Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LHR to DEL- on the road to Delhi

The Red Fort/ Lal Quila- Shahjahanabad

Around 21:00, after the haircut, dinner and martinis at the Virgin Clubhouse, boarding commenced for the plane to New Delhi. Immediately the lovely Virgin FA’s made the beds and we slept until arriving in DEL at 11:00 the next day.

Aman Living Room
Plunge pool
After we collected our bags, the driver was there to meet us with an Ambassador for the transfer to our hotel. We had reservations for the opening of the Aman New Delhi in the Lodhi district. Great location. 

Aman hotels are based on service and luxury, so when we were upgraded to an Aman suite with a plunge pool, we happily accepted. The room  was brand new, shiny, roomy and comfortable.

The  Singapore based Aman Group has resorts around the world. We have stayed at many Amans and it was exciting to stay at their first city hotel. It was urbane and built with an architectural design that was both contemporary and very inviting.

Chandi Chowk
The day we arrived in Delhi was Diwali, an important Indian holiday. It’s known as the Festival of Lights, and is an important five-day festival for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. That night we met some friends who were also going to the Chandigarh wedding and together we experienced Diwali ceremonies performed by  Hindu priests that night as the sky filled with fireworks. It was a very exotic evening in Delhi, India.

There was a lot to do to get ready for the wedding involving saris and wedding coats from an Indian tailor. The best place for tailors is Chandi Chowk, an area in Shahjahanabad or Old Delhi. It was exciting that after shopping was over, we had lunch at Karim’s, a historic mughal restaurant in Old Delhi whose family has cooked royal food for the kings in Delhi over many generations.

Before leaving Delhi, the ladies on the trip had to get their Mehendi, which are elaborate designs, painted on the hands with henna. The intricate designs are usually only done on the hands for wedding guests, while the bride has henna on both hands and feet.

Houses in Old Delhi
The next day we had a 13:50 Jet Airways flight to Chandigarh. The flight only took an hour; so we had plenty of time to get there for the Sangeet, the first of the pre-wedding parties . . .

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