This year I decided to celebrate my birthday in India. To be honest with you, India was never in my radar but it came to mind as I was trying to decide on where to go for my next birthday. I wanted to experience something different and out of my "comfort zone" whatever that is. As the trip neared I started having second thoughts wondering if I had made the right choice but in the end I figured I might as well roll with it and see what the country has to offer, that's how I found myself in New Delhi, the capital of India.
I arrived very early in the morning after two long flights and as soon as I got to my hotel, I was knocked out once my head touched the pillow. Thankfully I was able to sleep off my jet lag so by the time my tour guide was showing up at the hotel I was refreshed and ready to explore.
First stop was at the largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid. After Hinduism, Islam is the second largest religion practiced by about 25% of the country's population. The percentage as I have come to learn, varies depending on who you are talking to but Islam is indeed practiced by a large population in India. The mosque wasn't as impressive as I would have thought but then again, after visiting Iran and being blown away by the beauty of the mosques there, I think it would take a lot to impress me, either way I was glad to be able to check out the mosque, every experience counts.
After the mosque we headed to the largest spice market in Asia where you can find any if not all the spices that you can think off. The variety of spices is impressive! and my tour guide was telling me that famous chefs from different parts of the world visit the market to buy spices that they can't find anywhere else. I think the market is worth checking out, just be prepared to sneeze a lot due to the different spices and their potency. I did get some spices which I can't wait to use.
Next stop was the Raj Ghat which is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The area is very peaceful and quiet which was a good relief after coming from the chaotic spice market.
Next stop was the Qutub Minar which is India's tallest minaret. It was built in 1199 and the 5 stories that make up the tower were built over the course of 4 centuries by different rulers. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
That's it! folks, first day went well and I have another tour in Delhi to cover areas that I missed since we couldn't do everything all at once. Till then, I bid adieu.
Random Thoughts of the Day:
Deli is chaotic and noisy, with 20 million inhabitants I think that's to be expected of any city with that many people.
There is no shortage of creepy dudes all around. At the mosque I had to stop taking photos with my guide because I noticed all these shameless guys taking videos and photos of me, it was so uncomfortable. My guide actually had to shout at them to stop following us and taking photos and videos.
I am dreading the infamous Deli belly, I just hope I don't get it. Drinking only bottled water, I even brush my teeth with bottled water even though I have been told I don't have to.
Jet lag is kicking my butt so I better go to bed now because I have an early morning tomorrow.