Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Touring Red Fort of New Delhi on Independence Day

New Delhi, the capital of India offers many points of tourist interest. On Independence Day we mainly focus on the Red Fort along with some experiences on the hotel, restaurant and shopping. After my stay in Varanasi, I left for New Delhi on this occasion in sleeper class. After the intense experience of Varanasi I will not be impressed by the sleeper class. So I settle into my bunk and observe the exterior landscape and the hustle and bustle inside.

In a stretch of the trip I find a professor who raves in praise of the wonders of Varanasi and its boundless historical aura. In the course of the tour my neighbors change and the teacher leaves his place to a new one. As the previous professor tells me the countless wonders of Varanasi I begin to understand the importance of this city.

For the traveler, the idea of ​​a city with a lot of history is assimilated to a great monumental heritage. Under this criterion I consider that in India there are a good handful of cities above Varanasi. At 6 o'clock in the morning the train stops in New Delhi and I head to Paharganj in search of a hotel. Now I'm smarter and they're not going to scam me. I select one from the sacred list of hotels in the Delhi travel guide.

The selected hotel is in a narrow alley and it has a tiny reception. I take a single room without air conditioning but with two fans. The hotel has a central patio, and I was able to spy on the AC rooms or double rooms that turned out to be reasonably spacious. I have breakfast in a nearby local restaurant with scrambled eggs toast.

Red Fort New Delhi wallpaper images travel

Our plan is to go to Red Fort as a complement to my previous visit to the Jama Masjid, the other main monument of Old Delhi. We walk to the Fort and enter through the Lahori Gate, in the center of the western wall. We proceed to the Chatta Chowk, a kind of bazaar of souvenirs and crafts inside the fort. During the tour the open spaces predominate.

After crossing the military pavilions of the guard we reached the esplanade where the Diwan-i-am stands. It is a place destined for the emperor to make his public appearances. In the direction of the eastern walls is another similar pavilion, the Rang Mahal whose purpose was to house the women and concubines of the emperor.

Another pavilion of women is the Mumtaz Mahal that today has been turned into a museum with luxury items, weapons and textiles of the time. To the north of the Rang Mahal is the Khas Mahal or the Emperor's private palace with its marbles decorated with filigree.

Further north of this pavilion is the Diwan-i-Khas which is the most luxurious building of the fortress with carved marble and incrustations of jade, gold and amber. It was the place where the emperor's throne was and he received the nobles. The hammams (public baths) and the small Moti Masjid mosque complete the panoply of pavilions and buildings of the Red Fort of New Delhi.

Once the visit to the Red Fort is over, just outside the door is the Digambar Jain Temple, the oldest of the Jain temples in New Delhi. After the calm and placidity of the Red Fort approaching this temple is like throwing us into a pool with a bang bang. The temple is interesting but even more so is the life that flows around it. The surroundings of this temple can be described as one of the most insufferable corners of Delhi.

In view of the heat and the environment, we decided to take a rickshaw to the area of Connaught Place. We snoop a little in the markets of the area. Here the price is somewhat higher than we can see in some markets. I spend the rest of the day walking through the Main Bazaar in Paharganj, and at times drinking a lassi in some shop. Everything has changed. The smell does not bother me. I see the show in peace, and I even feel comfortable.

One of the main hobbies is to look at the aspect of Western backpackers that swarm through Main Bazar. Now with a simple glance I can tell if they have just arrived in India or have already traveled many kilometers through this incredible country.

We had a beer on a terrace and eat some pizzas for dinner. We leave the premises around 11:30 pm. Since I'm in no hurry I decide to return to my hotel walking through the dark streets of New Delhi. I can now observe the infinity of people who sleep on the street or in the seats of their bicycle rickshaw. A boy with a eternal smile decides to accompany me part of the journey.

During the conversation, he says that his dream is to see Varanasi one day, which according to him is the most wonderful place in the world. I have returned from there, and so I confirm him his beliefs. Of course I will not be the one to take away the illusion. I have a shower and rest for the night under the noise of the fans.

Travel to the India Gate in New Delhi


prashant said...

the review is very apt and brings out the true aspect of the story. you can buy the book at: http://www.flipkart.com/books/9380349381?_l=DwV5aypZeHJJWAw4l9Jl7w--&_r=geejeQfghKgowErovEm1cw--&pid=it33f9bvrh

Prerona Basu said...

Prashant Sharma has a knack of surprising his readers. The element of surprise commences with the cover page of the book. What at first sight may seem to the unaccustomed eye as a teenage romance love guide will actually prove to be a thriller once the pages are slowly turned.
The story spins around the lives of three ruthless men who seek violence to achieve their private aspirations: some worth remembering while some worth questioning. The book which is tripartite in structure is neatly joined towards the end as the actions of each character enmesh the events which surround the others’ lives. The book really is a whirlwind ride that takes one into the very core of the Mumbai underworld and unfurls the ways in which it governs itself.
His witty phrases and ability to construct mind boggling situations, charges this book with breath taking suspense and enormous thrill. Through love, deceit, bitter hatred and vengeance the characters construct the plot and the end leaves the reader spellbound as everything neatly falls into place. The overall experience of reading was nothing short of watching a blockbuster action packed movie unfold in front of my eyes!

Kalyan Panja
Kalyan Panja is a photographer and a travel writer sharing stories and experiences through photographs and words