india | the little taj mahal

New Delhi, India

Humayun's Tomb was really beautiful.  I took so many pictures of the arches and the intricate detailing.  According to our tour guide it is one of the few tombs made for a woman, yet no one knows why this woman was so important that a structure this large was made for her.   (update: 10/19/12 After blogging this post a wonderful reader pointed out that I was wrong; that this was built for a man, the Mughal Emperor Humayun, by his wife.  I thought Humayun was a woman.  Shows how much I was listening to that tour guide.  woops.  I am certain, though, the tour guide was talking about some monument/tomb though, I just got it mixed up which tomb was made for a woman.)  I think our tour guide was getting tired because he didn't go in with us.  Instead he hung out with the other tour guides and drives and encouraged us to explore on our own.  My friends and I took advantage of our freedom and did indeed explore.  We took pictures of each other around the palace and ducked in and out of the rooms.

Islamic and Hindu architecture is quite appealing to me.  I love the simple floor plans and symmetry.  I also love me some arches; although, when I was an architect or even a student I don't think I designed a single arch.  I like the repetition of shapes and symbols.  Evidently the 6 pointed star is representative of the union of man and woman (each represented by an equilateral triangle.)

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On an entirely different note, the day we toured Delhi was the day my three friends and I landed in India.  I got to my hotel at 2am while my three friends arrived at 5am ish.  I took a nap while they powered through and stayed up for breakfast at 6am.  At 9am a bus came to pick us up to tour around the city.  Even though my sleeping schedule in California before I left for India was actually on India time, I felt exhausted at the end of each day.  There was always a sense of urgency and schedule and sort of herding on this tour.  I don't think I would have seen as much as I did had it not been for this tour.

Some parts of this trip really triggered my fear of crowds.  I felt very anxious to have people all up in my personal space those few times.  But all in all, I must say that almost all the people I came into contact with were rather friendly.  It reminded me a bit of the hospitality I met in Thailand.