funny road signs
the one funny thing about delhi i found was the funny road signs, which are all around delhi.
for instance in this photo you will find a tree in the middle of the road, well we all know its a tree from a distance. who are the fools who need to come close to the tree to read the sign stating that it is indeed a tree and not a building.
THE BEST SHOPPING AVENUE IN THE WORLD!
There's probably no other shopping avenue in the world which comes even close to matching the vibrant, unique encounter which is Connaught Place.
First, there's a really interesting structure which defines this Avenue. Connaught Place (popularly called CP) is a never-ending collection of shops, each located within beautiful, colonial-style buildings... rich in character and stories.
There'll easily be around a thousand shops per 'block', and the blocks are arranged alphabetically. I walked through blocks A-H, and lord knows how many more there are. You do the math!
During our Tour, our guide took us to this restaurant. One simple reason for his choice: He is getting a commission. But the restaurant looks very nice and the food was good. We had Kashmiri Pulao (Rs 160) and Malai Kofta (Rs 150) with Garlic Nan (Rs 55). Water comes at Rs 40.
Amar Jawan Jyoti
There is a shrine burning under the arch of India Gate since 1971. It is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal warrior), signifying the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is a black marble cenotaph placed on an edifice with a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet. At four corners of the edifice, there are four torches that are perpetually kept burning. It was unveiled on Republic day of India, January 26, 1972 by the then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, closely after the 1971 India Pakistan War. Even today, during national ceremonies, homage is paid at this site by the President, Prime Minister or high officials.
L'al Qila / Delhi's Red Fort
The Red Fort is a grand example of Moghul architecture and power, another grand building project authored by Shah Jahan. (the guy who built the Taj Mahal) It was built in the early 17th century, and was home to thousands of members of Shah Jahan's court, as well as lesser bureaucrats and what we Americans would call "hanger-ons". After political and violent confrontations with the locals in the mid-19th century, the British moved into the Red Fort and barracked themselves there for quite a while.
The main entrance to the Red Fort, from just abeam Chandni Chowk, is called the Lahore Gate, named for the far-off city that it "faces".
Numerous palaces and other structures are contained within the massive space and walls of the Red Fort, including:
The Mumtaz Mahal, dedicated to Shah Jahan's queen Mumtaz - the lady who is interred in the Taj Mahal. These days, the Mumtaz Mahal is the Red Fort Museum.
The Rang Mahal, home to "royal ladies", meaning whatever your mind lets it mean. :)
The Khas Mahal was really the emperor's private palace/chambers, and it consisted of three main areas : a sitting room, a bedroom and a prayer chamber.
The Diwan-i-Khas, or hall of private audiences. Among the more lavish halls, it featured the "peacock throne", upon which Shah Jahan would rest as he received his most important guests. The throne is no longer there, having been part of a war booty taken back to Persia i the 18th century by Nadir Shah, as he sacked New Delhi.
The Royal Hammam was the imperial bathing chambers, featuring three separate areas with inlaid marble floors and decor everywhere. This is a serious bathhouse, folks. :)
And as you'd expect in a Moghul palace, there was a mosque. The mosque within the Red Fort is called the Moti Masjid, which means Pearl Mosque. The mosque itself is closed, but it supposedly has a decor and an extravagance that actually drew criticism in Shah Jahan's time. The word decadence probably crept into the discussions.
There are also lovely and nicely-laid out Moghul gardens within the confines of the Red Fort enclosures.
All in all, a visit to the Red Fort is an excellent representation of the power, glory, decadence, zeal, artistry and grandeur of both the Moghul era in India, and of Shah Jahan personally. During New Delhi's days as "Shahjahanabad", this was the place to be.
The entry fee is 100 Rs. The Red Fort is closed on Mondays, but on other days, is open sunrise to sunset. In the evenings, there is a sound and light show, for which the entry charge is 50 Rs. The timing of the shows varies depending on the season. Generally, it will occur around 730 - 830 pm. I was told that, depending on the season, that the mosquitos can be fierce during the evening sound and light show. Bring your DEET repellent. :)