Quick trip to Delhi

Breath taking view of Humayun’s Tomb

While there are many things on my must do list in Delhi, I highly recommend attending a wedding in Delhi. Its a-mazing. The energy, colors, ceremonies, madness and parties are highly recommended for anybody who likes to be high on life. I recently had one such opportunity, and I had gala time. But this post is totally about what you were expecting – things to do while in Delhi.

Being in Delhi is a different feeling altogether. Its a mix of culture, tradition, old roads, old bazaars, heritage monuments blending with big lanes, high end stores, and huge ‘kothis’. I recently did a trip to Delhi and had a beautiful day to spend there. And I did what any art lover would do, open the map (ahem phone map) and just stretched my hand to hire rickshaw to take me places.

Being at historical places, is like being in candy land for me. Beautiful edifice that has been constructed for eternity. But to complete the crazy historical journey in one and half day I had to pick and choose places to visit. Here’s my list:

1. Humayun’s Tomb: This is a edifice that was built for burial of the Indian Mughal Emporer Humayun after his death in 1572 AD is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun, which houses the graves of his wife, son, and also his great-great-grandson as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals. The complex also has beautiful gardens that are perfect place to bask in light sun. I would love to cherish some mangoes and goose while marveling at this beauty. Note-if you are a history lover, hire a guide as the stories about the place are worth listening to.

2. Red Fort: The magnificent fort was once a residence for an Indian Mughal ruler which also served as capital for the Mughal empire in India. Fort, built in 1648, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Red Fort Delhi is a mesmerizing piece of architecture, lying on the banks of Yamuna River, whose water was used for the moat that surround the wall. Every independence day, the Prime minister of the country hoist the national flag at the Red Fort and the national parade is performed.

3. Jama Masjid: The name literally translates to ‘the world reflecting mosque’ and it indeed it reflects a world in itself. Any day a tour to Jama Masjid will make you witness thousands of people from different parts of world. Its a huge mosque with capacity to accomodate nearly 25,000 people in its courtyard itself. The brilliant use of red sandstones and white marbles in the entire masjid’ s architecture and generous spread of floral motifs, wines and inlay work makes it very attractive. It also reminds of the regal time of Mughal dynasty while they ruled in India. This mosque is also very similar to Jama Masjid mosque in Agra.

4. India Gate: The India Gate was part of the work of the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC), which came into existence in December 1917 for building war graves and memorials to soldiers killed in the First World War. Under the India Gate ‘Amar Jyot Jawan’, which literally means immortal flame of soldiers, is erected with four urns on side.

5. Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House): This is an iconic structure located on ‘Rajpath’, which is one of the most filmed road in the capital city. The Rajpath is a wide long road with India Gate standing tall at one end and Rashtrapati Bhavan on the other. So carry your high resolution camera to capture the other monument from one at a distance of 4 kms. Rashtrapati Bhavan is India’s President’s House spread across 320 acres with 340 rooms in it. Mighty right! The awesome thing visitors are allowed to the see some parts of the House and the Mughal garden. However, one needs to apply for it in advance. This is something I found out much late in my tour. But make sure you read their guidelines carefully and don’t miss it.

6. Lotus temple: This is Bahai’s house of worship located in Delhi, being one of the eight such houses around the world (9th in Turkmenistan has been destroyed). The temple is a true piece of art as the structure has been built in shape of a lotus with 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. About 2,500 people can sit and pray inside this lotus at the same time. It has beautiful landscaping around the temple and nice place to relax and soak up the day.

7. Akshardham (Swaminarayan temple): I always make a point to visit Swaminarayan Temples wherever they are for they, I believe, are the only temples to be constructed in most recent century but has art and architecture detailing that was done centuries ago in India. And Akshardham is no exception to that. Brilliant structure and unique detailing signified from Indian mythology. The material used in the structure is so logical. For example, brown stone is layed out as flooring outside the temple with motifs made of white stones. However, apart from the artistic approach of colors, the white stones are good to walk on during the crazy summers as they absorb less heat. Apart from the structure, the story narrated about Shri Swaminarayan is really something to ponder upon.

There are many places in this city worth visiting and I am sure I will be blessed with many opportunities to visit this place again and again.

Lets take a visual tour together of my trip:

Enjoying blissfulness

Me looking petite at one of the four gates of Humayun’s Tomb spread out in four directions 

Nai-ka Tomb which literally means barber’s tomb. Notice little blue cap on right is part of restoration work going on at the moment. Waiting to see this place restored in all its glory. I will come soon.

Octagonal shaped Isa Khan’s Tomb surrounded by beautiful octagonal shaped garden

Peeking in the glorious past

Indian flag hoisted on Red Fort

Majestic walls of Red Fort with moat around it

Sun set view from Jama Masjid

While we spent time at Jama Masjid experience the glory of past

Standing tall – India Gate

India Gate canopy lit up at night

Grandeur President’s home

India Gate’s view when standing outside President’s home with a distance of 4km in between

India’s Prime Miniter’s office #namo

Beautiful structures and skylines

Akshardham in its complete glory

Marvelous work of architecture at Lotus Temple

One of the lotus petal facades

Green gardens spread around Lotus temple

The food out here is so orgasmic that it deserves a dedicated post and if you are in Delhi there are few must visit places for shopoholics. So watch this space for more.

 

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Things to do at Changi airport (Singapore)

 

Singapore Changi airport

Layover is usually the most boring aspect of travel. I recently had a trip to Thailand and had a layover at Changi airport in Singapore. I was dreading and almost cursing myself for booking a flight with 10 hours of layover. If you travel often, you would know 10 hours is a long time to kill at an airport.

And then we landed at Changi. Firstly the airport is huge with 3 terminals which is connected by a shuttle train. Yes, a train specially to travel between the terminals. Now most of the airports do have shopping options to kill your time. However, at Changi they sure do entertain in various ways. Each terminal is different with unique themed gardens, lounging areas, snooze areas, fun zone, pool to soak in, theater, game zone, and some more crazy tech experiences.

At the end of my trip I wanted to spend more time at the airport and experience it all.

Shuttle train to travel between terminals

Shuttle train to travel between terminals (my postcard from singapore)

Orchid garden

Orchid garden

Orchid garden

Orchid garden

Pretty china wares to shop

Pretty china wares to shop

Soak up in the pool and Jacuzzi for a small price with a complimentary drink by your side - layover just became so awesome

Soak up in the pool and Jacuzzi for a small price with a complimentary drink by your side – layover just became so awesome

Butterfly garden

Butterfly garden

Butterfly garden

Butterfly garden

my original plan to kill time

my original plan to kill time

The traditional Kaya toast and coffee as breakfast combination

The traditional Kaya toast and coffee as breakfast combination – must try

Theater inside the terminal

Theater inside the terminal

Sunflower garden

Sunflower garden – very soothing place to read

Free Singapore city tour in shuttle bus. You only need a valid Singapore visa. I missed out on this one.

Free Singapore city tour in shuttle bus. You only need a valid Singapore visa. I missed out on this one.

Game zone - they give you a X-box as well

Game zone – there’s an X-box as well

Blue lagoon garden - do make a wish in the wishing pond

Blue lagoon garden – do make a wish in the wishing pond

I am definitely coming back for a layover!