Friday, December 31, 2010

Delhi delights

Brent has gotten his hands on a map of Delhi and circled a number of sights we need to see. True to his nature he books a car and driver at a very good price and we head out for an intense day of sightseeing.
First stop is the Shri Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Temple), an impressive Hindu temple that was inaugurated by Mahatma Ghandi in 1933 as a temple for all people of all faiths and castes. The Swastika can be found throughout the temple and in contrast to the Nazi Swastika (although it is exactly the same symbol) it is a sacred and ancient sign (8000 years old) that signifies a prayer for success, accomplishment, and perfection for all people.
Next we visit Qutb Minar which are remarkable religious buildings constructed in 1193 by Muslim sultan Qutb-ud-din. The buildings remind me of ancient remains that can be found in Rome although these buildings seemed to be more in tack. The most striking building of the little town is the five story red sandstone and marble towel. Brent particularly enjoyed this place as a couple of young Indian women asked him for a photo. He is receiving a far bit of attention and a few remarks about being Ricky Ponting. So much for women receiving all the attention!
From here we visit Bahai house of Worship, otherwise known as the Lotus Temple. This lotus shaped temple looks like a miniature version of the Sydney Opera house and is surrounded by manicured gardens and lagoon blue pools. Similar to the Birla Temple it welcomes all faiths and is a place of silence for meditation and prayer. In true Indian fashion everyone files in silently and then ignores the ‘silence rule’ and resumes their conversation.
Next stop is Humayun’s Tomb. This amazing sight is an example of early Mughal architecture from the mid-16th century. The tomb resembles a smaller version of the Taj Mahal and is made of white marble and red-sandstone. The area is surrounded by smaller and equally beautiful marble tombs and magical manicured gardens.
We drive past Parliament House and the Indian gate but the end of and highlight for the day is Gandhi Smriti, a memorial and museum where Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead on January 30, 1948 at 5.17 in the evening. We didn’t spend nearly enough time in this museum as it closes at five and needs at least a few hours to explore. The walls are lined with pictures and paintings of Gandhi and his life along with his words of wisdom and his story.
Outside, concrete footsteps depict Gandhi’s last steps as they lead to the spot in which he was killed. Until visiting this museum I didn’t fully appreciate the work that Gandhi had done and in a way is still doing for India. I think I will soon be reading a book about him and his life.
Inside the museum there is a wooden pole of some sort standing in a room. An Indian guide asks Brent and I and two other Indian women to join hands around the pole, the pole begins to illuminate. She directs me and another Indian woman who have a free hand each to touch a circle on the ground next to the pole to make our ‘people circle’ complete. As we do this the pole illuminates brighter. The woman tells us that it takes the joining of all people of all races, religions and castes to make the world brighter. She asks us to let go of each other’s hands and as we do the light fades. I am overwhelmed by her words that have been influenced by Gandhi.
After a long and exhausting day in Delhi we drink chai and eat  dhal and naan and retire to bed early.


  1. it sounds like brent is totally organised as usual. he has to cram as much as he can in one day sounds like you are both having a great time, all the best and keep safe , love from mum.

  2. Hi Kris and Brent Finally catching up with everything from christmas and find your journal fascinating to date. I am looking forward to the next entries. I hope dehli belly doesn't last too long!

    The Glanvilles