainism?

Thou shalt not harm

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion grounded in the principle of non-violence.

Their 'do no harm' approach extends to humans, animals, plants and even bacteria.

It's the reason Jains are strict vegetarians — they don't eat root vegetables because they believe the practice kills the entire plant, and any microorganisms living in the surrounding soil.

Jains only eat between sunrise and sunset to avoid accidentally consuming insects or needlessly killing bacteria.

But the faith affects more than just diet.

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Three hours into the journey a 30 minute stop for Ashok to have a meal break.

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Ashok

Local brick kilns were in this area.

Yes, I had a cup of tea but as it was too early for lunch, didn’t want anything to eat plus I had what I will call a double breakfast. This was to become the routine ... a huge breakfast enough to see me through till dinner. That plus my packets of orange Raro juice brought from home was enough for hydration during the day.

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Camels pulling loads of sand so at least there was something else for me to see from the road side.

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Huge bales of hay with most from Punjab being transported were to be a sight seen throughout the trip. It really fascinated me hence so many photos of that and the overloaded vehicles. Hate to see what happens when the wind picks up.

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This looks like more of a biscuit and it could be a unique sweet or possibly a peda (sweet) made out of milk solids and sugar shaped in a mould or with a hand.

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By now the sun was reaching the high of 23C / 74 F. Passed fields of wheat, more kilns, some with smoke billowing from their chimneys, the countryside quickly became dry. Dead dogs and animals on the road was something else that I didn’t see last year. Perhaps that was because I was sitting at the back of the bus as oppose to this trip being in the front passenger seat at the front of the 2.4 litre diesel Toyoto Innova. Much better than sitting in the rear passenger seat as most tourists do. At least I had a near uninterrupted view of the scene in front of me and out of my left window for my photography. Thanks for the unexpected upgrade of the vehicle. Plus, it had complementary wi-fi but wasn’t strong enough for a Facebook Live.

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The road for a short section got really narrow with just one lane sealed so it all depended on who was the smaller vehicle to move onto the unsealed section of the road. Local bus won this time.

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Arrived at the overnight heritage hotel Udai Vilas Palace which was out of Mandawa itself at 1.30pm / 13:00. So that was 5.5 hours from Delhi. This was my first heritage hotel and felt strange and empty. Sure enough of the 66 rooms available, only 3 were occupied that night.

It’s web site… spread over more than 3 acres of verdant lawns is a veritable oasis in the midst of the stark grandeur of the Rajasthan desert. The charm and charisma of Mandawa truly comes alive at Udai Vilas Palace Mandawa.
http://www.udaivilaspalace.com/

I was told several times through the trip that it is between 20 December and 10 January when the local Indians travel, whereas few international foreigners travel as they stay home for their Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Spent a few hours sitting in the sun on the restaurant first floor terrace above the pool. It was so peaceful after hectic bustling Delhi.

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View from my bedroom

Posted by bruceontour 00:55 Archived in India Tagged jain jainism Comments (1)

11 ~ India Gate : Delhi

Presidential House ~ India Gate ~ Ugrasen ki Baoli ~ Connaught Place


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Presidential House

Time to head back into town and pass some of the government buildings and Presidential House. Because of the security, couldn’t stop here so it was merely a drive by.

This vast, intricate work of mixed Mughal and Western architecture is one of the largest presidential residences in the world.

The Indian Presidential House (Rashtrapati Bhavan) in New Delhi is one of the world’s largest residential head-of-state houses. The building is 19,000 square metres (200,000 square feet) in size, with four floors and 340 rooms, and sits on 130 hectares (320 acres) in the city centre. The architectural style mixes Mughal and European traditions in an intriguing fashion.

The palace was initially built to house the British Viceroy in India and was designed by a British architect. The building was intended to symbolise the permanence of British rule in the East. In 1950, following independence, the first president of India took up residence there and the palace was renamed Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The whole palace has representations of Indian architectural patterns running through it. They include Buddhist railings and chhajjas, which are stone slabs below the roof that protect the walls and windows.

https://www.expedia.co.in/Rashtrapati-Bhavan-Delhi.d6074810.Attraction

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India Gate

Finally drove down towards the 42 metre / 138 foot tall India Gate which was already getting ready for the 26 January India Republic Day parade.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

The towering archway of India Gate at the center of New Delhi is a war memorial, built in memory of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army in World War I. At night it glows warmly under floodlights, and the gardens that line its boulevard are a popular place to enjoy a warm summer's evening.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-delhi-attractions-and-places-to-visit-1539209

Popular late afternoon with the local families gathering enjoying the open spaces and not doubt flying kites, playing cricket or simply eating from one of the street vendors.

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Pani puri or golgappa as they called it in Rajasthan. These are puffed puris which are served with potato and white peas filling, topped up with tamarind chutney and spicy mint water.

Eaten whole in one shot. Remember eating these at Mumbai last year down on Chowpatty Beach.

https://bruceontour.travellerspoint.com/51/

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Ugrasen ki Baoli

Didn’t want to stop for a walk around so it was back towards the hotel with a stop off at the Ugrasen ki Baoli (stepwell). Apparently you could see it from my hotel and looking afterwards on the map it was only several hundred metres away.

Ugrasen ki Baoli (also known as Agrasen ki Baodi) is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well on Hailey Road.
This Baoli, with 108 steps, is among a few of its kind in Delhi. The visible parts of this historical step well consist of three levels. Each level is lined with arched niches on both sides. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrasen_ki_Baoli

To me this was a bonus as the pictures of stepwells that I have seen, they are square whereas this one was so rectangular.

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The street art outside was also interesting and colourful.

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Now 3.30pm / 15:30 and the tour of both old and new Delhi was over.

Connaught Place

Got a local dinner restaurant suggestion from Gautam and after getting some warm clothes for the evening, off to find it near Connaught Place. With sunset just after 5pm / 17:00, just had enough time to see a little bit of this area.

Dressed as a tourist and standing out as not a local in a touristy area of Delhi, I was approached several times by well-meaning locals offering me help and advice, but had to be really travel smart, street wise and being on my guard, gracefully declined. I am sure that they were well meaning.

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Managed to get a shot or two of the sun fast dropping below the horizon along with the super large flag pole in the middle of Connaught Place’s Central Park.

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So many people were out. The streets were crowded with people going home or simply out shopping, eating or going to the cinema.

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Dinner at Garam Dharam = Dhaba theka paneer makhana 395 rupees / NZ$8 / US$5.50.
Jerra rice 225 rupees / NZ$4.60 / US$3.15.
Plus GST and a tip came to 720 rupees / NZ$14.60 / US$10.

Jerra rice as well as garlic naan bread were to become a favourite of mine on this trip.

https://www.facebook.com/garamdharamdhabadelhi/

Outer Circle | M-16, Ground Floor, Connaught Place

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Posted by bruceontour 01:26 Archived in India Tagged india_gate ugrasen_ki_baoli connaught_place presidential_house Comments (0)

10 ~ Wonder how many bricks to build Delhi's Qutub Minar?

Tallest brick minaret in the world


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Love at the Qutub Minar the options for the 4 entranceways. Which one was I? Queue for high value ticket holders - Gents.

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Even with the high midday winter’s sun, the colours as you can see during the 30 minutes here (1.40pm / 13:40 to 2.10pm / 14:10) were still good for photography.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Qutab Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world, is an incredible example of early Indo–Islamic architecture. It was built in 1206, but the reason remains a mystery. Some believe that it was made to signify victory and the beginning of Muslim rule in India, while others say it was used to call the faithful to prayer. The tower has five distinct stories, and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Quran.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-delhi-attractions-and-places-to-visit-1539209

Delhi's Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world and one of the most popular monuments in India. Its rather dizzying height of 238 feet (72.5 meters) could be the size of a modern 20 story high-rise residential building! The monument's stark, soaring appearance evokes a sense of mystery, as do the extensive Hindu and Muslim ruins around it. The ruins reflect the violent end of Hindu reign in Delhi in the late 12th century and takeover by the Muslims. In recognition of its historical importance, the Qutub Minar complex was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/delhis-qutub-minar-the-complete-guide-4172571

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Posted by bruceontour 23:55 Archived in India Tagged qutub_minar Comments (0)

9 ~ Humayun’s Tomb : Delhi

Want to see some textiles & how carpet is made?


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Next up was Humayun’s Tomb, also known as the forerunner to the Taj Mahal. After the explanation I had just 15 minutes to explore.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

If you think Humayun's Tomb looks a bit like the Taj Mahal in Agra, that's because it was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal's creation. The tomb was built in 1570, and houses the body of the second Mughal emperor, Humayun. It was the first of this type of Mughal architecture to be built in India, and the Mughal rulers followed it up with an extensive period of construction all over the country. The tomb is part of a greater complex that's set among beautiful gardens.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-delhi-attractions-and-places-to-visit-1539209

Humayun's Tomb is a top Delhi attraction and one of the city's prominent Mughal-era monuments. It contains the body of the second emperor of the Mughal Dynasty, Emperor Humayun, who reigned in the 16th century. However, mysteriously, it wasn't completed until nearly 15 years after his death.

Humayun's Tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. The grandiose monumental mausoleum, with its elaborate garden setting, was the first of its kind in India. It created a new style of Mughal architecture, which served as inspiration for later Mughal monuments such as the Taj Mahal.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/humayuns-tomb-in-delhi-the-complete-guide-4177529

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Asked if I wanted to see some textiles and how some carpet is made. Of course I did ... Yes, it was a sales pitch to buy some carpets and no, I did not! The first of many on this trip but I was warned beforehand. Got good at saying “NO” politely and walking out despite stating at the outset that I am not on a souvenir shopping trip.

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Posted by bruceontour 01:24 Archived in India Tagged humayun's_tomb Comments (0)

8 ~ Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi : Raj Ghat


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Not far away was Raj Ghat and 10 minutes was enough to walk up to see down to the black marble platform that marks the cremation spot of the Father of the Indian Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi,India. On the west bank of the Yamuna River. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, on 30 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns at one end. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. Thanks Mr Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raj_Ghat_and_associated_memorials

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Posted by bruceontour 00:41 Archived in India Tagged mahatma_gandhi raj_ghat Comments (0)

7 ~ But would I wear it back home? Chandni Chowk - Delhi

Was tempted to buy a Pagdi ... but would I wear it back home?


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Still on foot it was through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk with its narrow alleyways. Yes, very easy to get lost in here!

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These are just pooris / puris which are made out of wheat flour, rolled into small discs and deep fried/puffed.

Served with aloo subzi (potato vegetable) or any runny curry (not like chicken masala or paneer masala).

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Chandni Chowk, the main street of old Delhi, is a shocking contrast to the wide, orderly streets of New Delhi. Cars, cycle rickshaws, hand-pulled carts, pedestrians, and animals all compete for space. It's chaotic, crumbling and congested, but completely captivating as well. As one of the oldest and busiest markets in India, its narrow winding lanes are full of inexpensive jewellery, fabrics, and electronics.

For the more adventurous, Chandni Chowk is an excellent place to sample some of Delhi's street food. The renowned Karim Hotel, a Delhi dining institution, is also located there.
https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-delhi-attractions-and-places-to-visit-1539209

Everything you've imagined about India being tumultuous and teeming with activity comes to life at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. This prominent thoroughfare and surrounding market area is one of the most crowded places in India. Yet, it's also where you'll get some of the best street food, spices, and bargain goods.
https://www.tripsavvy.com/chandni-chowk-delhi-the-complete-guide-4177530

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By chance as it turned out I passed Haveli Dharampura where Eve my travel agent would be staying later next year. The photo of the entrance way is certainly so different to their web site!

http://www.havelidharampura.com/

Look at their “then and now” photos of how the place has been restored.
http://www.havelidharampura.com/then-now/

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Down another alleyway where shop after shop were wedding material suppliers. Yes, I was tempted to buy a Pagdi / pugdi/ pagri but, would I wear it back home?

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Not knowing how long that I was to spend at the remaining sites today, I wish that I could have spent much more time here as 30 minutes was certainly not enough for my “street photography”.

Back towards the main street and into a tri-cycle for the very short ride back to Jama Masjid and the car.

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Posted by bruceontour 13:16 Archived in India Tagged chandni_chowk pagdi Comments (0)

6 ~ Wouldn't want to be here with 25000 Jama Masjid : Mosque


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After a brief explanation by Gautam, 20 minutes was all that I needed inside the Jama Mosque. This is the largest mosque in India holding 25,000 people in its courtyard.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Jama Masjid is another marvelous treasure of the Old City, and it's one of the largest mosque in India. Its courtyard can hold an incredible 25,000 devotees. The mosque took six years to build, and was completed in 1656. A strenuous climb to the top of its southern tower will reward you with a stunning view (albeit obscured by metal security grills) across the rooftops of Delhi. Be sure to dress appropriately when visiting the mosque or you won't be allowed in. This means covering your head, legs and shoulders. Attire is available there.
https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-delhi-attractions-and-places-to-visit-1539209

A prominent landmark and one of the top tourist attractions in Delhi, Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) is also the biggest and best-known mosque in India. It will transport you back to the time when Delhi was known as Shahjahanabad, the illustrious capital of the Mughal Empire, from 1638 until its fall in 1857.
https://www.tripsavvy.com/delhi-jama-masjid-guide-4162023

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Didn’t climb the southern tower.

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View from the front steps looking towards Old Delhi

Posted by bruceontour 23:53 Archived in India Tagged jama_masjid Comments (0)

5 ~ Roti or Naan

Day 2 : Delhi's bustling street scene


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For this blog I will mainly use tripsavvy with their brief explanation plus give you the links so that you can undertake your own in depth reading if interested. Thanks https://Tripsavvy.com !

Ashok my driver and Gautam my Delhi local guide were waiting for me so off we went towards the first sight of the day, Jama Mosque.

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Gautam

Sitting in the front passenger seat, it was off along the road that I had just walked. We crossed the city into the walled gates of Old Delhi. I quickly started to capture the bustling street scene, goats and sometimes not knowing what I was taking till afterwards like the tri-cycle hearse.

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Delhi Gate which was not like the more impressive India Gate that I would see later in the day.

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It was out of the car walking passing tri-cycles packed with produce, side walk vendors with their fruit neatly stacked up, the halal baffalo (buffalo) meat shop, homeless sleeping on the sidewalk, rubbish collectors who will no doubt sort through it to see what can be recycled and sold.

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Boxes of dates

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Tandoori Rotis it is.

Difference between Roti and Naan

Key Difference: Both are types of flatbread.

Roti is generally made from whole wheat flour and is cooked either on a tawa (flat skillet) or in a tandoor (oven).

Naan is cooked from all-purpose flour, is leavened, i.e. uses yeast, and is cooked in a tandoor.

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Puri (also spelled Poori) is an unleavened deep-fried bread, originating from South Asia. It is eaten for breakfast or as a snack or light meal. It is usually served with a savory curry or bhaji, as in Puri bhaji, but may also be eaten with sweet dishes.

Puris are most commonly served at breakfast. It is also served at special or ceremonial functions as part of ceremonial rituals along with other vegetarian food offered in prayer as prasadam. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puri (food)

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Poori

Then down a small non-descript alley way was the famous Karim’s Hotel.

Karim's Hotel or Karim's is a historic restaurant located near Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, Old Delhi, Delhi, India. Established in 1913, the restaurant has been described as "synonymous with this area" (Old Delhi) and "arguably the city's most famous culinary destination". Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karim%27s

Serving non-vegetarian food, Karim’s boasts to be Delhi’s best restaurant when it comes to Mughai cuisine. Why? The reason being the same old taste, the quality which is still maintained, which has created a brand value. Started with one restaurant here in Jama Masjid and now the restaurant chain has been expanded to multiple locations in India and even one restaurant in Dubai.

http://karimhotels.com/

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Posted by bruceontour 22:57 Archived in India Tagged karim roti karim's_hotel naan Comments (0)

4 ~ "Turn left" means ...

Day 2 : What one does with 30 spare minutes in Delhi


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Having breakfast and from the restaurant window Delhi turned on one of its usual winter’s foggy morning. With the travel and time zone changes, I was wide awake early so decided after breakfast to use the 30 minutes that I had before my 9am / 09:00 pick up and walk the local streets towards Connaught Place.

Hotel staff said “Turn left” which I did … but they didn’t say that as the hotel was on the corner, it is at the lights turn left. Never mind, enjoyed the walk along Maharaja Ranjit Singh Marg over the railway tracks passing the park where Muslim ladies all covered up head to toe were exercising towards the intersection with Mirdard Marg where 15 minutes later it was time to turn around.

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Standing at the intersection watching the traffic and people go by, the memories of my previous trip a year ago to India quickly flooded back … mainly the street vendors, bicycles, tricycles, tuks tuks and of course the noise of the horns. Hate to think what it would be like later as it was still early for India.

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Posted by bruceontour 23:14 Archived in India Comments (0)

3 ~ "Premium Economy" is like "Cattle Class" bulkhead

Touch down in Delhi


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Dinner

The just over 5-hour flight “Premium Economy” from Hong Kong to Delhi was so uncomfortable after that “Business Class” experience. To me it was no different to having a “Cattle Class” seat up by the bulkhead like on many of my previous trips.

What a huge difference between “Business Class” and “Premium Economy” in so many different little ways. I know what I want going forward but is it really worth it?

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Delhi

Arrived Delhi with its 13C and the pilot said that there was 2000 metres visibility through the local smoke and haze.

Having worked out my budget, money exchange and out to the arrival area where a local agent holding my name on a signboard was waiting for me.

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Met Ashok my driver for the trip and off to the 4 Star Hans Plaza hotel.
https://www.hanshotels.com/connaughtplace-newdelhi/

Posted by bruceontour 01:47 Archived in India Comments (0)

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