A member of our team recently completed a tour to India and has some great tips on what to do if you find yourself with time to kill in the nation’s capital.
Every time I’m asked the question, ‘Which do you prefer Mountains, Deserts or Cities?’, I always respond Cities. In fact I’m a bit of a city junkie, so knowing I had half a day to spare in Delhi I couldn’t have been happier. With so much to do I knew it wouldn’t be difficult to fill my time but I didn’t want to sightsee.
I opted for a visit to a local market combined with riding on the Delhi metro system. The hotel receptionist couldn’t have been more helpful and suggest I visit the market at INA called Dilli Haat and provided me with directions and a map of the Metro.
As I walked to the station I got the feeling I was going to experience modern day India, and that was certainly the case. The Metro in Delhi is new, clean and very efficient and to be honest not what I was expecting at all. It’s a great way for the locals to travel across the city free from all the tooting and hooting of car, bus, taxi and rickshaw horns as well as the almost paralysing traffic jams!
Like any public transport system it’s a great place if you like to ‘people watch’. The young and trendy were sharing headphones so they could listen to music, couples were hand in hand and the more traditional older generation were simply standing patiently, waiting for their stop in the very overcrowded train.
I followed the very clear Metro map and made the necessary train changes until I finally arrived at the INA station. Dilli Haat, my final destination, is just opposite the exit and is a purpose built market area that has been designed with the look and feel of a traditional Indian market place.
All of the stall holders are licensed and come from far and wide to sell their wares in the market. This ensures the quality of the goods is high, the atmosphere is great and you can be slowly initiated into the charms of bargaining India style. As well as a vast array of traditional handicrafts on offer it’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat. The quality of the food is excellent and it’s definitely worth trying some of the food on offer.
Of course, none of the traditional markets I visited during the rest of my visit to India were as clean or well organised as Dilli Haat, but it was certainly worth the visit and the ride on the Metro was unforgettable! So if you’ve got a spare afternoon in Delhi, why not give it a go?