|Our Really Big Adventure|
Delhi - Day 2
| We finally fully awoke
after the fourth snooze on the alarm clock. Barbara keeps thinking that
we are on holiday. I keep telling her that a year's holiday is an oxymoron.
If you do anything for a full year then it is going to be work of one kind
or another. She replies by turning over and tucking the blankets around
her body and mumbling something vaguely insulting.
Eventually we get up and out. Today is our sightseeing day, come hell or high water today we are going to see Delhi. As we stood outside, trying to hail an "auto" (3 wheeled motorbike cum rickshaw), our hotel manager approached us and asked us what we were going to see that day. We replied and he informed us that we would be mad getting separate auto journeys from each attraction to the next. "You will end up spending $15 or $20 over the course of the day, why not let me arrange for a private car and driver for the day, it will only cost $12". So with one fell swoop our backpacker mentality was delayed by yet another day.
The first place that we went to see was the Qutb Minar, a 13th century complex dedicated to the power of Islam and the Mugal empire. The center point of the complex was the Qutb Minar tower which literally means "Pivot Tower", representing that Delhi was the center of all power. The stonework throughout the complex is remarkably intricate carved sandstone over a more robust structural stone. Despite the Mughals being Muslim, the complex has a Hindi feel to it - this is because most artisans employed in its construction would have been Hindi. The Gupta Iron Pillar, does not look so impressive today, but I imagine that at the time it was erected it was impressive simply because of the quantity of iron it used. The inscription is somewhat similar to Ozymandias' "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair".
We then drove to India Gate, which commemorates those that died in the First World War. We also saw the Indian government buildings, which were extremely impressive. However, due to current security concerns we were not allowed to take any photos.
After lunch we visited the Lotus Temple. This is the main Indian temple for the Baha'i religon. The Bahai region was formed about 150 years ago and is extremely open. It believes that all major religions in the world worship the same god, and that their teachings are basically the same. They also believe in the "oneness" of mankind, and that it is inevitable that we will unite as one. So presumably they are great supporters of globalization and Esperanto. We spent an incredibly serene hour here.
India is famous for its trains, and the national train company is one of the biggest employers in the world. Given present and historical importance of the locomotive, and a small personal interest, we decided to visit the National Rail Museum.
Here we got to see a large selection of various locomotives and carriages from India's famous train history including:
MTR-2 Originally built for the Karachi Port Trust by the British firm of Dick Kerr&Co in 1920. It is a small (2'6") locomotive with an oversized chimney. It also worked at the Marala Timber Depot from 1917-1922, after which it was finally brought to the creosoting plant at Dilwan on the Northern Railway.
I would go into more detail, only I suspect
that I'd bore you.