Spiti Travelogue: Day 2

Deli­cious Del­hi: We take a whirl­wind tour of Del­hi

After a less sleep­less night in the train, we reached Del­hi at 7:00 AM in the morn­ing. A trav­el tout in the sta­tion guid­ed us to a Hotel Anmol some­where in Del­hi. The broad roads with sparse morn­ing traf­fic seemed impres­sive. This impres­sion was short-lived as I was to dis­cov­er lat­er.

We show­ered and fresh­ened up after over 36 hours and it was a relief. Our bus to Man­ali was in the evening, and we booked a Tata Sumo to do local sight-see­ing dur­ing the day. After hav­ing omelet-bread for break­fast, we were on our way.
The road jour­ney through Del­hi turned out to be unpleas­ant to say the least. Delhi’s traf­fic chal­lenges Mumbai’s in vol­ume and Pune’s in dis­ci­pline. A four-wheel­er with­out a sin­gle dent was a rare sight. Two-wheel­er dri­vers made a mock­ery of the law by wear­ing var­i­ous kinds of plas­tic caps as hel­mets. The law mys­te­ri­ous­ly excused women pil­lion rid­ers.

Our first halt was the Hare Rama Hare Krish­na tem­ple, a sprawl­ing cam­pus with white mar­ble edi­fices and sev­er­al deities. We spent some time search­ing for the Nan­di bull in front of Shi­va, but did not see it any­where. Ulti­mate­ly, we gave up, won­der­ing if the Nan­di is present only in front of the Shiv­ling, and not in the case of a stat­ue of Lord Shi­va.

Sec­ond was the Lotus (Bahai) tem­ple, which was unfor­tu­nate­ly closed for vis­i­tors on Mon­day. We stole glances at the gigan­tic petal for­ma­tions from afar, climb­ing on the street iron-fences to bet­ter frame a pic­ture.

Third, there was the Qutub Minar. I had been for­tu­nate as a child to climb inside the Qutub Minar. Today, entry is pro­hib­it­ed because of sui­cides and mob acci­dents involv­ing school­child­ren. We let loose on the cam­era, amidst the his­toric ruins sur­round­ing the Minar. There were as many Indi­an tourists as for­eign­ers. This ratio changed lat­er in our trip.

India Gate

India Gate

After a sump­tu­ous lunch at Gaylord’s restau­rant (in Con­naught Place in front of Pali­ka Bazaar), our last stop was the grand India Gate. We tried to catch it on film from var­i­ous angles amidst the set­ting sun. We could not see the names of the mar­tyrs carved on stone until we came very close to the gate.

Rush­ing back to the hotel, we reached in time for the Himachal Pradesh Tourism bus to Man­ali. The bus left sharp at 7:00 PM, and we set­tled in our seats for a long ride. 570 km from Del­hi, the 12-hour jour­ney pass­es through Kuruk­shetra, Chandi­garh, Man­di, and Kul­lu. Din­ner on the way at a dha­ba in Ambala was in tra­di­tion­al Pun­jabi style, with Alu Pran­tha, Sar­so Ka Saag, Makke Ki Roti, and oth­er veg­etable feasts.

Next: Day 3

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  • Beau­ti­ful log!! have read till day 2 — will con­tin­ue dur­ing my free time…

  • Amazing…reminded me of my trip to capital…especially the Dha­ba and deli­cious food…umm…

  • I’ve not­ed one thing…every post of yours reminds me of some­thing that I want to share…by this post it comes to my mind that I have a pic­ture of some most mem­o­rable moments of my life that was shot when I was in Del­hi (at a Dha­ba) and would love to post it…