So finally our driver arrived and he left it to us to decide on the day’s sightseeing. I was thinking if that was the case we never had to book these tour operator in the first place😏. I did not bother to hide my disappointment and guy understood my distress. So he came up with his suggestion quickly and we took off to Birla Mandir. The 2 seniors in our group were instantly impressed at this step😇. So we started by 9 and went straight to Birla Mandir. Next he took us to Balaji Temple nearby as he realised we were from the South.
Once these basics were over, we started the actual tour from India Gate. It was an extremely proud moment being an Indian, standing in front of the Amar Jawan Jyothi. Some special delegates were visiting the site and hence we could see the salutations.
We spent nearly 40 minutes there in spite of the scorching summer sun shining right above our head! We passed by the Rajpath and saw the Parliament house and Rashtrapathi Bhavan. We had decided to miss the museums as there was too much of walking involved and no one except me seemed to be interested in digging the past 🤓.
Our next destination was the Indira Memorial which was a lovely destination. There were many photographs displayed with Gandhiji and Pandit Nehru. What I loved the most was the book collection she had 😍.
The garden around was spectacularly maintained. The spot where she was shot dead was paved with glass blocks and marked.
Our next destination was the towering Qutub Minar.
It was an amazing feeling, in fact quite humbling to stand against the tower😇. Me and my husband are close to 6 feet tall and I have been called Qutub Minar many times by friends! Being able to watch the tall tower and take a selfie was quite exciting 😁. We roamed around the place and it was interesting to see the photo exhibition that showcased a lot of information.
By the time, it was past lunch time and after so much of walking around, we were all hungry. Strictly vegetarians that we were, we also loved typical North Indian food and were eagerly waiting to taste something authentic and tasty. Much to our dismay, the driver took us to some useless restaurant and the food was awful. Since it served non vegetarian food too, the seniors did not bother to eat much. We just ordered a little and managed to gulp it down. We decided not to depend or even consider the driver’s choice of restaurants anymore 🤢.
Next, we visited the Red Fort. Thanks to the driver who dropped us at the wrong entrance gate, we had to walk about 2 Kms around the fort to reach the entrance.
I can in fact write for days together about the Red Fort. We visited the museums inside the complex to start with. The entrance itself was quite interesting. There’s a market next to the entrance. It’s quite busy even now though only on the ground floor. Earlier, 2 floors were markets here! We probably had the very first malls operating in our country 😇.
Another hour or so passed by exploring the small mahals, some of which were being renovated and restored. From here, we went to Lotus Temple. On our way back to the place where the ill-fated driver had parked the car, I got sick and nauseated 🤢. Probably dehydrated and tired. There was no place to sit and take rest! But we managed to resume after 10 minutes of resting under a tree.
Lotus Temple was the ultimate place to visit. There was a long walk to reach the temple. The red hot sun could not stop us from visiting it though. It was unlike any temple I have ever visited in my life. It’s a huge prayer hall built like a blooming lotus flower. It was calm and cool inside without any air-conditioning! The Baha’i followers outside explained how they believed in meditation and prayer rather than rituals and worshipping. Me and my husband always believed in this and felt really happy. What more was that they use recycled water to maintain the huge garden and lawn around the temple.
It was getting dark and we had one more place to cover which was the Rajghat. It got pretty dark by the time we reached but we managed to see the place where Mahatma Gandhi was put to rest and the nearby places where many respected leaders of the Independence movement were also laid to rest.
by the time it was quite dark and we had to move back to our hotel. We decided to stop by at Connaught place for dinner. Indeed we made the right choice! We stopped in front of Haldiram’s restaurant and enjoy the dinner and by around 10 o’clock we were back in our room. It was a very long day and quiet eventful.
Catch you later with our Day 2 in Delhi.