Friday, April 8, 2011

~ Jama Masjid in Delhi ~

We flew in the morning to Delhi, so have 2,5 days to spent here. Not much for a city that has SO much to see!! But since we only had a week school break, this is what we have and we make the best of it!!

My friend Charu and me made a list of all the things I could do on 1 day and how to do it logistically. Her sons are living in Delhi (actually Gurgaon) and I am staying with them, but they work and go to college, so not much time to spend with me. But I have a driver with a car, which is a wonderful way of going around this busy city as well. With over 14 million people Delhi is also a busy city, but because it is spread out more than Mumbai it doesn't feel as hectic. It has more wide open spaces and big lawns with trees on both side, which you don't see much in Mumbai.

Lot's to explore for this short time, so let's go!! Our driver Dan Singh or DS as we call him is a wonderful guy from Nepal who is with the family already 10 years and also has 2 daughters, so he is a pleasure to have him as our guide for the time we are here in Delhi. I feel at ease with him and he is very patient when I want to stop to take some pictures. Most of these pictures of the road sides we did from out of the car. Because parking at places I wanted to shoot some pictures was almost impossible, so only the monuments we went out of the car and walked around. Which was already quite the adventure on itself, since it was not a tourist season, I was about the ONLY white person walking around on these sites, and people really looked and stared at me the WHOLE time. The kids thought it was the funniest thing, they would point out to me the people who where looking and pointing at me, but since I had my nose behind the camera I didn't really notice that much. Normally it is the other way around, they look at the girls because twins is still a bit of a specialty... although with all these IVF treatments these days you see them more and more... :-) Don't forget that it is HOT here in India and while sitting in a nice cooled car is so much more pleasant than walking in this heat. But we still walked for hours during these 3 days, don't get me wrong!!

First we drove a bit through the city and saw the government buildings, the prime ministers house and India Gate, all around a relatively small area... with a car. Very posh area with beautiful houses, all with a colonial feel to them. As I said we did this from the car.... window open, take a picture, and to the next stop. Seen that ~ Done that :-)

By the way I LOVE these cute little white cars that were driving around town, DS told us that they are only used for government people. Such an old feel :-)

Our next stop is the largest mosque in India ~ Jama Masjid in the heart of the Old City. It's huge courtyard can hold an incredible 25,000 Muslim devotees. The mosque took 13 years to build, and was completed in 1650. It is built in red sandstone and marble by more than 5000 artisans. It is covered with intricate carvings and has verses inscribed from the holy Koran. A stenuous climb to the top of its southern tower will reward you with a stunning view across the rooftops of Delhi. We didn't do that, but on top of the stairs you had already a nice view from the streets below.

Ablutions are made before praying...

Hands and feet and face are washed 3x before going into praying...

Standing on top of the stairs by the entrance of the Mosque, you look down into the Old City of Delhi. A hustle and bustle of activities and people.

Since we did so much each day because we had the driver who would drop us off at the gate or entrance of the monuments we wanted to see, I can't blog about it all on 1 day... so more to follow even from THIS day!

Tell me, have you been to Delhi and what are your experiences??
Enjoy your day!
Mireille xx

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