For months, we’d been hearing, reading and talking about the new airport… bound to open on March 15, not matter what, and in spite of the fact that the roads supposed to lead directly there from the city were not yet built – this still holds true, and said roads will most likely not be completed before the end of the year. There were battles to keep the old airport open for domestic flights. People worried about the commute taking much longer than with the old Begumpet airport. Etc, etc.
Well, we took off from Begumpet, on March 22, and landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, on the 29th. From the window of the airplane, we could see masses of people lining up a ramp that seemed to lead to the entrance of the airport, and wondered what that might be. A strike, maybe?
As it turned out, these were visitors who’d come to take a look at the new facility and watch planes land and take off – people from villages coming by bus loads.
Unfortunately, my husband was pushing the luggage cart ahead of me, and he was carrying my camera, and I was not able to take pictures showing the throngs of people walking up the ramp shown below – when I was able to take a shot, there seemed to be a hiatus in that human flow. One moment before, though, we had to push past dozens of people going up, as we came down. We passed an ornamental water pond and I saw several lonely sandals floating, most likely lost in the shuffle as people walked up.
According to some newspapers, on Sunday the 30th alone, one hundred thousand people visited the airport. It really was the most amazing sight. I mean, airports are usually busy places, but this was something else, and these pictures don’t do justice to what we saw.