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A cherished Trip to Delhi

Deepika Nambiar
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It was the 3 months Summer vacation for schools and we had not planned to travel to India. Vacation started becoming boring for my Daughter. For Ramadan- Eid the Government declared holidays from 5th July - 9th July 2016. We took the opportunity of these 5 Day long holidays and planned a Trip to Delhi.

Our first task was to plan and make a list of the important and a must see places in Delhi. Thanks to Google, we checked the various Delhi tour packages and then finalized our trip to Delhi and Agra. Contacted one of the Travel Agencies and made arrangements of our Accommodation, Transport and a Tour Guide to show us the places.



We reached Delhi early Morning on 5th July and checked in at Crowne Plaza Hotel, New Delhi. The room we got was lovely and had a view of the Metro Rail. The package we booked had complimentary Breakfast. We had our delicious breakfast and started our tour in a divine way with the visit to Lakshmi Narayan Temple also known as Birla Mandir. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. We were not allowed to use the camera nor our mobile as photography is not allowed inside the temple. But they had a very good arrangement to keep our belongings in a locker which is present at the entrance. We felt the peace and harmony at this place. There was no crowd at the time we went. We started our wonderful trip with the God’s blessings. From there we went to Rashtrapati Bhavan - Rajpath. Got a view of it from the outside as some cabinet ministers swearing in ceremony was going on that day. Then we moved to the India Gate. The path from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate is the place where the Republic Day parade takes place every year on 26 January. India Gate commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army. We felt proud to visit India gate and pay respect to the soldiers whose names are carved on it. The weather in July was so hot that we had to have ice-creams to cool ourselves.

Our tour guide informed us that Delhi is actually divided into two, New Delhi and Old Delhi. Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Qutub Minar, Humayun tomb all come under New Delhi and our first day tour was to cover some parts of the New Delhi.



After lunch we went to see the Humayun Tomb and the Qutub Minar- the tallest brick tower in the world. There is entry ticket to the Qutub Minar. It was amazing to see the tallest tower. After visiting Humayun Tomb and the Qutub Minar we ended our day 1 tour again in a divine way by visiting the ISKCON Temple. There we had a wonderful visual experience of Bhagavad Gita - it’s a Summary of teachings of Bhagavad Gita presented using robots and light effects along with dramatic narration. It was a wonderful experience. Full dramatic narration was in Hindi and very interesting.



2nd Day after breakfast we had a unique old Delhi travel experience through Rickshaw tour. First we visited the Jama Masjid then the Rickshaw tour took us through the Chandni Chowk or "Silver Square", the most famous and historic street of Delhi. This includes street food, vibrant bazaars, Spices bazaars where you can shop. Rickshaws are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore the Chandni Chowk. The Rickshawalla was very kind and was explaining to us of all the shops and vendors that we were passing by. Experience of the Rickshaw tour was amazing and wonderful. Then the Rickshaw tour ends at Red Fort or Lal Qila the most magnificent ancient building of Delhi. We have ticket entry to the Red Fort. Then from there we visited the Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and also Gandhi Smriti formerly known as Birla House or Birla Bhavan, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. In the Museum we could hear the recorded speeches of Mahatma Gandhi.



After this wonderful half day tour, we had lunch and headed to Akshardham Temple. Akshardham Temple is situated in New Delhi and this temple was close to the Crowne Plaza hotel, where we stayed. It was a marvelous sight! Swaminarayan Akshardham temple is the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple as per Guinness world record. We are not allowed to take anything to the temple like food, camera, mobile, any electronic items etc. There was a strict security check for the entry to the temple complex. We left our bags in the car and went to the temple. There was a huge crowd of devotes and tourists inside the temple. The Temple complex is very huge. Surrounding the temple there are carvings of animals and various stories from Panchatantra. The best part is to experience the breath-taking water show at night which brings to life a story from the Kena Upanishad. A must watch if visiting Akshardham temple and this you can experience only if you are visiting the temple in the afternoon. They even have an exhibition. The temple authorities have provided an area from where they will click picture for us as we cannot carry our cameras or mobiles. We can pay and get the picture from there. It takes one full evening at the Akshardham Temple. Akshardham Temple is a must visit if coming to Delhi.
It was on the third day, we planned our trip to visit the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful monuments and one of the wonders of the world. We left early in the morning around 7 AM. The road from Delhi to Agra was newly built and there were no signal, no break in between. We even saw many going to Agra through Cycle as expedition. We had our breakfast on the way. Agra was much hotter than Delhi. It was a dream come true to visit this magnificent Taj Mahal – the so called 'Symbol of Love'. We spent some time inside clicking photos in front of the symbol of love.



On the way, we got an opportunity to visit Agra Marble Emporium to see how each piece of marble is carved by hand. We stopped to buy a few souvenirs and learnt how marble inlay was done. The work on each marble is done with a lot of concentration and attention. It’s difficult and time consuming. We even bought the famous sweet Agra Petha from Agra. We returned by evening 6 Pm to Delhi.

Main attraction on the fourth day was the Lotus Temple. This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower. We just go inside and sit pray in silence and come. One will feel so blissful after spending some silent time inside the temple. Then we had a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings, Supreme Court Area, Prime Minister Residence area and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital. Later in the day we got time to shop at the DLF MALL. It’s a huge complex having 3 different malls such as DLF Emporio, DLF Promenade and Ambience Mall.



Then comes the last day of our tour and we were forced to fly back to Kuwait! Our flight was in the afternoon on the fifth day so just enjoyed the breakfast at the hotel and left to the airport. It was really a time well spent with my family. The whole trip was well planned without any hectic schedule and with a very relaxed and enjoyable sightseeing. We also got some time to relax in the beautiful swimming pool of Crowne Plaza Hotel every day at night. No doubt that these five days were the most memorable, and fun filled Trip. My Eid holidays were spent fruitfully.

Deepika Nambiar is a Freelance writer. Currently working for Lemonade International as Administrative Manager. She is part of the IIK Team and IWIK Core Team.Does regular contributions to the news portal IndiansinKuwait.com and also for Timesofindia.com.
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