Monday, July 16, 2007

Red Fort

Sunday we decided to visit Old Delhi's historic Red Fort which was recently named a World Heritage site. The mugal emperor Shajahan helped build this massive fort and up to the 1990s the India military still used parts of it.

Outside the opening gate to Red Fort. It's walls stretched as far as the eye could see.
Inside the private hearing room. The emperor would address his minsters and officials here from his white marble sitting area.
The bath house, I really like the arches in mughal architecture. The trough seen in the middle would be filled with water and ran from building to building.
Catherine in front of the markets surrounding Red Fort, you can see the oncoming monsoon rain clouds in the distance. Here you can find anything from tea kettles to elaborate saris. Also found in Old Delhi is the National Gandhi Museum and a park commemorating where he was cremated. Gandhi's face is found on every single Indian monetary bill quite different from the variety of faces on our American bills!
So as expected, the sky darkened in the afternoon and the rains came pouring down! Shopkeepers drape huge tarps over their goods and begin hurriedly packing things before the rain. Once it starts pouring everyone rushes for space under store tarps or any kind of covering- we were frantically looking for a highly-recommended restaurant named Karim's and after about 10 minutes running in the rain we found it! I felt it was a decent place and had a super spicy green curry with paneer and figs.

A dessert store with some of my favorites- gulab jamen (brown friend dough ball in syrup), barfi (almond bar with decorative and edible tin foil).
After lunch we visited India's largest mosque which was quite flooded with puddles since the rain. As with all mosques, visitors must remove their shoes and cover their legs. Since I was wearing "short trousers" I had to rent a sacklike leg covering. The mosque was beautiful with a huge open plaza for praying and birds everywhere. Wading through muddy water and birdseed, however, was less than fun. We went home soon after this because puddles were ruining any chances we had to explore the small markets around the area.

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