Friday, April 22, 2011

Incredible India!(?)

After a memorable stay in Nepal,we set off to New Delhi. We arrived without a hotel booking, without a plan and without any idea on what to expect in India. The heading on the arrival form read as !ncredible India, so we picked up that clause on arrival and continue to use it till date ;) I think we will use it for the rest of the life time.IMG_3287

We had luckily written down a hotel phone number from the lonely planet site, so we called and checked whether if they have rooms, answer was positive, we were told that we can get there in 30 mins. We walked out of the air port and there we found a prepaid taxi booth, so we paid the amount and got into the taxi. Taxi pulled out of the air port and within 500 meters the driver stops it for fueling. While being in the queue of the fueling station, he opts to take an ablutions break in public, then returns to find vehicles stranded behind in the line and turns to them and abuses them. We were made to wonder which guy should be at the receiving end.

India gate
India Gate

After a 20 minute wait we re-start on the journey and we breathed a sigh of relief. The vehicle progressed for another 10 minutes very smoothly.Then there was a bit of traffic and he had to stop the vehicle. When the green light came on the vehicles started to move, but our taxi was left stranded. Driver got out and pretended as if he was trying to fix it, taxi was in the middle of the road and blocking all traffic, so all of us got down from the vehicle and pushed it to the side of the road. He continued to meddle with all the parts of the old vehicle while we were looking on helplessly kicking our heals in the middle of the road for the next hour, finally some luck dawned on us and the engine started. So we made progress and then all of a sudden he wanted to kick us out without finding the exact place. We made up our minds to stay in the vehicle till he drops us off at the exact address. I think it took a while for him to realize that we are their neighbors and we are good as them, when it comes to handling these gimmicks.

Birla Temple
Birla Temple

Finally we reached the hotel. We checked in left the bags and took a walk to the nearby Delhi railway station, we wanted to book a ticket to Taj Mahal trip, the tourist ticket booking center was very helpful we got tickets booked to Agra for the 1st of January.

We went into a punjabi vegetarian eating place right opposite the station and had our dinner. It was different and we enjoyed it. Next we when to the hotel and spoke to them and got a day trip around Delhi organized. We got a much better taxi and a much better driver this time around. The plan was to go around and see the places of interest in Delhi.

lotus temple
Lotus Temple

Our trip included visits to Birla Temple, Lotus temple, India Gate ( The place where ppl usually stand infront of and take a pic to say I have been to Delhi :D) , Rashtrapathi bavan, and A drive upto the gate of the museum and then opted to skip it, since it was too expensive and we would only get to spend max one hour.

Anyway, two places in delhi will always be remembered for two different reasons, one is the Indra Gandhi's museum, her house has been converted into a museum. Whether you like her not, what we cannot deny is that she was indeed a strong character and this visit gave us a chance to get a peak in to her life.

Secondly the red fort, we never went into it, but blog is too public a place to publish the episode "What Happened at Red Fort?" :D

On the next episode it will be "!incredible India: Almost loosing the Symbol of eternal love"

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