For the DIY traveller in delhi

Once you reach the metro station at Central secratariat, buy a ticket for chandni chowk. Like any self-respecting time capsule our modern day wonder - the spotlessly clean, state of the art metro will deposit you into another century.

Step across the sleeping sadhu, walk past the Kali temple, skirt the electric station duisguised as an ancient, if rather grimy, ant hill and you will hit a path that is blocked by several rikshaw pullers. The most agile one will leap over the others and offer to take you for a chandni chowk ride. Jama masjid, jain temple, ghalib ki haveli, dariba kallan, paranthe wale gali, kinari bazaar, red fort and back all for just Rs 100. and if you say yes to that you are being generous. He expects you to bargain him down to at least Rs 80.

As you climb into your rickshaw be prepared for the colours, smells, sights and ofcourse the people. More people than you have ever seen before. All of them jostling, and elbowing their way to do whatever they have come to chandni chowk for. A bewildered foreigner grapples with a complex looking map. A Bra seller is trying to outshout the shoe seller. Fresh green vegetables are spread out on a street that hasn't been swept for a century. Row after row of silver shops that sell high quality diamonds. And streets so narrow that wherever your rikshaw goes, people have to step into shops to avoid colliding with you.

Look carefully and you will notice gullies that are narrower than the one you are on. Dark stairways lead to buildings that have never been touched by natural sunlight.

I could go on and on about all that i saw and what you can expect to see there. But everyone comes away with a different impression. Just get on that metro and fill up your own memory bank.


T-Money said…
when did u go?
Alpna Manchanda said…
long time ago, so the Rs 100 may now be Rs 150