My last day in Delhi and there were two things I had missed out on and was determined to see so I set off on my own in the metro rush hour to Swaminarayan Akshardham the temple that was closed last time I visited. The name means "The eternal abode of Bhagwan Swaminarayan" (1781-1830) a grand 100 acre cultural complex devoted to the child-yogi who started life as Neelkanth Varni who at the age of 11 travelled 12,000 Kms over 7 years to pilgrim places all over India taking with him the message of peace. I mentioned before that no cameras were allowed but I felt you would feel cheated without pictures so I have taken a few of the pictures in the magazine to give you some idea of how awesome the temple is.
I was so caught up with the feeling of peace and serenity in this place I lost track of time and after 4 hours had to rush back to the guest house to great our new arrival Lynne. Exhausted after her long journey Lynne opted to rest up and so I set off on the metro again this time joined by Denise and Kay to see inside "The Red Fort". With the help of a very friendly young Indian guy we were able to reach the location without the need to go through the streets of Old Delhi again which was a godsend. The entrance fee to The Fort is 30 Rupees for locals and yes you guessed it 500 Rupees for tourists. There are guides who offer their services for an extra 500 Rupees but we decided to pass on the offer an muddle on ourselves.
Once you pass into the fort things are as they probably were hundreds of years ago with stalls set up either side of the entrance arch now selling trinkets and souvenirs rather than food and spices in olden days.
Further into the fort there are structures and open spaces all of which have been allowed to fall into disrepair which is a great shame when you imagine how regal it must have been in its heyday. Even the fountains and gullies where water would have flown are all dry and cracked. What do they do with all the entrance money? For the Indian people this is still a cheap place to visit and families were everywhere just enjoying the day and you will be pleased to know we maintain our celebrity status with the locals with lots of requests for selfies with the families and even caught an Indian boy taking a picture of his family to surprise him.
We left the fort when it was dark and found our way back to the station with little or no problems, not so sure I would recommend it to ladies on their own though !! Back at the "Jungle Jamboree"Lynne joined us for a last night where we were without Dave and Jean who were out shopping but we enjoyed a final meal and drink before saying our goodbyes to the staff and promising to try and return at the end of our trip. Final chore packing in readiness for our trip to Jaipur for one night stopover and on to Ajmer and the camel fair.