Driving through Delhi, half asleep from an 8 and a half hour flight, realising that you’re not in Kansas (or London) anymore, is like nothing I’ve quite experienced. Of course I knew it would be a different world, but nothing quite prepares you for the driving, the begging at the window, and that uncertain feeling that you don’t quite know what will happen next.
But Delhi also has a rich history, Instagram-worthy architecture, and the opportunity to feast on gourmet curries like nowhere else.
If you’re looking to pack quite a bit into your time in Delhi, and want to (albeit gently) immerse yourself in the chaos I’d recommend following my simple itinerary:
- Day 1: Discover India by Car city tour
We were initially nervous about booking a tour over the Internet, and particularly one on our first day in India. But there was nothing to worry about as our driver and tour guide picked us from the hotel promptly and took us on an absolute adventure through Delhi.
We didn’t get to see much of the old town as it was closed for the republic day parade rehearsal, but we weren’t short of things to do as we were taken to a number of sites including Jamia Mosque, Humayun’s tomb, Qutub complex and a great Hindu temple.
The guide was really talkative – exactly what you want on your first day in manic Delhi, and you’ll see most – if not all – of the main sites.
- Day 2 – Trip to Agra and the Taj Mahal
You can’t really come to Delhi and not make the trip to the Taj Mahal, and our experience with Amin Tours was excellent. Yes, it’s an early start and yes, there will be a crowd of people also visiting the Taj, but don’t let that put you off. It’s an incredible UNESCO site that just isn’t done justice over camera, so is well worth the all-day trip. The red fort in Agra is also a site in itself, as are the monkeys!
- Day 3 – When in India rickshaw round the Old Delhi
By day 3 we were ready to take a slower pace, and booked a slightly different way to see Delhi – from a rickshaw! Luckily nobody else booked so it ended up being a private tour, and while there was a bit of repetition from the first day, it was well worth it to explore the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk and the spice and fabric markets.
Delhi was one of my favourite places in India, after we got used to the sense of being watched (or stared at) and the occasional request for a photo with someone’s children.
As I mention in my other blog on India, it sometimes gets dismissed as a stopover for the airport or Agra, but it’s got a lot to offer.
See more of my photos from India, and other travels, on my Instagram page.