Monday, October 23, 2006


The following pictures show some sights from Delhi, where I am now. On this left is the "Gate To India", a memorial to the fallen soldiers in the first world war. All the names of the soldiers that have suffered are inscribed on the inside of the archway.

Close to this monument there are the ministry buildings and the house of the prime minister, adjoined by the circular building of the parliament. As in many cases, these buildings are on the other side of a long road, very well-kept, that in this case connects the Gate of India with the parliament and the ministry buildings.

Well, this is the political part of Delhi (being the political center of India). In another part of the city is the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, which is shown below.

Mahatma Gandhi was shot on January 30, 1948 by Hindu extremists.

From Gandhi, we decided to visit a temple of all three main religions in India, starting with a moslim temple (Jama Masjid) that we unfortunately could not photograph at all due to busy markets and some misunderstanding with the driver and guide. Nevertheless, check this out here and you get the idea:

The next temple after that was a Hindu temple. I am not at all familiar with Hindu religion, but found some interesting facts about it here:

It is said that this religion is the oldest in the world. When you look into the temples around India, you will also see a swastika symbol, which to many people may seem very frightening and/or confrontational. Actually, the swastika symbol is not invented by the German Nazi regime before the 2nd world war, but goes back 8,000 years into history. So before you get really shook up, read this interesting wikipedia entry first:

Inside the temple we cannot photograph, so I cannot offer you photo's from there. But there should be enough photo's on the Internet that show statues and other things that you'll find there. The most important god in Hinduïsm is Krishna, the god of love. But I have been told by our guide that the religion counts over 3,000 gods (which I found hard to believe).

The temple that I enjoyed most to visit was the Sikh temple in Delhi.

If you see someone with a turban and a beard that speaks an Indian accent, he'll probably have this religion. The religion requires them to cover their head, definitely inside the temple. So we were also given a cloth to put on.

Contrary to many other religions, this one is only 500-600 years old. It is based on (the books of) gurus, and the temples hold these sacred books in a special kind of altar. One of the stories told in the books is the 'down-to-earth' reality that this religion represents. A guy from a village went to a stream and did not return for 3 days. As he went back, he told people that he had been called by the gods to do good and things differently.

Where most Indians threw water from the river East, as said "towards their ancestors", this guy started throwing water West. As the people inquired why he did this West and not East, towards the ancestors, he said that it was to water his fields. Then the people told him that his fields were hundreds of kilometers away. So the guy replied that if they believed that their ancestors, hundreds of miles away to the East could receive the water, why could he not use the same gesture to water his fields, also hundreds of kilometers away.

As such, the religion gathered more and more followers.

Tomorrow we'll be shopping around a bit in the morning, then visit the Lotus Temple and the house of Mahatma Gandhi. Afterwards, we're probably going to have a good dinner quite early, because we are travelling to Agra the day after.

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