India: Visit To Akshardham

So today I took it easy.  I decided to catch up on some of my writing and just reorganize.  I found out yesterday that Jake will be here on the 5th. (Update: He said they are getting tickets now and will be here shortly) I was thinking about biding my time here in Delhi but think it will be better spent traveling.  I was also contemplating that I could easily live on $25 dollars a day.  The expensive part would be the train travels around.

So I put together a group of my hostel friends and told them we were going to Akshardham. I advised everyone we would be leaving at around 3:30 or 4.  Since many were planning their travels and sightseeing, I knew it would be crazy getting everyone rounded up in time.  At around 3 pm everyone started coming back from their activities.  I also realized while two of my friends were getting ready that we may not make the timing of Akshardham. Originally I thought it closed at 5pm.  Lucky for me, it was 6:30 was last entrance time.

So i gathered Frederica, Ramon, Mark, Tom and Sebastian and we made our way towards visual history.  The metro from the hostel was about an hour.  We had to change from the Yellow to the blue line and then make one more stop at Yauman Bank center.  It was easy and the fare was 119R for all 6 of us, which is about 30 cents.  So for 60 cents we had booked our round trip tickets.  Something worth mentioning, the people on the trains have been very friendly.  I know there is the old distraction while we steal from you trick, but most of the people seem to have a sincere interest…Im sure its my naivety.  When we came out of the metro, everyone surrounded us offering to take us to Akshardham for 20 rupees and thank goodness we didn’t because the walk was beautiful.  

There is bad news and good news to this story.  The good news is that this experience left me breathless and speechless.  The bad news is that you can’t bring cameras or any sort of electronic device near the temple.  I snapped one photo through the fence on the way up but that was all I could get.  After we dropped off our gear at the check point, we proceeded to the Akshardham.  The beautiful and hot red stone paved our entrance in.  Even though the temple is magnificent on the outside, going inside will absolutely take your breath away.  All the big pieces of marble are cut by machine, however, all the intricate details inside are all done by hand.  Approximately 70 percent of the tourists to Delhi visit here.  It is technically the Worlds largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. 

I spent about 30 minutes walking around the temple and reading about all the Hindu deities.  Every step suspended my breath more so than the one before.  I must have looked like a fool as I realized my mouth was agape the whole time.  The Shrines for some of the deities are magnificent.  The Taj Mahal is beautiful and gorgeous in its own right, I must say, I think personally this is my favorite part of the trip this far.  Nothing can compare to the amount of detail that is in this temple
*Mandir: Intricately carved temple made out of 6000 tons of pink sandstone
  No support from steel or concrete
*Because of the unstable foundation foundation, 15-foot of rocks and sand were entwined with wire mesh and topped by five feet of concrete. Five million fired bricks raised the foundation another 21.5-foot. These bricks were then topped by three more feet of concrete to form the main support under the monument.
*Seven thousand carvers and three thousand volunteers were put to work for the construction Akshardham.
*Every night, over one hundred trucks were sent to Akshardham, where four thousand workers and volunteers operated on the construction site.

We bought tickets to see the 7:30 water show, however it was only like 6:45 and the line was cuing up.  We as a group decided to grab food at the food court.  It was delicious, vegetarian and cheap.  I had an amazing potato dish with something similar to mustard but spicier.  We finished up at 7:15 and headed to the show.  We found seats at the far end of the arena at the very bottom.  This is a must see if you come to Delhi.  It was a 25 minute presentation that etched itself into my mind.  Not only was the water show epic, the light show from the projector onto the building behind the water show was INCREDIBLE.  I felt like I was 5 all over again.  Since it was built in 2005, my father didn’t have the opportunity to come here, so I am glad I was able to enjoy it.  After the show we were a little afraid that getting our bags from the check in location would be a night mare, however, it was super fast.  We headed back to the station and headed back to the hostel.  The pictures are not mine! I pulled them from the web.  It was an unbelievable afternoon. 

Side note: We just experienced about an earthquake. The building shook for a solid 2 minutes to 3 minutes. Pretty freaky. Turns out there was a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal.  The reports coming in are bad.  I will keep everyone posted.  No damage here and I am fine

P.S.:  I just got an email back last week...
Dear Chad,

We have reviewed your Peace Corps application and have placed you under consideration for Zambia departing February 2016. Your application has been placed in a candidate pool that is being reviewed by a Placement Specialist. You will be contacted in the coming months if you are selected for an interview and if any additional information is needed.

All candidates will be notified by September 1, 2015 with a decision regarding their application.

Until next time…