Day By Day

Monday, January 02, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 5 -- India Gate

Continuing our tour of Delhi and its environ. Our first stop was at the Ghandi memorial, located in a park along the banks of the Yamuna River. Many other Indian leaders are memorialized there, including Nehru and Indira Ghandi, but it is Mohandas Ghandi's memorial that attracts hordes of visitors.

A public drinking fountain near the park entrance. It was a hot day, but even so I would never drink there. "She Who Must Not Be Named" was particularly repulsed by the unsanitary conditions that seemed to prevail everywhere.

A group of schoolgirls had their picture taken with one of our party. Everywhere we went children were friendly, smiling and waving, and often running up to shake our hands. Our Program Manager said that in many cases we were the first "white people" they had ever seen.

The memorial itself. In keeping with Ghandi's public image it is a model of simplicity.

There were a lot of school groups in the crowd, but they were less interested in seeing the great man's shrine than in goofing off on the grounds.

Then it was on to India's National Memorial -- India Gate.

This cupola, designed by Sir Edwin Luytens, stands near the Gate. It once held a statue of King George V, but now it stands empty, a tribute to India's independence from Britain.

Here is the gate itself. Also designed by Luytens it was inspired by the French Arc de Triomphe. It was originally constructed in the 1930's as a war memorial, but since independence has become a tribute to the nation.

A permanent guard stands beneath the arch of the memorial.

And this is what they are guarding -- India's version of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Then it was on to our next, and final for the day, destination -- the Lotus Temple.

Again as we entered the grounds we passed a public drinking station.

And here it is -- the Lotus Temple, a Bahai Place of Worship open to visitors of all faiths. Like most other places of worship in India there is a requirement that visitors remove their shoes. "She Who Must Not Be Named" was now in full revolt and refused to enter the place. So, after taking a few pictures we returned to the air conditioned bus and waited for the tour members to reassemble.

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