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Day 10

The second weekend in Delhi started with another morning of piling onto a bus to head north from Gurgaon into Delhi to see Old Delhi. The day got off to a slow start with directions needed on a couple of occasions and then the first semblance of traffic rules beyond “try and drive on the left side”, we’ve seen so far in India. The connecting road through the administrative center of Delhi, Rajpath Marg, beginning at the President’s home and ending at India Gate is one of the most orderly, and as we found out, well-policed. Our driver unfortunately happened to squeak through a red light and found himself being politely waved to pull over by a police officer standing on the side of the road. After attempts to persuade the officer to let the ticket go failed, we spent 15 minutes being cited and then finally continued on our way.

Our tour guide, Vicas, then met us at India Gate. We drove around the area to see the Presidential Residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan, along with the Vice Presidential Residence and other buildings housing the federal government. Next was the main destination of the day, Shah Jahan’s Red Fort. The impressive fort’s walls loom over Old Delhi and is a bold reminder of the Mughal history of India. Abbuting the Red Fort complex is the market of Chadni Chowk. The streets of Chadni Chowk are overflowing with goods of all kinds: sarees, lehengas, men’s suits, jewellery of endless styles, and enough food that one doesn’t have to go more than a few steps to find the next offering. After getting our fill of the market the group began the short walk to Jama Masjid, the largest Indian mosque. We walked around the impressive space for a short while before the call to prayer signaled our time to leave.

To quicken our trip home the decision was made to grab tuk tuks back to the bus. With our large group there was a small fleet of tuk tuks heading out together. Several of them were bicycle rickshaws and had aggressive drivers who slalomed between the traffic causing some mild terror among us. Everyone made it back safe and endured a long, long two hour trip (that should have been thirty minutes) through Delhi rush hour to get back home.

-Greg

Last modified on September 18th, 2018
Posted on September 18th, 2018