Let me get started with my Delhi experience straight away. The first thing you notice about Delhi besides its new airport is the Delhi traffic. Delhi is a big city and there have been huge developments in the infrastructure of Delhi. The roads, toll ways and highways are as good or even better than Bangkok roads. You will soon notice wide roads as you start making your way towards the city from the airport. This is not my first visit to Delhi, however this will be my first chance to experience it.
We took a prepaid taxi from the airport to get to our guest house. In Delhi, you have to know how to deal with the locals, if you’re not careful, there are chances of being deceived. For example, google the location you’re going to in advance and remember the nearest landmark, metro station so that you can tell the driver where to go or else, there are chances they might ask you to pay extra saying the location you paid for is quite far from the exact location. But Delhi city is not only about being careful all the time; once you know how to deal with the locals and outwit them in some situations, they can even befriend you and give you some suggestions.
After we reached our guesthouse, A was eager to try some Indian food and I was eager to go to the market for shopping. We both had clear agendas of visiting Delhi, my agenda was saree shopping and A’s was Indian food :). But I kept reminding him that my agenda was more important than his :P, but ofcourse we’d find time for food :). So we headed out to the nearest mall. We had planned our trip and places to shop in advance as we had only two days to buy sarees. In that mall, we went to a shop named Meena Bazaar. Meena Bazaar sells amazing sarees, they have the most unique collections, but the price range is a little higher, a good saree starts typically from 6000 Indian rupees and go higher upto 30,000 IRs. If you want to see what kind of sarees are available there, you can visit http://meenabazaar.in/. We noticed that the price listed online is 5000 IRs higher than the price when you actually visit the store!! I bought one saree at Meena bazaar and headed to our next destination, Karol Bagh. We took a metro from Nirman Vihar station and went to Koral Bagh. As we got down from metro, we took a rickshaw and went towards Ajmal Khan Road, the shopping area. We enjoyed the rickshaw ride very much :).
At Karol Bagh, we browsed few shops and went in one of the shops. I was so overwhelmed to see the saree collection there, the price was very reasonable compared to Kathmandu and the sarees were unique as well. At this second shop in Karol Bagh, I bought around 5-6 sarees. After that it was almost evening and it was time for A’s quest. So, we looked for local food stalls around the area. In Delhi, we get a lot of good vegetarian food and there are a lot of options in terms of vegetarian food. We went in a small shop selling local vegetarian snacks. There I ordered veg momo (ordering momo comes naturally to a Nepali regardless of which part of the world you are!! ) and A ordered samosa chat. The veg momo was very spicy and the stuffing was not as good as I expected it to be but the chat was very good.
After snacking at Karol Bagh, we took a metro to get back to our guest house. There is a small Tandoori place near Nirman Bihar metro station that sells the most amazing tandoori I’ve ever tasted. Bua used to buy hot yummy tandoori chicken from this place whenever we went to Delhi for Mom’s treatment and we stayed at the same guest house. It opens only in the evening and I was very excited to take A to that tandoori place. We bought the usual half tandoori chicken from there and waited for it to be cooked. The taste of the succulent chicken marinated whole day, slow cooked in the firewood oven, seasoned and spiced with yoghurt, mint, amchur(dried sour mango powder) and local garam masala was simply divine, I can still feel how it melts in your mouth. A was very happy I took him to the tandoori place.
And this ended our first day in Delhi, the next post will be about rest of the Delhi trip, hope you will stay tuned :).