Delhi!! We are here for a short 3 nights en route to Amritsar. We landed in a grey drizzly and delightfully cool Delhi at the new Terminal 3. Nice airport, disgusting carpets, really disgusting. The airport is large, but that is something we should expect as this is something happening all over the world with new airports.
Day 1 ended with a disastrous meal at a restaurant called Chor Bizarre. Really bad food. Don’t bother going there. Service was on the cusp of being racist. We were just a couple of tables with browns sitting, the rest were all Goras.
Arti, the Queen had read that the Mughal Gardens are now open. So bright and early we reached the Mughal Gardens. Yes they are open for 30 days - 15 Feb to 15 March [Monday closed] free entry. They are India’s best kept secret. Yes they are. If you were allowed to take a camera inside the whole world would have known how really terrible the gardens are, what a wasted opportunity the whole thing is. Frankly it’s a shambles. We entered to the cacophony of the old Mahendar Kapoor song MERE DESH KI DHARTI blasting alongside the hugely clichéd `Musical Fountains’. My God this was the epitome of India being stuck in a Bollywood/1960s time wrap. By the way, as an aside, the song has been written by a lyricist who was under the influence of Psychedelic drugs. The Lyrics go “Mere Desh Ki Dharti sonaa ugale, ugale heere moti”. Nobody told him money does not grow on trees. The only place with sona and heere in the ground is South Africa and Moti are in the sea. But that is another story.
Next stop was Humayuns Tomb. This, I remember from my first visit toDelhi as a child as being most impressive. I thought it was better than the Taj Mahal. Times have changed. The Tomb has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One thing you will find at every UNESCO World Heritage Site is, wheelchair access. I am happy to report that Humayuns Tomb indeed has wheelchair access. Please see the photos. Please also do read the plaque mentioning the work done by the Aga Khan Foundation in restoring the Tomb. You will no doubt read that they have done nothing to the Tomb itself but have provided wheelchair access. Good on them.
The Tomb has innumerable intricate carvings all over. These are like in the Taj Mahal, no two carvings are the same. The sheer creativity of the carvers is to be admired and appreciated. These carvings have all withstood the ravages of time. The tragedy is that when President Obama visited the Tomb, some dolts removed the carvings. Please see the tragedy in the photos that I attach. These photos are not retouched or photoshoped.
Lunch was at Khan Chachas restaurant in Khan Market. One Chicken Tikka Roll and one Kakori Kebab Roll Rs 110/- plus tax per toll. My God were they good. This is what Delhi is all about. Expertly cooked kebabs, fresh, hot and made with superior meat. Please do visit this place next time you are in Delhi and try to not eat in your 5 star Hotel Coffee Shop.
The day ended with a visit to the DLF Emporio Mall. It’s quite something. Top brands, very expensive, in fact double the price of what the same thing costs at London. The much touted restaurant called Setz had a menu that read like a Bombay Wedding caterers menu. Everything from Risotto, Pizza, Thai green curry, Chinese dim sum, Japanese food. In short everything including the kitchen sink only difference is that it will be a Franke sink and not Nirali. Not at all impressive or inviting.
Loads of very well dressed people in the mall. Very impressive.
Tonight is Panjabi food at Pandara Road. Report tomorrow.