This morning we met our Peer Guides before taking on the Delhi Hop On Hop Off bus. Our first destination was the Lotus Temple. The Lotus Temple is famous for its flower-like shape and was designed to resemble the Sydney Opera House, doesn’t it look similar? The pollution today was pretty bad so sadly there was a very dry, dirty heat that has made all of my pictures look very grey. The Lotus Temple is open to all religious but has nine-sides and windows to represent the nine main religious in India. Before we entered the temple we were required to take our shoes off, line up single file and were ordered to be silent once the doors opened. After saying our prayers we left and hopped on the public bus to our next destination. The public bus in India is a little bit of an overwhelming experience and I think I can say with certainty that it is the most crowded bus system in the world. There were people sitting on one another stacked three people high, getting through the aisle to get off was a 10 minute production, and people were hanging off of the door and back as the bus was in motion. It was madness. Luckily, there is a women’s only section to alleviate the uncomfortable invasion of personal space that is ever-present in India. The next stop was Humayun’s Tomb, another UNESCO World Heritage Site where the Mughal Emperor Humayun lays. Alongside him is his wife and his great great grandson. The tomb was remarkable and the grounds were so peaceful and quaint. The entire building and surrounding architecture is perfectly symmetrical and it is incredible to know this was built in the late 1500’s. As we were leaving the tomb we came across a snake-charmer who released his three cobras and we watched as they danced from their box.
We were all pretty hungry so we headed over to the Connaught Place area for a quick bite then ran to Janpat so I could get some Indian clothes to carry me over until the weekend and my next shopping adventure. Our final stop of the day was Purana Qila (Old Fort), the oldest known structure in Delhi. We did not have much time at the fort and we spent the majority of our time at Humayun Gate just having fun and climbing the sandstone walls. We were forced to leave in a hurry and went back to the IES center for an afternoon class.