Yesterday after the projects and programs finished for the week, some volunteers went to different destinations in India. A pair of volunteers went to Agra, while another pair went to the main tourist area in Delhi. For the pair in Agra, I suggested they take a bus to the city, and a friend who works at a hotel by the Taj Mahal met the tourists at the bus station. He accompanied them to the hotel, and has helped them decide on a touring plan for the city of Agra, beginning with seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Usually, he takes volunteers to different shops, if they are interested in marble pieces or silk and pashmina cloths. Otherwise, he is happy to arrange other sightseeing tours for travelers when in Agra. Then, the volunteers will take the bus back to Delhi NCR tomorrow morning.
The pair of volunteers in the main area in Delhi also have arranged plans for seeing some major tourist sites. They began their travels in the south side of the city, visiting the Lotus Temple, a Bahai temple, and then the Iskcon Temple, a Hare Krishna temple. After seeing these neighboring temples, the volunteers likely visited Dilli Haat, a major government-owned bazaar, and then observed the awe-inspiring Qutb Minar, a giant brick pillar in the middle of Delhi, whose construction began in 1193 AD. If they had time, they would visit Chhattarpur Temple next, a Hindu Temple in the area, and then head to a hotel. Today, the volunteers will most likely visit India Gate, then Red Fort, a historically important fort in Delhi, and then Jamma Masjid, a famous mosque located in the center of Chandni Chowk, a huge bazaar in Delhi. Once they have spent time in the mosque, they will likely spend some time strolling through Chandni Chowk, until they head back to the hotel. Finally, tomorrow, the volunteers will most likely visit Connaught Place, a major market sector in Delhi with very affordable and quality items, especially for the tourist with good bargaining skills! Volunteers who have gone to this market have found several brand name items (scarves and jeans in particular) at extremely fair prices! There are also great jewelry stores in this area, with affordable prices (such as $12 pearl necklaces, all very real river-pearls!). One volunteer in the past had bought several pashminas at a very fair rate at Connaught Place, even cheaper than the volunteers who had gone to Kashmir (and the same quality)! By midday, the volunteers will head back to their host family's house to arrive in the early evening. We hope both pairs of the volunteers have a wonderful trip!