Delhi--November 27, 2006--Gandhi's Cremation Site, the Bazaar of Old Delhi, Jama Masjid Mosque
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On our last full day in Delhi, we went to three sites. First, we visited the site of Gandhi's cremation, then we cycled by rickshaw through the bazaar area of Old Delhi and finally ended at the largest mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid.
A word about religious affiliation in India--it is a deeply religious country, about 81% Hindu, 12% Muslim, 2% Christian, 2% Sikh, 1% Buddhist and .5% Jains. After independence in 1947, a large portion of the Muslim population migrated north to what was then West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). In addition, Hindus in the Pakistan areas, migrated south into what is now India. The migration in both directions caused much bloodshed and many social and economic problems. Because many persons chose not to migrate, today's India, for example, still has a substantial Muslim population, ranking in the top five in the world in total number.
As we traveled through the bazaar area we noticed shops that specialized in a particular product (cloth, spices, ribbons, etc.). Eventually, we came upon an auto parts area; the guide told us that one can find any auto part there. She related a story that one could go into an auto parts store in the bazaar and ask for a replacement auto hubcap. No matter how rare, the clerk would say that he would check in the back. In a couple of minutes, as if by magic, the clerk appears with the desired hubcap. The buyer is extremely delighted with this and takes the hubcap home only to find later that he still has only three hubcaps since one of his previous three has been "lifted" for sale to him!
By coincidence, our schedule overlapped with some friends visiting Delhi on the same day, so we were able to have a delightful dinner with them in the evening at the Oberoi Hotel in Delhi. They were off to Agra the following morning to see the Taj Mahal and we were flying to Varanasi to see the Ganges.
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