Last day in Delhi

There came a point during my stay at the hostel in Delhi when people would gasp at hearing I'd been living here for as long as I had. In the end, I spent over three weeks in this town during this trip. Normally, this is not a city one would voluntarily choose to live in for more than the time it takes to catch their next flight out. Most travellers I met were simply using Delhi as a transit hub.

And even I felt like I had to get out after that much time or else risk turning as stagnant as the pools of raw sewage on the side of the street - a common sight in Delhi. I had spent a week taking a motorcycle class and another one renting a scooter to acclimate myself to driving in India. With this done, it was probably long since time that I moved on.

So when my last day in Delhi began, I decided it would be most fitting to take a stroll through the neighborhoods of Old Delhi; specifically, the boroughs named Chandni Chowk and Pahar Ganj. While the rest of the city industrializes rapidly in a race to catch up with the West as well as the rest of Asia, Old Delhi is the one part of the city that time seems to have left behind. It's dirty, overcrowded and, for me at least, absolutely fascinating.

These are some photos from my last day in Delhi, dated November 25.

Bicycle rickshaw driver in Chandni Chowk
Jama Masjid, Delhi's largest mosque. Note the group of Western tourists surrounded by a ring of local Indians gawking at them and taking their picture.
Walking by a row of auto-rickshaws
Free food giveaway.
It just so happened a Gurpurab (a Sikh festival honoring the death of a Guru) was going on in Chandni Chowk the day I went there. Sikh temple workers gave away free food as a part of the festivities, something the crowd clearly enjoyed.
Giant trucks drove through the streets playing music as part of the festivities
Walking the narrow streets of Chandni Chowk
Traffic jam between bicycle rickshaw drivers
What rush hour traffic looks like
In a river of people, one man stands still

Looks like the gurpurab moved to Pahar Ganj, where men young and old showcased their sword fighting skills on the street.
Balloon vendors walking down Main Bazaar Rd. in Pahar Ganj

From Delhi, my tentative route is to go North to Amritsar, then back South to Bundi, at which point, I'll start touring around the desert state of Rajasthan. If I can get over my massive fear of Indian roads and its inane drivers, I may attempt biking while I'm out here.

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