© 2012 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated_india_delhi_41

India – New Delhi – 17th-18th April

We had a long journey from Thattakad to eventually find ourselves in Delhi early evening of the 17th. We started at 4am from Ms Sudah’s home-stay in a taxi which took an hour to reach Kochin airport, from where we had an early flight to Chennai. As we had changed our travel plans a little last minute we couldn’t connect our later flight to coincide with the early arrival at Chennai and so we spent a good four hours or so working on the blog and editing whilst we sat in the Chennai airport departures lounge waiting for check-in to open. We had a 1.25pm flight to Delhi which got us in just before 4pm. When we exited the airport we picked up a taxi and went straight to our B&B, G-49 Bed & Breakfast located in Nizamuddin West.

After we checked into our very nice ground floor room we simply kicked back and relaxed before deciding on heading out for a walk. The bed and breakfast is a really nice building located on a corner and with only 5 rooms they were full, although the place wasn’t exactly bustling with people as the rest of the guests were a documentary film crew from Switzerland working on a project in the local area. We decided to stay local and explore the streets after getting our food order in for later on. Nizamuddin is the heart of the Islamic district in Delhi and so only a few steps out of the B&B we were submersed in rich culture and flare as we wandered around the back alleys.

Dress-makers were in full swing whilst children huddled around us to be photographed and passers by crossed us in their cycle rickshaws. It was all quite over-whelming having spent most of our time in India in the relaxed Southern states. When we were back at G-49 we enjoyed palak paneer, rice and a mixed vegetable curry. There aren’t many accessible eateries in this area so the owner suggested we eat in. We did feel like we were cheating a little but after all this time on the road it didn’t really matter.

The next morning we were up fairly early and enjoyed a good breakfast of eggs, toast, muesli and fruit, enough to set us up for a solid day of Delhi’s sights. First on our list was Humayun’s Tomb which is only a 10 minute walk from the guesthouse. When we got there we were chuffed to find out that there was no charge of entry as the date marked 150 years since the site was graded as a World Heritage monument. A free day for us so far!

The main tomb is massive, built by a grieving wife, Dave requested that Helen should build one for him to mark his existence on the planet…hm! They did like to go over-board on these monuments though, it was a fantastic build holding the tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun and commissioned in 1562AD.

They really did know how to do it back then and this particular tomb is said to have been a huge influence on the build of the Taj Mahal. The walled gardens are well kept and pleasant to walk around, we read that a renovation project had taken place around 2007. There were lots of school children in large groups being escorted around the site and so we were rushing ahead each time to get photographs of the space before they would come bounding in.

When we left the tomb site we jumped in a rickshaw and went to Lodi Gardens, on the way the driver kept trying to convince us we should hire him for the day but we didn’t want to caught in the trap of being taken to shopping malls and so managed to leave quickly as soon as we arrived at the gardens. We walked around this lovely site which is open to the public and has lots of nice paths interweaving their way through the park and along it’s edges. There are also ancient tombs and mosque’s in this park and we enjoyed the walk.

When we left Lodi Gardens we exited out of the north entrance which led us to a road up to India Gate. The walk took around 40 minutes and once we were at the gate we took a few photos and then left, mainly because we were being hassled by hawkers trying to sell us things we didn’t want, beads, henna, drinks, food etc…So off we went along Rajpath Road towards to the Parliament State and the Secretariat buildings, all of which are all fantastically built, symmetrically and very monumental indeed.

After we convinced a driver to take us to Connaught Place for 70 rupees we had to again persuade him not to take us to another mall or a different restaurant. When we arrived at Connaught Place we managed to find a vegetarian restaurant in L block that served excellent dosa’s, we were recommended to go there by one of the book shop owners we’d been chatting to earlier on. We’d already noticed the price difference between eating in Delhi compared to Kerala, prices were around double per meal.

We wandered around Connaught Place for a while, went into a few shops, explored the Janpath and Palika Bazaar’s and then went to the peaceful site of Jantar Mantar located very close to both market areas and Connaught Place. Neither of us were in the mood for shopping or haggling with the ever-keen and ready stall and shop owners and so we just scooted around before coming to a complete stop in Jantar Mantar. This is a very impressive architectural site made up of huge instruments built to measure and observe space. We couldn’t imagine these vast instruments being used and it really is a beautiful place to go and observe. This was also a free attraction and so we didn’t spend any money on sight-seeing other than our rickshaw rides.

We sat and people watched for some time before going round and documenting the place as best as we could. It was quite amusing to see the locals being distracted by a blonde 2 year old who was being carried by her American parents, people kept going up to them asking to be photographed with their young fair skinned daughter.

Later that night we ate at Karim’s one of Delhi’s most famous restaurants and there was one a 10 minute walk away from where we were staying. Again we delved back into the local area and enjoyed a very nice north-Indian cooked meal, what we didn’t know is that Karim’s is a mainly meat serving restaurant and so when we asked for vegetarian food we didn’t quite get looks of approval. The food we did have though was really good and different from what we’d experienced in the south.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8 processed in Lightroom 3)

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