I arrived in Delhi on my own to start to start a 6 week stint covering North India, Goa and South India.
3 weeks previously I was in Rio coming to the sad realisation that my 7 month adventure covering Africa, America and South America was coming to an end! I was sitting in a hostel depressed of the thought of coming back home and back into reality aka the 9 till 5 world. When I checked my bank balance I had a a pleasant surprise, I noticed that I had alot more money left than I realised! A few grand more!! India was top of my last and after hearing so many stories about it on my travels I knew I had to book it! The next day I booked the flights and a 2 week trip of the North with G Adventures!
When I arrived in Delhi I was on edge! I arrived out of the terminal to an Indian man offering to carry my luggage to the taxi rank! I declined his offer and opted to carry the luggage myself with the paranoia that he could do a runner! I got in the taxi and was on my way to the hotel which was the meeting point for the start of my 2 week tour!
India hit me in the face… Literally!.. As soon as we stopped at the first set of traffic lights we came to, a couple of child beggars approached my side of the car and started to bang on the window for food. A very common sight in Delhi and one which I would quickly become accustomed and even desensitised too!
I arrived at the hotel late afternoon, the hotel wasn’t nice and was the worst hotel I stayed in during my 6 weeks in India. The décor felt cold and heartless, it was cheap and shabby and all the floors were made of concrete. Once I checked in I decided to go out for tea, a 5 minute walk away from the hotel was a main street littered with markets and a few restaurants. A teenager followed me for 5 minutes as I walked down the street asking for money.. he must of seen me from a mile off and knew I didn’t know where I was going. I popped into a café to get some food and he waited outside then followed me again when I left… luckily he got bored shortly after and wandered off.
I didn’t leave the hotel that evening and had an early night to get over the jetlag. I woke up 12 hours later after a solid sleep and was ready to see the sights of Delhi.
Delhi was an assault on the senses, its noisy with a constant sound of horns from tuc tucs to prayers which can be heard every now and then echoing across the city.
It’s full of unique smells which range from sewage to amazing street food and spices.
It’s busy and crowded, there are people, cars, tuc tucs, cows, markets, beggars everywhere!
It’s full of poverty and riches at the same time, you could be standing outside an amazing temple whilst being asked for money for food off street beggars.
Its dirty and full of smog, most of the buildings are stained from car fumes and it’s rare you will see blue sky. Even when you blow your nose black dirt will come out. The streets are full of rubbish in-between clean kept gardens.
It’s spicy! Yes practically every meal on every menu is spicy, great if you’re a spice lover but not so great if you’re like me and have a weak tongue. At first I did try to indulge myself in the local spicy delicacies but it wasn’t enjoyable, my tongue would burn and nose would run so eventually I just kept to the very mild spices.
Overall I didn’t warm to Delhi as it was too big, crowded, intense and chaotic. I preferred the smaller quieter Northern Indian cities of Agra, Varanasi and Jaipur.
If you do ever find yourself wandering the streets of Delhi the 3 Sights you must see are:
- Humayun’s Tomb
An impressive tomb that inspired the creation of the Taj Mahal
2, The Red Fort
Located in the centre of Delhi it’s definitely worth a visit
- India Gate
And finally no trip to Delhi is complete without seeing the might India Gate
Although I think the picture below sums up Delhi quite nicely