Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Qutub Minar Morning - it's close enough to Gurgaon

Rapid fire:

When was the last time you drove past Qutub Minar?

And when was the last time you went in to Qutub Minar?

If you're like most Delhi-ites and Gurgaon-vaasis I know, chances are your answer is something like "yesterday" or "today" for the first question and "when I was 8 and we went with Bubble Uncle when he came to visit from Canada" for the second one. 

Well, wait no more folks: wake up early tomorrow morning, make a flask of tea and pack some Parle G biscuits, rope in your significant other, best friend, or friendly neighbor, and head over to Qutub Minar for a really memorable morning. That's what we did last week, and what a fun time we had! 
My winter resolution is always to stay as far away from malls as possible and take advantage of the weather and my resulting good mood to explore the city and pack in some good experiences which I can then draw on for sustenance as I'm melting in 45 degrees in June. So, when my brother suggested we go explore Qutub Minar, I was totally up for it. Honestly though, I wasn't expecting much out of it - I see that Minar every week at least and I don't remember being bowled over when I went at age 8 with Bubble Uncle. Turns out I was really wrong. For one thing, of course I'm older now and my interests have changed as has my attention span. For another - that place is beautiful! It's a lot cleaner and better maintained (and bigger!) than I remember and since we went very early, it was also very peaceful. We were really the only ones there - that's a big thing in Delhi!  

The thing that made the most difference though, was that we ended up taking help from a guide. He was actually one of the security guards there who was enterprising enough to have educated himself really well about the place and made a sincere effort to tell us everything he knew. The added bonus was that he was very interested in photography and happily took some of our group pictures. 

Guides tend to have a bad rep because they fabricate stories and barely skim the surface in terms of good information. When my brother suggested we get a guide, I told him to save his money - I'd just walk along and read aloud from Wikipedia instead. I now realize it's not just about finding out information - there's something nice about walking along leisurely while someone tells you not just the facts but also some colorful nuggets and a little mirch-masala surrounding the place. It also forces you to stop everywhere and listen rather than just walk by exclaiming once in a while that the engraving on the pillar is lovely. 



We ended up spending about 2 hours at Qutub Minar...we got there at about 7:00 am. A few small groups had begun to come in by the time we left. So, I'd definitely recommend an early morning if you want the place to yourself. 

I hope you decide to go. I'm excited about the visit and have already followed it up with a visit to Humanyun's tomb as well (I'll post pictures of that soon). Next on the cards is a Delhi Heritage Walk. This is going to be a winter of exploring Gurgaon and Delhi! I hope it's fun for you too. 

1 comment:

Robin D'costa said...

Hi,

Got the wonderful information from you with such a deep descriptions.
We are planing to go Gurgaon but stuck with stay problem. If you have any list of good budget hotels then please share. One of my friend suggested me Hotel Smart Villa

Thanks.