Day 2 (India Adventure): Delhi, Brits, Mosque & Moghul

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My first night in Delhi, I slept on and off until 11. On Sunday, September 25, I took the elevator downstairs to the lobby and meet Avtar, our Indian guide with Exodus Travel. He greets everyone with a friendly smile. He is dressed in a button down shirt, black jeans and is wearing a black turban. In addition to Hindi, he speaks 10 Indian dialects and French. I am always in awe of people who can speak multiple languages.  My English and Spanish will only get me so far!

Gathered around Avtar are 12 English travelers, age ranges (I’m guessing) 20’s-50’s. They just flew in that morning. I introduced myself as the ‘token’ American. There are 4 men and 9 women. Aside from 2 couples, the rest of us came by ourselves. I have found this more common with Europeans then with Americans…traveling solo.

We spent a hot (90F) Sunday afternoon sightseeing. Our first stop was in Old Delhi and the Red Fort, also known as the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. It was built between 1644-1658. Before entering, all of us girls were given colorful dresses to wear inside. Everyone had to take their shoes off. Our feet were hot on the red sandstone tiles as we walked around the Fort’s open square.

After the mosque we paired up in twos and rode a rickshaw through the crowded market. It was 100 Indian Rupees per person ($2.15). We dodged other rickshaws, mopeds, cars, people and dogs. I don’t know how we didn’t hit anyone. It was a first for me and actually pretty fun!

Later we walked through the green park Gandhi was cremated and saw his memorial where a flame in a lantern is burned 24-7.

We got back on the bus and went to the tomb of Humayun, an early Mogul emperor. The Persian influenced mausoleum is said to be a precursor to the Taj Mahal and is made of red sandstone and white marble. By the end of the day, everyone had jet lag kicking in big time. We went back to the hotel for a quick supper and went to bed.

I slept great! This morning we are finishing up our mini tour of Delhi and then driving the 5-6 hours to the city of Jaipur.