Delhi

Arriving in Delhi from Kolkata was just a continuation of the big city craziness. There were cars constantly honking, people shouting, and motorcycle mirrors grazing my arm as they whizzed by. Contrary to Kolkata, I did have a much easier time getting from the airport to the city via the metro express line.

I knew I didn’t want to stay long in Delhi, so I had to pack in seeing the main sites into two and a half days. I used the metro a lot, as it was the cheapest way to get around. The Delhi metro was a crazy world unto itself, but it got me where I wanted to go.

The first marathon day, I decided to visit the mosque Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and the Red Fort. On the way to Jama Masjid, I heard some beautiful mystical music coming from a Sikh temple and went inside to listen and escape from the suffocating heat and mugginess of outside.

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Afterwards I headed to Jama Masjid. It seemed so close on the map, but in a huge city like Delhi a map can be extremely misleading. Arriving there I had to take off my shoes and walk the length of the enormous square before the mosque. The red stone floor was burning hot and sometimes I had to dance around until I found shade. The mosque is really a beautiful structure. Its architecture reminded me of mosques I had seen in Uzbekistan several years ago. I’m quite drawn to places of worship, be they Europe’s massive cathedrals, to middle eastern mosques, to the wats of SE Asia or more recently the Hindu temples in India. It’s not about religion for me. I think these places are built on locations that have a powerful energy. Also, as an introvert I like spacious places where everyone has to shut the hell up while inside.

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I got some food when I was done at the mosque and went over to the Red Fort. The spacious grounds are quite pretty and I enjoyed reading about the history of the place. I met some young Indian men who took turns taking pictures with me and asking me personal questions.

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The next day, I went a considerable distance in the metro to reach Humayun’s tomb. The tomb served partially as an architectural model for the Taj Mahal. The red stone and marble give it a very regal flare. Better still, because of its distance from the center there were not many tourists. I walked around for a while and decided to call it a day after I had sweated so much that my pants were sticking to me and my shirt was so wet I would have won a wet t-shirt contest. That same evening I caught a bus to Mcloed Ganj, a wonderful place.

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