New Delhi Grandeur
Now there is Delhi, the older more run down, section of this enchanting capital of North India. Then there is New Delhi. That is the part built by the occupying British as a symbol of their power and once dominance of this region of some 25 million souls. While my colleagues opt for tours on air conditioned mini vans, I take to the streets walking, True, I will miss important, though easily forgettable, details provided by highly qualified tour guides. But for me the sights and encounters in my long walks are the essence of how I prefer to travel.Before me is the real Taj Mahal actually located in Agra.
The strikingly white marble mausoleum has been called the “crown of all palaces”. As the story goes, in the 1640, a great maharaja had the Taj built to commemorate the death of the favorite of his three wives.The beauty was a Persian Princess. The British much later, exhibiting the arrogance of the times, defaced the wonderful structure but fortunately it has been refurbished. Walking the spacious avenues around the Taj is relaxing. Even the automobiles seem to pay reverence to this memorable site. And then there are the gardens so masterfully maintained and walker friendly. It is a romantic experience.
I wobble onward far from the museums and tourist dominated sites. Soon the real India reemerges. The streets are narrower, more country like. The poor again appear. They are camped, this time permanently, at many bridge crossings where there is water. I try not to stare. I am not bothered by anyone. I give alms from time to time.