What an absolutely amazing place. We have spent 2 days now touring New Delhi, the capital of India and Old Delhi. Thank heavens we have a driver. Negotiating the traffic here is CRAZY! There really are not many rules, except that everyone uses their horns incessantly to let each other know that they are there. Half the time, when there is space, we drive straddling the center line, or sometimes in one of the oncoming lanes if it happens to be empty. Then someone beeps and we sort of pick a lane. sort of…. We share the road with cars, trucks, buses, many many motorcycles, bicycles, people, and occasionally cows. Cattle are sacred in Hindu beliefs and they are left to just wander wherever they like. They are fed by all of the people. Many people will not eat unless they have fed a cow that day. We have also seen goats and many skinny skinny dogs. There is quite a bit of poverty in this bustling city. There are people and children begging at every street corner and wandering up to the cars asking for money. Sadly, many of them actually use the small children to get the money and then take it from them. Our guide has told us that it is not good to give them any money. He also explainded that almost every temple, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist provides free food, lunch and dinner to anyone that wishes it.
Today is the 3rd day out of 5 of one of their biggest holidays, called Diwali. There have been fireworks for 2 nights so far. And everyone is dressed up and the buildings are decorated in flowers. Diwali is the festival of light and celebrates the return of the God Rama after 14 years of exile. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
After visiting the largest Shrine in New Delhi today, we had a wild and exciting ride through the narrow streets of the bazaar on the back of a bicycle ricshaw. I haven’t found a way yet to post photos, but if I do, I will also post a link to a video my father took while on the ride. It is hard to imagine that they can fit so many people and modes of transportation into one place!
So tomorrow we leave here and head to Agbar to see the Taj Mahal. Can’t wait! Have been eating lots of spicy food, lamb, chicken, lentil and sweets.
More to come!