Saturday, April 25, 2009

Being Touristy In Delhi


Although I have been going to Delhi every year for the past three or so years, I've hardly had the chance to catch up with this beautiful city. Delhi may not be a place where I would like to settle down- in that regard it would never come close to my Bombay- but I do not mind visiting it every so often. Besides being incredibly green, it has wide and beautiful roads and
 some of the best open spaces and gardens you'll ever see in any of the congested towns across India. And with the Delhi Metro rail expanding its tentacles all over the city and even beyond, moving around the city is soon going to be a breeze. Anyways, this time around, I decided to be a little touristy. And since Lotus Temple is close to my office, I decided to stop over here. My executive chauffeur; Deepti.

Lotus Temple is a beautiful, pristine and pure white structure, a gorgeous place of worship. The beauty of New Delhi is that the city is much better planned than Bombay, if you take away large portions of South Bombay and much of Old Delhi. So any important touristy place is in the middle of a large and enclosed area and the empty space is converted into carefully manicured lawns. The temple is a large dome-like structure and looks like a lotus flower; hence the name. You form a queue to get in, listen to the importance of being there and maintaining peace inside the structure and are then allowed to go inside. The structure is made of white marble and is very peaceful inside. No idols, no nothing inside to look at, but just sit quietly on any of its numerous ans countless benches, like in Churches, and meditate or pray. Sunset is the best time to visit Lotus temple because evenings are very relaxed, calm and soothing. Besides, Lotus temple looks beautiful once the lights come on against sunset.

Then, on Sunday, I was too tired to venture anywhere out in the morning, but evening I decided to explore Lodhi Gardens. Good I did not venture out during the day time; I later heard the temperature that day was around 42 degrees! The garden is huge and spread over a large area and has multiple historical monuments housed inside. You either explore the monuments or like many Delhites take a nice, long walk in the gardens or just sit on the lawns and relax and watch the sun set and day fade away. Just looking at so much green is relaxing. Checked out the nearby India Habitat Centre and dined at the American Diner. Lovely waffles with three types of syrups, eggs, chicken sausages and chocolate mousse rounded up a relaxed and laid back Sunday.  

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