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Delhi Day One: Museums and the Qutb Minar

So I went to the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, and it was pretty nice. I had to check my bag, and I wasn't allowed to take pictures, so I took a few notes. Gaganendranath Tagore was my favorite artist there, partly because he painted in such a variety of styles.

But then I went to the National Museum of India. India has a rich history with many surviving artifacts, and I assumed the government would display them proudly in a world-class museum. So I was baffled to find the museum woefully underfunded. Only about a third of the galleries were open. Of the rest, some were only half-filled (with many empty cabinets), several were lacking A/C, and half the labels were just pieces of paper printed on an inkjet. What gives? It was so sad. Anyway, on to the pictures:

I call this The Saddest Lion:

The Saddest Lion

Next up is a Robot from the 3rd Century!

3rd Century Robot!

Okay it just looks like a robot to me. :P It's officially labeled "Buddha-Pada".

Most of the tourist sites in Delhi cost 20 rupees (about 50 cents) for Indian nationals and 250 rupees (just over $6) for foreigners. The National Museum charged an additional 300 rupees for bringing in a camera! I only ended up with two pictures, so y'all had better appreciate them. They cost me $3.50 a piece! :P

Qutb Minar

That is the Qutb Minar, the world's tallest brick minaret. It was completed in the late 14th Century after nearly 200 years of construction. There were very few foreigners there. When I arrived at the ticket window, there was a huge line, but then someone at a different window waved me over to the foreigners window. I could skip the line, but I was paying 10 times as much as anyone else. :)

All around the Qutb Minar is a set of other monuments and buildings, called the Qutb Complex. People loved to climb these ruins:

Climbing at the Qutb Complex

Girl watching boys climb at the Qutb Complex

After those guys who were climbing got down off the wall, they looked at me and shyly whispered to each other, as if to say, "You go ask him. No, you go ask him." Eventually they came over and asked to take a picture with me. :) East Asians appear to be quite a novelty to many people here, and people are very excited to take pictures with me. I feel like I'm either a celebrity or a zoo animal. :D

And finally, this is the unfinished Alai Minar:

Alai Minar (Unfinished)

It was meant to be twice as tall as the Qutb Minar, but when the ruler who commissioned it died, no one cared any more. I feel like it now resembles that famous plateau at Monument Valley. :)

I went to a wedding that night, but the photos from that will come later. Next up: Delhi Day Two

Comments (5)

Funny thing is, there's an East Asian population IN India (one of the Indian Idol contestants/now hosts or whatever is a Chinese-Indian guy who speaks English in a complete Indian accent and probably speaks better Hindi than I do). So maybe you're just special. :-P

Maybe it's my hat?

I was so confused, thinking you were talking about Rabindranath Tagore.

i wanna climb that last thing- alai minar...or just stand next to it...india looks fun indeed- how hot was it?

High 30°s C. It was over 40° C in Agra!

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