The next day, the first thing we did was head out into the city to find an ATM. At 8am on the weekend, Connaught Place was a ghost town. It to ok us about 4 ATM’s before we found one that accepted foreign cards. We ended up at a Citi Bank. Getting breakfast was a little difficult – none of the shops open till 9am at the earliest. We had arranged for a taxi driver to drive us around the sights of Delhi. The sights are for the most part fairly spread out, and given that a driver only costs $10 for the day, it’s a great option. Our driver did not speak any English. He didn’t even know how to get to some of the most major sights…We guess you get what you pay for!
The first sight we checked out was Raj Ghat. It is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. There is a perpetually burning flame in a glass box that sits on the marker of his grave. Nowhere on the memorial is Gandhi’s name, but the inscription instead has his last words: ‘Oh God’. It’s a nice spot of calm amidst the madness of the city. Be sure to wear socks, as it is necessary to takeoff your shoes, and the path is not very clean.
Next we headed to India Gate. There were a lot of tourists there. It commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives fighting for the Indian Empire in World War I and the Afghan Wars.
Next up was the Qutb Minar. This complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are several sights to see within it. There is the tallest stone tower in India. It is made of red sandstone. Construction began in 1199 and it is beautiful although it is no longer possible to climb it. The 98% pure iron Gupta Pillar (Iron Pillar) was built in the 5th century and has been rust-free ever since. The Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid is India’s oldest Mosque outside of western Gujarat. Exploring around the area is a fun way to spend an hour or two. Lots of good photo opportunities – especially with all the Indian women wearing these amazing brightly colored saris brightening up every photo we took.We stopped for lunch at Naivedyam Restaurant in Hauz Khas Village. There’s a little market next door which we didn’t have time to explore, but lunch was absolutely delicious. The restaurant was very clean, comfortable, and a very reasonable price.
After lunch we headed to Humayun’s Tomb. It was built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum.Huymayun was the second Mughal Emperor and his tomb is a great example of Mughal Architecture. This was a real highlight of our trip to Delhi. Is an absolutely beautiful tomb, exquisite carving, and impressive architecture. We spent an hour or two walking around. Lots of great photo opportunities here too.
The only other sights we saw were the Parliament Building and surrounding area. Unfortunately, due to security concerns, it is not allowed to walk around – in fact our driver didn’t even stop.
He had no problem however stopping at some shops, despite our insistence over and over "NO SHOPPING!".
That evening, we had dinner at our friends and headed back to the hotel.