This morning’s venture was to the Qutab Complex, the second of Delhi’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and home to the tallest minaret (if that’s what it is) in the world, plus an iron pole that’s over 1500 years old yet won’t rust nor corrode. From the outside you can see the top of the Qutab Minar, but it’s only once you go inside and see it’s base hat you realise just how truly impressive it is. It quite literally looms over the mosque/tomb/madras complex, like a space rocket ready for take off to another planet. It’s not the only impressive thing here either, though nothing else matches it for it’s scale. Much of the place is in ruins, it is a 13th century site after all that has not been used in a long time, but some of the buildings still contain their engravings and it’s all mighty impressive. As well as the Minar (where I saw someone sitting on the third balcony – must have been staff as there’s a locked gate to the internal stairs) there’s also the famous iron bar. This dates from the 4th century (so roughly 9 hundred years older than this site) and was moved here post some conquest. The key thing about it is that it just won’t rust and no one know why, or even how it was made.
The complex took me a good hour and a half to two hours to complete, after which it was time for lunch so I went to an area called Hauz Khaz, ignored the ruins there and instead went to the deer park where there’s a famous restaurant, Park Balluchi. I tried their speciality dish, Murgh Potli, chicken strips stuffed with spiced minced lamb and chicken and it was very nice. The peanut masalla, was on the other hand not so good and did not go with my main course, something the waiter should have pointed out, and here was the downside to this place. The service was slow and low end (where as they are trying to push themselves as a fine dining restaurant).
Lunch over and I went to the National Museum. This was some what dry and the old building it’s housed in is not a suitable location as the rooms seem almost random and it’s very hard to go round in the correct display order. I then returned, but rather than ringing Simon and Ruth for their driver, I decided to take an auto-rickshaw and was semi-ripped off, but only semi and it was not that bad, just frustrating.
This evening we’re out (one baby sitter has been resourced for Tom) to Swaggath – review to follow later.