Out of the New into the Old

Today was my first full day in India. It was a long day, but it was nice. I got up earlier than I wanted to (I was exhausted and had only gotten 3 ½ hours of sleep) and slowly got ready for breakfast and church.

After breakfast, I wanted to get transportation to Church but needed to have rupees and wasn’t able to exchange money until it was too late to go, and so I had to miss out on both that experience and on worship today. I spent some time resting in the room, but then it was time to get ready to head to Old Delhi for our seeing of the sights today.

India Gate We started out with India Gate. India Gate was built in the 1920s when Britain (UK) still controlled India. From there we went to a huge tomb and monument, Humayun, that has been around since before 1600. That’s before the Jamestown settlement, which is the oldest remnants of the United States. history

We then went to tartest Mosque in Asia. We had to take off our shoes to walk around in it,, which was inconvenient, but ok. We also weren’t allowed to take picture of the inside without paying for permission.

After that we spent quite a bit of time walking around in Old Delhi before getting back to the bus. We walked passed religious temples for the Jainists, the Muslims and the Sikhs among others. And we passed the giant Red Fort as well. I asked Raj how many people lived in the area within a few blocks of the 5 miles we walked today and he estimated 1.5 Million. Not a huge number compared to 1.4 Million in India, but it was almost 10% of the population of Delhi.

We also visited Gandhi’s tomb and had a lovely dinner tonight and after all the walking I’m exhausted…and we catch a train early tomorrow to head to see the Taj Mahal so I’d better get some sleep.

Oh…my three particularly interesting things from the walking and seeing in old Delhi today:

  1. The large tomb at had fountains that were originally fed with a manual moat system and the water was powered by simple gravity in a time when engineering was much less advanced.
  2. They have people on the streets in old Delhi who make their living cleaning ears. That’s right, professional ear cleaners.
  3. I saw a low-level local government minister arrive at a temple with a huge security force for his protection. It was rather impressive, but is not a good use of scarce resources.

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