My travel to India was quiet short. The country is the second populated country in the world with 1.3 Billion population as of 2017 and it is the seventh largest country, so there is no way I can go from North to South with a limited time.
There is an on going issue when travelling to India especially for women and to think that I traveled alone made my Indian work colleagues wondered & confused. They told me that I was bold enough to travel on my own in Delhi which is the most dangerous place in India.
Plane landed past eleven o’clock in the morning in Indira Gandhi International Airport. The airport is very modern and equipped with latest facilities. I considered it one the nicest airport in Asia. The queue was long for visa on arrival, so better check if you need a visa in advance or not, or if you are eligible to get an E-visa to avoid the long queue, click here. E-visa cost varies depending on your nationality from free to 100$/ single entry. Please confirm it with the nearest Indian Consulate or Embassy.
I stayed near Panchsheel Park in Hauz Khas. Getting from the airport to New Delhi is very easy. There is an Airport Metro Express that will connect you to New Delhi Metro and from there you can visit nearby attractions. The cost for one journey is 60.00 INR- one token. Currency- Indian Rupees (INR)
As soon as I step out of the metro station, the humidity and hot blow of the wind hit my face. I underestimated the weather or temperature in India thinking that, since I have been living in the Middle East for quiet some time it’s still okay but it is not.
I noticed when I arrived at the hostel that travelers were just staying inside the hostel. I thought they were wasting their time not to go around BUT soon I realized that the temperature was unbearable.
Headache, yes! I experienced that throbbing headache due to heat exhaustion (I guess). Past five in the afternoon, I managed to go out with a local friend, whom I am very thankful for keeping me company and looking after me in many ways. To Sumit, Thank you!
Here are some of the things you can do in Delhi:
Shop at Dilli Haat:
If you are looking for souvenirs, handicrafts, bags, jewelries and accessories, traditional Indian Kurta and Saree, this is the exact place. There are restaurants around and it is livelier during night time. Try to bargain.
Visit the Red Fort in New Delhi:
Red fort also known as the “Blessed Fort” was built on 16th century by Shah Jahan during the Mughal Dynasty. He built this massive, defensive wall when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. Red is one of his favorite color and as of 2007, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can find many things if you visit Chandni Chowk:
Chandni Chowk is the real India. It is also called the “moonlight square”. This is the busiest and the oldest market in Old Delhi. Everything you need you can find here. Mostly wholesale retail but there are many shops from textiles to garments, foods , toys, street foods, imitation/fashion clothes and bags, flowers and many more. There is an area which they call it – Spice Bazaar. You can ask a rickshaw driver to tour you to these places for two hours or more.
Visit Jama Masjid:
Jama Masjid is one of the best known and largest mosque in Old Delhi. It was built during the Mughal dynasty, 16th century by Shah Jahan. Accessible visa Rickshaw from train station.
Buy some Books- roadside books:
Buying new books (copy) in India is cheaper than in Kathmandu. As a tourist they will give you 250-300 INR but if you are very good in bargaining then they will give you half of the price. We bought books from 100-150 INR each , that would be 1.6$ – 2.3$ (my newly found friend- Sumit did all the talking and bargaining in Hindi). No wonder one British female traveler said that she sent boxes of books and clothes to UK for all the items she bought while travelling around India.
Try Indian Delicacies and other Street Foods:
Biryani with Fresh Onions: Biryani is a common food India. A rice meal mixed with meat, herbs and spices. The Biryani is very authentic in India. It has more spices, (hot chilies) with side dish of freshly cut onions. Being in the Middle East and working with culturally diverse population of expats made me learn to eat spicy foods but only what they call “medium” spicy and not everyday. When you are thirsty while roaming around, you can find Nimbu Pani ( Lemon Water). You can see this everywhere, in a cart and you can choose between a salty or sweet syrup with Indian lemon squeeze on it. The price is 20INR/ small plastic glass. Try also the Sweet Lassi.
Another street food is Pani Puri , it is a small round crackers (bubble). It comes with a mix of vegetable for a filling of, such as chick peas salad and a spicy green water which is the mixture of main ingredients grounded coriander leaves, mint leaves, salt, green chilies and cumin. Cost will be 6pcs. for 25INR.
Don’t miss The Rickshaw:
There are many auto rickshaw and cycle rickshaw in India. I opted for the traditional type to tour me around the bustling streets of Chandni Chowk.
Wondering about The Role of Cows in Indian Culture and Tradition:
India consist of many religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christinaity, Islam and Jainism. There are also many Castes. In Hinduism religion, cows are referred to as the “holy Cows” and are considered to be a representative of Dharma and being adored and honored by the people that is why you can see many cows roaming in India. Some use them for labor purposes so don’t get shock when you see many cows walking around.
I went to see the Qutub Minar, it is a little bit far from the town-located in South of Delhi but can be access via Metro. Temperature was at its peak past 1:00pm which drained my energy. It was so hot, humid. Can’t breath properly. I did not even stay for long at the site and there were few tourist only.
India is called as ” The Jewel of the Crown” during the British Empire, due to its valuable mineral and human resources. It has gold, gems and precious stones, herbs and spices that is very necessary during medieval years , cotton for textile, silk, rich in man power and the easiest route to trade and export products around the world.
Although I have been working with many Indian colleagues, I find it more exciting and interesting to visit their country in spite of the temperature.
India is a large country, and if I have enough holidays, I would love to see Varanasi, Ladakh, Manali, Shimla, Srinagar, Goa, Backwaters of Kerala, and Rajasthan (Jaipur).
Check the weather/ temperature before deciding to visit India. The best months to visit India are from October to March. Even first week of April, the temperature reaches 40º C to 45ºC.