The last day of the program involved visiting some historic sites in New Delhi – and unfortunately, as has happened throughout this program, one student (Nicole M) stayed at the hotel because she was a bit under the weather 😦
We started with a visit to the beautiful and serene Lotus Temple which is the place of worship for people of the Bahá’í faith, dedicated in 1986. Though I have known of this religion, we took the time today to learn a little more about it, and the temple personified their teachings of oneness of God, oneness of religion, and oneness of humanity. The world would certainly be a better place if everyone believed this and did not use religion to divide people and create conflicts…
Our next stop was the Qutb Minar – the tallest stone and brick tower in the world (73 meters) built is 1192! This is the oldest structure we have visited and it is interesting also because although the tower was built by Moghul (Muslim) emperors, there is still evidence of the Hindu and Jain temples that existed alongside and the architecture reflects the typical arches associated with Muslim structures and writings from the Koran on the tower as well as of Hindu and Jain architecture. The icing on the cake was that my college friend Deepu (1981-1984) came to meet me there and is included in our group photo!
After lunch at a nice restaurant for our last hurrah, our next stop was India Gate which was constructed as a memorial to Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I – fighting for the British army as India was still under British rule at the time.
We also drove up the Raj Path (Kings way) – at one end is the India Gate and at the other end is Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Prime Minister’s office) and the parliament houses.
Next stop was the tomb of another Mughal emperor Humayun, built in ~1530. However it was pouring rain – evidence of the monsoon season, so we waited on the bus for a while playing two truths and a lie. Finally, we decided to give it a go with ponchos and umbrellas to see these ancient structures that are being preserved and renovated.
Back to the hotel to pack, dinner in-house in the hotel, and final discussions about travel etc. as 10 of the 12 students have left for the airport for the long flight back home. We wish them all a safe journey and happy reunions with their families…