Ancient History in Delhi
A few weeks after my arrival in India we went sightseeing in Delhi, and I have to say that it made a huge difference in my attitude. Suddenly, I was glad I came! Our first stop was The Lotus Temple. It was built in 1986 and resembles the shape of a lotus flower. It is the last of seven major Bahai temples built around the world. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and the whole place has an incredibly peaceful vibe. Foreigners should be careful to show reverence and adhere to the rules, such as no speaking or picture taking within the temple. I noticed that the Indian people were dressed in their formals and I felt a little self-conscious about wearing casual American clothes. We were there for just over an hour and I was asked a dozen times if I would pose for photographs with Indian people outside. I felt like a celebrity! It seemed to be teenagers that were most drawn to me, especially young Indian men. After the picture they would giggle like school girls. It was all a little overwhelming.
After that we went to Humayun’s Tomb, which was started in the 15th century, but finished in the 16th century by the Maghal Dynasty. It looks more like a a palace than a tomb and is heavily influenced by Persian architecture. It is believed that its impressive beauty is what inspired the building of The Taj Mahal It was so stunning I can hardly describe it. The intricate designs carved out of rock, along with a 140 foot marble dome, really blew my mind. How did they do that with just crude hand tools?
Our next stop was Red Fort, which is about 5 times the size of Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington (USA) and made of rock and clay. Shahjahan’s famous citadel, was started in 1639 and took nine years to complete. It was so large that I opted to not walk around the entire thing. In the scorching Delhi heat, it just seemed like it would be too much effort, and by that time I was already tired from a long day of site seeing. It even has a moat around it!
Modern Architecture in Delhi
Next we visited our new office in Gurgaon. It is located in Cyber Hub, an ultra-modern complex that includes a shopping mall with Dunkin Doughnuts and a Hard Rock Cafe. The vast polarity between the ancient and modern is throughout the city. You will see a brand new BMW on the street next to someone pushing a fruit cart. Of course, beggars are everywhere and they are aggressive. They don’t have the lazy ones with signs like we do in the states. We were even approached by an Indian transvestite that would have given Frankenfurter a run for his money! It was a fascinating day and I see why people fall in love with such an incredible country.