|Jama Masjid in Old Delhi|
Waking up in Delhi was a mix of excitement, nervousness and anticipation. I couldn’t wait to get out and explore the city!
|Robes for women in Jama Masjid|
First stop: Jama Masjid temple in Old Delhi! We took a couple of hours to walk around and enjoy the temple. There were homeless people inside the Jama Masjid, which came as a surprise to me, begging for money. It was beautiful though and a great introduction to Indian architecture – it had a lot of similarities to other temples we visited through the 15 days.
|Robes for women in Jama Masjid|
|Cotton Market by Jama Masjid (park is on the right side)|
As our visit to the temple wound down, we all met up outside to look at an incredible view. We saw far off into the distance the tips of temples which were covered in fog. (Delhi has to be in the top 5 most polluted cities in the world!) We watched a game of cricket amongst children in a nearby park but then our eyes settled on a crowded market down below. Before entering Jama Masjid, our driver briefly mentioned that the areas surrounding this temple were very dangerous but once we saw this market we had to go. I had some apprehensions and had no idea what to expect but it was something I’m VERY glad I did.
The market was called the Cotton Market and was next door to the park. This area has to be the poorest area I’ve ever seen in my life. After we walked briefly through the introduction we got right into the heart of this madness. First shock? A potentially dead body lying on the downhill steps to enter the rest of the market. Then I saw the first (of many) instance of a child defecating on the street. People attempted to grab at us and the staring was really bad – some stares were these coldhearted stares that I’d never felt before. I was very uncomfortable and it only got worse.
As we got closer to the park, as we were exiting the market, we saw the most interesting of all. This park was some type of drug center. We saw kids huffing, violence, and people who were out of their minds on drugs. There was also a women caressing herself who decided she needed us to be her audience for this. This was when I was ready to go home but there was more to do (hopefully the next stop would be better)!
Stop 2: Raj Ghat, where Gandhi was cremated.
We walked into Raj Ghat thinking we were going to a park until we came across a sign telling us what momentous event went on here. We scoped out the area on an elevated walkway and it was truly gorgeous. Lots of people came to pay their respects to Gandhi and flowers adorned everything.
We decided to end the sight seeing on a positive note since we were still feeling overwhelmed from the Cotton Market…so we ate some more food! 🙂
|flowers at Raj Ghat|
I once again managed to eat a delicious daal, it was my favorite Indian food so far. I eyed some Indian desserts but couldn’t fit anything else in my stomach. After leaving the tourist trap restaurant I fell victim to another tourist trap – the snake charmer! How could I pass this up though? I was in India. What better time than now to overcome a fear? I was terrified, and ripped off, but it was all in good fun – and made for some great photos.
After lunch we were in dire need of an ice cold beer. We went through an area that looked “high so” (as the Thais call it) and the Oz Cafe sign called out to us. I experienced my first (of many) Kingfishers and was able to unwind from the culture shock I’d experienced from the Cotton Market! This was the best possible way to end a wonderful day in Delhi! 🙂
(by the way, order a Kingfisher soon. you won’t be sorry.)