An Amble Through A Storied Park – Lodhi Gardens

If there is one thing I envy Delhi-ites, it is the green oasis of Lodhi Gardens. Over ninety acres of unexpected tranquility to escape the gridlocked delirium of their capital city. The landscaping would be easy enough to replicate elsewhere in India (who am I kidding!). But it is the historic ambience, those omnipresent vestiges of Delhi’s storied past, that make…

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The Tomb Of Safdarjung

The site is deserted, even at midday. The Re.5/- entrance fee ($2/- or Rs.100/- for non SAARC foreigners!) is almost an apology, even without the elevated status of a royal tomb. This “last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture” is the final resting place of the erstwhile Nawab of Avadh, Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur…

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“Dog! I Shall Drink Your Blood!” – Hauz Khas Kitsch!

No, I haven’t turned into a canine hunting vampire overnight! The title is the literal translation of a quintessential Bollywood quote from a 1973 Hindi flick, that has become synonymous with its aging, macho, once dashing, still endearing star. ‘Dog’ in this instance refers to the vile villain, who is about to have the %#&* beaten…

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Delving Into Delirium!

Getting to Chandni Chowk, for our tour with Delhi Heritage Walks was hard work that Monday afternoon. First a purported three minute walk to the subway station ended up being ten, I am guessing, because we neglected to specify the name of the station. Once there (Janpat), we found every ticket vending machine out of order,…

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Vanishing Wells!

The unique stepwells of India, called Baoli’s (or Vavs in Gujurat), are ornate, complex structures that are legacies of the subcontinent’s ancient hydraulic engineering systems.  Along the way those vital water harvesting and storing skills were abandoned, and the wells dried up and silted over, and ended up as giant garbage dumps. It is astonishing how…

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The Magnificent Mausoleum Of Humayun

To the debate of wasps the dialectic of monkeys the chirping of statistics it offers (tall pink flame made of stone and air and birds time in repose on water) the architecture of silence” ~ Translation “El Mausoleo de Humayún by Octavio Paz Any experienced traveler should know better than to visit monuments that generate…

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Giving Delhi Its Due

Granted my earlier visits had been limited to meetings with modular furniture makers and interior contractors, but charm was still the last thing I expected to find in Delhi! An insidious allure that gets under your skin, even as you wilt in the heat and the pollution smothers your lungs. “Do tourists really get to know…

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