Yeh Delhi hai mere yaar!

Hey y’all, what’s up?

I recently read somewhere that in light of the current social, rather, antisocial scene that’s unfolding in the capital of the country, a lot of women traveling Han Solo style, have reconsidered traveling to Delhi in their Eat Pray Love stories, and some have written off India altogether.

I’m a woman and this bothers me. Yes I’m also an Indian, but I’m a woman first, and it’s scary sometimes to travel to a place with a wonky social scenario, yes; yet not enough to deter the traveler in me. Even though this statement might seem ominous to those of you who sense impending doom in the form of a feisty feminist rant on social issues and how we shouldn’t take it at all, this won’t be it. I promise. 🙂
What this will be is a list of things that make Delhi what it is – quite a good place to visit actually, and why reconsidering it wouldn’t be such a good idea.
But here’s a little free advice for all the skeptic first time travellers, to India specifically – Among the first few things to do before traveling to any place around the globe, would be to scope out the accommodation options and the locations of those options – what you want to do is perhaps look for a home-stay setting, get in touch with a few hosts and then decide which of them you’d be most comfortable with, and travel in groups if it makes you feel safer.

With that out of the way, let’s get on with it –

#1 Check out all the architectural heritage
There’s just something about the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Jama Masjid and Tomb of Humayun that fills one with wonder about what the walls have witnessed. History being created, and repeated. Anonymous love, hate, mystery, devious plotting, murder, new beginnings. Anything. Everything. They’ve seen it all, they know it all, and still don’t crumble from the weight of a mighty past.

#2 Walk around the local markets
For anyone who likes a good bargain and ethnic prints coupled with comfy fits, Delhi is one of the best places to be in, from the high end brands, to the street markets, Delhi is teeming with shoppers who will not stop short of bargaining at every counter. The same can be said for unique pieces of jewelry, bags, wallets, scarves, dupattas, tops, skirts, pants, accessories, more accessories, more clothes and skin products. Think along the lines of places like – Chandni Chowk (is pretty much a District, and very famous in Old Delhi, different lanes have different bazaars along them from Monday – Saturday)
 Janpath and Tibet Market (Janpath, just off Connaught Place, in central New Delhi. Operational – daily)
 Khan Market (South New Delhi, not far from India Gate. Operational – Monday – Saturday)
Sarojni Nagar
(South West Delhi, near Safdarjung Airport. Operational – Tuesday – Sunday)
Dilli Haat
(Opposite INA Market, South Delhi. Pitampura, North Delhi. Janakpuri, West Delhi. Operational daily, regardless of national holidays.)
Paharganj
(Opposite the New Delhi Railway Station. Operational – daily)
Lajpat Nagar
(South New Delhi, near Defence Colony – between Greater Kailash and South Extension. Operational – Tuesday – Sunday)
Sunder Nagar
(Off Mathura Road in central New Delhi, not too far away from Connaught Place, near the zoo and Oberoi Hotel. Operational – Monday – Saturday)

I swear by the truth, all these places are worth every single shoe bite and sore muscle that the hike might give you.

#3 Eat eat and eat until you can eat no more.
If you’ve been to Delhi and not savored road side chaat, you should perhaps drown in the puddle of your own misery. There’s a Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar at Chandni Chowk, so “I didn’t know” is now not a good excuse at all! If you ask me, all road side food is yum! but if you’re a little uppity about venturing too deep into Chandni Chowk, you can always eat at the more expensive Prince’s Paan and Chaat Corner at 29, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, New Delhi. (jaisa naam, viasa daam! :P) Now that you have the address for this, it’s criminal to not try it out.

If you’re not into the whole street food thing, then some of your best bets include The Big Chill at Khan Market for any meal of the day, and the American Diner at India Habitat Centre for an amazingly sinful breakfast!

#4 Drink only if you know you can trust someone to get you back home.
I’m not sure this should figure on the list, but hey, if you can hold your liquor, good on you! Consider Dublin, Agni, F-Bar or even Q’BA for good times! There might be others, but I don’t drink, so these are the few that I know of.

#5 Just Chill.
This one’s rather simple, stay where you are and don’t let the pace of the place overwhelm you. Additionally, if you are up for it you could listen to the Quawalis at the Nizamuddin Owliyah Durgah, and let the serenity flood your mind with beautiful relaxing sounds of music. Or take a trip to the National Museum and be wowed by the things in it, or just chill in the Garden of 5 Senses (Yes, there’s a place like that, No, I haven’t seen it yet.)

With that list of things to do in Delhi, I don’t see why the power of pepper spray is not being taken into consideration!

Until next time,
OkayBye!

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