Firstly just a quick update from yesterday. Interesting headlines in today’s Times of India.
1) City enveloped in smog ….which blotted out the sun through the day. It was described by one expert as a ‘toxic cocktail of poisonous gases’. Not just me then!
2) ‘1322 traffic rules breaches in 25 secs on the ring road.’ The question here of course is why on earth is this news?
So another day in smelly Delhi. Actually I have to say I am loving it! So today we had our driver and set off without a guide. The driver made some recommendations on top of what we asked to do and he started by taking us to the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir (temple). This was a lovely place, very colourful with the images of Hindu god such as Vishnu, Lakshmi, Ganesh (elephant) and Hanuman (monkey). As always lots of people and really lovely and respectful. It was a good stop.
Then we moved onto Lutyens Delhi. This was very surprising as we hadn’t seen any of this yesterday and so to suddenly find ourselves in these wide avenues, with beautiful fountains and gardens and enormous official buildings was v strange. Nobody is allowed to park so it was also devoid of all the people elsewhere. India Gate is in this same area and is very impressive with an eternal flame for soldiers killed in the WW1 et al.
It may not seem it the way I am writing this but today’s tour was much more leisurely. So next stop Humayuns Tomb. We were too late to go here yesterday and it really was worth coming back. It is similar in style to the Taj Mahal but built in red sandstone and no minarets. The gardens and water features are particularly beautiful and presumably far less crowded than the Taj will be. It was quite exciting at one point when a load of soldiers and security guards flooded in to the building to check the place out it appeared that a famous film star was having a tour! Meanwhile I missed all this as I was making friends again with all the school children.
Last stop was the Lodi Gardens featuring a rather disappointing pond.
On to lunch which was a place Jane had found on Trip Advisor at Connaught Place. It is called Sarvana Bharvan and had huge queues outside waiting to taste it’s southern Indian cuisine. The queue moved fast and in we went. We ordered the recommended Thali and it was excellent food.
Connaught Place itself is a horrible place and I think we experienced our first scammers here as everyone seemed to want us to follow them away from the obvious shops to the big emporium. Hmm I didn’t like it and persuaded the others to get in a pair of tuk tuks and come back to the sanctuary of our hotel. Phew.
Tomorrow we fly to Varanasi ..so we’ll have to see what the Internet scenario is there.