India is home to many fantastic architectural wonders that have drawn travelers from all across the world. Arguably one of India’s most famous sites is the Taj Mahal and it’s marble splendor definitely deserves the attention that it gets. But what if I told you there was a tomb located in the heart of New Delhi, that is in many ways more important to India’s architectural history than the Taj, and in fact is the very inspiration for it? Well it’s true. In this Humayun’s Tomb guide we’ll look at how this one building shaped India’s landscape for the next few centuries and tell you why your next visit to New Delhi should definitely include a stop at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
India had all of the finer luxuries in modern life. Cable and internet are available. There is air conditioning and hot water (not that you need hot water when you visit in the summer). Yet I found their way of life remains very simple. The communities are close knit and family oriented.
There are many times when we interact with a company and every thing goes as expected. You make your selection, money changes hands, you take your commodity or experience, and then move on. Those experiences seldom stick in your head unless one of two things happen, the experience is supremely extraordinary or things go terribly awry. Think about it, how many times have you told a story about that restaurant that screwed up your steak 3 times versus all the average acceptable meals you’ve had where you didn’t utter a peep about it? Or the opposite, how many times have you told the tale of that super salesperson that remembered your name, and your kid’s name when you went back the store a second time. Occasionally though, there’s a third circumstance that occurs which trumps both of these. When something goes terribly wrong that was out of everyone’s control and the company goes above and beyond their scope not only to fix it, but to delight you. This is the tale of such a company in a place notorious for scamming foreigners and taking advantage of tourists. This is a tale of delight. This is the tale of Great Wide Open adventure travel in India.
We spent a month in India. The country was everything we expected it to be, old traditions and older buildings. It was hotter than hell (we went in June/July). There was fantastic food and interesting wildlife. The thing that will stand out forever in our memories though, are the people we met along the way. India’s people are so colorful and vibrant. They are full of such a subtle flair that can only come from centuries of doing things a certain way. This is a small collection of the many colorful people of India we came across in our travels.
India is a land filled with multiple religions and a healthy dose of mysticism and it’s capitol is a melting pot where they all run across each other. Because of this, New Delhi is filled with Churches, Temples, Mosques, and Gurudwalla’s representing India’s wide range of religious beliefs. However, because Hinduism is still the countries’ largest religion, you’ll find many Hindu temples (from tiny single rooms to palace sized compounds) dedicated to the vast number of gods and deities they worship. There is one Hindu temple that stood out to me though, not just for it’s beautiful architecture but because it was built with a core principle in mind that was quite radical for it’s time. The Laxmi Narayan (Birla Mandir) in Delhi is the only temple in India you’ll find that was inaugurated by Ghandi for one reason, it’s open to every caste level and was not restricted to only Hindus.