07/04/2017 – The Capital City.
26 million people. 1484 squared meters. Delhi.
Today, was our first day of touring and wow, it was eventful.
The morning started at 7 am with the intention of missing early morning traffic. Because of its population, working hours differ in Delhi, some places start at 7 am, some places start at 8 am and some even start at 9:30 am. The later work starts, the later work ends and vice versa. People travel to work by bus, metro, auto, bicycle and car.
Our first stop was Jama Masjid in Chandni Chowk. It was built by Shah Jahan in 1656 and can accommodate 25 000 people. The masjid is absolutely beautiful. It is made of red sandstone and white marble. The marble reminds me of the haram in Makkah, it’s smoothness and cold, it’s a source of relief on a hot summer day in Delhi. The Jama masjid has three gates, four towers and two minarets.
The best part of Jama Masjid was seeing relics from the time of the Nabi (Prophet) Muhammed ﷺ (Peace Be Upon Him). There is a cabinet located in the masjid where the hair of Nabi ﷺ is kept. The uncle says that it is true Nabi’s ﷺ hair grows every year and that he’s seen it growing. The cabinet also houses the imprint of the footprint of Nabi ﷺ, Nabi’s ﷺ sandal and the Qur’aan written by Ali (R.A) and Hasan (R.A).
After Jama Masjid, we took an auto around Chandni Chowk, Moonlight Market. Chandni Chowk has a constant hustle and bustle. Men, women, children, dogs and cats walk from one shop to the next, there seems to be an endless supply of shops. We visited a spice store in Chandni Chawk and my dream of smelling Indian spices in India was completed. In Chandni Chowk, you will find wires connected to each other above you and on the window sills of buildings, people connect these wires themselves and then pay for their usage.
Next, we went to Rajghat which was unfortunately closed due to a foreign dignitary’s presence in Delhi. Rajghat houses the ashes of Mahatma Ghandi in Shanti Van (Garden of Silence).
The next place we went to was Qutab Minar. It is also made of red sandstone and marble. Standing under the sandstone is cooling and like Jama Masjid, brings relief in the Delhi heat. Qutab Minar was established along with Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in 1192. Qutab Minar is now a UNESCO world heritage sight.
We then took a metro to Nizamuddin. Nizamuddin was filthy, smelly and dark. It was one hell of an experience and now that I’ve seen it once, I hope I never have to see it again.
Our day ended on a sweet note (literally and figuratively), after McDonald’s, we had Baskin Robbins and then I found a book store where I bought some books, including a new cops of Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone.
On a very important note: Everyone here is so kind and helpful. India is amazing, Indians are amazing and I love it here. I also love listening to people speak Indian languages and I’m so thankful that I watch a lot of Indian movies because I’m able to understand thoda thoda (little little).
Step count: 15 013 steps.