Indian Culture

2 February 2005

India is incredible. For the past few days, as well as recovering from the change in time and the long and exhausting flight, we have been exploring the sights, smells and sounds of Delhi.

Children begging

One of the first things you notice about India is how chaotic everything is. The driving is crazy, with seemingly no set rules of the road: people just tend to do what they want. The horn usage is particularly excessive.

So far, we have visited Mosques, Temples, Tombs, Forts, Orphanages, Museums and several historical monuments. Many of these visits were concerned with learning more about Indian history and the evolution of Delhi. The contrast between Old Delhi and New Delhi is particularly marked. New Delhi was designed and built by the British, and has wide streets, luxurious houses and roundabouts (which our guide was particularly impressed with), whereas Old Delhi was built by the seventh Mogul King. Taking a rickshaw through the narrow streets of Old Delhi showed the true character of India, with the vibrant colours of saris and the smell of incense burning.

One of the more poignant moments of the trip was seeing where the great Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in the garden of where he was living. It was here that he was visited by many people, some of them very famous, and where he led prayer meetings. It was at one such meeting that he was shot at point blank range in the garden. The house was the home of a very rich industrialist and Gandhi was his guest. He owned no houses himself. It has been turned into a museum of his few possessions. We then saw the sight of his cremation, in the heart of Delhi, which is now a beautiful memorial.

Ghandi's room

One constant theme we have noticed in India is the love of cricket, which seems to be shared by both men and young boys alike. While visiting one the local markets in India, we learnt to barter for goods and saw many games of cricket taking place on the narrow streets. Cricket was also being played just outside a famous Mosque in Delhi, which has space for 25,000 Muslims at full capacity. Although it was empty when we saw it, the thought of all those people in prayer together was very moving.

More impromptu events included a Hindu wedding, which took place at the Hotel on our first evening, and was an energetic festival of light and colour. We have also seen many monkeys, as well as camels, cows and even an elephant. We have constant battles with traders who try to sell us goods at every opportunity, but most of all, these three days have given us an insight into Indian life and culture.

Mother with baby

Comments:

Sue Tate-Smith

@ 4671 days ago

Hi Guys:
What a wonderful trip you are having. We have always wanted to see the Taj (as you can now call it!) - your pictures look great. It's incredible that we can all keep up to date with the journey and hope the rest of your stay will be as exciting. We go away on Monday so will have to catch up with the rest of the trip when we return.
Bye for now, Sue & Roger
Vancouver, Canada.

Simon.C

@ 4666 days ago

I want to see more pictures of monkeys please :)

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