I’d wanted to go to India for a while, so when a friend offered up the idea, we immediately jumped to booking flights. It was the call of the first big post-school adventure.
In true broke university student style, we decided to leave most planning to the last minute and so, upon arrival in Delhi we were pretty shocked by the chaos. Some trains and planes were booked, but otherwise the 30 days ahead were little more than a rough idea.
After 6 days in Delhi, the chaos seemed a lot more natural. You start to wonder why it receives a bad rap from travellers and locals alike. Walking down Chandhi Chowk, it’s easy to get bogged down by touts, rickshaws and glaring eyes. But if you can embrace it, Delhi’s beauty shines through.
What we saw:
- Humayun’s Tomb – constructed of red sandstone, this astonishing complex is breathtaking (please excuse my soon-to-be frequent use of this word)
- Qutb Minar – a 73 metre high victory minaret built in 1193
- Chandni Chowk – one of India’s oldest and most breathtaking marketplaces
- Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India, located in Old Delhi
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum - the former-home and museum of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her amazing accomplishments.
- Lodi Gardens – an excellent space for respite and a picnic after a day exploring the city
- Haus Khaz Village –this area has heaps of trendy restaurants with varying cuisines and amazing small shops and antique stores.
What we ate:
Other than the amazing street food vendors, which we would highly recommend eating from (yes, we would), we loved these two restaurants:
The Pot Belly, a rooftop family restaurant in Shahpur Jat that serves up delicious home-cooked Bihari meals. It has become a favourite among locals and tourists alike. I had the Chicken Ishtew and the Golmirch Chicken on two separate occasions and they were both extremely delicious. Have either a milkshake or a piece of their tasty home-baked cakes for dessert.
Karims, located near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, is famous for its delicious Mughlai curries. The restaurant has an outdoor kitchen with huge simmering pots holding various dishes. It’s probably Delhi’s best-known restaurant, or so I’m told, and I can understand why.
Where we slept:
Staying at Scarlette New Delhi was the foundation for an awesome experience.
The 5-room boutique hotel located near the trendy Haus Khaz village was exactly what we needed after spending 3 nights in a dodgy hostel in the centre of Old Delhi. We opted for the studio apartment, decorated with a fusion of Rajasthani and French interiors. Breakfast is included and served in the living room. The staff are amazingly friendly and helpful. The hotel also has a beautiful stock of Indian handicrafts and textiles that are available for sale.
Delhi’s rich history paired with uber modern influences means that it has something to offer for all. So, forget what people have told you, pack your bags, and go.