Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022
Temperature 14 – 28 C ( 58 – 82 F ) , Smog Index 366 ( Very Poor )
When we went for breakfast at 7 am, we met some of the other travellers in our tour group. Several of the people in our group have travelled more than 10 times with Gate1 travel and one couple was on their 5th tour this year with Gate1. Shortly afterwards, Shailendra, or Shail as he is called by his friends, arrived to have breakfast with us.
After breakfast we boarded a large air-conditioned bus and travelled to the site of Qutub Minar, which is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top.
The tower is a combination of traditional Islamic architecture and southwestern Asian design. It stands next to the remains of a mosque and was built on a slight angle away from it so that it would not fall on top of the mosque, in case of an earthquake. Most of the walls and the entrances of the mosque are still intact and each of the pillars inside have a unique design.
In the center of the mosque, there was an iron pillar which is a structure 7.21 metres (23 feet 8 inches) high with a 41-centimetre (16 in) diameter that was constructed by Chandragupta II (reigned c. 375–415 AD). It is famous for the rust-resistant composition of the metals used in its construction. The pillar weighs more than 6 tonnes and is thought to have been erected elsewhere, perhaps outside the Udayagiri Caves, and moved to its present location by Anangpal Tomar in 11th century.
As we toured the site, Shail described some of the vegetation on the site, such as the tamarind tree which is native to Africa.
From Qutub Minar, we drove to the old section of Delhi and we were treated to a Rikshaw ride through the busy narrow streets.
For a more personal view, you can click on this link – https://1drv.ms/v/s!Anh-wX1eFJ-8o0Oa8MlGIV4UjH-O
It was a unique experience and I felt sorry for the driver who had to maneuver around vehicles, people and potholes, particularly during the uphill sections of the ride.
I have always had a fascination with electrical infrastructures and the agglomeration of wires hanging above the street, was intriguing. I would be difficult to troubleshoot and electrical problem and I’m sure that a few people have been ‘ shocked ‘ when they tied into an existing electrical line.
After the rikshaw ride, we drove to Raj Ghat, the memorial and burial site for Mahatma Gandhi.
We had to remove our shoes to visit the site where the eternal flame is lit by the grave where his ashes are buried..
When we left the gravesite, we went to a restaurant for a late lunch and then drove to see a Hindu Temple.
We weren’t allow to take our cameras into the temple, however, Shail gave us a detailed tour of the temple and described the significance of the various depictions, statues, carvings and aspects of the temple.
From the temple we headed back to the hotel and Shail pointed out many buildings and places of interest along the way. It had been a full day and there was too much information for me to remember it all.
It was almost 5 pm when we returned back to the hotel and at 6:30 pm we met for orientation and dinner.
This was our last full day in Delhi and we are scheduled to travel to Agra on Sunday.