New Delhi, Delhi. Pretty much what it says on the label. Busy, chaotic, full of life are just a few words that I would use to describe it. And from personal experience I would try to hit the ground running. This isn’t a city for the faint heart or those looking for a quiet and lazy time. However the city offers more then enough to satisfy every type of traveller.
It is a pretty straight forward airport to negotiate, but I would definitely add in time to get through immigration. Coming from the UK it still took a good hour to clear all the checks even though I arrived on a quiet flight. So make sure that everything has been filled out, checked and in order so that you can easily hand over the needed forms to prevent complications. Once through, majority of signs are written in english and although it seemed that half of the airport was still being built it is a pleasant entry to the country.
Transport is also something to consider prior to your trip. With Gadventures they have a scheme in place that recruits female drivers that supports the Planterra Foundation
. The price was approx £25 from the airport to centre which is a reasonable price. If you search online as well there are plenty of other companies, but search around first as some will charge far too much.
Don’t worry if you haven’t arranged any transport. At the airport there are plenty of taxis with eager drivers. Again be careful of the price and agree on a set payment beforehand to avoid being ripped off. Don’t forget to tip!
On my arrival first of all tipped way too much, as I was tired, hungover and hadn’t quite got the hang of the money conversion but then had a very bag handler! (You will find that on exiting the airport there are plenty of people there offering to help carry your bags). Secondly I got into the taxi and sat for about 5 minutes with who I thought was the driver, yet slightly concerned that he looked about 10 years old! Thankfully his mum turned up.
Culture and Environment:
Delhi is often known for its air pollution. I found that the environment was smoggy, getting worse as the day progressed. With this in mind I personally would try to visit outside attractions such as the India Gate earlier so that you get better visibility around it. As I travelled around it was sunny and warm, but felt like I was looking through dusty glasses when looking into the distance. At some points it is suggested to take a scarf or mask as coming from a country of lower pollution, it can be a bit intense and make you feel a bit ill/give you a sore throat.
Points of Interest:
- The Red Fort
- Qutb Minar
- India Gate
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Lodi Gardens Old Dehl
- Parliament House
- The Gandhi Museum/house
- Laxminaryan Temple
- Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
- Lotus Temple
- Jama Masjid
- ISKCON Temple
- Connaught Place
- Shannon Chowk
- Khan Market
- Dilli Haat
- Metro Wlak Ansal Plaz
Arriving in Delhi from a different time zone can be difficult, so I would suggest to plan extra time to rest. I always add an extra day onto the beginning of my tours and I did here. However, I met a girl from my tour earlier then planned and we went out exploring on day one. She was from Australia and it doesn’t take a genius to know that they are ahead in time, so whilst she was all bushy tailed and bright eye, I was more like something out of the walking dead! Another mistake I made was booking to fly out on the 1st January…yes I made my flight but I spent the next 11-12 hours nursing a hangover with free drinks on the plane (I am not an alcoholic, it was NYE and I can’t pass on free drinks!). So I’m not saying don’t be friendly but try to put yourself first and get rested or you could be starting your travels on the wrong foot.
If you are going to venture out alone, whether to an attraction or just down the street, I would advise carrying money or important belongings sepertaly on your body. This may sound silly and I’m not saying this to sound patronising, yet is a very useful and simple thing to remember. Within my first day I broke off from the group for 2 seconds to get some cash and immediately noticed that I was being followed. When I noticed this, I stopped and stayed stationary long enough for the guy to move on and realise that I had noticed. Just be aware that this is a place of great poverty so many will be looking for any opportunity to make money. Therefore by separating it around your body, if you do loose something you won’t loose it all. Where possible do not carry important documents such as your passport.
So this is just a brief overview to the city itself. It’s a bit difficult to decide where to start as it is such a huge city! But hopefully that is why it is perfect for everyone whether you’re after history, culture, food, volunteering or shopping. Delhi after all is one of the most denlsy populated places on the planet and 28th top visited place by tourists.
Start of my India joinery, Dehli