What an incredible place. This has to have been one of the most amazing experience of my life. Imagine stepping through a door and being taken back a few hundred years. Old Delhi was like being in a medieval city, but with people using smartphones.
Let me try to describe the scene. The part of Old Delhi we were in covers around 2.5 sq kilometers. Every day there are about 1.5 million people in this space. It’s busy. Crazy busy. There are roads, and off the roads are alleyways. A labyrinth for the senses.
The roads are a chaotic. The shops are small and open. Depending on the area, they sell everything from car parts to plumbing supplies, fruit to car parts, spices to candles. In between are street food vendors. Small Hindu temples are everywhere. Then you have the mobile stalls. They sell fruit, street food, chai, bags, ornaments…..the list is endless. Then you have the traffic. Did I mention the traffic? Bicycles rickshaws, motorised rickshaws, tuk tuks, scooters, cars, oxen pulled wagons, men pushing carts, men with hugs sacks on their heads. In fact, every sort of transport and means of conveyance you can image.
It’s a scene of utter chaos. But oddly there is a sense of order to it. A million and more people, dressed in everything from suits to tribal clothing, all rushing around trying to make a living. There is so much happening, and so many new things to take in, your senses are overwhelmed. The hours we were there were gone in an instant. The whirlwind of experiences was stunning. I didn’t want it to stop. I need to go back.
The pictures below don’t really start to portray the excitement or the diversity of what we saw. Sadly we are leaving Delhi tomorrow.
What helped made our experience so remarkable was our guide, D.K. Sharma (DK) from Old Delhi Bazaar Walk and Haveli Visits. http://www.masterjikeehaveli.com. He is a veteran of the fashion industry and guiding is his passion. A cool guy in a pink polo shirt, designer jeans, RayBans and a woven trilby. He knew exactly where to go, what to see and what to eat. He took us up tiny alleyways, up winding staircases, into temples and shops. He introduced us to their owners and told us about how successful and wealthy the owners were. He knew people at every level. He only offered information when we asked him. He wanted to us to have our own experience of the place. To take it all in without the narrowing confines of too much information.
The final part of the tour was at his friends and business partners Haveli (home). It was behind 2, 100 kg metal doors and a sanctuary of peace amid the mayhem. There is a 360 picture of the main courtyard in the link. There we had a beautiful lunch. We learned about the restoration of the Haveli and about the life and history of the family that still owns it. It was fabulous.
And here are some of the 360 degree images Old Delhi Tour in 360 degrees