New Delhi – and it’s a chilly one!?

Posted: January 20, 2012 in 2011 Winter - India, India

It is always a major culture shock when arriving somewhere new for first time – it takes a couple of days to ‘get into the swing of things.’ Although I was not the only one adjusting as Delhi over the last couple of weeks has been experiencing an unseasonably cold spell. Obviously being English I tried to explain that it really wasn’t that cold and wore my flip flops in protest… Admittedly I did get cold feet but I’m pretty sure I proved to them a thing of two about true British grit.

New Delhi’s airport is much the same as most others, frustrating long cues with lack of any real motivation on the part of immigration employees to get you in and stamped in a hurry! I was met by my prearranged driver and headed for my hostel – New Hostel King off the main bazaar in the old city neighbourhood.

First stop a trip to the see the ‘Red fort‘ or Lal Qila started by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638, the construction of the massive fort took 10 years! Delhi became Emperor Shah Jahan’s new capital. However he was never able to complete the move himself as he was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb back in Agra who ruled in his place…

Reading about the lavish embellishment, silver ceilings, massive marble water features, private steam and bathing block, a solid gold peacock throne (which was encrusted with 230kg of precious gem stones and used 1150kg of solid gold) that the palace once boosted in Mugal days, it is a rather dowdy skeleton of its former glory. Most of the treasures were carted off by various marauding pillaging kings, namely Nadar Shah in 1738, and although it is now UNESCO listed the buildings are to a greater or lesser extent crumbling away 😦

File:Inside Diwan-i-Aam, Lal Quila, Delhi.jpg

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