I slept in a bit, then had an Indian shower – pour the water over yourself. My hostess made a flatbread with grated radish, which you dip in yoghurt, for breakfast. I caught the Metro to my new hotel.
The TJS Grand is FLASH! The porter switched on all the lights to show that it wouldn’t blow the fuse. I dumped by bags and went out again.
This was the heart of the Imperial Raj – designed by Lutyens, and far more impressive than photos can show. The Rajpath is a full mile long between the Viceroy’s Residence and India Gate. Parliament is off to one side, and not as big as the administration block. These buildings are at least 100mx300m, on each side of the road.
In the centre of it all are four pillars – one from each of the Dominions.
And I thought, how else could a country of just 1.5 million people, and 27o 000 square km, its sheep and its cows, achieve equal standing with Canada, and its ten million people, Australia, and its 7.6 million square km , and South Africa, and its diamonds and gold?
I had a quick look at Parliament
I walked down to India Gate. Apparently whites don’t walk anywhere. A zillion rickshaw drivers asked me where I was going.
From here I went to the museum. Go to the cloakroom first – it’s on the outside of the building. Only take your camera if you want to pay R300 on top of the R300 entry fee for foreigners (R10 for locals).
You get an audio guide, which gives some facts about random exhibits. There are some real treasures – bronze statuettes from the Indus Valley (6000 years old), 2000 year old stone carvings, coins, carved jade, miniature paintings, jewellery, gold. About 1/5 of the museum was closed when I went. From here I went on to Gandhi’s house.
He was assassinated here in 1947. Now all the interior walls are covered in interpretation panels. There is a lot to read if you want.
2 forks? That’s a bit excessive.
You can follow beside the path of his last steps to the spot where he died.
From here I tried to find Gandhi Smriti Metro station, as marked on my map. IT DOES NOT EXIST. There is a station one block south on that line. In my walkings and avoidings of rickshaw drivers I did find a dairy, where a bewildered man sold me some flavoured milk and yoghurt. The yoghurt was like thick caramel custard, and delicious. I have no idea what flavour the milk was meant to be but it wa good too.
When I was back near the hotel I bought some food from a stall and by the time I returned I had missed the briefing, as advertised in 12pt font on an inconspicuous piece of paper in the lobby. Big news – turn up at 9am. Civvies!