Driving through Delhi is like going back in time, you never know what will come next. Step out of the airport, stay in one of the plush hotels of Gurugram and junk all those travel guides, except your phone’s GPS.
Inbound foreign tourists want to see the rich history that has been preserved against the sands of time in Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan – every travel consultant’s itinerary will testify to this. With its rough weather, oscillating to the extremes between very hot summers and very cold winters, it can’t exactly be called a backpacker’s paradise, but millions of tourists flock to this city to see its rich history – and not just its places of interest.
The chaos of a big city seems unbearable at first, before you get hooked on it. Bargain hunting in flea markets and savouring street foods and cut-fruits, groundnuts, almonds and walnuts with your bare hands; these are the unadulterated pleasures that one gets to enjoy in Delhi.
North-East-West-South: The Fun Begins Here!
- University of Delhi North Campuses – Campus Rock Shows Starts Here: Mostly populated by people from the northeast, almost every student studying at this campus is considered good by society’s standards. The fanciest cars in town make their debut here and you can also get the best Chole Bhature in Kamla Nagar, which is both fulfilling and easy on the pocket. For the uninitiated, Chole Bhature is a spicy chickpea delicacy that is served with deep-fried bread made of maize flour. Most of the colleges on this campus were set up before independence, and some have a century old history of their own.
- Old Central Delhi – Burning Cauldron of Desire: Exploring this part of Delhi is only for the young and courageous. Those who are willing to experiment beyond the limits of prescribed morality will find the iconic GB Road– the perfect mecca for pleasure and enchantment. The area has over 96 brothels that house thousands of female workers. Each building is rock solid and has withstood the test of time for more than a hundred years. It was an English General, Garstein Bastion, who conceptualized the idea of having a separate place for those seeking pleasure and excitement amidst the chaos of Delhi. Unlike other cities, where the trade is more suppressed; it’s an open market here. People say that most customers prefer going to the same girl in order to find love, affection, camaraderie and escape from the stresses of daily life. Don’t ask me how I know this…
- South Delhi – Puja Paradise: The creme de la crème of the city have made South Delhi their home, and the infrastructure in this part of Delhi is far superior to the rest of the city. It’s a reflection on the purchasing power of the people here that DLF Emporio, Promenade, Select City Walk, PVR Anupam Complex, New Delhi South Extension Market and similar such premium high streets and multiplexes have been doing such roaring business for the past few decades. South Delhi comes alive during the Dassera season when the festivities begin in the honour of Lord Durga. It is said that the statues of Lord Durga are made from the soil collected from the doorstep of a prostitute’s house. The argument being that a man sheds his purity outside a sex worker’s house – so the soil at a prostitute’s door step is the purest in the land. India is a country where the union of a man and a woman is treated as the most glorious of all pleasures – one that is memorialized and worshiped on the temple walls of Khajuraho.
- West Delhi – Multiplexes and Gelato Galore: This is the ideal Punjabi heartland and you will see the true Punjabi spirit in action here. Since Punjabis adore good food, wine and movies, you get to see all these in abundance. The best resto-bars offer an evening full of fun with food, wine and live cricket on big screens, not to mention the Italian gelato ice-cream that every mall offers. The low cost of living and opportunities for fun and entertainment have seen a spike in property prices here in the past decade.
More knowledge can be gleaned in this city by people watching than by reading various editions of books. And nowhere will you find this statement more true than in Delhi. The more you interact with the people of the city, the more you learn. It’s the perfect long-term destination, and you should set aside at least a week in order to explore the city to the maximum on your next trip to India.
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