Delhi is the capital of India, a massive hub in Uttar Pradesh in the centre of the north, if you are to visit the north of the country it’s hard to avoid spending at least some time in Delhi.
India is a land of enormous contrasts and so is the capital. If you arrive by train you land smack in the middle of Paharganj, a polluted neon hellhole full of cheap hotels bars, touts and eateries. Before you even leave the station you will feel the pressure of Paharganj and it won’t get any easier, but you will feel the adrenaline rush.
Paharganj swarms with all forms of humanity and many forms of life besides, there is an off license which is literally a hole in the wall with a crowd of Indian men straining to buy their bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor, Old Monk rum or White Mischief vodka.There are beggars asking for alms, well spoken young men happy to whisk you up to the Himalaya to stay at their families lodge for just a couple of thousand rupees and auto rickshaw drivers vying for your trade with the ubiquitous tuk tuks. The smell of freshly fried Pakora somehow manges to force it’s way through the hundreds of other smells in any one spot.
But that really is just one part of the story.
While to the north is Old Delhi, if anything more polluted and crowded than Paharganj, to the south the city suddenly becomes clean, green and almost devoid of people, you could actually spread your arms out and spin around if you wanted, not something you could have done further north.
Parts of Delhi are actually very quiet and beautiful, you could say even peaceful. The Raj path leading through India gate to the Muglai gardens and the president’s house is serene as you can see on the video below.
While there is incredible poverty in Delhi there is also a massive wealthy and middle class, around the concentric streets of Connaught Place you will find plenty of middle class enclaves like the car showroom below and the same type of coffee shops and restaurants you would find in any big city anywhere in the world.
On the wall of one such coffee shop however we did see a sign which you would not see in a branded coffee shop in the UK.
In all honesty, we are not quite sure what slur thinks about Delhi.
Like it, don’t like it? It’s really not that easy.