DELHI

 

We flew from Manchester leaving on Thursday night and arrived in Delhi for mid Friday afternoon. Be prepared for the temperature change. It was 40+ while we were there so have some lighter clothes in your hand luggage that you can strip off into before you leave the airport!

HOW WE GOT TO THE HOTEL

We got a cab from the airport to the hotel which was about 18miles. The taxi drivers will swamp you as you walk out of the airport, pick one and get a price. There first price will be silly, I think ours was R2500 (around £25) and we very quickly got him down to R1200 (£12) which is much more reasonable, don’t be afraid to haggle, your not being rude!

WHERE WE STAYED?

We booked our hotel on the basis that we were planning to use trains. We stayed right near the Delhi train station at Hotel Aura. It seemed nice until we got to our windowless room! It was like we were in a panic room. When I phoned reception to ask if we could move to a room with a window he told me the windowless room is there superior room because rooms with windows are to loud. Now that I could believe, the constant horns is enough to make you deaf! So we stayed in our dark, windowless room and slept for a blissful 12 uninterrupted hours that night!

 

NIGHT 1

After chucking our stuff in our room and a quick shower we headed out to explore. You will find tuk tuks and rikshaws outside your hotel and on ever street corner. We jumped in a tuk tuk and headed to the Connaught Place which has a bunch of restaurants, shops, markets and Central Park which is a popular place that locals gathers. There are water features and a huge Indian flag.

After strolling the street and doing a bit of shopping we went to United Coffee House for dinner which was gorgeous. It’s a colonial style restaurant/bar which opened in the 40’s. You can get everything from morning tea to a cocktail but honestly it’s worth a visit for the decor alone! Prices are more like UK prices than Indians prices but it’s totally worth it and weird side not the tiles in the bathroom was gorgeous!

DAY 2

After a solid 12 hours of sleep in our panic room we had breakfast at the hotel. As I was enjoying my jam on toast a mouse ran by my foot, nearly chocking I let the waiter know and his response was ‘oh, yes!’ with a smile and then he carried on making some toast. I guess I’m mentioning this because although I nearly died India is a 3rd world country, there is rubbish and waste everywhere and rodents aren’t anything to be alarmed about!

After breakfast we grabbed a tuk tuk from outside our hotel and headed to the Lotus Temple, a place of worship for people of the Baha’i faith. The temple is free to get into but the lines were huge. We waited for around a hour to get in. The temple is in the middle of immaculate gardens and directly adjacent to the temple is a museum of the Baha’i faith.

The temple was stunning! 27 marble petals form the 40m tall hall in the middle. There are also 9 pools surrounding the temple. Between the flawless marble, the pools and the silence this is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever sat.
If you are planning a visiting it’s good to note that no shoes are allowed and phones/cameras etc must be put away. I also recommend going for a look around the museum, it was really interesting!
Monty our tuk tuk driver then took us to his cousins restaurant which was in a more well to do residential part of Delhi. My advice is to listen to the locals and your drivers. They always know of little jems off the beaten track that are much more authentic than a lot of the more touristy places you find on google and trip adviser.
We travelled back into the centre of Delhi passed the Ghandi monument and onto India Gate. India Gate is a war monument dedicated to the troops of British India who dies at war.
India Gate was really busy and there were a lot of people grabbing you asking for money. Be wary of the women who try to pin flags on you as they want money off you and again be careful of pick pockets.
We then jumped back in the tuk tuk, it was quiet hilarious the tuk tuk broke down and Greig had to push start it in the middle of Delhi traffic! We went to see the houses of parliment which is a couple of minutes drive down the road from India Gate.. We couldn’t go in as tours are no longer allowed due to terrorist threats.
Monty then took us to a bizarre right in the city which was filled with the most amazing carpet, hand crafts and jewels. It was quiet expensive though, if you are wanting to shop I would recommend waiting until you get to Jaipur. If you do fancy a rug or a marble table they are all set up with shipping companies and they can have everything arrange for you.
That night we ate at a restaurant local to us and explored the area. We were meant to stay in Delhi another day and fly to Jaipur on the Monday but everyone we spoke to said we should drive. Delhi is the busiest, loudest and most densely populated city we’ve ever experienced and to be honest it wasn’t really our jam.
On Sunday morning we arranged to get a driver through our hotel. Veejay arrived within the hour and we set off for Jaipur. We had Veejay for 6 days while we toured around the Golden triangle (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra) which cost around £300. This included everything for our travels including all of our road taxes. If we wanted guides along the way he also arrange those for us.

THE FINAL 2 DAYS

We returned to Delhi for 2 days after being in Goa and stayed at Welcom Hotel Dwarka. The Welcom hotel was in a much quieter area outside of the city, had a nice pool and an amazing spa. After being in chilled Goa for the week we wanted to finish our holiday nice and relaxed. Originally we had thought we would use the 2 days to see some more temples or shop but we were shopped out and the pool was calling!

Our last 2 days in Delhi were spent by the pool, having spa treatments and eating the most amazing Chinese food at The Shanghai Club.

If you ever see a abhyanga massage on a spa menu do yourself a favour and get it! I’ve never felt so relaxed, I floated right on out of the room!

THINGS NOT TO BE MISSED IN DELHI

  • Connaught Place on a night time, people watching in Central Park by the giant flag is a must!
  • United Coffee House at Connaught Palce. The decor is amazing and the food and cocktails are delish!
  • The Lotus Temple.
  • India Gate.

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