|Bahai`i House Of Worship|
After a good night's rest, we entered Old Delhi and our first stop was Red Fort. Contrary to what I had thought, Red Fort is a HUGE complex. Built of Red Sandstone, we first entered a shopping area full of colourful, eye-catching trinkets.The Mughal style of Architecture was evident in all the structures we saw here.The Museum here several photographs and articles related to the freedom movement. We also found the picture which had come in our HCG exam ( Boards). We walked around, looking at the red sandstone or marble wonders.
Next we went to Akshardham. When v3 and I heard Cameras , Mobiles, etc were not allowed, we were devastated. Mayur mahal had beautiful interiors as well as exteriors.
There was this beautiful fountain and in the sweltering heat, I found it rather hard not to jump into the pool of cool water. Akshardham has beautiful sculptures and attention is given to all minute details. There was also a Boat Ride, which would take you through the different ages of India's rich heritage. (Owing to time constraint, we didn't go for the ride.)
" Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi epitomises 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind. The grand, ancient-styled Swaminarayan Akshardham complex was built in only five years through the colossal devotional efforts of 11,000 artisans and BAPS volunteers. The complex was inaugurated on 6 November, 2005.Akshardham means the eternal, divine abode of the supreme God, the abode of eternal values and virtues of Akshar as defined in the Vedas and Upanishads where divine bhakti, purity and peace forever pervades."
We had lunch at the Premvathi Food Court and suddenly the weather became cool and pleasant. There were all signs of a mild shower, but we were left high and dry....
The Baha`i House Of Worship was our next stop (Btw on our way, we passed IIT-Delhi and AIIMS. I immediately sent messages to the "Concerned People" regarding their future college! :P)
The garden leading to the Lotus temple was vivd with flowers aplenty. (Another Photo Opp). Inside the Temple, we sat in a semi-circular fashion and heard the volunteers recite verses from Quran, Bible, Gita, Guru Grant Sahib, and the Zend Avesta as well. It was a nice place.
After this, it was Qutb Minar. Unlike what I had imagined, there are a lot of structures around the Qutb Minar, apart from the Iron Pillar. Eg: Alai Minar, Iltutmish's Tomb and several minarets and other tombs. Papa got us this Audio guide, and this provided a LOT of information on what monument we were looking at, like it told us why was it built, out of what was it constructed and other details of that period. It was very interesting, however I personally felt a bit guilty becuase I don't think I utilized it to the fullest extent. Of course, the main attraction, Qutb Minar looked stunning!
And then, It was back to Good Ol' Ginger! :)