19 November 2016

Delhi & Agra 06.11.16 - 08.11.16

Three Monuments we fell in love with - Delhi & Agra. 

The Lotus Temple - New Delhi 

The Lotus Temple is an astounding piece of work. As the 'Mother Temple' for all religion in India it stands at 34m high in the shape of a mid-bloom lotus flower. Its vast curved surfaces lead your mind wondering about the interior; with this in mind the queue actually became an integral part of the experience. The queue zig-zagged around the side of the Temple alternating between two levels and so continuing to offer a different perspective of the magnificent architecture. The lower level is mostly made up of pools of water that create an eery reflection as well as echoing the dull murmur of visitors' voices. We removed our shoes, a custom we have come to know and respect in India, and were asked to remain silent as we entered the Temple. But the space rendered us speechless regardless. We walked towards the front of the Temple all the time wide eyed and staring up at the breathtaking space above us. It felt right that we take a seat a few rows from the front to collect our thoughts, and as I caught Dod's eye he mouthed at me "what do you feel?" I replied "hope". 


Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial - New Delhi

 There is a peaceful spot amongst the chaos of Delhi. Surrounded by trim and tidy green grass Mahatma Gandhi's memorial is placed, or rather hidden inside the centre of a man-made hill. We visited at 5pm during the last of the evening sun, a thick layer of the city's smog surrounded the area. On each side of the hill there is a tunnel leading through to an open air space where the memorial lies. Before walking through we removed our shoes and felt the smooth tiles warm on the soles of our feet. The main reason I wanted to share this experience was the unbelievable sound that filled the space; tree after tree full of tunefully chirping birds. I closed my eyes and it felt like we were somewhere deep in the jungle. The contrast of walking meters away from New Delhi traffic, honking horns and endless shouting into this sanctuary of natural smells and sounds was completely unique to anything I've experienced before. An honest reflection of the great man himself. Peace <3


The Taj Mahal - Agra (By DOD)

Our first stop out of Delhi was at the imperious Taj Mahal. Personally I wasn't overly excited about visiting the Taj beforehand after hearing stories of very pushy guides and big crowds. We were however very lucky to arrive early on a Monday morning (quite a clear one at that!) and have a knowledgeable and humble guide. Arriving just after the gates opened we were able to wander the gardens relatively freely and amongst only a handful of selfie sticks as opposed to the swarms I had imagined.  Meandering freely through the gardens helped to provide us with a greater grasp of the beauty and aura of the Taj; we were both struck by a mystical dream like feeling. This feeling was heightened as we were told that over 20,000 people worked to build it over a 22 year time frame! One thing that you don't see in the photos is the beauty of the colour in each unique mosaic that adorns the outside of the main palace, each made using a variety of stone. We were later shown the traditional method used to cut and polish said stones, alongside a less impressive sales pitch for a coaster and jewellery box. Back to the Taj. It is the smaller details together with that dreamlike feeling that make it truly mesmerising; something that I am glad to have experienced as the million and one stock photos don't come close.

No comments:

Post a Comment