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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 18: More sightseeing in New Delhi

INDIA | Friday, 23 November 2007 | Views [473]

Friday 23rd November

Having got my bearings a bit better the day before, I set off for another trek about town. I tried to avoid public transport as much as possible, even though it is very cheap. A lot of the time, I prefer to walk to get some exercise (got to work off all those curries) and to get a better feel for the place on foot. The weather ever since I got here has been fantastic: sunny, warm, the autumn days in India are like a perfect's summers day in England. The nights are also warmer further south in Delhi compared to the northern states where I have spent most of my time so far.

A ticket to the National Museum cost 300 rupess (just under 4 quid) for non-Indian nationals and 10Rs for Indians. I think this is fair enough given just how cheap it is for tourists who come here. The museum itself was OK, it had a lot of interesting artefacts on several floors but there are only so many statues of Buddha, paintings and ceramics that I can look at without getting bored.

A much more interesting and recent history was that of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the Indian Republic, and his daughter Indira Ghandi, also PM on two occasions over the 60s and 70s. Both of their homes are now museums, and tell the story of how their family played an integral part in the history of modern day India and the struggle for independence.

On the way back to the hotel, I came across a concert being held in the park in the middle of Connaught Place. A series of free concerts are taking place here over the weekend and take the form of qawwali, which my guide book tells me is a type of devotional song which appears at weddings and concerts similar to this one. It involves a main singer, backing singers, harmonium and percussionists. For those who have heard of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - the big fat bloke who gained popularity in the west as well as in Asia - then you will know what type of singing this is. Apprently, the hypnotic rhythms 'can inspire its audience into a state of mast (spiritual intoxication), manifested by wild swaying and swinging of the head.' So, pretty much the same as what happens after drinking 8 pints of cider.

Tags: Sightseeing

 

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