Thursday, 27 February 2014

Delhi's Architecture

Each successive invader supplants the existing, and brings their own style. Below is a cross section of British, Mogul and local Indian indigenous. Hitler had his style through Speer.

I have avoided any detail, that in itself is another project, especially with Mogul design.

These pictures are the result of having rented a tuk tuk and driver for two days to get about in.

                                           An interior within the Red Fort

                                    Jama Masjid. Commissioned by Shah Jahan in
                                    about 1650. The largest mosque in India.

                                     Kalkajimandir. A very large Hindu temple

                                     Part of the Red Fort

                                     India Gate. Designed by Sir Edward Lutyens to
                                     commenorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in
                                     the First World War

                                             Qutub Minar. At 73 m it is the tallest brick
                                             minaret in the world.
                                     Hanuman's Tomb. An early Mughal Emperor
                                    from the 16c. Predating the Tag Mahal

                                    Birla Mandir. A Hindu Temple, with an Indian
                                    colour scheme.

                                     Bahai's Lotus Temple. One of the new religions
                                    founded in 19c Persia. Built in 1986.
                                     The Viceroy of India's HQ in British Colonial Times
                                    Designed by Sir Edward Lutyens.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

INDIA 2014

Standing outside Delhi Airport in short sleeves I took a deep breath of warm air. It is a new airport, they have also built a metro system to and in the city, all since my last visit 11 years ago. Doesn't time fly?

I had forgotten just how the traffic is. The way in to the city of over 17 million in a taxi was like taking part in one of those mad computer games for boy racers; live. The noise of blaring hooters became a din.

After being delivered to my budget hostel, in Pahar Ganj, which has a 90% rating on Hostelworld, at a cost of 3.54 pounds (no pound sign) a day, with en-suite. Cheaper than having the central heating on at home!

Soon I stepped out into my beloved old haunt of Pahar Ganj, an area of Delhi noted for its hippies from around the world, as well as adventurous budget travellers, in an area of narrow, winding streets jammed packed with small shops that spill onto the narrow road. One needs to both alert and quick to avoid the melee of hooting tuk tuks, passenger tricycles, and bullock carts. I assailed by traders, dealers and touts. Little cafes spill out, from where one can watch it all through a pair of sunglasses and a coffee in front of you as the world strolls by. This is all suffused with the smell of incense and urine, the sound of voices and Indian music, and shops full of colourful materials, mispelt signs and dangling cables. (People help themselves to power).

All I had to do was deal with the money makers, followed by obtaining a sim card and then I am ready for the start of my 3-month adventure.

                                        The miller whose business is at the entrance to my hostel

                                         My first meal, a thali, for under three pounds

                                         A material shop in Main Bazaar, Pahar Ganj

                                         The barber is just outside my front door. "Hot towel, sir?'

                                         A view across the street from my accommodation

                                         A delivery of rice to a shop  
                                          The school run, for those who can afford it

                                         The school bus

                                                       Biscuit producer and retailer

                                         Up market vegetable seller; he works at a higher level than the ground