Sunday, January 6, 2008

My Delhi Trip

After twenty two years of me thinking about, dreaming about, researching, speculating, wondering and wishing, it is here. I came to delhi to see my daughter and my cousin family . In this Christmas season I made five days trip. Once in Delhi we saw some spectacular sights.Akshardam lotus temple and Qutb Minar amazed with their architecture. We went to India Gate. I saluted the soldiers who have shed their lives for the sake of country and people. Rashtrapathi Bhavan can be seen from India Gate. We went nearer to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan gate .Near Rashtrapathi Bhavan, we went to Secretariat Metro Station. This is one of the many Metro stations in Delhi. This station is under ground. The moment you enter the station after getting the tickets and security checks, you’ll see one of the technologically advanced metro networks in the world. The station is very clean and informative. Also, inside the train, there are display boards and speaker system. They announce upcoming station and which side door will open. Trains are very good and they maintain the timings. Also, it’s very clean. I felt like I’m in developed country.

Next to visit that day was Delhi Haat.Delhi Haat is a huge ground where you have craftsman and weavers from all around India exhibit their handicrafts & textiles; The best part is that each seller is allowed to exhibit only for few weeks, which guarantees variety and freshness. I didn't expect many people visiting such a place, but was surprised!. I was told that the main reason people come here is the sheer number of food stalls, you have stalls from almost all Indian States (Kashmir to Tamilnadu, Gujarat to Sikkim). This probably is the single largest variety of Indian Cuisines I have ever seen. When I left the place, I was certainly envying Delhiites that this place is not in my place. though I suppose it makes sense for it to be first created in the National Capital.

My cousin arranged travels for couple of days to visit Haridwar, Rishikesh, Agra, Mathura and back to Delhi. First we went to Agra fort, Agra Fort, located at a strategically important position, was the hallmark of Mughal political hegemony established under Akbar the Great (1543-1605). Akbar constructed this impressive fort, and it served as the power center till Shahjahan shifted the capital to Delhi. Agra Fort or the Red Fort is located on the banks of the Yamuna near the railway station, at a distance of less than 2 kilometers from the Taj Mahal.
In the afternoon we went to Agra. I had seen Taj Mahal in papers and television. I never felt it as magnificent monument. But, when I entered the premises and watched it, wow! It is truly a magnificent structure! We were the ones to visit it in peak winter season in blazing sunlight!!! As soon as you enter through the main entrance it’s a feast to the eyes. After getting our fill of looking at the Taj and when the eyes did wander a bit we were puzzled by the sight that met our eyes. The Taj we realized that one has to remove footwear and then go up to see the Taj. Since it was evening, cool air was breezing from river Yamuna. We spent almost 1½ hour here just watching Taj! We headed towards Mathura, birth place of Lord Krishna. After 2 hours journey, we landed in Mathura and went to Krishna temple. This temple is very big and beautiful. There were very strict securities checking while entering the temple. The icons of Krishna and Radha are very nice. Also, there was one big mosque adjacent to the temple. It looked like this mosque was built inside the temple premises.

Then we visit famous spots in Rishikesh. The shared auto dropped us at Ram Jhoola. From there, we took another shared auto up to Laxman Jhoola. At Laxman Jhoola, we waited for the bus to take us to Shivpuri. After waiting for 30 minutes or so, we found a bus. The bus started climbing up the hills. We could see the crystal clear Ganga flowing down the hills. When we reached Shivpuri, we were thrilled to find the amazingly clear transparent water. We could see the boulders and stones from the top of the Ganges water we headed straight for Laxman Jhoola What a sight Laxman Jhoola was! This jhoola connects two ends of Ganga without a single pillar in between. The bridge or the jhoola is held together by strong cables. When we set our feet on the Jhoola, we could feel the bridge moving. Even scooters and motorcycles run without fear over this moving bridge. There were langurs or white monkeys at the other end of the bridge. After Laxman Jhoola, we took a shared auto up to Ram Jhoola, our final destination in Rishikesh. Ram Jhoola is exactly like Laxman Jhoola; however, it was built earlier. Instead of going across Jhoola, we took a shared boat to go to other side of Ganges. We walked up to other side of the Ganges river through Ram Jhoola. The entire Gita Bhawan area was shining like a jewel. I wanted to stay in Rishikesh for few more days but time was not on our side. We took a shared auto to reach back to Rishikesh bus stand. We thanked God for giving us an opportunity to visit Rishikesh :) I never wanted to come back, it’s beautiful.

We had a superb road and a series of flyovers from Delhi to Gurgaon, the malls in this place are too good. Absolutely world class. Finally, I look up There is always something going on and anything you want you can have for the right price. However, there are people everywhere, and you have to fight to get what you want and find the things you want even if you are willing to pay for them. It's an incredible city. Diverse, like any big city. In Delhi though, all of those different ethnicities, social groups, economic classes, and lifestyles coexist, literally, side by side. There is no one "nice" part of the city, and any one area that is the "other side of the tracks." No wonder, India would become developed country in future... it was time to say good bye to Delhi.

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