Arriving in India, Landing in Delhi

So, we landed at Delhi after a night flight, somewhat tired, and took a taxi to our hotel.  The driver had some problems finding it, perhaps because Delhi is a big place, with 30 million inhabitants.  It’s a pity he didn’t know that it is near the 108-foot high statue of Hanuman, the monkey god, near the Jhandewalan metro station, a landmark by anybody’s reckoning.  But then, neither did we 🙂

We checked in at about 9 am, had some breakfast, and got some sleep.  That was pretty much the whole day, right there, but we ventured forth for something to eat later in the evening.  The area we’re in is devoted pretty much to car, scooter and bike mechanics, with a few hotels and the odd restaurant.  It was quiet when we arrived at 8 am, but now it’s in full effect: everything is happening everywhere, all at the same time.  You can’t walk on the pavements because they’re occupied by people cooking, fixing bikes, installing car radios, parking their cars, selling fruit, cleaning shoes, or running one-chair barber’s shops, or by big piles of rubbish, dogs, skips, small altars, more cars, buses, stalls selling shoes, lemonade, and cigarettes, and more rubbish, even if there was a pavement to start with.  So, everyone walks in the road, which was a dual carriageway, but is now a single track each way because of the aforementioned commercial activities, dogs, etc.  This entails lively dodging of trucks, buses, motorcycles, cycle rickshaws, autorickshaws, other pedestrians, dogs, and cyclists.  Anyway, we have a fabulous meal in a restaurant called Sandoz, capacity about fifteen covers, for about five quid for us both.  Here’s the bread cooking team, cooking, of course, on the pavement outside.

In the days following, we come to appreciate the sheer density of human kind in Delhi.  Here’s a couple of street scenes from Chandni Chowk, a bazaar area near the Red Fort.

Autorickshaws are a cheap, sometimes fun way of getting around, even if the journey is a bit like a video game.  Delhi ‘s roads have no rules.  You can go anywhere you like, or more accurately can get to, even the wrong way up dual carriageways.  It is quite bracing once you get used to it.

Eventually, fighting off offers of rickshaws and taxis, we took the metro to the Red Fort.  The metro is cheap and efficient, but somewhat crowded, especially around the New Delhi Railway Station.

Gathering a bit more confidence, we spend a hectic couple of days exploring the major sites of Delhi: Hamayun’s tomb and the Masjid Mosque among them.  Here’s a couple of photographs of them: Diane looks especially good in her rented covering in the mosque.

Hamayun, by the way, was a Mogul emperor, and the mausoleum shown was commissioned by his wife.  It created a precedent for the large tomb which reached it’s heght, perhaps, with the Taj Mahal.

So, comparatively rested, we’re ready for our first train journey, heading for the former British hill station at Shimla.  By the way, this post is late for technical reasons to do with trying to use a small tablet to create blog content: apologies.

1 comment to Arriving in India, Landing in Delhi

  • Chandrika

    great to see the pics. the area you may have stayed in Delhi is Karol Bagh. I am surprised you are risking street food so early in your travels. Stay safe!

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