Monday, 28 November 2016


We spent a day in Delhi before and after our trip to Bhutan. India has never appealed to me, too many people, too much pollution and too much poverty, but as travelling via Delhi was the most direct and cheapest way to get to Bhutan, we thought we might as well use the opportunity to get an impression of Delhi.

We had quite a temperature shock when we arrived in Delhi, 33˚C and humid. Fortunately we had chosen a hotel in the more quiet embassy region in Delhi, and here it was very green with large villas and gardens and lots of birds around. The first afternoon we visited the Lodhi gardens close to the hotel. A good choice: the park was full of birds, green parakeets, black kites, noisy mynas, swifts, a hornbill, and there were lots of Indian palm squirrels. There are also a number of interesting ruins and tombs. Walking back to the hotel at dusk, hundreds of, probably, flying foxes came flying over.

Indian palm squirrel

green parakeets

Bada Gumbad gateway and mosque from the Lodi dynasty, probably built around 1494

The next day we had planned to take the metro to some of the sites, but someone we met on the street advised us against this and found us a tuk tuk driver. He turned out to be really good and helpful and drove us from site to site. So we ended up visiting the Red Fort, a step well (Ugrasen ki Baoli), Humayan's Tomb and an Indian craft shop.

The Red Fort, from 1648, is a large complex surrounded by walls of red sandstone and comprising palaces, pavilions, gardens, courts and a mosque. It was the residence of the Mughal emperor for 200 years.

the red sandstone outer walls

Naubat Khana, the drum house

Diwan-i-Aam, the public audience hall

overview with Diwan-i-Khas (private audience hall), Khas Mahal (emperor's apartment) and Rang Mahal (palace for the imperial harem)

Diwan-i-Khas, the private audience hall

Egrasen-ki-Baoli is a beautiful 14th or 15th century step well in the middle of a suburban area. It is off the main tourist trail, so it is fairly quiet. Unfortunately, there is now rubbish instead of water in the bottom of the well.

Humayan's tomb was built in 1570, a few years before the Taj Mahal, and is said to have been used as a blue print for the Taj Mahal. Before you arrive at Humayan's tomb, you pass Isa Khan's tomb and mosque, built 20 years earlier in 1547.

Isa Khan's tomb

mihrab, indicating the direction for praying

Isa Khan's mosque

Humayan's tomb

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