Seeing the sights in New Delhi

Ghandi Museum

I had looked forward to sharing this museum with the kids.  The Ghandi National Museum has several galleries showcasing his life.  I don’t know if its true, but aside from the Bible and Shakespere, I would offer that Ghandi has been one of the most quoted sources.  So many of his quotes resonate with reason and truth, they are hard for people to deny.   We spent the bulk of our time in the picture gallery which was a photographic biography of his life.

The fruits of peace are infinitely superior to those of war. Ingenuity employed devising methods of destruction lowers; whereas when employed in devising ways of building, it benefits mankind. -The collected works of M. Ghandi

Above the door is quote from Young India, a newspaper to which Ghandi contributed regularly:

Seven Social Sins

  1. Politics without Principles
  2. Wealth without Work
  3. Pleasure without Conscience
  4. Knowledge without Character
  5. Commerce without Morality
  6. Science without Humanity
  7. Worship without Sacrifice

Dedicated to equality in every facet of life, Ghandi did not just fight for the rights of Indians in the face of British colonization and racism, he also fought for gender equality, the elimination of the caste system in India, eliminating hierarchies between the haves and have-nots, and equality for lepers just to name a few.  He did so every time in a peaceful manner according the utmost of respect to each different party.  He commanded respect because he gave it.  He positions were well reasoned, rooted in both legal theory and philosophically grounded in common sense and various religious tenants.

Ghandi’s walking stick during the Dandi March where he walked 240 miles over 21 days to the ocean to make salt.  Ghandi’s role in the protest ended with him being arrested.  However, the protest continued and the British could not stop Indians from making their own salt.  It was special having Kylie and Alyssa get this close to history!

It was amazing to read many of his words as well as see artifacts from his life such as medals he won during wars, his walking stick, dentures, personal effects, family tree, and even the blood stained clothes from when he was assassinated.

The clothes that Ghandi wore on the day of his assassination.

Many of the messages in the museum resonated with me.

  • Speaking truth to power

There were many instanced where Ghandi spoke truth to power.  To he British Empire and its representatives, government officials, and even mobs that threatened him.

  • See no evil, hear no evil, do no evil.

Ghandi did not just talk the talk, he walked the walk.  He stove to be a humble pilgrim in search of truth and goodness in all aspects of his life.  He inspired millions to: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

All the stamps and images that use Ghandi from around the world.  Are there any other individuals that have received this much recognition?  I can’t think of any!

Humayun’s Tomb

The second UNESCO World Heritage site we visited was surprising.  There are several monuments and other tombs in the complex.  We first visited Tomb and mosque of Isa Khan built in 1547.  This fantastic octagonal tomb was spacious and we are free to explore the grounds.  A helpful security guard walked us around and showed us some good picture sites, and then promptly asked us for a tip.  I offered 50 Rupees, and he asked for more.  Upon receiving it, he hustled to the next tourist and offered the same services.

The view of Isa Khan’s tomb when viewed from the personal mosque.

After visiting Isa Khan’s tomb and Afsarwala tomb complex, we made our way to the main event: Humayun’s Tomb.  This massive structure derived strong influences from a fusion of Persian and Islamic culture. Sprawling gardens and innovative architecture were its hallmark.

Entering Humayun’s tomb

Technology and craftsmanship of construction were showcased everywhere.

Emblematic of this architecture is the carved sandstone window.  These windows were 2-4CM thick and showcased amazing designs.
Light streaming through window of Barber’s tomb.
Nila Gumbad.  People were unsure about who actually was buried here.

Agrasen Ki Baoli

Stepwells in India are amazing.  Found in India and few other places, these stepwells were ornately designed to bring people down to the well water.  We visited Agrasen Ki Baoli (A great read on it here), and climbed the 108 steps down to the bottom.  There was no water in it.

The area was crowded with youngsters being youngsters.  Taking selfies, jumping from platform to platform.  Scoffing at the guard blowing whistles at them telling them to stop various behaviors.  A free haunted monument in a small corner of the city, it appeared to be the perfect hangout for people.  I only saw one person older than me, and only one group of tourists amongst the nearly 200-300 people hanging out and taking photos.

Stepping down into the step well of Dehli.

Early Civilization Timeline

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