Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Off on the morrow to the Golden Temple

Taking the early Air Deccan flight to Amritsar tomorrow, and staying the night, returning by the Shatabdi Express Friday night. I'm
pumped!

Of course, if there's fog, I might spend most of the day at Delhi airport.

This afternoon I had the most fantastic time trouping around a genuine
urban village in Paharganj, northest of New Delhi railway station --
the village of Nabi Karim, which is the home of a (rather well hidden
... the houses have just come up on either side of it) 14th century
Tughlaq fort, and the dargah of Qadam Sharif, the grave of Feroz Shah
Tughlaq's son, Feroz Khan. The area is one of the most congested, and
"narrow alleyway" simply cannot convey just what it feels like. It
will never be a tourist attraction. I was there with a friend of my
sister-in-law's, who's into heritage sites and the like, and author
Lucy Peck, who's written a well known guide to Delhi's ancient
monuments. She was updating the maps for her book, and it partly felt
like a treasure hunt, as we tried to figure out just where the walls
appeared and disappeared in the maze of alleys in the village.

"Qadam Sharif" means "holy step" ... the claim to fame of this dargah
is that it has a relic of the Prophet -- a stone slab with an
impression of the Prophet's foot. This was, apparently, acquired by
Feroz Shah from the Caliph at great cost, and it used to lie on the
top of the grave of his son.

Yes I have photos, which will come later (I suspect when we're back in
Baroda next week when I'll have more time).

I also got to Sacred Heart Cathedral in time for a holy hour in front
of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Mass (celebrated by the
Archbishop) at 6:00 pm.

Don't expect that I'll be blogging until my return.

2 comments:

assiniboine said...

Do get a photo of yourself in your bonnet as suitable for entry into the Golden Temple! I looked perfectly ridiculous and I was so self-conscious that it got me out of there right early: the irony being that I of all visitors to the Golden Temple, being Canadian, had had more contact with Sikhs than, surely, any other visitor there. Ah well, it is a very useful conversation piece when I meet "Punjabis" that I have actually visited the Golden Temple. ("Punjabi" is in quotation marks because every Sikh I have ever met refers to non-Sikh South Asians as "Indians," as opposed to Sikhs, and indeed assumes "Punjabi" to be synonymous with "Sikh." My acquaintance in West Punjab, being, obviously, Muslim, would be somewhat startled.

coray said...

i'm in the CNR