How to Celebrate Diwali in Delhi If You Are a Visitor?

Diwali in Delhi
Diwali in Delhi

The streets are getting overcrowded, the alleyways are already bustling and highways are crammed with vehicles. When such scenario turns up in India, one can be sure of some massive event or festival at the doorstep. Yes, it is. This time it is Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

Conjure up pictures of the glittery capital city with its every street, nook and corner and every house being lightening up with vivid and vibrant lights. Diwali is already knocking at the doors and people are all set to make it a happening festival, once again. If you are by any chance traveling to this part of the world and want to see how Delhiites mark this up, you should be a part of the festival this time.

Diwali Mela in Delhi – Visit Dilli Haat, INA:

Delhi Mela at Dilli Haat
Delhi Mela at Dilli Haat

Okay, you have missed fairs and carnivals of Janakpuri Dilli Haat. You can still witness the extravaganza of INA Dilli Haat. It is ending on 11th November. Diwali Mela at Dilli Haat is teeming with exclusive gift items and decorative items to adorn houses. Buy candles, floating diyas, rangoli stencils, vandanwar, handicrafts and handlooms for your home. Other things to spot are food delicacies, camel rides and other invigorating rides. Cultural programs are held by the Sahitya Kala Parishad and Punjabi Academy.

No Cracker, Only Diyas:

Only Diyas
Only Diyas

Be a part of CM’s initiative to make Delhi a pollution free city and celebrate this Diwali by lighting up diyas, brightening up your house. Cracker is certainly not the only to bring happiness, joy and sparkle in your life.

Embellish Your Home with Decorative Items:

Diwali Home Decor
Diwali Home Decor

Next I would recommend you to revamp your house using Diwali lamps, candles, glass lamp, rangoli, flower decoration and diya decoration. This is a mere list of items to transform the look of your home.

Do Diwali Puja:

In India, it is a tradition to do Diwali puja. You are not at home native place. That’s fine. You can still do the puja in Delhi. The traditional ritual is performed at every house to drive away evil spirit and bring happiness and ecstasy.

Give & Receive Giveaways:

Sweets are offered. Gifts are exchanged. Diwali sees love, bonding, blessings, respect and affection amongst people. Giving gift on Diwali is also a tradition, which continues till today.

Places to Visit in Delhi on Diwali:

Delhi Attractions
Delhi Attractions

Winter has made its presence felt in Delhi. It’s slowly settling down at least for coming 3 to 4 months. Well, that’s not going to thwart the plans of avid travelers. Anyway, it is Diwali time and travelers are already on high spirit.

Why I Don’t Want to Celebrate this Year Diwali?

 

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This is that week of the year when people forget all worries, dreariness and monotony of life and venture out on a journey full of fun, jolly and gaiety. Life seems to be so easy-going and relaxing when meeting with friends, relatives and families. City centers, alleyways, narrow lanes and streets – in short every nook and corner of India, including rural and urban areas are brighten up with vibrant and colorful lights. Even the sky looks so glittering as the crackers go high up in the air diffusing diverse colors, offering a perfect visual treat.

Diwali is not just about fireworks and mouthwatering food delicacies, but endearing the feeling of togetherness. Being away from native place for several years did not lessen my zeal, excitement, fervor and enthusiasm for this festival. I’ve mastered the art of celebrating festivals alone (kind of). 😉

A Year with Exception – Diwali in Delhi:

Festival of Lights, Not Festival of Smoke
Festival of Lights, Not Festival of Smoke

This year is an exception. I see no exhilaration in me to rejoice considering the increasing air pollution in Delhi. A few months ago in last May, air pollution in Delhi became the talk of the town for becoming the most polluted city on earth. The city was literally engulfed by toxic smoke coming coal-fired power plants, dust coming from construction sites and huge emissions from vehicles. A place that has become unhealthy to stay, how can I think of absorbing myself in fireworks and whole night crackers?

Appeal from the CM:

Say NO to Crackers
Say NO to Crackers

I’m apprehensive about what the authorities are doing. I mean this is true that every year, they adopt certain measures to restrict the air pollution (air in Delhi is hazardous), but in vain. Authorities take initiatives to check the acute problem of air pollution, speak about the problem, and make similar pitch, only to be heard or fell on deaf ears. This year the Chief Minister himself comes out and appeals not to convert Festival of Lights into Festival of Smoke.

Charismatic Delhi – The India Gate

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The India Gate

Kids playing around, friends chilling out, families picnicking, couples rekindling love and patriots becoming more patriotic – when all these are found at one spot, you must be conjuring up images of the India Gate. I see them all as I approach this historic site. Though chaotic in nature as the surroundings are occupied by large number of people, you will find some space for yourself, solitude in nature.

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Rambling lush lawns, long narrow canals, colorful flowers, beautiful fountains, imposing structures, expansive areas and wide streets are some of the main attributes of the India Gate. Sooner I come out of the Central Secretariat Metro Station; the delightful sights of couples, families and youngsters completely inundated in the water activities. A summer evening at the India Gate is pretty much relaxing and unwinding.

Since the distance from Central Secretariat Metro Station to India Gate is less than two kilometers, I prefer taking an evening stroll along the canals in the lawns, seeing the crowd at their best playful acts. Indeed, watching a large number of crowds indulged in outdoor activities is a delightful sight.

Top 10 Activities at the India Gate:

If you ask me to name one destination that can keep you thrilled, keep you occupied the whole day, my answer would be the India Gate. And why not? The iconic structure, which is a war memorial, is India’s one of the most intriguing tourist attractions. For Delhiites, the India Gate is a regular spot for fun. For international travelers, it’s to witness and admire India’s glory.

Universal Picnic Spot for Everyone:

Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment
Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment

The expansive greenery, well-manicured lawns on both sides of Rajpath well complemented by canals mostly adorned with boats offer a plenty of space for families and friends to spend some quality time away from home. The vibe it produces is so enthralling. Come once, the captivating sight will entrap you and would not let you go back easily. Pack your picnic basket, filling it with essentials like food and beverages, tableware, cleanup (paper towels and trash bags) and other miscellaneous items that you need.

Boating:

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Want a Ride?

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It is true that Delhiites don’t have access to beaches. So what? They can do other water related activities. One such is boating. India Gate boating is very much famous amongst couples, lovers, kids and families. Do not forget to take a snap of yours keeping the imposing Arch on the backdrop. Anytime throughout the day is an awesome time for boating. Those who are in love, go for a romantic boat ride in the dusk and rekindle the momentum.

Here’s the Youtube link of boating video.

You Don’t Need a Cricket Ground to Play the Game:

Cricket at India Gate
Cricket at India Gate

Are you a diehard cricket fan? Then you don’t need a cricket ground to play your best short. Even I have played cricket with my brother and other guys in the narrow lanes and alleyways. Visitors who are in group should not afford to miss this fun. Oh, your group comprises beautiful girls who consider themselves so delicate and frail? I don’t think that is a problem. Even cricket is very much admired by girls. Ask your friend, I’m sure she won’t turn her back.

Here’s the Youtube link of funny cricket match video at India Gate.

Walking on Rajpath:

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Not the type of visitor who would simply sit back and relax? If so, then why not prefer a romantic walk along with your sweetheart hand-in-hand on Rajpath with India Gate embellishing the background? Feel the aroma of love when it is drizzling on the most celebrated street in New Delhi. No, you cannot afford to miss. What a feeling! Isn’t it?

Have Meetha Pan & Get Your Picture Drawn:

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Take One
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He is a genius.

Look at the panwala! How meticulously he’s performing his job. I take a pause and see him moving his hands so fast, serving his customers diligently – nah, not a single customer returns empty handed. Have a meetha pan, and move forward till you reach the wonderful guy who sees you and draws your picture. He’s a real professional.

Pamper Your Girlfriend’s Moods with a Long, Tiring Photo shoot:

Your girl is likely to tempt you to capture her many moods. That’s not a bad idea I guess because there is no better location that India Gate. Show your creativity and capture shots that are beyond the imagination of your girl. I’m sure your sweetheart will go gaga over your ingenuity. Why would you ask a professional photographer when you can take overwhelming pictures and save a few hundred bucks?

Watch the Sunset, Followed by Carnival-like Evening:

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Swarming with hordes of visitors and hawkers, India Gate creates carnival-like scenery as the Sun moves to the other part of earth. Witness the marvelous sunset like nowhere in Delhi (well, I cannot guarantee a breathtaking sunset like at the Taj Mahal, yet it is no less than that). Budding photographers always wait for this time of the day so that they can have some fantastic pictures to their name.

Watch a Candlelight March:

They say if you sneeze in Delhi, the entire country catches the cold. Do not try and make out its literal meaning. Since Delhi is the heart of this vast subcontinent where media has its home established, no matter how big or small an event or protest happens it reaches to the nook and corner of the country. And when in Delhi, especially at the India Gate, you can spot hordes of people go candlelight vigil on the Rajpath, demanding justice to the victims.

Be a Live Spectator to President’s Speech:

Our President is a great orator. Witnessing his articulation is a real treat. Be fortunate enough to appreciate India’s first citizen delivering public speech at Rastrapati Bhavan, only a few kilometers away from your fun spot. You never know you might get the first news than India’s leading daily.

Admire the Iconic Structure of India Gate:

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Wow, you covered almost all major activities. There is still one left. You got to admire the majestic arch structure and go gaga over the aesthetic artwork of this magnificent war memorial. The majestic monument was designed by the most famous war memorial designer Edin Lutyens, whose feat also lies in building some of the most impressive war memorials in Europe. He has built 66 war memorials in the continent, Cenotaph constructed in 1919, being the most known after World War I. While constructing the India Gate, Edin had the shape of the Arc de Triomphe. The massive structure stands tall up to 42 meters and spans over 30 feet. The flame, which is known as the Flame of the Immortal soldier or Amar Jawan Jyoti, under the shrine of the structure is ceaselessly burning since 1971, commemorating the immortal soldiers who lost their lives during the wars.

Charismatic Delhi – The Red Fort

The Red Fort
The Imposing Red Fort

 

Now at the Red Fort! The aroma of Old Delhi is emanating everywhere. The busy streets and narrow alleyways mostly occupied by cyclists, motorists, rickshaw-walas and an array of shops and stores, from saree shops to lehenga markets, decorating both sides of the road speak loudly that the scene is certainly procured from Chandni Chowk. And it is correct. I am at the Red Fort, once served the residence of the Mughal family for over two hundred years.

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Handcrafted Traditional Stuff

Red Fort at a Glance:

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With a history close to four hundred years, the Red Fort or Lal Quila built by Shah Jahan in 1648 stands still partially and has withstood all odds over several centuries. Perched over a massive area of two hundred and fifty acres fenced by thick, strong walls, the imposing fort showcases extraordinary Mughal artwork and architecture, which combine Indian, European and Persian art. Apart from holding historical importance, the largest monument in Delhi also plays a pivotal role on Independence Day when the Prime of Minister of India hoists the Tricolor National Flag and delivers a patriotic speech, ultimately motivating and inculcating patriotism in the minds and souls of Indians.

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I just returned from a complete sightseeing of the Tughlaqabad Fort, which was sparsely sprinkled with visitors. At the Red Fort, the scenery is totally different. It is pretty hot out here. That hardly makes any difference to the ever-increasing enthusiasm and zeal of the visitors, both locals and foreigners alike. Families, friends, couples and individuals are busy taking that perfect shot that would certainly ornament their Facebook page. A long queue is waiting for me, probably testing my patience (but I am unperturbed. I’m not worried. I’m fully equipped to tackle the scorching heat).

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You See the Queue?

A head-to-toe security check is performed by the security personnel and entrance is then allowed. What catches the attention at once is the vast collection of art and craft shops selling all kinds of stuff, including glittering jewelry, beautiful hand bags, etc. at pocket-friendly rates. Walk pass the art and craft shops, visitors are welcome by a great complex of buildings, intricately crafted and impressively designed.

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Inside the fortification are constructed outstanding building complexes, such as Divan-i-Khas, the Rang Mahal, Moti Masjid, Mumtaz Mahal and the hammam. The manicured green meadows adorned by birds and humans and surrounded by imposing mahals and masjids offer a perfect visual treat to the eyes.

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The Delhi Red Fort is octagonal and appealing interiors with notable marble structures. The robust walls that stretch up to approximately two and half kilometers are draped with turrets and bastions.

Sound & Light Show:

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Sound & Light Show – Red Fort Delhi

One of the highlights of the Delhi Red Fort is its Sound and Light Show.

Important Information:

Delhi Red Fort Tickets: Rs 10/- for Indian adults, Rs 150/- for foreigners

Nearby Attractions: Chandni Chowk Market, Jama Masjid and Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib.

Nearest Metro: Chandni Chowk Metro Station

Charismatic Delhi – Tughlaqabad Fort!

If you have been to Delhi in summer, at least you know what it is like. It is too hot in May, with daytime temperatures are sizzling, touching above 430 C. While the scorching heat of the sun compels Delhiites to stay indoors, I thought to myself – why not give it a challenge and have a glance at some of the capital’s historical sites?As I was lost in the thoughts of the massive stone fortifications of Tughlaqabad Fort, thick defensive walls of the Red Fort and verdant surroundings of India Gate, my shoes were already dancing and my camera was going out of control to take snaps. Before I could do anything, my restless feet had already started the journey, leaving no choice.

Also Read: Replica of Taj Mahal in Delhi…Any Guesses?

Fort Entrance
Fort Entrance

Tughlaqabad Fort – The Third City of Delhi:

Spreading over six kilometers in the southern part of Delhi is the striking, yet dilapidated huge stone fortification of Tughlaqabad. The citadel is one of the most outstanding historic monuments in Delhi was built in 1321 by the founder of Tughlaq Dynasty by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Perched right on the Mehrauli-Badarpur road connecting to the new city, the Tughlaqabad Fort was the third historic city of Delhi. It is now able to draw a generous amount of visitors who combine serenity with history.

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Uneven Terrain
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Beautiful!!!

 

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Nice Place to Play Hide & Seek
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Big Well

Be watchful! The craggy, uneven terrain is often threatened by thorny shrubs might make you uncomfortable as it did to me while trying to cover the remains of this vast complex. Make sure you have got big eyes to cover up this massive complex because the remains stretch as far as your eyes can observe.

The Romantic Side of Tughlaqabad Fort:

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Unperturbed

While strolling through the rocky terrains, I stumbled upon with a handful of innocent visitors who have no knowledge of the outer world and busy in finding the safest place so that they can spend some quality time with their partners. I thought to myself – apart from its historical importance, the fort also bears some romantic tinges or it has gradually earned a big name amongst romantics. I couldn’t but laugh when I saw the guards constantly making efforts to spot lovers, poking at them and drive them away or at least ask them to sit at a little distance. I must say the guards need a handsome hike in next three months because they are doing more than what they are assigned.

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The Mausoleum of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq:

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Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq
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Verdant Garden
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Graves of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq (middle), His Wife & His Son

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Connected via causeway (divided by Mehrauli-Badarpur Road) is the Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. The tomb is set in a lush garden in one corner surrounded by thick, fortified walls. The walls are approximately fifteen meters high. The red sandstone tomb is actually a single-domed square tomb. The white marble dome looks so elegant and is clearly visible from a distance. Peep through inside and discover three graves lined up – the grave of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq is nestled between the graves of his wife and successor (his son).

Guidelines for Visitors:

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Some Handy Information:

Tughlaqabad Fort Tickets: To get inside the fort, it is important to have Tughlaqabad Fort tickets. Indians can pay Rs 5/- for a ticket, while it costs Rs 100/- to foreigners.

Tughlaqabad Fort Timings: What make Tughlaqabad Fort different from other attractions in Delhi are its timings. It is open all days of the week. You could start your trip from 7 am till 5 pm.

Tughlaqabad Fort Address: It is located on the popular Mehrauli-Badarpur Road. Reaching this citadel is easy by car, auto, bus and metro.

Tughlaqabad Fort nearest Metro Station: The nearest metro stations are Tughlakabad Metro Station and Saket Metro Station.

Also Read: Tuglaqabad – The Other Side of Delhi

Sunday Fun in Delhi

I know, I know, you have been waiting for this day since last Monday. Too much work pressure, consistent yelling of your boss and the meeting deadlines at the last minute –your life’s finished. Isn’t it? No, I don’t think so. Sundays can never be uninteresting if you are a Delhi resident or staying in the capital for some time now.

If you are a kind of person who does not like to be restricted to the four walls of your home or hotel and want to embark upon a never-ending journey of fun, adventure and amusement, you need to get up early, put aside your blanket and tighten up your shoe lace for an exciting day in the capital of India. There are a pool of things waiting for you out there.

Fun Parks:

Can you hear the constant calling of dozens of amusement parks, water parks and picnic spots? These places get crowded by toddlers, bigger ones and couples occupying respective comfortable places – ideal places for refreshment. There is a wide range of interesting things to keep everyone busy – from delightful amusement rides (such as tele combate, hang glider, ranger and carousel) and water rides (such as flume raft slide, tube slider, multi lane slide and aqua twister) to adventure games (such as balance walking, tug of war, Burma bridge, paintball and commando tunnel crawl). At the same time, one should not miss the scrumptious gastronomy. Grab a chicken sweetcorn soup or bite a slice of pron and fish at Food Court.

Fun Parks in Delhi
Kids Zone

Watch a Movie:

Hey lazy folks, there is an excellent way to immerse yourself in endless entertainment is to go and watch a movie. Whether you are a Bollywood movie buff (Salman Khan fan) or a Hollywood flick lover (die-hard fan of Leonardo DiCaprio), the national capital of India has an array of theaters showing flick at your disposal. Just drag your laptop and book a movie at some of the prominent cine-multiplexes such as PVR Cinemas, Fun Cinemas, Wave Cinemas and Satyam Cineplexes. Cinemas are and have always been a major form of entertainment in the national capital.

Watch a Movie
Which movie are you up to?

Shop till You Drop:

From funky to formals, from traditional to western, from jewelry to handicrafts, from branded stores to local stalls, from local souvenir to library, Delhi has an electrifying market that fulfills all your shopping needs. The vibrant atmosphere of Delhi markets keeps you busy shopping. You will find one shopping market better than its predecessor.

Connaught Place, DilliHaat, Sarojini Nagar, Palika Bazaar, ChandniChowk, Lajpat Nagar, Khan Market and Karol Bagh are leading markets bustling with local flavors. Why not buy a Banarasi sari for your mother on her birthday and make the special day even more exceptional?

Shopping in Delhi
Make sure your wallet is fat!

Dine at Best Places:

What are you left with? Oh!!! How can I forget to mention your favorite eateries? I know you are a foodie, and my blog will be incomplete without mentioning the best places to eat in Delhi with family. Top-notch family restaurants close to your home are Indian Accent, Dakshin, Bukhara, Dum Pukht, Karim’s and Punjabi by Nature. However, there is no dearth of Chinese restaurants, French restaurants, Japanese and Italian restaurants if you have had enough of Indian dishes.

Eateries
Don’t interrupt them!

Festival of Innovation in Pictures

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Festival of Innovation

The week-long festival at Rashtrapati Bhavan provides a perfect platform where skilled Indians demonstrate their ingenuity and creativity. Here are some pictures that speak about the creative side of the natives.

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Vegetable Dyes for Wooden Toys
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Energy Efficient Stove
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Imagination & Inspiration
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Multi-purpose Kitchen Tool

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Biba Fruit Shelling Machine
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Modified Walker with Adjustable Legs

Tuglaqabad – The Other Side of Delhi

After my brother and sister-in-law’s departure from Delhi, we (Sunita & I) felt quite lonely until the news of my cousin’s arrival in Delhi. Though she is a distant cousin, it had nothing to do with my excitement of meeting her – at least, I was going to meet someone I know dearly.

Last Sunday morning, I received a call from her asking me to meet her. After a light breakfast, Sunita & I headed to Tuglakabad, gali no. 4. We boarded the metro train at Vaishali, changed twice (first at Rajiv Chowk & second at Central Secretariat) and reached Tuglakabad Metro Station after 1.10 hours.

She is new to Delhi, so she couldn’t provide me the best information about the route. This made me hire an auto-rickshaw that charged me Rs 150/-. I asked the auto driver to take the short-cut route, but went in vain – probably, there was no short-cut available.

Compared to other parts of Delhi, I found this area pretty underdeveloped. The roads are not great, quite narrow. No big buildings on both sides and the area looked unusual to me. But, this place can be of historical importance that I was unaware of. As we were up to the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, we crossed the majestic fort of Tuglaqabad Fort. Otherwise known as Adilabad Fort, Tuglaqabad Fort was modest in size with protective gigantic fortification on its boundary. From outside, it looked so charming. Lies on both sides of the road, the fort has a plenty of things to offer.

The sight of Monkey Park from the auto was very impressive. We further passed Air Force Station and Jamia Hamdard University before we reached Sangam Vihar. From there we had to take another auto that would go through the narrow streets and busy and stinky market. I wonder how the drivers manage to ride their vehicles. At times, I felt as if the auto was about to hit the walking commuters. Well, the worst scene had not come until we were at gali no. 4. I missed taking the pictures. I doubted if it was Delhi. I paid the auto driver and asked him to leave before I reach their house. I called up my cousin from a few yards from her stay. Her father-in-law guided us to their house and gave us a warm welcome.

Almost Trampled by Huge Crowd at Rath Yatra

The title might sound little peculiar to you, but this is true that we almost got crushed by the huge, maddened crowd at Rath Yatra, Hauz Khas. Every year hordes of people pour into the area to be a part of the carnival.

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36th Shree Jagannath Ratha Yatra, 2014

A Short Brief about Ratha Yatra:

Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival or Car Festival is one of the biggest and most popular Hindu festivals associated with the Almighty Lord Jagannath. As part of the festival, the deities (Lord Jagannath, sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra) are taken out on an annual visit to Mausi Maa Temple (Gundicha Mata Temple) and return after a stay of 9 days. It is known as “Bahuda Yatra”.

Though the temple is within walking distance (less than 2 kilometers from the metro station), we (Praveen, my dear friend, Sunita and I) preferred hiring an auto rickshaw. The celebration was in full flow as we could witness the excitement and enthusiasm of the devotees from a distance. The main area was fenced and constantly observed by Policemen. We had to alight from the auto, at least, 500 meters from the temple and walked along street, through the mass, enjoying various drinks of butter milk, juice, rooh afza and water.

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Quenching Thirst with a Glass of Rooh Afza

It was around 2 pm by then, and I couldn’t afford to miss an opportunity to grab the golden moment of the chariot being pulled through the main streets. However, we were stuck up in the middle finding a safe space and couldn’t penetrate though the tremendous gathering.

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Hordes of Devotees in Different Colors
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Where Are They Heading to?

Carrying the idol of Lord Jagannath, the spectacularly adorned chariot (standing up to 15 ft.), resembling temple structure, was towed with ropes through the main streets of Sufdarjung Development Area, Bhagwan Jagannath Marg by thousands of devotees. Priests were busy in chanting mantras. The extravagant procession played devotional songs with trumpets, drums and tambourines. The chariot looked so colorful and dazzling that could capture anyone’s attention.

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Spectacularly Embellished Chariot

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The Rath proceeded further and further with the chants of “Jay Jagannath Swami”. The sight of people trying to break coconuts against the Rath was terrifying as there were chances of devotees being trampled by the huge wheels of the chariot. Constant announcements – both in Odia and Hindi – were made warning people not to get close to the wheels and take care of respective family members. We even came across reports of child missing.

“Blessed are those who pull the ropes of the chariot during the Rath Yatra” – and I think I’m blessed. I didn’t let the opportunity go just by standing away from the crowd and witnessing the beauty. We inched little further and were almost crushed by a huge crowd. I was very concerned about Sunita. I escorted her to a safe place and partook in the extravaganza. Later on, Praveen and Sunita also tried their hands at pulling the ropes, but in the safest manner.

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A Groufie of Three of Us

The chariot moved on. And we three of us headed to the temple. Not finding a space for our shoes in the shoe stand, we asked Sunita to keep an eye on our properties. Yes. I know it sounds bit awkward making a girl to act as a guard ;-), but we were left with no other choice. Praveen and I entered the temple with nude feet.

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In the Temple Premise
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Look at the Greatest Devotee 😛

Whoa, whoa, whoa…we jumped like shrimps no sooner we stepped on the floors of the temple premises. It was extremely hot. After paying a visit to the main temple and Laxmi Mata temple, I suggested Praveen to have a glance at the basement. It is the place where devotees can have “Mahaprasad – Abadha”.

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Anand Bazaar – at the Basement
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Taken from the Temple Premise
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Bustling Mass

Praveen had to attend his swimming session. So, we decided to return. As Praveen departed, Sunita and I went to Sukant’s home. Relaxed there for a couple of hours before catching up metro for Vaishali.

Here’s the Youtube link of Rath Yatra video.

(You can also know more about our trip read out Praveen’s blog)

Replica of Taj Mahal in Delhi…Any Guesses?

“Can I have the opportunity to marvel at the outstanding beauty of the Taj Mahal in this life”? Asked my wife, Sunita. To this my instant reply was “you don’t have to wait for your next life. We will visit the Taj Mahal today.” Of course, she was bit surprised. To clarify her doubt, I mumbled the name Humayun’s Tomb.

“See a cat if you have not seen a tiger” – In Delhi, visit Humayun’s Tomb if you have not witnessed the beauty and glory of the Taj Mahal. Built by Bega Begum, the first wife of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, the mausoleum, one of the greatest Mughal architectures, is a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. This stunning creation exudes many past events that the country is proud of today.

Nothing can stop you from taking a trip, not even the scorching heat of summer, once you build up strong determination. And this is what happened when Sunita, my permanent travel companion and I decided to pay a visit this amazing Mughal wonder. We started off by 12 pm. The sun was unwilling to distort its settings. Since Delhi is burning with heat, some might think it was a stupid idea to come out of the house instead of relaxing in an A/C room. The only thing that you need to do is to be well-prepared, explore history and have fun.

From the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Metro Station, the tomb is just a 10-minute drive away. We thought of hiring an auto to reach the point quickly. I approached the only auto driver near the metro at that moment, told him where we would go, but he gave me a perplexed look. He was not aware of anything related to that name. So, I had to guide him to the destination with the help of GPS service – Thanks to technology!

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The Enthusiastic Crowd Making Their Way Through the Main Gate

The place was quite crowded. Like me, there were hundreds of others who have come to marvel at the ultimate replica of the world famous Taj Mahal. The first thing we did to get the entrance ticket (Rs 10/-). But for foreigners it is 25 times more i.e. Rs 250/- (Note the difference).

I was taken aback with the impressive building inside the walled enclosure that is evident from the gigantic double-storey gateway. A large square garden further divided into 4 square gardens, separated by causeways and pathways and surrounded by thick and high walls. It offers a splendid visual retreat. The manicured gardens constantly entice the travelers to take a short nap and rejuvenate body, soul and mind. A small, but beautiful water fountain is ever ready to welcome. Visitors were busy taking pictures in the backdrop of the massive tomb. As we inched further towards the main building, for some time, I remained inundated in the thoughts of how skilled those engineers were. Their works are in evidence even today and will be there for many more years.

Standing majestically right in the heart of the complex, the tomb receives thousands of visitors every year, both locals and foreigners alike. There are several smaller monuments along with many tombs adorn this historic site. I had a close look at the tomb of Humayun accompanied by graves of his wife Bega Begum, Dara Shikoh, son of Shah Jahan and great great grandson of Humayun.

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Can You Identify Sunita in this photo?
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Objects Found during Excavation at Isa Khan’s Tomb Garden
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In the Backdrop of the Outstanding Monument
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A Glance at Our Shadow
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A Group of Mughal Tombs
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Relax Time!
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Taken from the Sky?

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Guess Who’s Tomb?
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People Finding Picnic Spot
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The Beautiful Garden & the Double-Storey Gate

Before we say bye to the tombs, I wanted to capture the magnificent scenic beauty of the gardens and its surroundings right from the top of the spacious porch. If you are a history buff, Humayun’s Tomb is a must visit attraction. Have a close glance at the combination of white marble and red and yellow sandstone – you just can’t take your eyes off.

And yes, never forget to bring water and wrap it up with a polythene bag to keep it cool for longer time.

Not so tired? Then I invite you to come and join me at Jagannath Temple, Hauz Khas this Sunday on 29th at 2 pm not only to witness the famous Rath Yatra, but to tow the rope with me and help the Almighty reach His destination, Mausi Maa Temple.