Sunday, 21 March 2010

Back to Delhi

Wednesday 17 March: Never a dull moment on the Goa Express sleeper to Delhi - three elegant ladies in saris shimmy along the corridor and solicit money by clapping their hands aggressively in the faces of the male passengers. Most pay up, not with coins, but with real valuable paper money. I look closer and see stubble - they are male transvestites swearing curses on those who don't contribute. Thankfully they ignore foreigners (sorry guys, no photos).
Saturday 20: I walk to Lakshmi Narayan a great red and yellow trifle of a building inaugrated by Gandhi in 1938 as a temple for all castes, Jantar Mantar is the oldest of Maharajah Jai Singh's five astronomical observatories in India and take the Metro to the magnificent Akshardhan Temple (tight security, body searches and no cameras allowed inside) around which the Commonwealth Games are being held in October. The whole of central Delhi is a building site and I'll be truly surprised if they complete both new Metro lines and all the new stadiums before the Games. Sunday 21 morning: Government tourist bus to Delhi's five storey icon, Qutub Minar or Victory Tower, and on to the marble petaled Lotus Temple or Bahai House of Worship where all faiths are welcome to pray or meditate in silence.
9:40pm Howth Delhi Kalka Mail sleeper to Kalka for the 5:30 am narrow-gauge train up to Shimla hill station, the British Raj's former summer capital.
Delhi photos this time around.

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