"Like the cats, this city had seven lives" Delhi by kokoryko

Delhi Travel Guide: 1,724 reviews and 4,288 photos

Looking for contrasts ? Here you will find lots. .

I write in my home page I like contrasts! Here there are! All sorts of them! The immense avenues radiating from Gate of India bordered with gardens and big government buildings, and the little narrow crowded streets of Chandni Chowk, New Delhi and Old Delhi! The modern high storey luxury hotels and the little stalls at their feet, luxury German cars and rickshaws waiting side by side at the red traffic lights. . . and so much more. . . . Beggars and immensely rich walking in the same streets, Hindu ascetic people, prophets and big wealthy men walking at their side, beautiful women, beautiful saris, and little kids with dirty rags as their whole belongings at the street corners, casts with Brahmans and Harijan (untouchables). . . . A bit a lot (but so “exotic” to me, average westerner)in same time, in the same place, so much not understandable. . . Delhi is like that for me: very, very exotic and complex. Modern Delhi at Cannaught Place and old Delhi just a few footsteps away. . .

Old and New several times. . .

Delhi has been Old and New several times in History: at least 9 times, and a legend says, the one who dares to build a “New Delhi” will see his empire collapse. . . . And this happened the last time when the British began to build a New Delhi (a wide area around India Gate), and 27 years later. . . the British left India and the British Empire began to collapse with all the 1950’s independences in the colonies. That happened before, several times, and Delhi has been constructed nine times and had nine names. . .
Indraprastha in 1450 B.C..
Lal Kot in 736
Siri in 1304
Tughlaqabad in 1321
Jahanpanah in 1334
Ferozabad in 1354
Dilli Sher Shahi in 1534
Shahjahanabad in 1638
New Delhi in 1920 . . . . . . and short later the empires collapsed. . . . The most famous rulers of Delhi and parts or whole India were the British and of course the Moguls.
The Red Fort, The Jama Mosque, the city lay out of Old Delhi date back to the Mogul Empire which was founded by Babur, great grand son of Ulug Begh, himself great grand son of Timur, the great conqueror and blood shedder of Central Asia. As the Timuride Empire collapsed, Babur crossed the Indus and founded the Mogul dynasty. Well, empires collapse, but beauties remain. . . . His sons founded Dili Sher Shahi, parts of which are now Old Delhi. We owe this dynasty what is called today the Red Fort,. . . I spent almost a day visiting this marvel which could deserve a week for itself alone. . .

Real World

I was several times in Delhi, and visited the Red Fort in 1999, and this time I was enchanted like at first time. There are many other places to visit in Delhi, and I had half a day left which I spent walking in Chandni Chowk, and had a short trip in rickshaw to India gate. Delhi is a different world, I loved to dive in the unknown, get lost in the popular places and the small streets. I can ensure there is REAL life there, so space for VIRTUAL; I just love it! And, . . . for the ones who are not used to plunge into the popular places, I say (write) I never felt unsafe, was a bit part of the crowds, was immersed. Go, eat local at the food stalls, speak with eyes and hands with people who do not speak your language, smile at people, they smile back; this world is very hard and even violent, but once immersed, nothing to fear, day or night.
The “tips” hereafter are a bit. . . . bits and pieces, of what I experienced, visited, enjoyed. . . Let us begin this short visit with the Mogul’s architectural marvels (They ARE marvels!), then walk into the hectic Chandni Chowk area, big part of Old Delhi, then take a motor rickshaw to see New Delhi and its wide avenues. . . There will be few digressions here or there. . . .
And this time, I have seen only a very, very little part of this cosmopolite, incredibly surprising, diverse, full of contrasts city; really a little part, but new discoveries will await me when I will come back! I love the remote mountains and solitude, but humanity and life is in cities like this one, and I love humanity (too!).
Incredible Delhi!

My photographs are not works of art, my writings are not literature.
Be kind, I posted them here, and I would appreciate you inform me if you intend to display them elsewhere! Merci!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Real live
  • Cons:Real life too. . . .
  • In a nutshell:Incredible Delhi !
  • Last visit to Delhi: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Mar 11, 2008
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Reviews (29)

Comments (12)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Fantastic photos and texts, as always! I’m glad you mentioned Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children, which I also read about twenty years ago and found fascinating.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    An excellent observation of Delhi, in all its guises. I love this city- it has so much colour, history and LIFE. Chandni Chowk is mind boggling- all those loose electric wires hanging everywhere lol!

  • mallyak's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    A great visit to a great city with a great writer!

  • illumina's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Great page, some really good tips here!

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    Very nice page. I loved the personal observations/details in your tips!

  • jethanand's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2008 at 6:57 PM

    Very nice travellogue on Delhi - really enjoyed going around with you !

  • kikalena's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2008 at 8:53 AM

    Very informative and impressive page! Next time I'm in Delhi I'll use your tips to sightsee there! I have mixed feelings about the city, but I loved observing the floods of people flowing through Paharganj (Main Bazar), I felt like in a theatre;) Best!

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2008 at 4:24 AM

    Delhi's one fascinating, chaotic and historical city that I dont mind visiting again. Indeed, Old Delhi is the place to go for the real stuff and for enriching encounters with locals which are the spice of many travels. Great pages, Hermann!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    With your tips and brilliant photos, you really conveyed the sense of chaos involved in exploring this amazing city! I almost felt right at home with you as I ate my Chicken Tikka Masala lunch that I cooked yesterday!

  • Mar 20, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    I always look forward to seeing/reading your new pages. And with keeping up with your tradition of excellence, your Delhi page did not disappoint.

kokoryko

“Il me plait de courir sans but et sans raison . . . .”

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