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Incredible India: Dubai To Delhi And Beyond  
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20690 times:

Namasté fellow A.netters,

“Indi…ah! Incredible India!”
My heart palpitated each time by the last refrain of the India’s tourism promotion video which amazingly made its presence felt days before my partner, Herman, and I hit the road to Schiphol for our Emirates maiden flight .

So intense the nature could mesmerize, so instant the sight of the buildings could take your breath away, so charming the hospitality would surround you, yet so little I knew about India.

Supposed I was attending a viva last January.

‘What would you think of India if I say nature?’
My answer would be, ‘Rich wooded area where tigers live,’

‘How about buildings?’
‘Taj Mahal of course,’

‘And if I say people?’
‘Ladies with their colorful saris,’

‘Is that all?’
‘Err, yes, I think so,’

‘Anything else crossing your mind?’
‘I am sure there is a lot more. But no. I have no idea,’

‘Alright. Let’s talk about buildings first. We start with Agra. Beside Taj Mahal, there is another building as well in the city. Does Agra Fort mean anything to you?’
‘No. Unfortunately not,’

‘Imagine us moving forty kilometers westwards. You will reach a certain place. Do you know Fatehpur Sikri?’
‘No. What is it called again?’

‘Alright. Let’s make it easier. We go back to the capital of the counry. Can you mention any sight in Delhi?’
‘Actually no,’

‘Do you know Qutb Minar?’
‘No, what is it?’

‘How about Gandhi Smriti? The memorial of Mahatma Gandhi?’
‘I know Mahatma Gandhi. But I did not know that there is a memorial of his in Delhi,’

‘The last chance! Any idea of the Lotus temple?’
‘Err, is it a Hindu temple?’

As expected, I failed miserably.   

This fact made things inexorable, ‘It is about time to go there myself! I have to pass the resit. At least on subjects regarding Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri!’

Of course, I give the credit for the decisive push to fellow A.netters Ojas and Sandeep (AI151).

Join me for the second part in the quest which brought me onto a three hour flying distance to Delhi and beyond.


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Friends forever
81 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20941 times:

Dubai International Airport






Herman and I were kind of expecting a long queue before security. As we noticed on FIDS, it was rush hour in DXB.

Well, guess what?



Security booth at the far end



‘Where is everybody?’ I thought for a flash moment that we were on the wrong spot.
But no, the signage could not be clearer enough. We did move in the right direction.

We walked straight away to the security booth. There was practically nobody in front of us. Yes, it is a common security booth. No Shakira affair here!   

We prepared ourselves for the screening, including removing our notebook from our carry-on.
“No! No need to!” The security official said upon noticing our action.
The instruction unsurprisingly smoothed the way. We were cleared in no time.


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Signage after security



The single escalator brought us to the departure level. You can take the adjoining staircase as well if you are in need of extra workout. Or the lift in case you get too carried away with the booze on board.

Once upstairs, you are immersed in the glitter of DXB duty free world.


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Shopping precinct


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Jewelry shop


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First prize of a lucky draw



Surely everyone can find what he or she wants on this floor level. I would like to visit the Emirates flagship store as well. But we decided on two things during our layover that time.



Time planner


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Direction to the lounge



‘Two? I actually would not mind a third one,’ I thought when I noticed another direction to the health club.
I just love such similar idea to Singapore Changi airport where you as transiting passenger can do some workout airside. ‘I will keep it in mind on the way back,’
Off we went for lounging on the third level. I must say that DXB Terminal 3 is as easy to navigate as Schiphol.



Signage before staircase



As we walked on the corridor of the third level, the remarkable architecture of T3 was revealed.



White curved high ceiling with contrasting woodwork on the lower part





Emirates business class lounge






Apparently, some renovation work was in progress which compelled the relocation of the lounge entrance further up along the side.



Lounge signage


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Lounge entrance. Note the complimentary baby strollers outside




There were four lounge attendants in duty at the reception. All nicely dressed up in EK outfit.
The ladies were occupied as we walked in. But we were soon attended by Blossom.
“Good evening, Sirs,” Blossom said as she took our boarding passes.
“You are traveling to Delhi?” She verified upon a glance at our stubs.
“That is correct,” We confirmed.
“Your gate will be 216,” Blossom scribbled down our gate number on our stubs and returned them. “Please observe the boarding time carefully as there is no separate call in the lounge. Have a nice stay with us,”
“Thank you,”

EK business lounge is not a place you can take in at a glance. The spaceship-like surface area is divided in inner and outer wing which is connected by a pair of footbridges stretching above the shopping precinct.


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Lounge map



As we went further, I let the interior sink in.



Water work on the opposite of the reception desk



The inner wing was not particularly crowded when we walked past.


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Left side inner wing overview



Across the bridge, the cream-colored tiled floor decorates the dining area around the refreshment counter.


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Bistro style sitting area



Since we would have a long layover on the way back, I let the main refreshment area pass and followed with Herman the direction to Timeless Spa .

Upon reaching the utmost outer part, as I looked around, I just had to say. “This place is huge!”


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Outer wing area overview


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Timeless Spa counter



We found an empty table right on the opposite of the Timeless Spa counter.



Our shelter



Just look what we got within our arm reach!



Battery chargers



We were about to dry out, so I went out to prevent it. But first I had to take a look inside the washroom just around the corner.


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Wash basins


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Rolled up towels. Note the lily bouquet on the right



The Zen Garden embraced me as I went out.


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Tiled floor area with the bar on the background



The area behind the wall is put up with rather different interior.


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Wooden floor with white couches



It was time for a drink! I made my way towards the bar where Jordan, a trainee from Myanmar, greeted me with a big smile.
“How can I help you, Sir?”
“I would like to have a Screwdriver and a Bloody Mary, please,” I replied.
“Screwdriver?”
“Yes, please,”
“Do you mean the tool to turn a screw?”
I was surprised by his counter-question, but immediately got a flashback of one certain moment during my hospitality school traineeship. I was in his shoes when a man asked me to prepare a Rusty Nail, cocktail of whiskey and Drambuie.

Yes, I remembered how the man made fun of my ignorance. No, I would not do the same thing to Jordan!

I was about to explain the mixture when Rosario, an Indian bartender, came to help. “Yes, what does the gentleman wish to order?”
“A screwdriver,” Jordan said.
“A screwdriver is a mixture of Vodka and orange juice. I will show you how to make it,”


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Rosario doing the finishing touch on Heman’s Screwdriver with Jordan on his side



It was kind of amusing to notice how Jordan kept an eye on Rosario’s preparation work. I wished someone could have helped me out with the situation back then.
“Here you are, Sir,” Jordan handed me the Screwdriver. “Anything else, Sir?”
“The Bloody Mary, please,”
“Do you know how to make a Bloody Mary?” Rosario glanced at rather hesitating Jordan.
“Check this out,” Rosario followed as he took a glass and buried the opening into a scale with salt layer.
“How would you like to have your Bloody Mary? Normal or spicy?” Rosario asked me after pouring a generous amount of Vodka.
“Spicy, please,” I said.
“Very spicy?” Rosario asked with a smirk.
“Yes, why not?”
Rosario gave me that mischievous look and carried on with the preparation. I did not what his look would mean at the beginning. Rosario was just mixing up the same Tabasco, Worchestire sauce, salt and peper. I saw the same thing done by Laarnie on board.

Surprisingly, Jordan arranged my Bloody Mary on a tray. “Please. Let me carry it for you,”
I was pleasantly surprised of his gesture. “Oh, that is very kind of you. But we are seated a bit far away,”
“That is alright. Please let me do it for you. Allow me to carry the Screwdriver as well,” Jordan insisted.

Herman cracked a smile while noticing Jordan coming along with me.
“Nice Jordan insists to carry our orders,” I explained.
Kyei zun ti ba de,” I thanked Jordan after serving our drinks.
Jordan was astonished. “Do you speak Burmese?”
“Actually no. Only that one,” I said, silently grateful to Thin, our Burmese waitress for teaching me during Finally Asia Part 3: Karimunjawa And Batavia Air (by akhmad Sep 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
“You are very welcome,” Jordan slunk off.


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Herman’s Screwdriver and my Bloody Mary. Ojas, Sandeep, Roni, cheers!



Upon sipping on my drink, I immediately got what Roni meant with EK’s unrightfully wrong Bloody Mary. I recalled my experience during Egyptian Holiday (5): Bye Bye The J Style With LX (by Akhmad Oct 7 2009 in Trip Reports)
I thought I tasted the spiciest Bloody Mary ever, but this one definitely beat everything!

Jordan unexpectedly returned with a bowl of mixed nuts.“You forgot this,”
I must say, I was impressed once again!  



Tasty assorted nuts



Rosario’s Bloody Mary gave me the well needed boost to carry on with my lounge exploration. The refreshment area in our shelter’s neighborhood seemed interesting.


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Refreshment area overview


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Comfy couches


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Bar area. Note refreshment bartender Azil behind the bar


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Tea and coffee corner



The fridge in the middle of the bar contained delicious looking canapés.


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Canapés



Azil came by along and switched on the fridge light.
“You can take pictures now,” She said.


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Fridge lighten up



“May I ask you why you are taking pictures?” Azil asked when I finished.
“It is just for the memories,” I replied.
“Are you a reporter?”
“No, it is just a hobby of mine,”
“I see. Well, take your time,”
Sure, this was more I liked it!  



Häagen-Dazs


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Fruit bowls


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Nuts, crackers and other nibbles



As I walked back, I was curious of the sight behind the glass wall.

Well what do you know?


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View from the top of our assigned gate 216. Note the lining people



The gate was apparently open. We gathered our belongings and made our way to the gate.
‘Time really flies when you are having fun!’ I thought.
Of course, we dropped in on Rosario and Jordan to thank them for the great service before leaving the lounge.




Gate 216



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Gate sign



There were separate lanes for premium and Economy class passengers. Both were empty when we arrived.



Premium lane



Y lane



It looked like most passengers were already seated in the holding room downstairs. Even though, it did not look crowded there. I started to wonder whether our early morning flight was light loaded.


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Holding room overview from the escalator



Hey, look what we got downstairs!



Complimentary newspapers



Battery charging station



Too bad, the exhaustion reared its head despite my strong Bloody Mary. I felt drowsy and just noticed the boarding call for the First and Business class passengers at 04.00.

‘Blip!’ The reader roused me that I was legal to proceed.
I could not remember whether I said ‘Thank you’ to the gate agent. Though less concentrated, I was doing my best to capture the moments while walking down the air bridge.


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First glimpse of A6-EMH



In the middle, there was a junction separating the walkways for the premium and Y passengers.


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Junction



Premium entrance



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20875 times:

On board






Flights Status

Route: DXB-DEL
Date: 10 February 2011
ETD/ATD: 04.40 / 04.45
ETA/ATA: 09.15 / 09.05
Flight number: EK 510
Plane: Boeing 777-21HER
Registration: A6-EMH
Delivered: 15 May 1997



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Szabo Gabor





“Good morning, Sir. Welcome on board,” Thai purser Napassarath greeted me with a charming smile.
“Thank you,” I replied while thinking, ‘Gosh, I wish I was as cheerful as you today,”

While the F cabin was similar to the A6-EBK one, the J cabin was fitted with the newer generation BE Aerospace seats.


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Forward J cabin



I was delighted of the J cabin interior and hoping that I could exhaust my energy by the excitement until our arrival in DEL.

“Good morning, Sir,” Thai flight attendant Sikharin let me through to our preselected left side ninth row.


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9A and 9B



‘Hey, I miss the dotted wood patterned window frames. Is it on purpose?’ I was wondering while going to my seat.



My seat 9A



A large pillow and a wool blanket were waiting for me there. Somehow, my blanket became really attractive. It felt so soft and warm, even unwrapped.


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Light brown colored blanket with knitted EK dark brown logo



And look who was smiling at me as I looked ahead.


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Lovely EK lady on the ICE front page



As she was supposedly saying, ‘Please make yourself comfortable. Nice to see you again!’


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Together with her twin sister smiling at us




Do you know what made me happier? She would allow me the screen view the whole time! Just look on the row in front of us.


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Top view of 8A and 8B from the back



Our fellow passengers over there would have to stow their screens during taxi, takeoff and landing, would not they?   

I tried to absorb the interior, but the exhaustion was smoldering. The continuous flow of boarding passengers did not make the situation any better. I started to regret our seat selection in the aft cabin.


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View on our aisle


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View towards the opposite



‘But Suryo, it is your own idea to seat here. So, take the consequences and make the best of it,’ My conscious spoke to me.
‘Alright!’

Sikharin appeared on our side, “Sir, can I offer you anything to drink?”
It was 04.30 already, I did not know whether it was still okay to have champagne or orange juice instead.
“Can I have champagne, please?” Herman replied.
“Champagne for you, Sir. And how about you, Sir?” Sikharin turned to me.
“I will have the champagne as well, please,” I could not lag behind.
“Certainly, Sir,”

As Sikharin slunk off, I felt somehow perked up. ‘Let’s find out how my seat is different to the earlier Sicma reclining aero seat,’

It looks like the seat has been designed for the comfort of the right-handed passengers. Just look at the left armrest console.


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Close-up of the lower part



Takeoff and landing, dining and sleeping in one touch. How about that?  

FA Marilu was offering newspapers which I declined. But, she got my attention diverted to the right console. Well, the control panels are more extensive there.


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Overview


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Close-up of the upper part



The IFE control unit which is located next to the headphone plug in socket. What do you think of the privacy wall with the lovely familiar dotted wood pattern?
The battery charger? It is underneath.   



Battery charger



Sikharin returned with our welcome drinks as I was about to explore the lower right console.


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Overview. Note the cup holders


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Cocktail table unfolded



My champagne fitted on the cocktail table



At 04.40, Napassarath came on the microphone. “We kindly ask all ground staffs to leave the aircraft,”

Sikharin passed scented hot towels while Pramila was in charge of distribution of the menu, wine list and landing card for India.



Menu



India landing card



The towel was really needed to sharpen my senses. Especially when it came to the sight outside the window.


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Our neighbor A6-EBQ



Pushback commenced at 04.45 along as GE90 engines were arising for their next assignment. In flight safety video was broadcasted as the used towels were recollected.


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Safety video playing on my own screen



Of course, you can find safety details on the card as well.



Front page



Back page




Taxi



As A6-EMH set out for 12R-30L, Napassarath introduced her colleagues, “We proudly present you the languages spoken by our multinational crew members. English, Arabic, Thai, Hindi, Indonesian, Russian and Dutch,”

Like A6-EBK at Schiphol, A6-EMH had to make some ten minute trek along DXB T3. Sikharin dropped by to recollect our empty glasses before getting prepared for the take off.


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EK A380 docked at F18



Though I was seated on the right side, the combination of dark scenery outside and background cabin light made it difficult for me to take any decent picture. I gave up after several attempts.

While looking for temporary stowage, I stumbled across a pair of shoe stowage between the seats in front of us.



Big enough for our DSLR




Take off



“Cabin crew, please prepared for takeoff,”

As cabin lights were gradually dimmed, I grabbed the camera again.


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Lining up on 12R-30L



With lots of rumblings, A6-EMH accelerated for a lift off within forty seconds.


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Rotate!



A6-EMH banked to the left, overflying Dubai.


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Inspired by Airpearl




In flight




As A6-EMH leveled off after five minutes, cabin lights were illuminated. Sikharin emerged to take the breakfast order.

I flipped through the menu and found it interesting to see a full bar service available at the time of the day. Past five o’clock in the morning!



Bar service



Breakfast menu



“Good morning, Sir. What would you like to have for breakfast?” Sikharin asked Herman.
“Can I just have a cup of coffee, please?” Herman replied.
“Only a cup of coffee? Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am,”
“That is alright, Sir. I will serve you the tray anyway. We have got fresh fruit on it. If you wish, you can decide on your meal later on,”
Herman nodded.
“How about you, Sir?” Sikharin turned to me.
“Can I have masala dosa, please?”
“Certainly, Sir,”
I was still stuffed actually. But I just could not skip that typical Indian breakfast.

While waiting for my breakfast, I explored the mini touch screen stowed in the right console which served as a remote control for all purposes.


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Mini screen in dotted wooden frame


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Manual seat control unit


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IFE control unit


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Keyboard



The functionalities really kept me occupied that I did not notice Sikharin appearing on our side. “Sir, may I set your table?”

As Sikharin prepared Herman’s table, I made a quick shot of mine. Ah, somehow I got addicted to EK’s dotted wooden pattern!


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Folded position


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Unfolded position



The BE tray table was evidently bigger than the Sicma one as Sikharin draped the table cloth.

Like our previous flight, the trays were prepared beforehand. The basic setting consisted of a water glass, a butter dish, a pair of pepper and saltcellar, a side plate, a bowl of sliced fresh fruit and cutlery set. The bowl contained two slices of kiwi and one each slice of apricot, red orange, pineapple and melon.


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Breakfast table set



“What would you like to drink, Sir?” Sikharin asked after serving Herman’s coffee.
“I would like to have a cup of coffee, please,”
“With milk and sugar?”
“No, thank you. Only black coffee, please,”
My request was met with a smile.


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My coffee served in a beautiful EK cup. Do you not just love the EK crockery?



“Do you want any bread, Sir?” Sikharin asked Herman.
“No, thank you,”
“How about you, Sir?” Sikharin turned to me.
I was in two minds for a second. The Naan just looked too appetizing, but I really needed the little remaining space in my stomach. “No, thank you,”
“I will come back with your meal very soon, Sir,”


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Sikharin attending passengers at row 8



In the meantime, I took a bite out of the fruit bowl. The kiwi was mostly impressive as it was juicy and surprisingly sweet.

Sikharin indeed returned with another trolley. Like Laarnie, she placed my meal crockery by using pincers.


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Piping hot masala dosa



What could I say about it? Well, it became my reference every time I ordered the similar in India. You know what, none was as flavorful as the EK’s. Well done, EK!  

It was around six o’clock as Sikharin collected our trays.


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Window view



The sun started to shine in the horizon. Nevertheless, most fellow passengers had their seat arranged in the full reclining position. Herman decided to follow their example.


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Herman’s seat. Do you not just love the motif?




The BE seats go really flat into the 78 inch pitch. For more sleeping comfort, you can adjust one armrest to the cushion level. Well, as long as you are not assigned a middle seat.

I was in two minds. I wished to socialize with Sikharin and her colleagues, but I was too tired to enter into a conversation. Before I managed to make any decision, I dozed off .



Landing (Indian time)




I woke up halfway a cabin announcement. “…our descent to Delhi. Could you please put your seat in the upright position? We expect to land in Delhi within thirty minutes. The local temperature is nine Centigrade. Sunny weather with some haze in the morning. I hope you have been enjoying your flight this far. Thank you for flying Emirates,”

Past 08.30, fasten seatbelt signs were illuminated. Sikharin emerged to prepare her passengers for the landing.

Sikharin returned to her station upon the announcement, “Cabin crew, please prepare for landing,”


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Our position on airshow


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Overflying a part of Greater Noida Taj expressway with Jaypee Group Circuit and Gautam Buddha University complex on the background.



A6-EMH made an U-turn into the landing pattern. The GE90 engines were intensely whining to get her to the runway as soon as possible.


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Flying past Vasant Square Mall


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Seconds before touch-down



The wheels hit the 11-29 runway at 09.00. Full brakes were applied.


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Thrust reverser deployed



Of course, I got the nose camera switched on.   


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Nose camera view



A6-EMH vacated the runway for a five minute ride to DEL Terminal 3.


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Complex around Shahabad Muhammadpur



At one point, A6-EMH turned right to reveal the glimpse of T3 and her early visitors.


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Ethiopian ET-AMF


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Lufthansa D-AIHX


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Air India VT-EJL



At 09.05, A6-EBK came to a stop. Unbuckling sound of seatbelts echoed as everyone was eager to get up to gather his belongings.



Disembarking




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Queue for disembarkation



Apparently, there were only one air bridge deployed and interestingly connected to 1L door.

Napassarath was standing at the door opening. I thanked her though I did not see her around during the flight. Probably, she was occupied with her passengers in F.

While writing this report, I realized that I did not say goodbye properly to Sikharin.  


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Dubai%20Delhi/India314.jpg


Thank you A6-EMH. Thank you Sikharin!



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20819 times:

Indira Gandhi International Airport






How excited I was as I marked my first footprint in India inside the air bridge.


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Beautiful motif of carpeted walkway



As soon as I entered the arrival level, the interior gave me heart.


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Clear signage. Look at the lovely abstract, light and dark brown patterned floor-covering!



Though it can be quite a walk to the immigration area, the soft carper layer will not get you exhausted easily by walking on it. Otherwise, you can take one of the many travelators.


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Travelators along the corridor



T3 is surely easy to navigate like Schiphol or Dubai. The signage will direct you to the right place. In the meantime, you can do art spotting.


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Distinctive painting



Down to Arrival



One typical T3 eye-catcher came in sight as fellow A.netter justbala pointed out in Xfring At DEL T3: BLR-DEL-FRA-ORD On 9W/LH (by justbala Feb 25 2011 in Trip Reports)


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Dubai%20Delhi/India320.jpg


The Mudras



Downstairs, there was apparently a separate immigration lane for F and J passengers. I was familiar with dedicated premium security lane like the one in Germany, but not anything like this. I love the idea as no fast-track card is required. At that time, there were two passengers before us.

As we were joining the line, the official waived on the first passenger while calling forward the second.
‘Cool!’ I thought. ‘Soon it will be our turn,’

Well unfortunately, it was not the case!

The wait was actually some five minutes, but it felt like eternity. The official could not just get satisfied as he was turning the passport pages of the second passenger over and over again. Eventually, he called in another official to escort the poor passenger elsewhere.

When it was our turn, I could not help thinking of the worst case scenario and was curious how long it would take as the official took both of our passports to process our entry to India.

Well, what do you know? Only within a minute, we got our passports back. I was deeply impressed! There was really nothing to worry about. I just had to do the folded arm after the example of Air Asia’s flight attendants before going further to the baggage claim area. “Namasté!
The serious looking official somehow cracked a smile.  

Right behind the immigration desks, there is a duty free shopping area.


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Duty free facade



DEL T3 is the next airport with duty free on arrival after Istanbul. It is not as big as the departure level area, but you can basically find everything there.


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Perfumes


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Spirits



But not for us. We walked straight to consult the information screen.



Baggage belt screen



Next to the screen, there was a canvas of Indian custom informing the duty free allowance.



Custom rules



We only had a single one liter bottle of whisky in our joint luggage. Abundantly within each passenger’s allowance of two liters of wine or liquors.  

When we reached belt 9, there was a considerable crowd waiting already.


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Our assigned baggage belt



Soon enough, the belt got activated. The baggage started to trickle in. Ours emerged pretty quick. ‘Yay, the priority tag did work again!’

The custom procedure was painless. Just hand in the bottom slip of your arrival card the immigration official put into your passport and you are free to go.

Walking past the sliding door, you will be greeted by a crowd of pick-uppers in the semi public area.

By the way, why I call it semi public? It is because you cannot enter the area just like that. There are security officials at the doors seeing to it.


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Pick-uppers holding up the guest names



Unfortunately, there was no one waiting for us. Herman decided to take a seat while I wandered up and down the corridor, looking out for our pick-up .


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Overview


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Interesting stand



It was after half an hour when I noticed Sanjeev, a local representative, holding my name among the crowd.
“I am sorry for the delay. The airport expressway has been blocked for the VIP’s,” Sanjeev explained apologetic when I lead him to Herman.
A rather odd excuse, but it did not matter.
“Please follow me to your pick-up car,” Sanjeev beckoned.


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Exit door



A cacophony embraced us once we were outside. But the intriguing one came from a spot just beneath the departure hall driveway.

Several police officers were standing in a circle and spreading firmly a large cloth. Apparently a man was sitting on the outer railing. It really was a serious matter.

It was the following day when we got to know by newspaper what was going on.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Delhi/The%20Residence%20Hotel/India347.jpg


Distinctive article



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20778 times:

Delhi



I tried to stay awake during our ride from Indira Gandhi International airport to our hotel, but to no avail. Herman woke me up as we pulled in front of our hotel in Panchsheel Park in South Delhi.



The Residence Hotel







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Facade



The contemporary interior is apparently a creation of an Indian fashion designer Deepika Govind.


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Lobby right side overview. Note the restaurant entrance on the background


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Reception desk



Sanjeev did not budge an inch from our side until we were properly checked in for room 203, a well appointed double room. Thank you, Sanjeev!  



Our double bed


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Flat screen and air conditioning



We could be enjoying a high resolution entertainment on the flat screen, but the only thing we needed at that time was some sleep. Without turning on the air conditioning by the way, it was about nine Centigrade that morning!

The necessities for freshening up after a cat-nap were nicely provided.



Washroom


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Amenity kit



Up to the restaurant for a drink in style!



Kingfisher beer with spicy chapati’s



At the same place, we were enjoying lovely buffet breakfast.


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Fruit plate, fruit basket, fruit juice and bowls of assorted nuts


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Mini muffins




Of course, along with warm dishes which I really appreciated. Fellow A.netters, please correct me whenever I put a wrong name about the breakfast meal!



Aloo ki sabzi and Gobhi paratha



Vada and sambar



Dal and poori



There was a dedicated cook as well.



Showcase in the egg corner



We truly appreciated such copious breakfast before starting our exploration of the Delhi’s heritage from the twelfth until the twentieth century.



Qutb Minar



The first place to visit was the Qutb Minar complex, dating from the onset of Islamic rule in India, which has been declared as an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.



Qutb Minar complex overview in hazy morning



Muslim sultan Qutb-ud-din began its construction in 1193 immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. It is nearly seventy three meter high and tapers from a fifteen meter diameter base to just two and a half meters at the top.



Qutb Minar overview



The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone. The remaining two of marble and sandstone.


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Close up on the first storey



At the foot of the Qutb Minar, you will walk onto the courtyard of the first mosque to be built in India, Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid (The Might of Islam Mosque), constructed in 1193.


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Remaining overview



The mosque was built on the foundations of a Hindu temple. Many elements in the construction indicate their Hindu origins.



Carved stone pillars



Close up on one of the pillars



A distinctive eye-catcher is the 7 meter high pillar in the courtyard of the mosque.



Carved stone pillars



It is said that if you can stand with your back to the pillar and encircle it with your arms, your wish will be granted.

To the north of Qutb Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, there is an incomplete tower which reflects an unfulfilled overambitious plan of Ala-ud-din to build a second tower of victory, exactly like Qutb Minar, but twice as high.


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Alai Minar



I liked how India brings people round at their young age.


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School holiday excursion



Do you know that you can combine a visit to the Qutb Minar complex with a spotting session? The complex is located beneath the approach route to Indira Gandhi International airport.


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Thai HS-TKE




Gandhi Smriti



Our next stop was the poignant memorial where Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu zealot on 30 January 1948.



Gandhi’s statue



In the white house inside the memorial complex, Gandhi spent his last 144 days of his life as guest.


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Gandhi’s latest accommodation


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The overview of his room


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An intriguing proverb of his



In the front yard, I stumbled on a music instrument, a gift from Indonesia.


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World Peace Gong



From the house, you can follow the concrete footsteps represent Gandhi’s final steps and lead to the spot where he died.



Previously ominous spot, now The Martyr Column




Lotus Temple



The sacred lotus flower shaped temple captured my eyes as soon as it came in sight. It turned out to be one of The Bahai Houses of Worship, designed by Iranian-Canadian architect Fariburz Sahba in 1986.


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Lotus Temple overview



Each continent has its own Mother Temple. In Europe for example, the Mother Temple is located at the foot of the Taunus Mountains of Germany, in the village of Langenhain, in the Frankfurt suburb of Hofheim, Hesse.



Lal Qila



Lal Qila (Red Fort) was strangely not included in our tour, but we insisted to drop by.

Designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007, the walls of Lal Qila extend for two kilometers and vary in height from eighteen meters on the river side to thirty three meters on the city side.


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Partial overview of Lal Qila



Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the fort between 1638 and 1648, enclosing it in ornate red sandstone walls.


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Front view



The emperor’s plan to completely move his capital to this new city of Shahjahanabad fell through as he was deposed and imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb.



Lahore Gate



This main gate of Lal Qila is so named because it faces towards Lahore, now in Pakistan.


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Lahore Gate overview



During the fight for Independence, there was apparently a nationalist aspiration to see the Indian flag flying over the gate, which became reality in 1947.



People



‘All right, Suryo! What about the people?’
‘I was indeed incomplete. It was not necessarily about ladies with the colorful saris,’


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A street vendor with his beautifully decorated merchandises


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A proud owner of a rickshaw



A mother in sari and her little daughter



The impressive city tour was exhausting at the end. Herman and I went to bed on time for a two hour early morning train ride to our next destination, Agra.



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20739 times:

Agra



The image of iconic Taj Mahal never escaped my attention since I saw it during my childhood. I was hoping so much to admire it in real one day.

Finally, the day had come. There were Herman and I on our way to the sight that surpasses any hype.



Taj Mahal



Nowadays, only non-polluting vehicles are rightly allowed within hundred meters of the since 1983 designated UNESCO World Heritage.

We entered through the east gate as it is supposed to have the shortest queues. The ticket office is located on some 1,1 kilometer distance as the crow flies.

You can either take a golf cart which is included in your entrance fee.


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Golf cart



Or a coach upon negotiating a considerable price.


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A row of coaches



Or on foot, if you need some extra workouts.   

Whichever mean of transport you will be seen off in style.



Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds, no, by the east gate



Impatiently walking through the east gate, I expected to see Taj Mahal immediately. But not yet.


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Inner compound with the Darwaza on the background



We had to go through Darwaza, the three storey, thirty meter red sandstone gateway with a lofty central arch and two storeyed wing on either side.


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Close up. Note the inscription with verses from the Quran



I was deeply impressed by the sight of the in 1648 completed gateway. It nearly took my breath away while the best had yet to come. The excitement built up as we walked in the darkness of the arch towards the light at the end.


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Can you see it?



Once inside, the sight did take my breath away.


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Taj Mahal at the end of the Bageecha (ornamental gardens)



‘It made the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes’ heartbroken Shah Jahan said about its creation of the memorial for his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their fourteenth child in 1631. Is it not moving?

Along the nicely laid out cypress-tree-lined canal, we were getting closer to the building.

Taj Mahal apparently stands on two bases. One of sandstone and above it a square platform in a checkerboard design topped by a huge white marble terrace.


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Close up



Purely decorative forty meter high minarets grace each corner of the platform.



Close up of the front right minaret



There are two identical red sandstone buildings on either side.


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Jawab on the right side



From 1632 until 1648, several thousands of masons, marble workers, and decorators brought in from as far away as Europe worked under the orders of the architect of the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahori, using building materials from all over India and Central Asia.

Allow me to share you some impressions of the exquisite marble artworks. Without comments. I just let the pictures speak. Please remember, fellows, those are not paintings, but marble inlay work with semiprecious stones.


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Agra Fort



I never knew that Agra Fort would be connected to Taj Mahal and date back in 1565 when Shah Jahan’s grandfather, Emperor Akbar, begun its construction. Sad enough, it became the gilded prison of Shah Jahan after Aurangzeb seized the power in 1658.

The story somehow reminded me of an American soap series, Dynasty, with all the family intrigues.

Designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site in the same year as Taj Mahal, the ear-shaped fort’s colossal double walls rise over twenty meters in height and measure two and a half kilometer in circumference. However, there is only one entry point of the red-sandstone fort.


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Amar Singh Gate



The dogleg design of the gate was meant to confuse attackers who made it past the first line of defense. But not us, hey, we were not attackers by the way!   

Behind the walls, you will find yourself in the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. First one what we saw on our right was a palace built by Akbar for his son, Jahangir.


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Jahangir’s Palace



Artwork detail of Jahangir’s Palace



We walked further to Khas Mahal where Shah Jahan was imprisoned.

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Overview from the garden


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Facade



Constructed using white marble, Shah Jahan’s favorite building material.


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Interior



It must have been terrible to Shah Jahan to only gaze out at this until his death.


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Taj Mahal



Adjoining lower part of Musamman Burj, the marble octagonal tower, is fenced off. Shame, but I did understand why.


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Interior side overview


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Front overview


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Taj Mahal style. No painting


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Close up on one pillar. Note the inlaid precious stones



Our visit ended at Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audiences).


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Overview



My childhood dream finally came true. Overwhelmingly satisfied, it was time to retreat to our hotel.



Grand Imperial Hotel






Do you know what the gates of Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and our hotel have in common? Well, I can tell you that biscuit bricks, referred as Lahori bricks, were used in their construction.

Located at the heart of the city, our 100 year old hotel played host to some distinguished guests like Crown Princess of UK and Japan.

I assume they got attracted by our hotel’s mysterious charms, especially by night.



Overview



Arcade


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Agra/Grand%20Imperial%20Hotel/India2363.jpg


Swimming pool



As we entered our room 115, it was like being the part of the décor of an Agatha Christie’s novel.


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Room overview. Note the writing table and the lamp


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Living area


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Interesting corner. Just draw the curtain and turn it to a changing room



The bathroom around the corner had of course a matching interior.



Bath tub



Wash basin



How about the interior of the dining hall? Well, just look at what we got to see as we were having our breakfast there.


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Overview



Bar


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Floor decoration



As we left, I was happy to become a tiny part of the lovely heritage hotel.  



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20736 times:

Fatehpur Sikri



Forty kilometers westwards of Agra, Shah Jahan’s grandfather, Akbar, built his new capital in the village of Sikri after the prophecy of the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne came true.

What impress me much is how tolerant Akbar was. Apart from building a mosque, he erected three palaces for each of his favorite wives, one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian.

The ticket office is located in front of the palace of the Hindu wife, rightly named after her, Jodh Bai.


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Stone map before entrance



The mosque is located about two hundred meters towards the southwest.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2368.jpg


Jama Masjid



As you walk past the entrance, the largest palace building, palace of Jodh Bai, greets you.


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Exterior of palace of Jodh Bai


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2375.jpg


Enormous courtyard inside



The palace blends traditional Indian columns, Islamic cupolas and turquoise-blue Persian roof tiles. Well, the tiles were supposed to be turquoise-blue.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2377.jpg


Interior



Jodh Bai was the most well-read wife of Akbar as she frequently became the part of the decision-making on his side. Apart of her fighting skills, she was Akbar’s favorite because of her art of vegetarian cooking.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2405.jpg


Jodh Bai kitchen



On the opposite, you will find the palace of the Christian wife, Mariam. She gave birth to Jahangir in 1569 whose palace was built in Agra Fort.

Though it was not as large as Jodh Bai’s, I regretted for not taking its exterior picture.



Iconic painting



On the other side of the dividing wall, the Ornamental Pool was set up for singers and musicians to perform above the water.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2413.jpg


Ornamental Pool. Make no mistake, the pool is sixty meter deep!



Our next stop was Rumi Sultana, the palace built for Akbar’s Muslim wife. Shame on me, no exterior photo again. Luckily the interior was captured and it was stunning!


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2420.jpg


Nice ceiling decoration


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2418.jpg


Beautiful window



Another great place to visit was Diwan-i-Khas (The Hall of Private Audiences), where Akbar debated with scholars and ministers.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2424.jpg


Exterior of Diwan-i-Khas



It may look nothing special from outside, but the interior is dominated by a magnificently carved stone central column.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2426.jpg


Interior of Diwan-i-Khas



What impressed me most, was the central column which contains element of different religions as befitted Akbar’s tolerant religious beliefs.



Hindu, Muslim and Christian



Our final stop was Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audiences), a large courtyard (which is now a garden) where Akbar dispensed justice by orchestrating public executions.


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2437.jpg


Left overview


http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii60/ouweland-akhmad/Fatehpur%20Sikri/India2436.jpg


Right overview



Before I knew, our walk through the history of the Mughal dynasty came to an end.




Conclusion



Fellows, I never thought that an inspiration by Ojas and Sandeep would create such a domino effect on me.

The quest of the Indian summer revived a deeply concealed childhood dream of mine, visiting Taj Mahal! While our immediate Indian destination, Delhi, was preparing us on what we were about to discover, the history of the Mughal dynasty and its breathtaking legacies!

My gratitude to EK for flying and pampering us all the way from AMS to DEL.

I would like to thank in particular Deborah, Laarnie, Rafat, Liesel, Ahmed, Rosario, Jordan, Napassarath and Sikharin.

Please do not hesitate to read my previous report as well: Love At First Sight: An Emirates Story From AMS (by akhmad Mar 11 2011 in Trip Reports)

Not to forget Herman, my partner, who has mostly contributed on the photography of my trip report.

Ojas, Sandeep, thanks again for you inspiration! Dhanyavād

Last but not least, my gratitude to all of you for joining me along. I hope that you have enjoyed my report. I look forward to your comments, especially on the combination of the aviation and non-aviation segments.


Namasté,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20539 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
before my partner, Herman, and I

I haven't read the entire report, but the first few lines demanded a comment asap! I have to say it's awesome you finally introduce us to your partner, from my partner to J to Herman himself!
  

Will comment on the rest later!!


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 20462 times:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 7):
I have to say it's awesome you finally introduce us to your partner, from my partner to J to Herman himself!

Thanks to you, flightsimboy!   

Please come back soon.



Friends forever
User currently offlineadityashankar From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 20380 times:

Hey,
Awesome Report!!!
As a person of Indian Origin and as an aviation nutter... My memories of Indian airports, were those of BLR (the HAL one), MAA, the domestic terminal in BOM... small and crowded...but after the move in BLR, Hyderabad, revamping the terminal in BOM and now T3 in Delhi... it's nice to see India putting their best foot forward.



Spreading the Joy of Flight
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5169 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 20159 times:

Hey, Suryo,

what a fascinating view into India you offered us here, superb pictures and story.
I really like your aviation part, no question, but I like you´re impressions of India much more, also the hotel pictures, well done. Such an exotic country for us middle Europeans.

You know, I was only for a very short stay in a not that usual India part of the country, Goa, some years ago.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 7):
I have to say it's awesome you finally introduce us to your partner, from my partner to J to Herman himself!

Count me in and greetings to Herman, very good company for you.

Best wishes,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineaerobus12 From Norway, joined Oct 2010, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 20069 times:

Hi Suryo, thanks for a very interesting TR! India looks like a real nice country.
Hope i'm not invading your privacy, but I'm just curious - your "partner" - is he a friend or, erm, your husband/boyfriend?


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 20011 times:

Hi Aditya, Markus, Alexander,

How happy I am to see you here. Thank you so much for dropping by.


@ Aditya:

Quoting adityashankar (Reply 9):
Awesome Report!!!
Dhanyavād. I am happy to know that.

Quoting adityashankar (Reply 9):
As a person of Indian Origin and as an aviation nutter... My memories of Indian airports, were those of BLR (the HAL one), MAA, the domestic terminal in BOM... small and crowded...but after the move in BLR, Hyderabad, revamping the terminal in BOM and now T3 in Delhi... it's nice to see India putting their best foot forward.

DEL is the only Indian airport I ever visited, so I cannot really judge on others, except from the experiences of other fellow A.netters. I can only say that the T3 has succesfully become the calling gate of India. Airy terminal interior with hassle free immigration procedure. I would not hesitate to travel through DEL T3 again.


@ Markus:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
what a fascinating view into India you offered us here, superb pictures and story.

Thank you so much for the feedback.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
I really like your aviation part, no question, but I like you´re impressions of India much more, also the hotel pictures, well done. Such an exotic country for us middle Europeans.

You really make me happy with this. It has been a delightful experience of traveling through India. I am doing my best to convey it.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
You know, I was only for a very short stay in a not that usual India part of the country, Goa, some years ago.

At least you have been in Goa unlike me! I hope I can visit that part of India soon.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
Count me in and greetings to Herman, very good company for you.

Thank you. I will pass it on to Herman. Apart of being my very best friend for the lifetime, he frequently draws my attention to crucial aviation moments.


@ Alexander:

Quoting aerobus12 (Reply 11):
Hi Suryo, thanks for a very interesting TR! India looks like a real nice country.

You are welcome. I am happy to know that you like my TR. Really, you just have to visit India once.

Quoting aerobus12 (Reply 11):
- your "partner" - is he a friend or, erm, your husband/boyfriend?

Shall I put it this way? He is more than a boyfriend, but not officially my husband.   


Fellows, thanks again for your encouraging comments. I really appreciate them.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinelppr95 From Portugal, joined Mar 2010, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 19874 times:

Hi akhmad, what a nice report you shared!!!
I am planning to visit India in the next year and I hope to enjoy my trip as you did.



"Cathay 018, expect very late landing clearance, 747 departing ahead", tower said.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 19816 times:

You got some great photos of Delhi. The in-laid marble reminds me of the mosque in Abu Dhabi. Service on Emitrates seems a good as always.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 19457 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, Akhmad! Looks like you had an awesome trip to India. I would love to visit, and see all the places you went too in your photos!

I'm always amazed by Emirates' early flights! 4:45am?! Wow! Business Class looks very nice as usual.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 19226 times:

Hi Suryo,

awesome report with fantastic pictures from India. And it seems EK delivered a great product once again.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
It was time for a drink! I made my way towards the bar where Jordan, a trainee from Myanmar, greeted me with a big smile.
“How can I help you, Sir?”
“I would like to have a Screwdriver and a Bloody Mary, please,” I replied.
“Screwdriver?”
“Yes, please,”
“Do you mean the tool to turn a screw?”
I was surprised by his counter-question, but immediately got a flashback of one certain moment during my hospitality school traineeship. I was in his shoes when a man asked me to prepare a Rusty Nail, cocktail of whiskey and Drambuie.

Nice!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
Registration: A6-EMH

I flew DXB-MUC on A6-EMH some years ago.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
“It is just for the memories,” I replied.

...and for thousands of other people, you could have added.  

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
Pushback commenced at 04.45 along as GE90 engines were arising for their next assignment.

No GE90s on this bird! EK's 777-200s, 777-200ERs and 777-300s are equipped with RR Trents.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
Kingfisher beer with spicy chapati’s

I tried Kingfisher beer for the first time during my latest stay in the UAE, but haven't become a fan of it.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 19176 times:

Wow! I was so eager to read this TR and the wait was hard but well worth it as it completely surpassed even my highest expectations!

The photos are awesome!

A 4 am departure....wow! What made you decide to select that flight?

EK impresses as always!


User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 19130 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

You really did research your Indian history, or you had a fantastic tour guide lol. Very nice and extensive details regarding the rich past history of the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India! I had a good insight into some history I was unaware of.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 4):
Kingfisher beer with spicy chapati’s

Those would be pappadums (crispy) unlike chappatis that are thicker and more like thin pita bread.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Thanks to you, flightsimboy!   

And you are welcome!! Herman and I sounds so much better, than my partner and I  

It was nice to see EK again. Looking forward to your return trip!


User currently offline777way From Pakistan, joined Dec 2005, 5716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 19122 times:

Very enjoyable report, love the JUSTA Hotel concept, why does FID board say Milano instead of MIlan?

User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 18784 times:

Hi Suryo,
What a wonderful report you have brought us this time.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
We walked straight away to the security booth. There was practically nobody in front of us.


You can get lucky sometimes. A few minutes later and there could be queues a mile long. Nice that they didn't make you unpack everything. Good to see that the lounge wasn't overcrowded as it sometimes can be.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
Too bad, the exhaustion reared its head despite my strong Bloody Mary

Despite, or because of?  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
While writing this report, I realized that I did not say goodbye properly to Sikharin.


There is only one thing for it: you'll have to go back and apologise. Well, it does make a good excuse to fly with EK once more.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
Several police officers were standing in a circle and spreading firmly a large cloth

Gosh. You do know how to add some extra interest to a trip report! But seriously, I hope that the poor chap is OK.

And now to the photos. Congratulations to you and Herman for capturing some fantastic shots. The exquisite detail and elaborate ornamentation in some of those buildings is amazing, particularly when you think that it was all hand-crafted.

Thank you so much Suryo for bringing us another five star report.   
Roy.


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1201 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 18706 times:

1. On TWA F they used to serve champagne mixed with orange juice and it was very good.
2. If I am correct the weather in February is ideal? Coolish and not too hot during the day?
3. Did you require shots etc?
4. How did your stomach treat you?

Thanks for a wonderful report as usual.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6569 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18591 times:

Hi Suryo!

Amazing report with amazing pictures!!! Seems like EK is treating you well in Business as they should. India looks amazing and is on top of my list of places to visit when I get well,

I'm a bit surprised that EK's J class are only "nearly lie-flat" and not completely lie-flat.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently onlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 952 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 18423 times:

Hey hey Suryo!

Thank you for this magnificent continuation to your trip. Incredible Indi-ah indeed - yours and Herman's wonderful photos do her justice! I also really like the fact you go into the details on every aspect your flight and transit: I am still awed by how much you manage to capture in the short transit at DXB, and on board when you were dead tired. Totally impressed.  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
Upon reaching the utmost outer part, as I looked around, I just had to say. “This place is huge!”

Hahaha... it leaves you surprised even though you're expecting it, right?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
“Do you mean the tool to turn a screw?”

LOL! But I'm kinda shocked Jordan didn't know Bloody Mary - considering how often Roni's been traveling EK these days  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 1):
“Kyei zun ti ba de,” I thanked Jordan after serving our drinks.
Jordan was astonished. “Do you speak Burmese?”

Cool. I am really impressed at how well you remember your language lesson.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
While the F cabin was similar to the A6-EBK one, the J cabin was fitted with the newer generation BE Aerospace seats.

A nice looking cabin.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
I tried to absorb the interior, but the exhaustion was smoldering.

Hard work isn't it being a trip reporter? I salute your efforts - so many of us would have given up for sleep at 4.30 a.m.!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
The battery charger? It is underneath.

Suryo - really, you do have an unhealthy obsession with these things  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 2):
Piping hot masala dosa

Wow you're getting me hungry now!

Thanks again for this report Suryo and look forward to the next one. Take care.

Cheers
airpearl

.


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 18139 times:

Hi lppr95, gabrielchew, Matthew, PH, Burj, flightsimboy, 777way, Roy, lychemsa, Lars, airpearl,

How happy I am to see you here. Thanks for dropping by.


@ lppr95:

Quoting lppr95 (Reply 13):
what a nice report you shared!!!

Thank you. It makes me happy to know that.

Quoting lppr95 (Reply 13):
I am planning to visit India in the next year and I hope to enjoy my trip as you did.

No doubt, lppr95. Will you also be visiting Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri as well?


@ gabrielchew:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
The in-laid marble reminds me of the mosque in Abu Dhabi

Do you mean Sheikh Zayed Mosque?


@ Matthew:

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Great report, Akhmad!

Thank you. I am happy to know that you like it.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Looks like you had an awesome trip to India. I would love to visit, and see all the places you went too in your photos!

You have to. What do you think of the idea of visiting Taj Mahal together with your girlfriend?

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
I'm always amazed by Emirates' early flights! 4:45am?!

I assume the flight is intended for connecting passengers arriving around midnight.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 15):
Thanks for sharing!

It has been a pleasure, Matthew. You are welcome.


@ PH:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
awesome report with fantastic pictures from India.

You really make me happy with this. Thank you very much, PH.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
I flew DXB-MUC on A6-EMH some years ago.

You did? Well, I should dig into the earlier posts to recover your report.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
...and for thousands of other people, you could have added.

  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
No GE90s on this bird!

Yikes! Thanks for the correction!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
I tried Kingfisher beer for the first time during my latest stay in the UAE, but haven't become a fan of it.

Perhaps you should give it another try when you visit India one day.


@ Burj:

Quoting Burj (Reply 17):
Wow! I was so eager to read this TR and the wait was hard but well worth it as it completely surpassed even my highest expectations!

I am very happy to hear that. Thank you for your patience.

Quoting Burj (Reply 17):
A 4 am departure....wow! What made you decide to select that flight?

As we would have a long layover on the way back to AMS, we decided to minimize our outbound transit time.


@ Flightsimboy:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
You really did research your Indian history, or you had a fantastic tour guide lol.

Hehe, it was actually both.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
Very nice and extensive details regarding the rich past history of the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India!

Thank you.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
Those would be pappadums (crispy) unlike chappatis that are thicker and more like thin pita bread.

I see. Nice feedback of a culinary expert.  



Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
Herman and I sounds so much better, than my partner and I

You are right, flightsimboy. Thanks again for the feedback.


@ 777way:

Quoting 777way (Reply 19):
Very enjoyable report

Thank you. It makes me happy to know that.

Quoting 777way (Reply 19):
why does FID board say Milano instead of MIlan?

Well noticed. I have no idea.


@ Roy:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 20):
What a wonderful report you have brought us this time.

It really makes me happy to know that. Thank you so much.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 20):
Good to see that the lounge wasn't overcrowded as it sometimes can be.

We were happy too about it.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 20):
Despite, or because of?

Well, I think both. 



Quoting Quokka (Reply 20):
There is only one thing for it: you'll have to go back and apologise. Well, it does make a good excuse to fly with EK once more.

I like the idea.   



Quoting Quokka (Reply 20):
Congratulations to you and Herman for capturing some fantastic shots. The exquisite detail and elaborate ornamentation in some of those buildings is amazing, particularly when you think that it was all hand-crafted.

Thank you. We just have to share the glimpse of such remarkable artworks with all of you.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 20):
Thank you so much Suryo for bringing us another five star report

It has been a pleasure to me. You are welcome.


@ lychemsa:

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 21):
1. On TWA F they used to serve champagne mixed with orange juice and it was very good.

Do you mean Mimosa? Well, I think you can order it as well with Emirates.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 21):
2. If I am correct the weather in February is ideal? Coolish and not too hot during the day?

That is correct. Ojas has specifically suggested February as the best time to travel.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 21):
3. Did you require shots etc?

The shots are recommended. But to be honest, we did not take any.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 21):
4. How did your stomach treat you?

Luckily we did not have any problem with our stomach. We visited only restaurants where other international tourists came for dining. As the matter of fact, I had to slow down as my trousers became tighter.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 21):
Thanks for a wonderful report as usual.

You are welcome.


@ Lars:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
Amazing report with amazing pictures!!!

Thank you so much. You really make me happy with that.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
India looks amazing and is on top of my list of places to visit when I get well,

Lars, what is going on?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
I'm a bit surprised that EK's J class are only "nearly lie-flat" and not completely lie-flat.

A6-EMH does not have the latest seat generation yet. Nevertheless, you can sleep comfortably.


@ airpearl:

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Thank you for this magnificent continuation to your trip. Incredible Indi-ah indeed - yours and Herman's wonderful photos do her justice!

Thank you! You really make us happy with your feedback.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
also really like the fact you go into the details on every aspect your flight and transit: I am still awed by how much you manage to capture in the short transit at DXB, and on board when you were dead tired. Totally impressed.

Thank you for the nice words. To be honest, you and other fellow A.netters have become my inspiration.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
it leaves you surprised even though you're expecting it, right?

That is right. You just have to experience it by yourself.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
But I'm kinda shocked Jordan didn't know Bloody Mary - considering how often Roni's been traveling EK these days

Maybe because he has been travelling that often and ordering Bloody Mary every time.   

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Cool. I am really impressed at how well you remember your language lesson.

Thank you. I am doing my best.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Hard work isn't it being a trip reporter? I salute your efforts - so many of us would have given up for sleep at 4.30 a.m.!

You make me even happier with this. Thank you so much.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Suryo - really, you do have an unhealthy obsession with these things

Err, call it a weakness!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Wow you're getting me hungry now!

My plan worked!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Thanks again for this report Suryo
Quoting airpearl (Reply 23):
Take care.

You are welcome, Airpearl. Herman and I wish you all the best.


@ gabrielchew, PH, Burj, flightsimboy, Lars:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
Service on Emitrates seems a good as always.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 16):
it seems EK delivered a great product once again.
Quoting Burj (Reply 17):
EK impresses as always!
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
It was nice to see EK again.
Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
Seems like EK is treating you well in Business as they should
EK's service has been consistently good during our flights. We got the most amazing flight attendants and delicious food all the way. EK is now one of our favorite airlines.


@ gabrielchew, Burj:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 14):
You got some great photos of Delhi
Quoting Burj (Reply 17):
The photos are awesome!

Thank you. Herman gets the credit for them.


Fellows, my deepest gratitude for your feedbacks. You are encouraging me to do better and to improve my writings. Thanks for being my inspiration.

I forgot one thing. Fatehpur Sikri has been designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986.


Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2011-04-02 07:56:28]


Friends forever
25 LFutia : Goedemorgen / Namaskaar Akhmad! Een super echt mooi report! I love all the pictures and everything. I'm really glad you enjoyed my country, India I ho
26 concordechild : Fantastic report, love the details! Just flew ek last week from SIN out in j, back in f and found the service in F to be significantly better. Also th
27 Quokka : Are you planning on submitting an trip report? If so I look forward to seeing it. It is always instructive to see different peoples experiences and h
28 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Leo, concordechild, Roy, How wonderful to meet you here. @ Leo: Namaskaar, Leo! Dank je wel. It really makes me happy to know that. Jazeker! I have
29 ojas : Namaste, an Excellent TR as usual from you ... thoroughly enjoyed the pictures. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the trip to India. Sorry I could not
30 The777Man : I go to dialysis three days a week which makes it difficult to travel and I can't be away for more than three days. The777Man
31 abrelosojos : I am gonna ignore the EK report and just say how much I enjoyed the India pictures! I have been there so many times and still am convinced that along
32 WhereToNext : Suryo, Thank you for that amazing trip report and those even more splendid photos of India. I've been yearning to go for quite some time now but the o
33 777way : Thats sad to learn, wish you good health and lots more trips on 777s.
34 Aflyingkiwi : Hi Suryo, Fantastic follow-up of your previous report along with the array of superb pictures that we're used to seeing when reading your reports. Emi
35 RJtraveller : Hi Suryo, Nice and well written trip report, thanks for sharing, really enjoy reading it with the awsome picture. The EK business class product to Del
36 akhmad : Hi Ojas, Lars, Alex, Matt, 777way, Aflyingkiwi, Reggie, How happy I am to see you here. Thank you for dropping by. @ Ojas: Dhanyavād. It makes me hap
37 airbuseric : Hi Suryo, and Herman! Compliments for this outstanding report, nicely written and full of interesting details. Compliments to Herman for his photograp
38 Post contains images gr8circle : Excellent TR.....great pics of DEL T3....hope I can fly thru there some time.... You'll also find this at BOM, international terminal.... I think the
39 Post contains images oa260 : WOW what can I say !! I have not enjoyed a report so much for ages. It was wonderful to read. The photos are amazing. Everything a trip report should
40 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Eric, gr8circle, Philip, I am so happy to meet you here. Thank you for dropping by. @ Eric: It really makes us happy to know that. On behalf of Her
41 concordechild : Hi roy, unfortunately not this time as i had no camera with me and was distracted through out the flight. I have promised myself to do one very soon
42 Post contains images The777Man : Thanks for your concerns! I'm waiting for a transplant, perhaps later this year. I still managed to fly ET and TK 777s this year so I don't have to o
43 Post contains images Sultanils : Hi Suryo, I am really amazed with your trip report! The impression of India you gave me through your photos is really mouthwatering, and it is also a
44 Post contains images ronerone : Incredible India, Incredible Suryo, Incredible TR!!!! ... Well done on your recent compilation of the sequel to your India series! I am so amazed at
45 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi Suryo, You keep on providing these high quality reports about your trips, jam packed with gorgeous images and interesting experiences and people. O
46 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Suryo, A delight as always to read the latest installment. I am mesmerised by your shot of Dubai and in particular the lounge, elegance indeed. And
47 Post contains images akhmad : Hi concordechild, Lars, Nils, Roni, P., Hannah, How happy I am to meet you here. Thank you so much for dropping by. @ concordechild: It sounds promisi
48 RvXKaz : Hi Suryo, since I am armed with an a.net account, let me congratulate you once again for such a splendid and wonderfully done up TR. I was reading it
49 Post contains images airbusfanyyz : Excellent Report... makes me want to go back and visit the motherland again! Thanks for including some pics of your travels within India. Did you get
50 mk777 : Great TR akhmad. Having visited Delhi this past winter, it brought back memories. EK definitely didn't disappoint. The catering looked good and the se
51 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Gavin, Kaz, Mohit, How happy I am to meet you here. Thank you so much for dropping by! @ My friend Gavin: First of all, allow me to give you a hear
52 NZ107 : Hi Suryo, Another excellent TR by you, well done! Extremely well detailed. My apologies for the late arrival. Photos are amazing, including all the ex
53 mk777 : Actually i was there Jan-Feb 2011. My sister's wedding was in Jan Wow, i can't believe you know i have a wife and daughter, i guess my one TR and my
54 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Nicholas, Mohit, I am so glad to meet you here. Thank you so much for dropping by. @ Nicholas: Never mind the late arrival. I am so happy to know t
55 Post contains images parton87 : Hello Suryo! Thanks for the great continueation of your trip to India! The pictures from India looks AMAZING! I would love to go there one day! They s
56 vandenheuvel : Hello Suryo, I'm glad to read about the continuation of your journey to Delhi. I'm impressed about the Dubai lounge. It looks great. I've never seen s
57 Post contains images stipica : Hi Suryo ! I joined recently but since the beginning of 1998 I read almost daily airliners.net ...I've read your whole opus and the truth is that you
58 CrimsonNL : Hi Suryo! I somehow hadn't seen this report earlier. Very nicely done! India never really attracted me but I must say the pictures of the landmarks ar
59 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Robert, Tim, Stiptica, Martijn, How happy I am to meet you here. Thank you very much for dropping by. @ Robert: Thank you. It has been a great plea
60 Post contains images NZ107 : Since when was Dubai half way between NZ and Europe? I guess not. But it'd be a completely different experience in Y, that's for sure.
61 Post contains images akhmad : Oops, I do not know why I think that way.
62 Post contains images Luftfahrer : Suryo, you are definitely right with your title, but your report was nothing short of incredible. Thanks for taking the time to guide as along on this
63 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Marius, I am so happy to meet you here. Thanks a lot for dropping by. Thank you. It makes me happy to know that. It has been a pleasure, Marius. Go
64 Post contains images signol : Just Wow. You continue to amaze! One day I will take a trip in J, one day as well on EK. But for now my family and I are in the back of the plane Very
65 Post contains images akhmad : Hi signol, How happy I am to meet you here. Thank you so much for dropping by. Thank you. I am so happy to know that. I wish one day you will take a t
66 Post contains images Luftfahrer : Sorry for my late response, Actually yes! I was the last passenger to deboard (and so I had to make the way to baggage claim on my own), and there was
67 akhmad : Hi Marius, I am sorry too for my late reply. You really make me happy with your response. Yikes, STR really needs to do something about it! Thank you.
68 Post contains images JOE777 : Incredible TR! Well organised, detailed, and covered all details! I must say, after reading your TR, I am actually considering a trip to India! Probab
69 Post contains images buck3y3nut : Hello Suryo What an !ncredible trip report I'm truly feeling honored to read this report and pictures of India. As an Indian, I commend you for this w
70 Post contains images akhmad : Hi JOE777, buck3y3nut, I am so happy to meet you here. Thank you so much for dropping by. @JOE777: First of all, welcome to A.net! I am very happy to
71 Post contains images JOE777 : Thank you very much Suryo . I have been reading your TRs for some time, and I very much enjoy them. So far no plans to heading down to India, however
72 Post contains images buck3y3nut : Your very welcome Suryo . I'm so glad you had a great time. Did you enjoy the great Indian hospitality? I hope you did, otherwise I would have to mak
73 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Joe, buck3y3nut, How nice to meet you again here. Thank you so much. @Joe: It makes me happy to know that. Thank you for reading. Really? I am look
74 luxair747SP : Hi Suryo, sorry for the late reply, but now I found finally some time to read it in detail. Very nice and detailed TR with many high quality pictures.
75 Post contains images akhmad : Hi Johannes, Never mind the late reply. You really make me happy with your comment. Thank you so much. Thank you. I am happy to know that you like it.
76 FirstAlways : Hi Suryo! Great TR. I was so impressed by the coverage of Delhi and the sights, makes me wanna go back there again! Cheers, FA.
77 akhmad : Hi FA, I am so happy to meet you here. Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure. You really encourage me to do better. Thanks again. Cheers, Suryo
78 palmjet : Hi Suryo Thanks for reminding me what a great report you filed on your trip to India. What a fantastic story and you captured some amazing scenes. The
79 Post contains images akhmad : Namasté Palmjet, You are welcome and thank you for bringing back the fond memories of my own visit to this beautiful country. Marvelous scenes along
80 HAWK21M : Amazing TR......Fantastic pictures....A wonderfull journey depicted thru pictures.......One of the best reports on this site in my opinion.... Congrat
81 Post contains links and images akhmad : Namasté MEL, Dhanyavād. Thank you, thank you so much for the great honor. May I invite you to read: Along Rajasthan Back To Dubai (by akhmad Apr 30
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