Old Delhi

Gina writes:

Last Saturday, VSO treated the entire group to a trip to Old Delhi. Old Delhi is the “original” part of Delhi, founded in 1639. According to Wikipedia, “It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi.”

Because the streets are so narrow and busy, the 20 of us piled into 10 bicycle rickshaws for a tour of the city. Here is Corey riding with Suzanne, a fellow volunteer.

We rode around for a few hours, looking at the markets (and cows). We hopped on and off the rickshaws to walk through various places.

We strolled through Khari Baoli, which is Asia’s largest spice market. The thrill of seeing dozens and dozens of spice shops is tempered by the burn in your nose and throat from so many spices in the enclosed area.

It was cool to climb five or six flights of stairs and see some of Old Delhi from the roof, though.

We stopped to tour a Jain temple, which was kind of interesting, but the heavy accent of the tour guide prevented us from actually learning much about the temple’s history or traditions. In any case, it was pretty!

After the temple tour, we stopped for a quick lunch of paranthas. Paranthas are flat bread filled with cheese, vegetables, nuts, or fruit. This particular restaurant was on Parantha Lane, which has been known for its paranthas since the 1870s! We shared a cashew parantha, a banana parantha, and a cheese parantha. Yum!

We went from Parantha Lane to a huge mosque, but couldn’t get in (the women weren’t properly covered), so headed to lunch number two, a popular Indian restaurant called Karim’s. I didn’t really enjoy the food there and even ended up getting food poisoning, so I don’t think I’ll be returning there…

Delhi streets are so crowded, it’s difficult to really enjoy just looking around at all the sights, so it was a neat experience to see the area from the rickshaws.