The oldest historical site in Delhi

The street in front of the Red Fort is one of the most chaotic streets I have ever seen. This was because the Red Fort is probably one of the most famous tourist sites in Delhi. I went there a couple months ago, and the area out front was loud and a little chaotic. The taxi had dropped my dad, my brother and I on the opposite side of the street which meant that we had to cross the extremely busy street to get into the Red Fort. Indian streets are usually very crowded and busy, but this street, being in front of one the oldest historical sites in Delhi, was especially so. And because of that, we not only had to dodge the many vehicles quickly driving toward us, we also had to deal with the many rickshaw wallas (guys who drive the rickshaws) and salesmen. And on top of all that, Dad also warned us that pickpockets were also very active there. I wasn’t feeling very well at the time either, so that made it even more difficult. When we finally made it across, Dad then had to find out where the driver of the second taxi had dropped off Mom and our Indian friends Dilara and her children Sultana and Shahanur. Those first few minutes at Lal Qila (Red Fort in Hindi) were definitely very tumultuous.

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When we had bought tickets, we walked through the giant door and then proceeded down the long lane of stalls selling souvenirs like scarves, jewelry, toys, magnets, and even little snow globes! After that, there was a large white gate you walked through to enter the area with the gardens and palaces. The back of it was a brownish red color.

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The part past that gate wasn’t quite what I expected. I guess what I thought there would be lots of beautiful palaces right inside the gate, but my mom and dad told me that they were farther into the fort. Another thing that surprised me was how big some of the fountains were. I’m at least 5’5, and I think that if I stood up on the bottom of the fountain, the walls might have either been close to my height, or above it. However, the depth of the fountains wasn’t the only way they were huge. They were also really long and really wide. The emperor must have been really fond of huge fountains.

2017 12 28 11 51 10 HDRThe first pavilion we came across was one of the largest, and in my opinion the prettiest, because while the others were pretty much all made out of marble or some other type of white stone and were all similarly designed, this one was built from a red type of stone and was different from all the others. The rows of columns were intricately carved, and in the middle of the pavilion there was a large display surrounded by plastic walls. However, the plastic walls were slightly dirty, so I wasn’t able to see what was inside the walls.

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The others were pretty much all alike, meaning they were all white, except for one other one, and they were all carved with similar looking designs. A lot of the pavilions and even the white gate had flowers carved into the walls or pillars.

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The other red colored pavilion I mentioned was among the other white pavilions and looked like there had once been a fountain where the building was standing. It was smaller than all the others, and closer to the palaces too.

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We never actually got to see the palaces, we left before we saw them, but the rest of the fort was really cool. Another cool part is that in front of every building, there was a sign that explained what it was and when it was built. I learned a lot about the history of the Lal Qila. If you like history, then you will definitely like the oldest historical site in delhi.

Delhi’s park of animals

Delhi’s National Zoological Park is a fun place to go for families. Delhi’s zoo has a white tiger, reptiles, and even a crocodile! I visited this huge zoo with my family, and it was really fun. We looked at the white tiger pacing in its enclosure, a crocodile lounging in the sun, and some monkeys laughing and swinging in their cage. My sister loved it. And if you look around the zoo, you might also be lucky enough to get a glimpse of some peacocks. These beautiful birds wander freely around the zoo, and are very pretty to look at.
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These are some of the hippos we saw

A couple things to remember if you visit the zoo are: First, visit in the winter. Delhi doesn’t get very cold in the winter, and it will be more fun if you are not sweating constantly. During the summer, it can get above 100 degrees, and because the zoo is so big, you’ll probably end up leaving before you can see all of it. Second, you can’t bring food in. The guards will allow water, but if you take food, they will most likely confiscate it. However, there are food and drink stalls set up all around the zoo so you can buy food and drinks. Third, if you have lighter skin, you will be stared at. Many Indians have never seen people with light skin before, so they will stare. Also, people might ask for a selfie. After a while, you will get used to it, but in the meantime, just ignore it.
A cool fact about the zoo is that you can get really close to the animals. My brother was freaked out by a leopard in its cage because he thought it was creepy that the leopard was pacing right inside the cage, up against the chainlink fence. At most of the animals’ cages, there is just a fence separating the animals and the people. At some of the more dangerous animals’ cages, there is a really deep ditch, almost like a moat except without the water, surrounding the animals’ houses. For example, the tiger’s cage had a ditch, and so did the monkeys.
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This is the rhino in it’s cage

In addition to all these cool facts, here are few more reasons why you should visit Delhi Zoo: it is very clean, and very affordable. There is no trash or litter scattered about,and many of the poorer people living in Delhi are able to come see the animals. And the zoo has animals you might not see anywhere else. For example, not many zoos have peacocks wandering around the zoo. Not many zoos have as many as ten different types of deer and gazelles either. Delhi zoo is a really fun place for families to visit, and it is definitely worth visiting. I hope you like it!

The weird, the funny and the interesting: Aurangabad

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Aurangabad is a beautiful city surrounded by green plateaus in the state of Maharashtra, India. We had many things happen to us while we were in Aurangabad. Some of these things were funny, some were weird, and some were very interesting.

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This is the yellow naan that is only in Aurangabad

One of the moments was when we went to a famous restaurant in a certain area of the city. I have had lots of Indian food, but I think the biryani we ate there was maybe the the spiciest biryani I have ever had. The restaurant did have delicious yellow naan though, which we were told is only found in Aurangabad.

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Bibi Ki Maqabar is also known as the “Mini Taj Mahal”

A second memory was when we went to Bibi Ki Maqabar. This was one of the kind of weird and kind of funny memories. We were swarmed by people asking for selfies nearly the whole time we were there. We had just enough time to take only a couple pictures before we were asked again! It kind of ruined the our time there, but it was also kind of funny. It started out with just one person asking my dad, then more people started asking until we finally just had to say no every time.

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This is not the auto we took, but the same kind.

A third time that was really funny was when we decided to go check out the mall. It had begun to lightly rain, but we went out and caught an auto rickshaw anyway. My dad kept insisting the mall was right across the street, but it turned out to be like five streets away. It had started to rain harder, so the driver put down the side covers. However, because I was sitting on the side, and the wind was blowing the rain cover around, my jeans ended up getting soaked anyway.

By the time we arrived at the mall, it was raining so hard that all we could think about was getting out of the rain and into the mall. We had completely forgotten to go through the mall’s metal detectors outside! One of the security officials came into the mall and told us that we had to go through the metal detectors. We went back outside and went through them. After that, we made up a joke for that occasion: Dad did say that the mall was across the street, but he didn’t say which street it was across.

Here is a little information about the historical sites we visited:

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Bibi Ki Maqabar:
Constructed between 1651 and 1661, the Bibi Ki Maqabar is a beautiful mausoleum possible built by Prince Azam Shah in memory of his mother, Rabia-ul-Daurani, also known as Dilras Banu Begum. The mausoleum lies in Aurangabad Maharastra, India. Bibi Ki Maqabar was supposed to rival the Taj Mahal.But even though it does not rival the Taj, the two buildings definitely look similar. Because of the obvious similarity to the Taj Mahal, the Bibi Ki Maqabar earned the name “Mini Taj” by tourists visiting Aurangabad.

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Ellora Caves:
The Ellora caves are ancient Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu cave-temples. They were named for the small village of Ellora which lies 30 km ( 18.6 mi ) from the city of Aurangabad, Maharastra. There are 35 caves in total, with many of them being dug out of the vertical side of the Charanandri hills. There are twelve Buddhist caves, seventeen Hindu caves, and five Jain caves.