Delhi

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I only had two full days in Delhi but one was spent waiting for my missing luggage to catch up with me, the second day I decided to take a car and driver to see as much as I could in the very limited time available

Jama Masjid

 

Built by Emperor Shah Jahan to complement his palace in the Red Fort.  Every Friday Shah Jahan and his entourage traveled in state from the fort to attend the congressional prayers hence the name which translates to Friday Mosque

Over 5000 labourers took 6 years to complete the biggest mosque in India.  It's courtyard can accommodate 25,000 worshipers who bathe in its central marble tank before attending prayers

In 1638 Shah Jahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi.   Surrounded by red sandstone walls with 14 gates, this is Delhi Gate one of the six more important gates into the fort
The Tomb of Isa Khan Nivazi

My driver dropped me off at the entrance of Humayun's Tomb complex but a lovely old gentleman waylaid me and escorted me here.  I completely missed my intended destination but did enjoy the company of my 'guide'


I later found out I had been to the tomb of Isa Khan Nivazi an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri's court.  It predates the main tomb by twenty years.  Inside the tomb are the cenotaphs of Isa Khan Nivazi and members of his family
 
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum  
Is housed in her former home, a long low white bungalow.  (Bungalow another gift to the English language from the Raj)  Inside you will see  her living room and study, family photos, her writings and the  blood stained sari she was wearing when she was, assassinated.  As well as the clothes her son Rajiv wore in 1991 when he met a similar fate


 

Leaving her bungalow I passed the garden where Mrs. Gandhi collapsed following an attack by two of her Sikh bodyguards on Diwali 1984.  The pathway is paved with crystal.  The plain glass tile with the rose marks the spot where she succumbed to her injuries
Rashtrapati Bhavan
The largest residence of any Head of State is barely visible behind these magnificent Lutyens gates.  Formerly the British Viceregal Lodge it is fittingly now occupied by the President of the largest democracy in the world.  It took 17 years to build and only 18 years later India no longer had need of a Viceregal Lodge

The Lutyens Canopy
Once housed an enormous statue of George V Emperor of India which is now consigned to a graveyard of imperial statuary in Coronation Park in north Delhi. The vast canopy now stands empty amid a continuing debate regarding it's demolition.
India Gate
Also the work of Edwin Landseer Lutyens, is a 42 meter memorial at the eastern end of Rajpath.  Across its arch is inscribed:
"To the dead of the Indian armies who fell honoured in France and Flanders Mesopotamia and Persia East Africa Gallipoli and elsewhere in the near and the far-east and in sacred memory also of those whose names are recorded and who fell in India or the north-west frontier and during the Third Afgan War"
And on its walls the names of the 90.000 Indian soldiers who fell fighting for the British in WW1
Whilst the Delhi Gate was surrounded by many Indian visitors,  I was the only person musing on the impermanence of Empire at the canopy that day
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