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Published: October 1st 2018
After the difficulty in seeing the presidents house during sunset last night we decided to go back there this morning. Despite the fog it was much easier to see and we enjoyed a walk around the South side trying to peak at other buildings through gaps in the fencing. The gardens look beautifully kept and the buildings all in the same style as those at the front. Most of it was very well fenced off so we couldn’t walk all the way around which made it more disappointing we couldn’t get tickets for the museum inside (it’s shut due to a bank holiday tomorrow and most things are closed here Mondays).
Having got as far as we easily could we walked back round and in front of the parliament buildings. This is also well fenced off but at parts you can see in through the wall. There was one particularly impressive statue of a horse & rider surrounded by fountains we could see before being told off. Apparently you’re supposed to stay 3-4ft away from the wall! (This despite the fact that inside the wall are multiple further layers of wire fencing and the buildings a long way off).
Agrasen Ki Baoli
14th century step well
(Still has rather dirty looking water at the bottom)
Heading down parliament road towards Connaught Place we were soon stopped by police barricades due to a demonstration further along the road. Initially frustrated as it would have been a long walk round to avoid the blockade we soon spotted locals appearing to disappear down the side. Following them we discovered that we could squeeze through a series of tiny gaps in the fencing to carry on along our way. And I mean squeeze - We only just fitted and Stephen had to remove the backpack first. Surprisingly none of the police watching seemed to care...
Finding ourselves walking through a series of different groups demonstrating (we think about pensions) was an unexpected experience. At one point there was even a fake funeral procession (with body) coming through with lots of shouting and chanting - not speaking Hindi we were somewhat confused. Nobody bothered us though and we continued along our original route.
On the way to Connaught place we walked past the Jantar Mantar. This is an old astrological area, built in 1725, used to measure the movements of the planets and stars. It’s similar to the one we saw in Jaipur with many of the same
instruments. It didn’t look as big or as well kept as the one in Jaipur so we just had a nosey through the fence before carrying on.
Connaught Place and Connaught Circle are a British built area full of shops and restaurants. The inner circle is a small park surrounded by colonnaded buildings similar to Bath or Cheltenham, from here the roads branch off like spokes to outer circles. We enjoyed a leisurely coffee people watching before finding some lunch and window shopping in some very expensive shops (I was very excited to find a horsey shop).
After wandering around we walked over to Agrasen ki Baoli - a 14th century step well in the heart of Delhi. The walk itself was quite pleasant - the wide roads with tree covered pavements provided plenty of shade and there were quite a few British built bungalows to peer at through gates. The well itself was unlike the other step wells we’ve seen and much deeper with stairs at one end only.
Once we’d explored this area, and discovered it wasn’t possible to walk back to our hostel (due to an overpass with no pavements), we got the tube
back. We really enjoyed walking around today - most tourists seem to get tuk tuks everywhere so we were stopped a lot by helpful locals checking we weren’t lost. We had a number of chats with different people who were very friendly and didn’t want anything in return. Many of them seemed very keen to warn us about the demonstrations which we should avoid and looked quite horrified when we told them we’d walked through the middle of them! Despite all the warnings about Delhi so far we’ve found it quite pleasant, and it’s people lovely.
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