18th Oct 2014 - 19th Oct 2014 - India
Home to 16.7 million people, Delhi is a melting pot of old and new, Indian and British Colonial. A city has been present in this location since the 12th century but excavations have proved human habitation for over 3000 years. In 1911, the British moved the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi and the city was renamed to “New Delhi” in 1927. A whole host of architectural changes followed including new administrative and governmental buildings. After gaining independence, Delhi remained the capital and for me, after travelling for three weeks, Delhi became my final stop.
By this point it was only a few days before Divali and it seemed that the whole of Delhi was going a little money crazy. Rickshaw drivers were trying to pull scams and changing prices whilst it was getting harder and harder to haggle prices down. After I wasn’t able to get there on my first day in Delhi, this time I went to the Red Fort. Having just come from the amazing Forts of Rajasthan, this Fort may have been a little bit of an anti-climax. The fort was built by Shah Jahan (him of Taj Mahal fame) between 1638 and 1648 but he never fully lived here as his son imprisoned him in Agra Fort before he got a chance. The fort was converted to an Army barracks by the British and now looks like a person’s home with gardens, mosques and hammams. The fortress walls are 18m high and protect monuments made of red sandstone and white marble inlaid with precious jewels. After two hours here it was back to Pahar Ganj, for a farewell dinner to India before heading to the airport the next morning and returning to London.