India & Nepal Photodiary: Delhi Part I

 We wandered around this strange new city by ourselves for a couple of days...
Cycle rickshaw drivers taking a nap. I thought his neatly tucked away shoes in the roof of his rickshaw was quite cute! 

Yes here it is finally- the trip we took in January!!
So maybe we should start from the beginning...

R and I decided to do an overland backpacker trip from India to Nepal, starting in Delhi and ending in Kathmandu, with a whole bunch of fun stuff thrown in like camping on the Ganges and trekking around Kathmandu Valley at the end of the trip. It was one of the (if not most) craziest things we have ever done and the craziness began as soon as we touched down in Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi at 3am after almost 24 hours (literally) of being in transit. After successfully buying Indian simcards and avoiding being scammed by taxi touts, we hailed a cab and attempted to find our way to our accommodation for the night; where we would wake up the next morning to well and truly begin our adventure.

I actually remember falling asleep saying "We're in India, Richard...can you believe it!...". After months and months of planning and waiting and talking about the trip we were finally there.

| Inside Delhi airport | From our window |

This is the view from our room window and was the first thing I saw on the first morning; 6am and everyone was already bustling around. By 7am the street below was noisy with dog barking, shouting men and beeping traffic. 

First thing we did was hop on a tuk-tuk/auto-rickshaw in Karol Bagh (where we were staying) and go exploring in the loud, colourful and hectic city.

After a morning of just taking everything in, we walked through Nehru Bazaar after stumbling into a street off one of the main roads we were walking along (after ditching our slightly dodgy tuk-tuk driver)

Nehru Bazaar: | Richard dodging traffic || Beautiful spices || Typical market alleyway || We somehow ended up lost in this cemetery || Little boy strolling alleyway || Dense shops || Smart Wear 4 Smart People || Shops with living quarters on top || Cheap clothes ||Businessman || Local kids |

I didn't take many photos since I was so busy taking everything in and trying not to get run over. But I loved how everything was just so fast-paced and vibrant...which I came to realise later pretty much describes India in a nutshell. Oh yeah I successfully bargained myself a kaftan top for 100 INR (roughly $1.75AUD) in that market.

We also visited Connaught Place (an upmarket Western shopping hub where funnily enough I didn't buy anything):

Connaught Place: | Stray Dogs || Connaught Place || Strolling shoppers in Connaught || Local Maccas menu || Random monkey || Street Food || Street wares || Woman shopping in a pretty sari ||Men buying blue jeans at a street stall. |

 Blue jeans are like a staple in almost every Indian man's wardrobe. We got tired pretty quickly looking at all the brand name stores like Nike, A+F, Esprit etc.

All the window-shopping tired us out so we had lunch at Zen, a Chinese/Jap restaurant (turns out Chinese food is super popular in India, there was almost always a Chinese section in every menu we ever looked at...which is a lot of menus).

Because it was getting rather late but not late enough to dinner, we decided to squeeze in a visit to a small tourist attraction. So after being waylaid by several touts and  "students" trying to lead us to the wrong location, we walked (traffic is even worse at peak) to Jantar Mantar which is like a small park filled with several weird architectural astronomy instruments built in the 1700s.

| Passed this house/estate/hotel? on the way |

| Various structures in Jantar Mantar. Can you spot the giant sundial? |

We finished looking at all the structures in under an hour and just sat on the grass with our Lonely Planet that we were lugging around (if you have seen the India guide, you'll know it is one massive brick) and planned our evening - the park seemed like a super popular hang out place for local families and canoodling couples. 

| Food consumed: top photos are from Lunch @Zen and bottom is dinner @Embassy, both at Connaught Place |

We returned to Connaught Place (again!) for dinner and a movie, but it turns out our movie night plans went out the door because they weren't showing any with English subtitles at the time. But that was ok, because it meant we could just go back to our hotel and have an early night- R is extremely fond of sleeping. And besides, a couple days later I would discover my great love for watching Indian music videos on TV ;)

| More street vendors seen while walking around  |

And- just because I can- here are some more photos of sleeping rickshaw drivers:

| Even his dog is having a siesta! |

Sorry this took a while (aha understatement) to post up, it took several attempts in between settling into a somewhat hectic schedule between uni (just finished Cardio block), my new job, and shuttling back and from from Sydney. And then I went back and re-edited some more photos I wasn't happy with. Get it together Annie!

But thanks for trawling through this post and my lame commentary, I tried to keep it in roughly chronological order for my records (and reminiscing purposes ;) ). The next post will be Part II, the last half of our time in Delhi (I think we only spent a bit more than 3 days which is nowhere near enough). And that will be coming soon for real because it is all edited and ready to go! 

Comment and let me know what you think, or if you've been anywhere interesting lately! :)

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  1. You have the best travel posts, it reminds me a lot of National Geographic travel posts. I love how you have captured the culture so well, especially the people. I'm almost always too scared to point my camera at a particular person (even though I have a 50mm prime lens :P) but you've done it so well, esp at the rickshaw drivers haha!

    Cannot wait for your next post and I hope uni's been treating you well :)

  2. Yay a new post!!
    Ah man India looks so alive and vivid!
    I'm reading the book 'Life of Pi' at
    the moment and I can imagine some of
    these pictures to the storyline c:
    How are the food? I bet super great
    curry! The capturing of random shots
    are brillantly made!


  3. These photos are INCREDIBLE. So beautiful and different to anywhere I've been before, although it reminds me a little of Vietnam! I have wanted to visit India for a while now and this has completely reaffirmed that.


  4. I can't begin to describe how amazing these photos are. Nepal and India are my dream trips for now, have been for a few years, and these made me feel like I was right there.

    I have no idea why but I really love the photo of the spices :)

  5. I love traveling and seeing strange places. This looks lovely, very inspirational.


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  12. I know I looked at this before; I don't remember if I said anything or not. But I really, really, really love these photos. All of them. They are all so worthy of posting, and they really capture the culture of India--one that blends both old traditions and new infrastructure. My fiance studied abroad there a few years ago, and he still has some very fond memories of the place. He would love to take me there someday, and these images certainly make me want to go. I hope I can wander just as much.

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