Trini, my wife, and I left Los Angeles on a Thursday and arrived to New Delhi on Saturday at 2:00 in the morning, India time. We in fact moved forward a day due to flying west through multiple time zone.
We can now say that we flew into the future!
Consequently, we had to set our watches a day forward. It sounds odd that we had to remind our family that if they called us to remember that we were 14-hours forward and in the following day. They would call us on Saturday, we were already on Sunday. This is very valuable information to a global stock buyer using the Internet in Los Angeles, for example, and is already hard at work, in India, on a Sunday night.
When we arrived to Delhi, the capital of the nation, we could tell that it was warm outside. Being that we arrived mid-October, their 3-month monsoon-rainy- season had recently ended.
We were scheduled to finally meet up with our tour group in the Suryaa New Delhi hotel. Our travel agency-Road Scholar-had a representative meet us at the airport.
Trini and I felt excited to be there and we could also feel tired and sore from our 8,000 mile journey. We had just finished a 29-hour flight. We had a 2-hour layover in the beautiful Dubai airport so we had time to stretch our legs a little. It was great flying on Emirates Airlines. I was glad we would fly back with them once our 37-day trip was over in mid-November.
On our way to our hotel from the Delhi airport, we noticed that vehicle and pedestrian traffic was quite heavy. We checked and it was three in the morning. We were informed that heavy trucks are only allowed on the city roads at night and that people regularly come from different parts of the nation to celebrate their multiple day religious ceremonies and festivals.
Being that India is a country where there are thousands of deities that are worshipped. Consequently, there are religious festival going on at all times somewhere in the thousands of temples and shrines throughout the city.
Over the 4-days that we would spend visiting this city of 16 million, we would see some of the festivals.
We passed multiple festival areas as we approached our hotel. It was well lit, many families were walking to and from the small carnival setting rides area. Many of the booths were well lit and offering food and religious items. We could also see men, women and whole families sleeping on the bare floors, on the back of trucks or in buses. The square temple had lights hanging down all around and it was a colorful and bright scene. We could hear people chanting religious songs at a distance. Apparently this is an annual spiritual event, at this one site, the worshipping goes on for 9-consecutive days. What we were observing reminded me of a small and busy country fair back home on a Saturday evening. Yet, reality was that it was now 4:00 am and they had been celebrating/worshipping for several days.
We have only been in the city a couple of hours and we could already sense that religions-thousands of them-and the two major ones, Hindu and Muslim, exert a great deal of influence and direction on the daily lives of Indians. I was certain that we would see and experience more of this religious devotion over the upcoming days.
When we arrived to our hotel all we could think about was sleep and that is what we did! We were scheduled to meet our small group at dinnertime so we had a great morning through early afternoon sleep.
Our tour schedule was full for the upcoming 10-days in India and I'll be sharing the many exciting and once-in-a-lifetime experiences we had.
Armando F Sanchez:
Armando F Sanchez is a speaker and consultant on global markets, writer, and world traveler. He is the CEO of Armando F Sanchez Global Business Consulting. He also heads a media company that produces global web cast and podcast programming. Author's website Email the author