Monday, March 16, 2009

Adventures in a Mega city !

First Pic: From top Former President Mr. Kalam in the Mughal Gardens, different views of the celebrated garden, Humayun Tomb - outside and interiors, Ghalib's tomb as well as a portarit of the 19th century poet.

Hello Bloggers.

Hope this finds you all in the zenith of health.

Today i would like to share with you all my experiences of travel around the city Delhi.

Delhi is big ! It is known as the city of hearts ! It has people from almost every part of the country. It has witnessed Medieval , Mughal as well as contemporary political, social, cultural history (ies)

To begin with, I got the opportunity to visit the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan on the 9th of March it was to close down on the following day i.e., 10th of march. It opens for public viewing for 1 month.

I visited the venue on a Sunday morning. It wasn't too crowded then. There were two queues outside one for the depositing the belongings like any electronic gadget like cell-phones, Video or Handy - Cams etc. The other was for the entrance which was being frisked by two security men at the initial entry point with sensors for detecting explosives etc.

Songs of Patriotic fervour were being played from thematic movies as Rajkumar Santoshi's "Legend of Bhagat Singh. " as well as the nostalgic and hummable "Chodon Kal Ki Baatein..." rendered by the soulful yesteryear singer, Mukesh.

Upon entering the gatepoints one doesn't immediately reach the much talked about Gardens. There is another winding route to the path one gets access on entering.

After these came The first garden: it is named Herbal Garden. It comprises the plants medicinal in nature and value. A section of the public says that these were expanded by our former President Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam. This can be so, for South Indian people are known to be vary of the herbs and plants that cures one from many dreaded ailments.

After that, i came to the enclosure housing rare species of different animals with netted fencing around it.

Crossing these, one enters the Outer grounds of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Indian President's official residence.

Here one can in the centre of the ground see two sets of fountain gushing out sparkling water being reflected by the bright morning sun.

Having witnessed these, i entered the main Mughal gardens wherein one can find the gardeners tilling the areas around different kinds of flower plants. There are medium sized plots wherein different flowers have been grown.

After these, one comes across atleast if i am not mistaken 14-15 variety of roses.

Naturally, the whole area was filled by the tantalising and exotic smell of roses which find mention in the theurapetic uses of natural elements for grooming of females in the Mughal era.

After these natural elements which linger in an aesthetic individual's senses, one enters the area which is known as Circular Garden termed so for its shape. There are policemen there who ensure that no one plucks the flowers raised to this level through hard-work.

Crossing these, one comes across the stall where the public can catch a glimpse of the organically grown vegetables in the Prliament garden for the Indian president and his/hers guests. There were neatly placed Spinach, Cauliflower etc.

Interestingly, the parliament kitchen is known as " Dali Khana. "

Besides other things, one can also find the herbs or trees mentioned in the Islamic and Hindu religious texts.

After a trip so close to Mother Nature, I set forth forth for Humayun's Tomb located at New Delhi area where one can find the famous Sufi Mystic, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine with loads of other historical structures as Poet and Scholars' graveyards which i'll visit after witnessing the masoleum of the second Mughal Emperor.

Humayun was the son of Mughal Empire builder Babur who had come from a small country situated at Afghanistan. I cannot comment much on his Military achievements but, is considered a patron of letters and arts.

It is said that one fine day he was studying in his library and tumbled down the steep stairs of the chamber which caused his untimely death.

The Masoleum is a fine structure of early Persian and Central Asian architecture, has two gates leading to its entrance. It has date trees planted at its verendah, giving it an oriental appearance.

On closer looks at arches leading to the tombs of whom probably seem like someone from the nobility including the Emperor himself, one finds intricately cut designs. The tombs which are of marble also carry text engraved on its edges.

The cielings of the tombs are semi- conular with some having criss - cross designs at the four corners which reminded me of the interiors of The Golconda Fortress at Hyderabad.

Foreign tourists flock in large numbers to this red sandstone structure. I interviewed a Spanish couple who were i must say very approachable and friendly.

The globetrotters were Jose Sanabria and Monica Diaz. Prior to this, they had visited Birla Temple, Qutub Minar and Bahai Temple.

Taking notes on the resting place of the Mughal emperor, I headed for the alley reminiscent of Delhi's Urdu poetry, culture and Mysticism all combined into one: the lane to the Dargah or shrine of the Sufi Mystic, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

I had visited the Saint's shrine twice during my stay here and a couple of times in my childhood due to time crunch i visited the tomb of a central figure in 19th century as far as maturity and adavancement of Urdu poetry was concerned.

Guess who? Mirza Ghalib, said to be the poet patronised by the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar. There is a canopy like structure on top it. The grave of the poet is done in can find some smaller graves lying symmetrically to the poet's resting place.

As per traditions I performed the Ziyarat ( prayers) and placed some rose petals on Ghalib's epitaph as well as the unknown graves.

It is located at the precincts of Ghalib Academy which houses material on Urdu literature as well as replicas of artefacts related to the Poet.

I met another visitor there. The gentleman was Nadeem Ahmed Khan 30 years of age. He hailed from Rampur district of Uttar Pradesh.

Upon enquiring that does he like Ghalib's works he commented that the poet had his personal experiences permeating throughout his poetry and did not write in a fashion which had a slant towards any particular religion or community. Mr. Khan is engaged in Government service.

While I came out of the charming lane a thought struck my mind that Delhi is big: it offers History, Anthropolgy, Sociology, Culture and Arts in Abundance one only has to observe and look around !

Culture and Arts drive humans, lacking it is similar to being non-existent !

Thank you All

Comment on what you think of the city?

Cheers and more Cheers !

Peace to all.

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