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A Day at Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

17 Humayun’s Tomb (54)

The building of Mughal Emperor Humayun’s tomb was actually undertaken in 1565 by his Persian-born widow, Hamida Banu Begum, nine years after the great man died.  She selected the site of the monument, on the banks of the Yamuna River, and the Persian architect who designed it.  The monument took seven years to build and shows a strong Persian influence, including it’s gardens divided into four parts by walkways or flowing water.  It was the first garden-tomb in India.

The massive mausoleum is constructed of red sandstone interspersed with white marble, while the inner tomb itself is made of marble. The platform of the mausoleum is 7 meters tall, while the height of the building’s impressive marble dome is 47 meters.  …

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A Day in the Chandni Chowk Market, Delhi

01 Chandi Chowk Market (17)

One of the oldest markets in Delhi — and perhaps the busiest in all of Asia — is Chandni Chowk, which is close to Delhi’s Red Fort.  The market was, in fact, originally designed in the 17th century by Mogul Shah Jahan (who was later to build the Taj Mahal) so that his favorite daughter would have a place to shop near their home in the Red Fort.  The shopping area originally had around 1600 shops, but has been completely rebuilt over the centuries and is now an extensive and expansive market area.

Chandni Chowk’s market is known for is its great variety and authenticity: food (especially street food and sweets), clothing (sarees, suits), electronic items, shoes, books, jewelry, car parts …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 29, 2019: Stumbling onto a Jain Parade, Delhi

00 Chandi Chowk Market (71)

While walking the streets of Old Delhi, we encountered this unexpected parade.  A group of people playing instruments, carrying a few floats, and seeming to have a good time.

Our guide told us that it was a parade of Jains — people adherent to the ancient Indian religion of Jainism.  I don’t know much about the faith except that along with Hinduism and Buddhism, it is one of the oldest religions in Asia, dating to the 6th century.

There are many festivals in the Jain faith and we thought it likely was a celebration of one of these.  Unfortunately I’ll never know.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

 

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Experiencing Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Delhi

00 Chadni Chow Gurudwara (27)

A visit to Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib was my first to a Sikh temple.  I was very impressed by what I saw — especially by the kind hearts of the people who spend substantial time and money serving others. 

Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib is one of the nine historical Gurdwaras (places of Sikh worship) in Delhi.  It was originally constructed in 1783 by Baghel Singh to commemorate the martyrdom site of the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, who was beheaded here by the Mughal emperor in 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam.  After some back and forth about whether the site was Muslim or Sikh, the British colonial government ruled in favor of the Sikhs, and the current facilities were …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 21, 2019: Delhi Sweet Shop

00 Chandi Chowk Market (101)

In my experience it’s rare for people to want their photo to be taken by a tourist.  But the gentleman above was very proud of his job, and wanted me to photograph him cooking up treats in one of Delhi’s Sweets shops.  He was frying some pastries in a large pan of oil, scooping them out as they were ready.  When these were finished he poured in a bag of raw cashews, frying them as well.  

I’m quite cautious about eating street food in countries like India, a trait that has served me well over the years.  But I did buy a few of the cooked treats, which were quite good.  I’m sure they spiked my cholesterol level, but such are the …

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Delhi’s fascinating Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

01 Delhi Spice Market

My favorite market in Delhi was its spice market, which happens to be Asia’s largest spice market.  The market straddles Khari Baoli, a street near the Red Fort.  The street’s name is derived from ‘Baoli’, meaning step well, and ‘Khari’, meaning salty. 

The market dates to the 17th century.  Many of the shops have been in the families for a long time, some even run by the ninth- or tenth generations.

Like all good spice markets, Delhi’s is fragrant, colorful and tempting.  Besides a large variety of spices and herbs, you can buy other food items like nuts, tea, pasta and rice.  Everything is beautifully displayed.  

Delhi's Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Delhi’s Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

Khari Baoli is extremely busy — lots of shoppers, traffic, and workers carrying heavy sacs of spices to …

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Amazing and Unforgettable — the Wiring of Old Delhi

07 Chandi Chowk Market (26)

Even though I’d heard about it, I wasn’t prepared for how chaotic the street wiring in Old Delhi is. There are many places in the old city where you’ll see spaghetti-like masses of live wiring that seem to be incapable of being untangled or understood, yet somehow Delhi electricians figure it out and keep the power flowing.  There seems no plan, no logic, no reason to it.  It just seems to have evolved like some hideous beast.

By far the worst that I experienced was the Chandi Chowk Market area.   It is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi and is not far from the Red Fort.  These photos were taken while walking those streets.

I think the photos are self-explanatory.  …

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Delhi’s Largest Mosque. A visit to Jama Masjid

01 Jama Masjid, Delhi (16)

The great mosque of Old Delhi, said to be the largest in India, has a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 worshipers.  Construction on the mosque was begun in 1644 by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort; it was to be his last big architectural project.

The mosque adjoins the market area of Chawri Bazar.  It rests atop a small hill has three entry gates, four towers, and two 40 m-high minarets (one of which you can climb for a small fee).  The mosque faces west, towards Mecca.  It is constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble, and more than 5000 artisans worked on it.   The roof of the …

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