Saturday, 20 December 2014

India - Day 3: Train to Jaipur

After a hideously early start and a close brush with a taxi trying to take us to the airport instead of the station, we boarded the 6.05 Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Jaipur. The early morning train through the Delhi suburbs and surrounding settlements was an eye opener: houses all along the railway line, complete with the spectacle of people getting up, small shops, yards, washing, cows, pigs, dogs, people, more people, people using the railway as a toilet, more people using the railway as a toilet. Certainly different and more interesting that the approach to Paddington or Temple Meads...

We got fed a very dodgy looking breakfast on the train, made up of 'vegetable croquettes' and bread that looked like it was made from cardboard. I contented myself with the tea and digestive biscuits.

The train window was absolutely filthy, but I did manage to take a few photos of the sights on the journey, avoiding the squatting locals.

A sample of the Delhi suburbs
A snack vendor at one of the stations we went through. The platforms on all of the stations have many competing stalls.
Passengers on a passing train

The journey took us through Rajasthan's farming lang
Mother and baby waiting for another train. 
More soon from Jaipur itself. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

India - Day 2: India Gate and CP

After going a bit crazy with the photos on Day 1, Day 2 was more restrained. To combat the extreme heat, we spend most of the morning looking for a loose pair of trousers for me (photos of said trousers later). We also went to see India Gate, walked down Janpath and up to Connaught Place again. In theory, there's a beautiful view down Rajpath, along the 1km or so between India Gate and the Vijay Chowk, where the parliamentary buildings are. Sadly, it was so smoggy that when we were about half way between the two, you couldn't see either either monument. Connaught place has the larges Indian flag in the world, which was fluttering proudly.

We spent the afternoon at Akshardham, a brand new Hindu temple complex in Delhi. It's an absolutely beautiful building, all made of hand-carved sandstone and marble, and set in stunning grounds. Being a temple of course meant no cameras, but it was really nice to just wander around peacefully (albeit sticking out like a sore thumb and being stared, pointed and waved at by groups of school children) without the distractions. For those interested, look here:

On duty at India Gate
I wish I had a hat this fabulous
Shrine to Ganesha and Lakshmi
The biggest Indian flag in the world. It was pretty damn big. 

The next set of photos will be Jaipur, so stay posted...

Thursday, 18 December 2014

India - Day 1: Nizamuddin Complex

One of the unfortunate things that happens when you get back from holiday is that real life reasserts itself and gets in the way. So apologies to those of you who have been eagerly waiting for the next installment: here it is, finally!

These are the final few photos from Day 1. After Chawri Bazaar, we took the metro (clean, efficient, stupidly cheap and pretty fast, if packed with people) to the Nizamuddin Complex. The main attraction the tomb of one of the most famous sufi saints, Nizamuddin Auliya, and has a number of other smaller tombs of his disciples in the surrounding area. We stayed around watching sunset over Delhi, or at least what you can see of the sun behind all of the smog. We then retired to the hotel, utterly footsore and knackered. Nothing like a busy day to help you get over jet lag...

The man responsible for the huge rolls of cardboard in the last post. His friend was very amused that I was taking photos of him.

Bags of coloured wooden beads in Chawri Bazaard
And yet more beads, just in case you didn't have enough...

One of the more picturesque streets in Old Delhi. The main attraction is a man getting his ears cleaned. 
Gateway to one of the tombs in the Nizamuddin complex
Said tomb. Looking a little worse for wear. 
The view from the roof of Nizamuddin's tomb
All of the tombs have beautiful carvings or marble work along the top and sides.
Chamber in one of the smaller tombs.

Just to prove that it really is us there! Also, it's harder than it looks to take a selfie with a DSLR - I had to make use of Christopher's long arms...

 More soon (I promise). Day 2 will bring the delights of India Gate and the world's largest Indian Flag, so hold on to your hats, people...