From a very young age I’ve been interested in India and their colorful culture. Traveling to this beautiful country has been a dream of mine since I saw a picture of the Taj Mahal in a library as a little boy and finally after 18 years, I can tick going to this incredible place off my bucket list – welcome to Incredible India!
Throughout my trip I will take you along for the ride and tell you all about India from the kind and welcoming people to the magical culture.
Today was our first day exploring Delhi from Old to New Delhi and all the historical places in-between. After having breakfast, we headed straight to one of the largest mosques in Delhi called Jama Masjid. We also met our tour guide here and if you ever plan on visiting India – he is the best! His English and knowledge of India is amazing and we definitely highly recommend using him! His name was Girdhar Singh and he definitely made our trip even more incredible! (His contact details can be found here!)
Jama Masjid was built be Shah Jahan (who also built the Taj Mahal) and it cost 1 Million Rupees to build. The mosque is commonly referred to as “Jama” which means Friday and people can still come here to pray. I found it to be a very calming place and the carvings and design of the mosque is truly beautiful!
Next we moved on to the India Gate (while driving past the Red Fort for a quick glance as you cannot take photos there or go inside) and this was created to commemorate the death of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War.
The Parliament House is one of the most amazing places I’ve seen for a president! Over 5000 people works in this palace that has more than 300 rooms for his international guests! Interesting fact, the Prime Minister of India has more power than the president and is also very respected by the people – but he does not live in the Parliament house.
Next we moved on to one of our favorite places of the day – Humayun’s Tomb that was built in 1556 for Humayun, the Mughal Emperor by his senior widow Bega Begam. Here we also saw thousands of children from school groups who were so excited to meet and pose for photos with the expats – but the actual tomb is breathtaking! Photo’s almost doesn’t do it justice!
We explored all around the tomb from mosques built for the workers to tombs for the priest of that temple.
Next we went to lunch and after a delicious meal, we made a quick stop at an exclusive boutique that had the most amazing saari’s! The are called “Village Arts” and they have amazing carpets and jewelry as well!
Then we travelled to the Qutub Minar, is the tallest brick minaret in the world, and the second tallest minar in India. This amazing structure is made of red stone and marble and it is surrounded by historical significant monuments.
After being stuck in traffic for more than an hour on route to our next stop (just be patient when choosing to come to India – all the beautiful places are worth the wait and while you are in traffic you get a real feel of how the locals make a living and what life is like here. It also gives you lots of time to chat to your tour guide and find out more about the country and culture!)
Our last stop was Akshardham – a Hindu Mandir and a spiritual-cultural campus with the most beautiful carvings I have ever seen with the most amazing stories about the Hindu culture. No photos are allowed inside, but these ones from Google will give you some idea of just how incredible it is (NO photo will justify how amazing this is in real life!)
Our tour guide told us amazing stories here of the sculptures surrounding the mandir and it truly is a holy place that makes you calm and serene with the carvings, the smell of insense and people worshipping in the temple! A must if you are traveling to India!
This was day 1 in a nutshell!
Tomorrow we will be taking the road to Agra where the magical Taj Mahal awaits! Make sure to check back with us daily for updates on our trip!
Elrico and Ritza Bellingan
#TheBellinganinIndia for social media!