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Our visit to Delhi, India

Posted on Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 at 12:30 pm CET

On our tour of Rajasthan in March we spent a short time in Delhi, the captial of India. We visited the largest mosque of India, the Gandhi Memorial Museum, and the National Museum.

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India. Once inside we felt a bit scammed as we were asked to pay admission although there were no signs indicating any fees and both our guidebooks said it was free. When we balked, another tourist told us, “It’s true, you have to pay for camera.” We said we didn’t have a camera (we decided not to use it inside), and the scammers gave a pained look and asked us for Rs 200 instead of the 300 they were asking. We coughed it up and went inside – and used our camera. After the visit we sat on the steps in front of the mosque and watched dozens of Black Kites flying in the hot hazy sky.

Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi, India Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi, India
Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi, India Jama Masjid Mosque, Delhi, India

Gandhi Memorial Museum

This fine little museum presented a detailed history of Gandhi’s life. His story was told through a series of galleries, including the Spinning Wheel Gallery, where all kinds of cloth making contraptions were presented, along with actual cotton spun by Gandhi and others; the Photographic Gallery, which showed the Mahatma’s life in pictures; the Commemorative Gallery, featuring artifacts from his life, including clothing, stamps, and letters; an Art Gallery; and the Martyrdom Gallery, with some relics from his assassination.

Gandhi Memorial Museum, Delhi, India Gandhi Memorial Museum, Delhi, India
Gandhi Memorial Museum, Delhi, India Gandhi Memorial Museum, Delhi, India

The National Museum

We took the extremely clean and efficient Delhi Metro to the Central Secretariat, because we wanted to visit the National Museum. From the metro we walked along Janpath, a lovely wide boulevard and main drag of New Delhi. At the museum we paid the scandalous Rs 300 per person admission (the fee for Indian nationals is just a fraction) but refused to bring our cameras, for which we would have had to fork over an additional Rs 300. Upon entering the first galleries we found many “no photography” signs. Admission included a long-winded and too-subjective audio guide. We tired of the museum in about 90 minutes, but pressed on to look at most of the galleries during our two-hour visit. We had a look at the gift shop as well but didn’t buy anything.

The National Museum, Delhi, India The National Museum, Delhi, India
Exterior shots at the National Museum.

While in Delhi, we also visited the Digambara Jain Temple and the Bird Hospital run there. We also picked up our train tickets, which was an adventure in itself.

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