New Delhi is a city like I’ve never experienced before.
As you will know clashes have been taking place in the capital for several weeks over a new controversial new Indian citizenship law.
However, we are staying in Greater Kailash, in the south of New Delhi, – well away from the riots and protests in the North East. We feel safe…apart from the driving, which was something I wasn’t prepared for!
I’m not exaggerating when I say we’ve already nearly crashed a good 10 times.
After two flights totalling 11-hours from Johanessburg, we decided it would be a good idea to rest at our hotel on Friday and Saturday morning, as India is 3:30 hours ahead of Johannesburg (+5:30 hours from the U.K).
On Saturday afternoon we Uber’d it to Connaught Place – in the city centre and ended up booking a full-day tour for Sunday with a guide to see New Delhi’s main attractions.
We were picked up promptly at our hotel for 10:00 AM by our tour guide ‘Dev’, who’s English, to be honest, wasn’t the best, but we were able to understand most of what he said.
Our first port of call was Qutub Minar – a UNESCO World Heritage Site 73m Victory Tower or minaret.
We then went to visit the close by Lotus Temple – an architectural masterpiece, which is open to all, regardless of religion.
Emily – being female was forced to queue in a separate queue from the men.
We had to remove our shoes before entering and were not permitted to take any photos inside the Temple, both as a sign of respect.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib & Traditional Shopping Market
After having lunch at a French restaurant called Lazeez Affaire, where both Emily and I chose the continental option of pasta (because we’re both fussy buggers), we moved on to visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib – one of the most prominent Sikh houses of worship in New Delhi.
Again, we were required to remove our footwear and this time also wear a chunni, or turban, which was provided for us.
Even though there were signs permitting us from taking photographs and selfies, Dev managed to sneakily take pictures of us inside the grounds. (We were later shouted at by a Sikh leader)…
Next, we visited a traditional Indian shopping market – not quite the same as ours at home, where a pushy salesman tried to flog us a new carpet…
Our last stop of the day was to visit India Gate – a 1920s triumphal arch & war memorial and Humayun’s Tomb – home to the Muslim Emperor.
*Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the Red Fort, as this was situated to close to where the riots were taking place.*
Tomorrow, we start our 8-day tour of India’s Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) with G Adventures.