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The Chaos of Delhi

Delhi is a fascinating place to visit, with its crazy traffic, poverty, history, and distinct culture. We didn't get to stay long in this crazy, beautiful city, but it was a fun ride nonetheless.

The Craziness of Delhi City

After almost a week into my India trip, I almost got used to the craziness, mess, and culture of Northern India, but once I got to Delhi, everything reached a whole new level.

Poverty, wild animals, cars, bikes, rickshaws, and food carts mixed with old buildings that look like they were decades old, and some structures hundreds of years old. The mess, the culture, and the chaos from the other cities I've been to were magnified in Delhi. Crossing the street was an adventure in itself because you'd have to deal with animals, crazy drivers, and other pedestrians just to get to the other side of some streets.

If you think you're safe riding the metro trains, think again! Come in a child get out a warrior, as it is every man or woman for himself or herself when you try to get on the train. You don't say excuse me like a good sir on his way to afternoon tea, you have to be like 'get out of my way I'm getting on this train'.

I've heard stories from other travelers crying in their hotel rooms or not leaving the hotel at all in Delhi. It's not for the faint of heart.

I tried street food during my trip, but I always had a bad experience that led to a couple of hours in the toilet.

Neon lights lit up the night at Ara Kashan Road in New Delhi, it reminded me of backpacker districts in various parts of Southeast Asia minus the cheap booze. Alcohol in India as a whole is (at least the places I've been to) expensive, you could buy 3 meals for 1L bottle.

The big city's Hindus are just as devout as in other major cities in India.

I managed to walk to a posh section of the city, where old colonial style, white-washed buildings lined the streets. Fancy brands, expensive restaurants contrasted the chaos and bustle of Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar.

Kashmir Gate

That's what I like about Delhi; it's honest, no pretenses, crazy, beautiful.

*I stayed in Zostel during my trip to Delhi, here's their website: http://www.zostel.com/zostel/Delhi/.

Red Fort: Past & Present Collide

I've noticed that a major city would be incomplete without a monumental fort, built hundreds of years ago, in it. Delhi has the colossal Red Fort looming over the city.

The Red Fort was used as the residence of the Mughal emperors for around 200 years, till 1857. The fort stands at the center of Delhi and accommodated royalty and their households, and is the political and ceremonial center of the Mughal rule.

Emperor Shah Jahan had the fort constructed in 1638 when he decided to move the capital from Agra to Delhi.

The households and structures within the walls of the fort were like museums which gave me a look into the past.

A lot of locals visit monuments and museums to relax and spend time with their friends and family.

My wandering soul relished the walk around the different sections of the fort. The fort epitomized the country's glorious past and its rich culture. I find it quite surprising that a country with such a rich cultural heritage have so many poor people. I'm sure India has gotten so much better than it was before, but there's definitely more work that needs to be done. India is such a big country with more than a billion people, change isn't going to come easy or fast.

Red Fort has stood the test of time and is still significant to the lives of Indians.

How to get to the Red Fort?

You can ride the metro to most of the destinations around Delhi. Alight at the Chandni Chowk or Chawri Bazaar station, the Red Fort is only a few minutes walks from either one. The train ride's around INR 10-15.

*There is an entrance fee of INR 250 (foreigner price) to enter the Red Fort.

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