Friday, April 22, 2005

Delhi Darshan – Trip 1 Part 1/2

Itinerary – The Yellow Chilly restaurant, Lotus Temple, Qutb Minar, Delhi Haat and India Gate

Thanks to Sapna and Kulwant Singh for driving me around and showing me all the places far better than any guide could have and of course, also for all those countless jokes!

The Yellow Chilly restaurant

They say that when you are hungry, anything that you put into your mouth would taste delicious. Though we did hop in for a very late lunch at the Yellow Chilly in Noida, I am pretty sure that the food that we had there was out of this world! I have had typical north Indian food at so many places and if I have to choose the one that I enjoyed the most – it would be this. Simple no-nonsense food with just the right amount of everything. Hats off to Sanjeev Kapoor and the chef of Yelow chilly in Noida.

Well, I was checking out Sanjeev Kapoor’s site to know how many restaurants he operates (which seem to be quite a few), but I was in for a pleasant surprise. Though this restaurant cooks up a real delicious feast his site cooks up some real whacky english usages.

Some lines directly lifted from the site:

“The best way would be to describe him(Sanjeev Kapoor) as someone who at the young age of forty has reached the top of the food chain!” Top of the food chain? :D

“To put Sanjeev Kapoor in a nutshell is indeed a difficult task”. Absolutely :)

“Sanjeev Kapoor's unwavering vision for Indian Cuisine sees him as an entrant into FMCG category with a range of tongue-tickling pickles”. No wonder my tongue was in splits after the lunch!!!

Lotus Temple

Breathtaking. Even more so, inside.

Since one has to walk for about several minutes before reaching the temple, the Delhi heat was the only dampener in the entire experience. But Kulu bhaiyya’s enthusiasm was so infectious that I survived the 3:00PM heat without any casualty. :)

My companions being architects, we ended up discussing mostly about the architecture of the building and Mr. Fariborz Sahba rather than the aesthetic appeal of the temple. Bahá'í Mashriqu'l-Adhkar or more popularly called the Lotus temple, it seems is the seventh and most recent Bahá'í house of worship in the World and was completed in 1986. Aha its younger than me!

The charm of the structure is that it is nothing by a skylight - a very complicated one at that!

The interior dome, devoid of any idol or religious symbol, was breath taking. The dome is spherical and designed like the innermost portion of a lotus. Sunlight enters the hall in the same way as it would have entered a lotus. The dome is built with 27 petals in 3 levels. Though it is supposed to be a meditation hall and visitors are supposed to be quiet, one could hear the usual giggles and whispers and claps by small children to hear the echo. But there was something so soothing and unexplainable about the interior of the temple – the effect it had on me.

There are small pools of water around the temple, completing the picture of a lotus in a pond, but it seems the water has a technical reason for its being there. Considering the heat in Delhi, an oven-like hall wouldn’t be a very desirable place to meditate. The water outside is part of a well orchestrated cooling system. The lotus temple was designed to act like a chimney and the air that is cooled by the pools passes through the openings in the basement and enters the dome and warm air is expelled through the orifices between the petals. Cool, isn't it? No wonder I didn’t feel like walking out into the open once I was inside.

But it was strange to see foreigners working as the peace-keepers or helpers in the premises of the temple. I have nothing against them and the Bahá'í faith, but it was strange.


Anonymous said...

Delhi darshan on a weekday...aren't you supposed to be in office or something at 3 PM on Thursday? :-))


Girl With Big Eyes said...

Timings are not a constraint here. We have flexible working hours :)

Anonymous said...

Lotus temple...beautiful isnt it?
If in delhi and given a choice between Taj Mahal and Lotus Temple to visit, i will choose the latter any day.
Even when i think about my visit to the temple(some 9 years back), the feeling that comes is "peace of mind"..