Sightseeing at Sunset

29 Nov

Our first day of sightseeing continued with a sunset visit to Delhi’s Lotus Temple.  It’s the most recently-built of the   world’s seven Baha’i Temples.  After depositing our shoes in a bag and leaving them with the attendant, we took a few pictures outside, then lined up to go inside the temple.  Before we went in we were told by a temple volunteer that no talking and picture-taking were allowed inside, as the temple is a place for prayer and reflection.  We went inside, and sat on a bench in the middle of temple.  Aside from the whining child somewhere in the huge space, the temple was completely quiet and peaceful.  I felt like I could have sat still for hours.  After a few minutes, though, we were off.  There was still plenty to do.

Next on our list was to grab a bite to eat.  We headed to Khan Chacha in Khan Market for some kebabs.  We passed  through the unassuming entryway and  took the stairs, arriving at the counter to order.  We then found a place to sit upstairs, and waited for our number to be called.  The kebab rolls were fantastic; the chicken seekh kebabs (which I did not order) were juicy and just the right amount of spicy.  The chicken biryani, which I did order, was also very good; however, I regretted not ordering the kebabs, so a few days later, I took a friend back to Khan Chacha for lunch.

From there, we piled back into the car and headed to India Gate, a war memorial.  Over 13,000 names are inscribed on the monument, honoring soldiers who died during World War I and the Third Afghan War.  Under the arch is  the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the Flame of the Immortal Warrior), which honors those killed in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.

Could they look any more excited about ice cream?

That night, just in front of the monument, the Indian Navy Band was performing.  We got there just in time to hear them play a few songs.  We then walked over to the row of ice cream vendors for a snack.  After we ordered ours, a couple of little girls came up to us with their hands out.  Kanika’s dad asked them if they wanted an ice cream and let them pick what kind they wanted.  They hurried off, and within 10 seconds, at least a dozen kids were swarming him, asking for ice cream.  Like a good sport, he bought some for them all, then we made our way back to the car before another group arrived.

Travel guides will tell you that you shouldn’t give begging children money or gifts, because word will spread, and dozens of children will surround you, expecting you to do the same for them.  But, how can you deny a child ice cream?  Especially when, in India, it costs just cents.

Flame of the Immortal Warrior

Ice cream vendors at India Gate

Kanika's dad buying ice cream for a group of girls

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2 Responses to “Sightseeing at Sunset”

  1. Jackie November 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Aww, I love this ice cream story! But I guess the big question is did you eat ice cream too and what flavor? Save some sight-seeing for when I come to visit! xxoo

    • Steph November 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

      Um, is that a trick question? Of course I did. It was one of those chocolate cone things. And, yes, we need to discuss your potential visit!

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