Day 2, an Indian Beginning

23 06 2009

Day 2. It begins for real today. Our first day touristing around.

The itinerary states :

Day 2 Delhi
Dive into the heart of India’s capital to explore both Old and New Delhi. Visit Delhi’s famous Jama Masjid, or walk through Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest and busiest markets.

Sounds a bit ambitious and it was. Still an amazing day out, if not frustrating.

We began at 11.30am. Why so late? Nobody knew. Most of us wanted to dive in a bit earlier than that and see as much as possible. Not to be. Looking back I believe Anna, our tour guide, wanted a sleep-in.

We Jumped on the metro and headed downtown into the Old city. Even more chaotic than Mumbai if that is at all possible. Absolutely crazy place.

Our first visit was to a large Sikh temple. We were shown around by an elder but by far the most interesting was the food hall behind the temple. Here they feed the people with food that is prepared or donated by the people. Amazing place.

The people working in the kitchen spent hours on end making chaparti breads for the people.

Making the Chapartis

Cooking Chaparti's

A young boy enjoys his lunch.

Boy at Lunch

Next stop was the Jamar Masjid mosque, a short(ish) walk through the market district of Old Delhi.

An amazing blend of old world shops, transport, etc.

India Shop

An amazing number of deliveries are still done by old fashioned means, in this case a modified bike loaded beyond what would be expected (not uncommon in this country).


Cockbrand Fireworks?

Mentally exhausted we arrived at the Jama Masjid Mosque.

Jamar Masjid

Built between1644 and 1656 by Shah Jahan, it has a fantastic view over Old Delhi, down to the red fort.

Red Fort of Delhi viewed from the Jamar Masjid

We came in a side entrance, but the royal gate is the main entrance, opening onto a large 90mx90m square.

The Royal Gate, Jamar Masjid

Detail of tower at Jamar Masjid

Part of the walls, Jamar Masjid

Just to prove I was there, and because some people say there are not enough pictures of me here,

Me at the Jamar Masjid

After all this, it was truly lunch time. Some of the group went back to the hotel and a restaurant near the hotel. We on the other hand headed deep into the markets to a small local place, so small that you would never consider going into it. Great food, bizarre atmosphere.

Following all of this, we headed back to the hotel for yet some more waiting, and then off to the train station for our overnight sleeper train to Jodhpur, and Day 3.

One more photo, possibly one of my favourites. An old bike that had been chained to the wall so long it had become part of the atmosphere.

Indian Bike