India 1


  Highlights of my Golden Triangle India Tour:  
Moon-light view of Taj Mahal, Agra
  Agra Fort, Agra
Amber Fort, Jaipur
      Jama Masjid,
of the Fatehpur Sikri
A room in the Amber Fort covered with thousands of delicate piecing of tiny mirrors and gems.

Central pillar of Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) in Fatehpur Sikri.
      Hall of Mirrors in Amber Fort. The whole room and corridor are covered in thousands of tiny mirrors. Magnificent!
         Taj Mahal Masjid, Agra

  With Friends Touring India  
        India is one of the world's ancient civilizations. It possesses a mystery I longed to explore. Yet the cultural differences pose as barrier for me to unveil the mystery. Nonetheless, I am fortunate my Indian colleague is visiting home so I took advantage touring India with her. There were times in this tour we faced challenges, like a fire in the city cancelled a train we arranged and an incident on the rail trapped us in a train for 12 hours! If it wasn't the wit of Pushpanjali and Catherine, my colleagues, I doubt I could have this smooth and wonderful journey. Thanks!

         Red Fort, New Delhi 

The Red Fort, completed in 1648, was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the walled city of Old Delhi. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Red Fort served as the capital of the Mughals until 1857.

This Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Private and Public Audience) is for public imperial audiences. Inside is an ornate throne-balcony for the emperor. The whole complex serves as a separator of the emperor's private residence area to other imperial guest.

Passed through the Diwan-i-Aam is the royal courtyard and private complexes of the Emperor. This Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private audience) is clad completely in marble, the pillars decorated with floral carvings and inlay work with semi-precious stones.

Inside the Diwan-i-Khas. The Emperor would sit on the staged platform with his guests by his sides watching dance or other performances.

Beside the Diwan-i-Khas is the Rang Mahal (or the Palace). The pavilions are connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht, or the "Stream of Paradise", that runs through the centre of each pavilion

The planning of the Palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals in its architectural elements the Hindu influences typical of Mughal building. The original ceiling was gilded and decorated with elaborate mirror work. The walls have marble relief carvings.

Hayat Bakhsh Bagh, or "Life-Bestowing Garden". This garden lies between the Diwan-i-Aam and the royal palaces. Now, this is the garden is full of the local Indians relaxing and enjoying time with friends and family. 

The Palace
Red Fort showcases the very high level of art form and ornamental work. The art work in the Fort is a synthesis of Persian, European and Indian art which resulted in the development of unique Shahjahani style which is very rich in form, expression and colour.

<- These pillars of the Diwan-i-Khas.

Water would represent a major ingredient in decorating the magnificent Red Fort.

Outside of the royal court are many other complexes. But they are likely in red stones than in white marble.

         Other Attractions of New Delhi

Lal Darwaza (Sher Shah Gate), the Southern Gate to the Sher Shah Suri's city. This ruin locates beside the Delhi High Court.

In front of the Presidential Palace are strip of Ministry buildings. I got there in the morning of November, of which it is common to have haze covering the whole New Dehli.

Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace) is the official residence of the President of India. It is the largest residence of any Head of the State in the world. In front of it is "Jaipur Column", topped by the Star of India.

India Gate - a national monument of India.

Purana Qila (Old Fort) is the inner citadel of the city of Dina-panah, founded by the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun in 1533 and completed five years later.

The Parliament of India. Though a democracy, the current political system in India can't protect the poor.

Connaught Place is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centers in Delhi. It houses the headquarters of several Indian firms.

Rajpath (King's Way) is the ceremonial boulevard for the Republic of India. It runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan through India Gate to National Stadium.

Delhi Metro. To me it is the newest (modern) facilities I saw over Delhi. It hasn't installed a smart card system so passengers need to line up for ticket.

Saree, the traditional Indian 1x6m of garment which women wrap around the body.

Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. The market is divided into areas which all the shops in the area sell the particular products like only books, only cloths, only auto parts, etc... 'Tis where I bought some hand sewed (with beads) head pieces as souvenir of India.

I can tell you that the local/non-tourist area of Delhi are not pleasant! It is dirty, dirty and very dirty! My overall experience of the trip is that I didn't feel dangerous at all as I was cautious all the time, but the dirtiness really makes me uncomfortable. I am those who want to feel the lives and experience of the local, but honestly I really can't...

My advice for myself in India is never go out after dusk. But I violated the guideline right on the first day and was kind of lost in the market. To make things worse, I overspent and had only US$0.25 equivalent of Rupee with me... (along with a 100EUR bill) Later what rescued me is the US$1 bill and the hiring of rickshaw driver who cycled 20 minutes bringing me back to hotel. What an adventures...!