This is part two of my Golden Triangle in 5 days series. My first article of this series dealt with an ovierview. If you missed it you can find in here. An overview about all articles you will find here –
Sightseeing in New Delhi
Our sightseeing in New Delhi started with the question what to see. As we only had a few hours at this first day in New Delhi we asked Ravi, our driver, and decided to make a little car sightseeing through the center, after that a stop at Isa Khan’s and Humanyun Tomb and for sunset the Qutb Complex. I was happy to have the expertise of Ravi who knew that it is very nice at Qutb Complex for sunset, especially for me as photographer.
During our sightseeing by car, Ravi told us what we were able to see. Due to a public holiday the India Gate and the whole town was pretty crowded. A lot of soldiers were practicing for the Delhi Republic Day Parade on January 26th. There is a lot of interesting architecture to see. If we had had more time I would have been interested in walking around a little bit, but we had only a few hours and due to this public holiday there were more barriers and no stopping sights than regular in the town. I had to accept, that taking photos in downtown would not be possible. We finished our car sightseeing and Ravi stopped at the Humayun’s and Isa Khan’s Tomb. He told us that he will stay at the car and where we can find him when we are ready to leave and gave us some good tipps concerning the „guides“ we will meet outside and inside.
Do you need a guide?
Be prepared about men telling you that they are official guides. They are not and they only want your money. Be careful! Sometimes they tell you they want nothing or they want amount x and later they require an increased amount. If you really want a guide ask your driver. He will help you to get someone you can trust and who will not try to cheat. You will find this at every tourist sight. My way to handle this was to say „Thank you, I don’t need a guide!“ and if they did not stop I raised my voice and became more significant up to…“Stop it! I definitely will not give you any money!“ Sometimes it is very annoying and aggressive, but to me it is dearer the people show initiative and try to do something to earn money, as simple begging without doing something. Black sheep, there are unfortunately everywhere, even in India!
Isa Khan’s and Humayun’s Tomb
After entering the entrance gate straight ahead you can see a big gate and a first glimpse at the Humayun’s Tomb far away.
Before walking straight to Humayun’s Tomb you should not forget the Isa Khan’s Garden Tomb on your right side.
Isa Khan’s Garden Tomb in New Delhi
A shield at the entrance says that „Isa Khan’s Garden Tomb pre-dates Humayun’s Tomb by two decades and that it is the ulmination of an architectural style used for royal tombs in Delhi from the early 15th to the early 16th centuries. It is the only surviving octagonal enclosed tomb complex with intact walls, mosque and gateway.“ It is not very tall or opulent decorated, but it is worth visiting. You can walk around the tomb on the outside walls surrounding the garden or see the inner tomb with its technically elaborate decorations. You can also enjoy the peace at Isa Khan’s Tomb, before visiting Humayun’s Tomb which is a lot more crowded.
Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb was the first garden tomb on the indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. (source: World Heritage List UNESCO) Humayun was the second ruler of the Mughal Empire of India and died in 1556. „His body was laid to rest in Purana Quila initially, but because of attack by Hemu on Delhi and capture of Purana Qila, Humayun’s body was exhumed by the fleeing army and transferred to Kalanaur in Punjab where his son and successor Akbar was coronated.“ (source: Wikipedia) Later he was buried in a grand way at the Humayun’s Tomb.
The tomb of Humayun was built by the orders of Humayun’s son Akbar and begun in 1565, nine years after his death, and completed in 1572. When Humayun had died in 1556, Bega Begum, Humayun’s first wife, was so grieved over her husband’s death that she dedicated her life thenceforth to a sole purpose: the construction of the most magnificent mausoleum in the Empire, at a site near the Yamuna River in Delhi for the memorial of the late Emperor. (source: Wikipedia). It seems as if some members of this family were very romantic! Later in the history of this family Shah Jahan – the great-grandson of Humayun – build the Taj Mahal for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Sunset at Qutb Complex in New Delhi
Our last point of interest on day 1 was the Qutb Complex with the Qutb Minar which is with its 72,5 meters the tallest brick minaret in the world. The Qutb Minar and the surrounding buildings and monuments are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This complex is definitely worth visiting with its history and stunning stories. It would be too much at this point to summarize these stories here. We had about an hour at the Qutb Complex – not much – but I hope the pictures speak for themselves.
You will find a lot of informations about the different sights inside the complex and about the history of the Qutb Complex on following websites:
Dinner @ Barbecue Nation in Gurgaon
After sunset Ravi drove us back to the hotel and we made an appointment for the next morning. We needed some rest and decided later that we want some dinner. My friend found a good restaurant using Google and I can definitely recommend Barbecue Nation. Barbecue Nation is a restaurant chain in India. You can have vegetarian and non-vegetarian barbecue directly served at the table. You get your own table with a hole in it. The waiter will bring you a grill and you can grill your vegetarian or non-vegetarian starters directly at your table. Different sauces are also available. The main course is served as buffet as well as the deserts. Yummy!
Be always careful with ice in your drinks, salads and all non-cooked food! We ate only well-cooked food as spicy as possible during our whole tour and this worked well! Gastrointestinal problems are not funny, especially when you have only a few days!
My Conclusion for visiting New Delhi
Considering that I ony had 5 days for the whole tour I am definitely totally satisfied with what I was able to see in New Delhi. I think I would have needed 1 or 1 1/2 days more in New Delhi to walk around downtown New Delhi, to visit the Red Fort New Delhi and maybe the Bahai Lotus Temple and/or the Chhatarpur Temple.
Jaipur – coming soon