2 full days is long enough to spend in Delhi if you plan wisely, almost everything can be packed in.
I started the day by venturing out of the Smyle Inn down the Main Bazaar Road heading towards the centrally located Connaught place – via Chelmsford road (isn’t that in Essex?).
Streets were full of vendors who seemed to be competing for worlds most persistently annoying salesman. Fruit was perfectly piled up in high pyramid formations. Leather shoes adorned the walls of outfitters, practically walking across the ceiling.
Choosing a tuk tuk driver was similar to the process of Harry Potter picking the perfect wand. Once you make eye contact with them they pounce on you with their prices quicker than you can say chicken jalfrezi. Eventually I found a good driver who wasn’t too intense, and offered a fair price for the day trip.
We first arrived at the Bangla Sahib gurdwara, a beautiful white Sikh temple which was somewhat of an oasis in comparisons to the bustling Delhi outside of the surrounding marble walls.
I entered the golden domed temple shoeless and covered my head with an orange bandana which eventually led back outside to a large square fish filled pond. Sikhs anointed themselves with the holy water – which the driver said had healing properties.
Lastly we visited the food hall, where people of all backgrounds ate cross legged row upon row from school dinner style trays. Curries were prepared in cauldron style pots on an industrial scale, prepared to feed any number of the general public and regulars alike.
This was followed by visiting Lakshmi Narayan, a nearby Sikh temple where once again I removed my shoes in order to enter. The temple was painted strikingly in rich yellow, burgundy and white. It was built recently, in 1939 so for me lacked the archaic temple properties that I enjoy.
Finally we headed over to the impressive and imposing red fort – which is exactly what it says on the tin. It was home to the Mughal emperors for 200 years until 1857. The now dry moat that surrounds the fort was once filled with water and crocodiles.
Dinner was at a trip advisor recommended roof too restaurant… venturing down the Main Bazaar Road, feeling cooler and more content with the chaotic streets and alleyways around.
The dark Delhi streets did not give me the culture shock I expected, the chaos was not too dissimilar to the main strips in the likes of Magaluf and Aiya Napa. Perhaps holidays to these destinations had somewhat prepared me. If you squint and replace empty shot glasses with stray dogs and turn up the filth factor, they’re practically the same place.
Or maybe I’m just an incredibly well adjusted traveller.
Note: no photos yet as they’re all still on my camera… Will update ASAP.