New Delhi- Akshardham Temple and India Gate

My second day in Delhi I visit the Akshardham temple. The construction on the Akshardam Temple took 5 years to complete starting in 2000. There is no metal framework for the temple but interlocking stones of Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble. The only metal in the main temple is gold leaf covering the idols. The name Akshardham comes from two words, Akshar meaning eternal, and Dham meaning abode.

I found the Akshardam Temple easily accessible by Delhi Metro exiting at Akshardham Metro Station and a short walk from there to the complex. Using the Delhi metro was quite easy. There is a dress code, quite a few restrictions with an inspection prior to entering, lockers are available on-sight.

Walking around the complex was so to speak was transcendent. It filled me with amazement at the size, beauty and intricacies of the bas reliefs, sculptures and peaceful landscaping. There are also exhibitions and shows to transport you through time. I spent a few tranquil hours wandering around this aesthetic wonder.

I hop on the Metro again and work my way over to see the India Gate, a war memorial dedicated to 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in between 1914 and 1921 in the First World War. It’s 30 ft tall and bears a resemblance to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. After that I head back to my stay, that was all the touring I did for my first real ‘day’ in Delhi.

My actual arrival day in Delhi was in the early evening and not without an incident. I did experience a taxi scam (see my travel tips section for scams) directly from the airport. After short distance ride towards my hostel the taxi driver said the area where I’m going is shut down due to rioting. I had read about some rioting in Delhi before I arrive. I didn’t believe him though. He called the Hostel on the phone and handed me the phone. I spoke with this person on the phone and asked him about the hostel and he said he was the manager and it’s true that the area is closed. The taxi driver said he could take me to an alternate place he knows (which would probably be a relative of his). I called the hostel myself and the person who answered said they are open and the taxi driver is pulling a scam.