|The side of Alai Minar with Qutb-Minar in the distance|
From there we went on to see Iltutmish’s tomb, a mausoleum built out of sandstone and marble with Arabic characters etched into the stone. Really amazing! I always say this, but I just can’t imagine carving anything into stone.
From there, we ventured into the ruins of Quwwat-ul-Islam, the first mosque to be built in India.
|Qutub Minar through ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque|
|Ruins in the complex|
|Detail of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque|
|Ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque|
|Hajar in the Alai Darwaza gatehouse|
|Qtub-Minar in the background|
|The Rashtrapati Bhavan|
After we finished touring the Qutb complex, we got back in the car and drove to see the president’s house and India Gate (All India War Memorial) in New Delhi. On the drive there we saw the most BEAUTIFUL flowers! We asked our guide what they were called but unfortunately, he didn’t know. We ended up seeing the flowers again, mixed with many others, at the base of India Gate. All around the gate there were vendors selling balls and other toys for children, jewelry, pani puri, and many other foods.
|One of the food vendors selling to a couple|
|Flowers at India Gate|
Our final sightseeing of the day took us to Humayun’s Tomb, a red sandstone tomb for the emperor of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The Tomb is said to have inspired the Taj Mahal, which we’ll tour in Agra tomorrow.
|Walking toward Humayun’s Tomb|
|Me in Humayun’s Tomb|
|Hajar in Humayun’s Tomb|
|Isa Khan Niyazi‘s Tomb|
|Our guide DP, Hajar and me at Humayun’s Tomb|
For dinner we went to a restaurant one of our coworkers recommended, Rajdhani. When we walked in, a man touched just below the center of our foreheads with what looked like a matchstick, leaving a small dot of yellow paste behind. I texted our friend asking what it meant, and he said it’s called a tilak and means good luck and thanks. Soon after sitting down at the table, a server brought a bronze bowl and pitcher for us to wash our hands while sitting. We each had a tray with several small empty metal bowls. The servers quickly started coming and filling up each bowl and covering the tray. If you got close to finishing a bowl, they’d give you more. We ate ’til we were ready to pop! It was soooo good!
|Hand washing at the table|
|All the Indian food we could eat|
Earlier in the day, our guide had told us that people would leave us alone for the most part since we were with him. On our way back to the car after dinner, we were walking behind our driver and walked up to a would-be opening in a corner that was mostly blocked by plywood, with two men standing in the gap between the wood and the building. I turned to Hajar to comment on how sketchy it looked after passing it and as I did, saw one of the men start walking behind us. As I quietly commented on it, our driver turned around to ask what I said. As soon as he spoke to us, the man stopped. Yeesh! We also saw terrorist wanted posters at the stand where he paid for parking before heading back to our hotel for the night.