Thursday, May 19, 2011

Delhi: Something Old, Something New, Nothing Borrowed, Something Blue

Welcome to Delhi,
Home to the World's Largest Democracy

Once again we stayed at an Oberoi property,  The Oberoi, New Delhi, an efficient yet very comfortable,  business hotel in the heart of New Delhi with impeccable service. Our plans for the three days included touring Old Delhi, New Delhi, shopping, and learning more about the fascinating life practice of Hinduism which reaches beyond the scope of religion and to humanity as a whole. While we had chosen to go "guideless" in both Mumbai and Arangabad, we were told that Delhi requ ired a guide...

Prem Our Young Tour Guide
Prem along with his accompanying driver, Prahdeep, picked us up around 9:00 am. Off to Old Delhi...

That Is Not a Glare... Welcome to Old Delhi...

An Indian Electrician's Dream (Work for a Lifetime)
Once we arrived in the center of Old Delhi we stopped to view and experience Jama Masjid. Commissioned  by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Jama Masjid was begun in 1650 and  took six years and more than 5,000 workers to build. It is the largest mosque in India. It is also known as the Friday Mosque and it was customary for the emperor and his courtiers to go to the mosque every Friday for attending 'Jumme ki namaaz', the congressional prayers. A magnificent example of Mughal architecture, Jama Masjid has three massive gateways - the largest and highest being on the east. This gateway was reserved exclusively for the stately appearance of the emperor.

The mosque faces west to Mecca (we are in India).The sprawling main courtyard is made of red stone and has a large marble tank in the center. The tank serves the purpose of making the water available for the devotees to wash themselves before offering prayers in the mosque. Three onion shaped domes made of white marble adorn the main mosque. They are inlaid with stripes of black slate. There are 130 ft. high minarets on the north and south of the mosque complex.Besides the exemplary architecture, Jama Masjid has great religious significance as it houses the sacred hair believed to have come from the beard of the Prophet and a chapter of the Holy Quran, said to be written by Him.

Jama Masjid Mosque

With Respect for All Women of Islam

Inside the Mosque

Individual "Slots" for Prayer Mats
(Available on a First-Come-First- Serve Basis)

The Red Fort,
Standing Nearby to the Mosque
Leaving the Mosque and driving by the Red Fort, we ventured to a tomb of monumental scale and grandeur. Humayun's Tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.

Humayun's Tomb
On to New Delhi. The India Gate is the national monument of India and is situated in the heart of New Delhi. Originally known as All India War Memorial, it is a prominent landmark in Delhi. Unveiled in 1931 the monument commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the  British Indian Empire in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War (familar and interesting war of nearly 100 years ago). It is composed of red sand stone and granite
India Gate
From India Gate we next visited North and South Block, New Delhi. The Blocks are at the top of Rasina Hill and are the the offices of a number of Indian Ministries. The Ministries are located adjacent to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and introduced  by  a provocative if not ironic gateway. On the gateway is the inscription which reads “Liberty will not descend to people; people must raise themselves to liberty. It is a blessing which must be earned before it can be enjoyed.”

Gateway to North and South Blocks,
also known as Secretariat Buildings

Rashtrapati Bhavan (Sanskrit for Pesidential Palace)
Shopping in New Delhi is an experience that should not be missed. Our wonderful Manager- Luxury Experience with Oberoi, Mona Pancholi Singh, sent us to Kahn Market.

Back to the Oberoi and ready for dinner at Threesixty. Restaurant Threesixty, manged by Sumegha Kharayat, excells in service, and oh by the way, served delicious food.

Fashion Supplied by Kahn Market

Krishna, a central figure of Hinduism
and is the central character of the Bhagavad Gita

 Finally, something blue. Krishna is usually shown with blue skin... but why is his skin blue?

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