Trek to Ladakh - first stop, Delhi
Arrived to a warm and humid Delhi for an overnight stopover before an early morning flight to Leh Ladakh - our favourite place in India - for a spot of trekking.
Delhi hotels are expensive so this time we’ve tried somewhere new, an old Art Deco place on the edge of Old Delhi called the Broadway. A 1930 Vintage Fiat car is parked in the restaurant. Nice rooms with classic furniture, clean, friendly and ridiculously good value for Delhi - and a superb restaurant. Wish we’d found this years ago. Recommended.
Just down the road is the ruined remains of Feroz Shah Kotla, the third Delhi (Delhi is an ancient city and there have been seven Delhi’s built near the ruins of the previous). Busy with Shia Muslims relaxing and praying with flowers and candles at small shrines in caves built into the old mosque ruins.
My main interest is an Ashoka column which the Muslim Feroz Shah brought to Delhi and placed on the top of a pyramid structure. Oh for the days of religious tolerance! Ashoka was India’s greatest king who lived over 2000 years ago, he ordered monolithic columns carved with Buddhist edicts to be erected over most of India. A few survive.
The other reason to come here is to see the octagon stepwell but as expected it’s fenced off and almost impossible to see inside. Shame, I’ve seen old photos and it has an interesting internal structure surrounded by a low circular wall. Talking later with Philip Earis who created the wonderful Stepwell Atlas, I regretted not offering the guards with a few rupees to unlock the gates.
And then there's the simple pleasure of being with other Delhi-ites, enjoying a warm day in the park.