Delhi Nice To Meet You
From the second we arrived in this colourful infamous filthy city, we knew we were in for an enriching experience. Landing head first in the smog and dust, the sound of horns welcoming us to the start of our new adventure. As if to say hello ladies, your journey awaits.
From as early as 5am in the thick haze covered air people are already out practising yoga stretches and up to start the day.
We opted to stay in the ever British influenced Connaught place where on every corner you can see the architecture and style that was set in place during the time that the British Empire ruled these lands. All white columns and roundabouts, very English. It's busy and traffic is impossible to ignore. A humdrum of sounds and colours that smother you.
The Four Reasons to go to Delhi
1 The Red Fort/ Spice Market (just opposite): A beautiful old fort that was the residence of the Mughal emperor of India for nearly 200 years, until 1857. This beautiful old Delhi gem is located in the centre of Delhi and houses a number of museums. Well worth a look followed by a visit just opposite to the largest spice market in the world. Khari Baoli, The Mecca of Spices in the Heart of Old Delhi. A spiritual experience for people who love cooking. Flavours and colours make it worth the elbow wrestling and hoards of people buying their daily necessities. Tip: if you feel like being lovely buy someone a batch of saffron, it's the best place on earth to buy it cheaply
2 Shopping: Saronjini Market is a must. We have shopped in most of the Delhi markets and this one is our favourite by far. Buy anything here from fluoro pink candy floss from a toothless local to incredible sequined kaftans at bargain prices. Remember always barter just like a local would
3 Delhi belly of course: Not the bad kind though, go and eat a local thali for as cheap as 60 rupees (60 pence). Delicious, great for sharing and musn't be missed
4 Travel: Great gateway to the Golden Triangle and the magical north India
We based ourselves in Connaught place for the first night staying in the Pearl Hotel for as little as £20 a night which you can even barter if you're feeling cocky. With free wifi and a rooftop restaurant with views of the locals waving across the street and smells of Dahl Makhani drifting through we couldn't have felt further away from home if we tried. We were ready to cease Delhi.
A reunion with old friends led us across the city into the newer part of town, aptly named New Delhi.
The city is made up of two parts, Old Delhi and New Delhi post independence India, referring to the older part of the city and the more planned newer part of the city. As we crossed the border to this flashy cluster of modern shiny high rise buildings and big gated apartments it was clear to see that this was the 'Manhattan' of India. Great restaurants and gorgeous homes all surrounded by cleaner streets than the old side. Our hosts were a great tonic to our long travels from overseas and showed us the insiders guide easing us in to this crazy city.
The Four Essentials
1 Earplugs (the horns will drive you bonkers!)
2 Clothes that cover to minimise the unwanted attention and respect for holy places
3 Sunglasses for the smog and sunshine
4 Travel Bac Probiotics (there is no question that if you are brave enough to venture to this fine country that even the toughest of stomachs get a little flutter of the delhi belly) we love these for keeping our tummies happy
The Four Places To Stay
1 For Little Budgets: The Sapphire Hotel from £9 per night
2 For Healthier Budgets: The Pearl Hotel Delhi from £22 per night with great wifi and rooftop hot tub
3 For Bigger Budgets: The Manor Delhi from £76 per night
4 Fit for a Queen: The Taj Palace New Delhi from £154 per night