Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Old Delhi

Mum and Ruth inside Amber Fort

We took the very efficient Delhi metro to the station of Chandni Chowk in Delhi's old city. A wrong turn out of the underground station left us outside the not very salubrious train station and a longer than intended walk down Chandni Chowk to the Red Fort.

Despite being hot and tired it was cultural gold walking through one of the old town's main streets. We saw someone ironing the old fashioned way, filling their iron with hot coals. Men and boys washing themselves under hand water pumps on the street. Barbers giving cut throat shaves to men on the street. Workers sitting on the side of the road with their tools laid out before them on the pavement waiting for a days labour. It was photo journalism gold and I didn't take a single picture. To be honest I was a bit scared to get my camera out!

Wonky bamboo scaffolding inside the Red Fort

After our walk we arrived at the Red Fort. The enormous fort felt larger in scale than either the Amber Fort in Jaipur or Agra Fort, with massive defensive walls and open spaces between the buildings. After the 1857 uprising the British took over the fort and built a number of barracks inside the complex which now sit side by side with the ancient stand stone and marble buildings. The red brick buildings don't look as out of place as you might think, the British at least built them with appropriate scale. I was shocked to see two men sitting on the roof of one of the barracks with their legs dangling over the edge without a care in the world. Certain death awaited them should they have slipped.

After lunch at Moti Mahal we briefly stopped by Delhi's largest mosque the Jama Masjid. The rather aggressive door guards, obviously wanting to try and extort money for entry put us off stepping inside.

On the way home we stopped at the paper bazaar which was unfortunately closed. My sister was hoping to pick up some bargains, but it wasn't to be.

We had dinner at Véda in Connaught Place near our hotel (not in the old town). The restaurant was pitch black so I couldn't take any photos of the food, however, I did manage a few snaps of the interior. Very cool I'm sure you'll agree. It was probably my favourite food of the trip. A little bit more expensive than other places we visited, but no more so than some of the joints our tour guides tried to take us to.

Véda in Connaught Place

3 comments:

  1. I think we encountered the same guard at Jama Masjid when he aggressively wanted money from us. General question about the older men in India - Did you notice many of them had dyed their hair orange? What's with that? I'm even noticing it on Indian men here in Sydney

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  2. Taking the wrong turning out of the underground station, not very salubrious, and a longer than intended walk - why does this all sound very familiar to me?

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  3. I did notice a few men with their hair died with henna. It certainly wasn't the majority, but you would see a few around who had done it.

    I'm not sure what the reason was. I'll ask my Indian friend and let you know!

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