Just after the our morning visit to the Old Delhi, we head back to the New Delhi area where in the afternoon we will visit some other interesting places.
1. Raj Ghat (Gandhi Memorial)
2. Rajpath Avenue
We cross the city reasonably fast given the traffic of tuc-tucs, bicycles, motorbikes, cows and people, a lot of people. We followed a big wide avenue called Rajpath where there is a reunion of Government Buildings and in the beginning of the avenue there is the India Gate, an Indian version of the Arc du Triomphe, built in memory of the “Immortal Soldier” in honor of the Indian soldiers killed in the WWI. Aligned with the Indian Gate, seen from the Rajpath avenue, a Chatri (kind of hut very frequently used in Indian architecture as a shelter) gets framed by the Gate.
3. India’s Champs-Elysées
4. The India Gate framing the Chatri
There is who compares the Rajpath with the Champs-Elysées. I admit this scene rings a bell.
The buildings of the Secretariat are seen along the Rajpath and the Government Palace called Rashtrapati Bhawan are the main samples of city’s architecture which escape from the hindi-persian style. The Rashtrapati Bhawan is inaccessible behind a tall fence and gate, but interesting things happen just in front in the gardens.
5. Secretariat Building
6. Monkeys and Canons
7. Elephant-crowned columns of the Rashtrapati Bhawan palace
Rhesus macaques family plays around the canons and take the big sandstone columns crowned with elephant statues as vantage points to extend the range of surveillance of their territory.
Moving back to the hotel area, we decide to look for some gifts and art pieces to take as souvenir from our first trip to India, so we go to the Connaught Place, a ring of stores and restaurants and other businesses, and the guide tooked us to an emporium where we could find some nice handcrafts and tissues, écharpes, etc, and next we left the packets in the hotel and finally the driver left us by the entrance of the Lodhi Gardens.
This city park remains from the 15th Century and has a green garden with pathways where the locals stroll and take their time when the day cools down. There are some ancient buildings, Mohammed Shah’s Tomb and the tombs of other unknown families, the Bara Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad, where we appreciated the sunset just before having a dinner at the Garden Restaurant inside the park. It was a very nice place with a verandah in the second floor where we have our first spicy meal (the first of an endless series). Oddly the light went off (apparently a frequent issue in India), and we just stayed there with the candle lights, while we finished and observed some people settle a party in the restaurant’s front garden, and then live music started on that party…a final touch for our first night.
8. Lodhi Gardens by Night
9. Sheesh Gumbad
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