A Walk Through New Delhi, India

I flew into New Delhi as my first stop in India and spent 5 days in the city. I was expecting it to be more overwhelming than any of the other places I’ve travelled to so far: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Nepal, but I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for New Delhi. There was so much going on in the city, on every street, and for a first timer in India it was total sensory overload. The amount of people, culture, merchants, shops, traffic, poverty and pollution packed into this city was overwhelming for somebody coming from a place where you’d be lucky to see more than 2-3 people walking down the street at any one time. By the time I left Delhi I felt like I had gained a new perspective from having spent some time in a place so different from home.

I arrived in the late afternoon and this was one of my first views of Delhi, it's the street below the budget hotel I stayed at.

There was so much happening on that one block: street food stalls, people selling veggies, cows, dogs, cars and autos narrowly avoiding people, countless shops and merchants who were quite aggressive trying to get me to part with my money in any way they could, especially because I was a foreigner and an easy target.

A picture taken as I was walking the street. I probably got solicited on average once every 20-30 seconds walking through here back to my hotel.

Decided to get out of the area I was in and go to Old Delhi, it's exactly what it's name implies. The oldest part of Delhi. Buildings along the street were quite run down but it looked like this in a lot of areas of New Delhi.

A small alleyway in Old Delhi that I was exploring. Again there were shops, street food stands, and an incredible weave of electricity wiring overhead.

A shot of some of the many street foods that were being sold here. I was too afraid to try any of it in fear of the infamous Delhi Belly, aka food poisoning. It was not worth it for me to get sick alone in India.

Went down a couple more alleyways and found myself lost in Old Delhi. I had gotten away from the main crowded areas and my GPS wasn't working well here in these tiny streets. I followed some people hoping they were walking out to the main roads but I just hit a dead end. They were actually going to an elementary school tucked away at the end of this labyrinth of alleys where the streets were so narrow you could hardly see the sky, especially through the net of wires overhead. It really impacted me to see parents picking up their kids from school there.

Eventually I got out of the maze and back to the main street by following motorcycles. I figured most of them were probably headed out.

There was a landmark called the Red Fort nearby so I walked over to see it. That involved me crossing a major intersection. It was incredible, people dodging and weaving through heavy traffic all over the place. I waited until the traffic got so congested that all the cars were stuck in place, then I made my way across.

Got to the Red Fort but there was no way I was getting in. There must have been a hundred thousand people packed into this area and calling the queue for the ticketing booth overcrowded would've been an understatement. I just sat and people watched until I got too sweaty under the afternoon sun.

Made my way back to the metro station to catch a subway back to my hotel. Passed by this 'landfill' in an run down building just on the street right next to where people were selling food. I had been wondering where the trash goes. Even though the city was completely littered with trash everywhere somebody must be cleaning some of it up otherwise the streets wouldn't last a week. I guess this is where some of it goes.

Got to my metro station, which was near the New Delhi Railway Station. It looked like it had been frozen in time from the early 1900's.

On a different day I decided to explore another part of Delhi and 'splurge' on some food at a nice restaurant here, took an autorickshaw. It was an adrenaline filled ride weaving through cars and pedestrians, going down the mean streets of New Delhi where traffic 'laws' are just suggestions at best.

Surprisingly nice restaurant where I had some butter chicken, naan, mango juice and some lamb kebabs. I spent about $30 USD total which is A LOT for food here. Normally I'll spend about $2-3 but that was me eating at places that appeared nice and clean. At the cheapest places you could eat for less than $0.50.

Walked around the neighborhood the restaurant was in and it was the nicest and most empty streets I had ever seen in Delhi. There were a lot of greenery and plants, it was spacious, and no trash lying in the gutters. Although the overall air pollution in the city still settled everywhere and cast everything in a grayish green hue.

Definitely the nicest houses I saw in Delhi, it was shocking to see the extreme wage gap in Delhi. There were people living in run down slums just a few streets away from here and homeless people sleeping just a few steps away outside the gates of this community.

I was in New Delhi between November 23rd, 2018 - November 27th, 2018