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Humayun’s Tomb

India, Day Nine – Delhi

Today was my last day in Delhi until I leave India in March. I haven’t done a huge amount  while I’ve been here, but part of the logic of spending three months in this godforsaken hell-hole … excuse me: beautiful, exotic country is that I don’t have to rush around trying to see everything there is to see.That said, with a country this size and with its history, I could spend a quarter of a year doing that anyway.

Anyway, today I went to Humayun’s Tomb, which my Lonely Planet book describes as ‘must-see’. The day started with me walking around the corner (avoiding the shithole of the Main Bazaar) to catch an autorickshaw. It took the driver a moment to figure out where I wanted to go. I was putting the emphasis on the wrong syllables: Hu-ma-yun; it should be: Hu-ma-yun.

Cutting a long story short (I have a train to catch in five hours), I was very impressed. It really is one of those legendary oases in the city. The grounds cover quite a wide area and there’s not just one tomb, but various edifices. The main attraction predates the Taj Mahal very slightly and was, apparently, a model (or at least precursor) for it.

I spent nearly four hours just wandering around and taking photos. I climbed up on buildings and walls looking for interesting vantage-points. One of the highlights of the day came when I was up on one wall near the entrance. I was aware that there were a couple of monkeys – rhesus macaques, I believe – up on a ruined gateway nearby, but I was surprised when I looked along the wall and saw them both coming towards me. Not aggressively, I should say – I just happened to be in their way. I took a hurried picture and quickly made my way down the steps behind me.

I also took photos of eagles, parrots, those little stripy squirrelly things, woodpeckers and got lots of close-ups of leaves (dead and alive), stones, sand and random debris. In fact, by the time I got round to going into Humayun’s Tomb itself, I was running out of memory space and battery life. Right at the end of my visit, I kept seeing things I wanted to get a shot of, and taking my camera out and searching for a photo to delete in order to make space.

Lots of interesting photos should be appearing on my Flickr page in the near future. At this moment, I’ve just uploaded everything remaining from before today. I also have a video clip showing a walk through the Spice Market near Chandni Chowk. It comes to about 170 mb. I’ll have to figure out what to do with that.

In just a few hours time I’ll be on my way to Agra and will be staying in a hotel (500 rupees (6.25 GBP) a night) near the Taj Mahal. Booking the ticket was a reasonably easy process (once you get past the touts outside the station). I tried getting a seat on a later train, but the 6:15 service is, apparently, the only one during the day with, well, chairs; The other trains are sleeper services, and I don’t think I need a bed for a two hour trip (obviously, these trains go further than just Delhi-Agra).

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Categories: Travel
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