Old Delhi by Bicycle

Not much sleep as we try to adapt to the +5.5 hr time zone meant a 6.30am bike tour was pretty early. They have them this early so it is quiet, we got a rickshaw there and it was in no way quiet 😄, our starting point was not far from a large mosque which was very busy. We found our orange bikes and the company’Delhi by Bicycle’ (set up by a Dutch guy). We had two guides for eight of us, one at the front and one at the back. Without doubt most people were a bit apprehensive at first but while it looks impossible it’s relatively easy, you and others just move or brake or squeeze into gaps that appear.  The tour was brilliant, we rode around 15k over 3.5 hours through roads and alleys we would have no idea without the tour. Now everyone stares here, and everyone is a lot of people! It’s fine and in a nice inquisitive way but it’s so noticeable. But they smile and say hello or good morning if they are ‘pro English’ and despite being a huge city with 25mil in it had a nice feel…but is also a dump. 

   
   

  
Back to the tour, we visited Fatehpuri masjid, a mosque, from the outside. Then a spice market, and certainly a spice storage area, smells were so strong it was hard to avoid a sneeze and cough by most. They were also getting ready for the Holi festival of colour with the paints and one was a nice bright red. 

   
 
We walked up a staircase to get to the top of this old Haveli (old Indian mansion). Chillies were being stored very close by, the smell was so strong everyone was coughing their way up the four flights, never had my smell sense that violated 🙂

Old Haveli below is now used by maybe 500+ people now who use this abandoned structure to work/live/sleep in. At the top people were flying kites, which you can just make out. 

   
    
 From here we headed to a posher, far more civalised part of Delhi, ‘Civil Lines’. British settled here en masse after the 1857 rebellion. We had a chai and break (and reflected on what the British achieved 😄).

Further on we went to ‘Chadni Chowk’, main street of old Delhi constructed circa 1650 🤓. Great grandeur back then and great chaos today, it sells everything from a wedding card area to live chickens unlikely to be free range! 

We then quickly passed the ‘Red Fort’ and ‘Jama Masjid’ the largest mosque that can hold 25k, it means Friday mosque.

  
We finished the bike tour in Karims, restaurant since 1913 and I had ‘starred’ it  before we went so delighted this was our brunch stop. A veg (forget the actual dish name) and a goat curry were so good and the roti (bread) they make in an underground oven concoction was the best, while my wife enjoyed the sweet bread to end. We then cycled 20 mins back like the pros we now were. This only took us up to 10.30am 😬

   
 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. asthaguptaa says:

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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