The next part of our tour was to the heart of New Delhi. We first stopped at the enormous India Gate. It is the national monument of India and commemorates the loss of 90,000 Indian soldiers.
The roads that extend from it are the most important in the nation, as they lead to both the Parliament House and the Presidential Palace. Very few cars are allowed on these roads due to terrorist threats in the past.
We then visited the Parliament House and the Presidential Palace. Being there felt like we had temporarily left India. There were hardly any people or cars; two things that are synonymous with the country.
The grounds were beautifully landscaped with flowers and fountains.
Then while the others made a quick stop at a carpet store to shop, I made friends with an auto-rickshaw driver drinking his afternoon chai.
Afterwards, we began our drive to Agra, the next city on our itinerary. However, before we could leave, the local monkeys came out to say goodbye.
My last memory of Delhi was the the Bahá’í House of Worship, otherwise known as the Lotus Temple, which we drove by as we departed the city. It truly is an architectural work of art! Bahá’í temples are open to people of any faith, thus my kind of place (and apparently for many others as well, because it is one of the most visited monuments in the world having attracted over 50 million visitors). When I return to Delhi in the future, one of the first things I will do is to have lunch there. I heard the vegetarian meals served are delicious.
Obviously, a day and a half in the pulsing capitol is simply not enough time. While, Delhi is an ancient and historical city with more than 60,000 identifiable monuments, it is also quiet modern and I really enjoyed that mix.
The drive from Delhi to Agra is around five hours of stop and go traffic. Not really conducive to sleeping or reading.
But that was okay, as I just entertained myself with thoughts of tomorrow, since tomorrow I would be seeing THE Taj Mahal!