Hope you are doing well today. I am currently in New Delhi and just started my travels through India, I am super excited. The first morning I woke up in New Delhi, I started directly with a Slum Tour, organized by Reality Travels. I’ve been following this organization for a long time on IG and was beyond excited to join them on a tour.
The organization Reality Travels
Reality Travels is an NGO – a non profit organization – based in New Delhi but working throughout India (Mumbai, Agra and even traveling to Nepal). They offer interesting tours and guides to experience REAL India. In this case, my tour was to experience real life in the slums of New Delhi.
The tour started at the main square of Delhi (Connaught Place) where the guide picks you up and explains the metro system of Delhi; very convenient and good to know! With the metro you travel off to the area Ohkla, where my guide Kavita is living. Together with the guide you enter the area and she explains everything about the life in the slums. She’s an active guide who asks you questions and has a lot of facts to share. You learn about housing, working, school & education, the market, the textile industry, the animals that live IN the neighborhood along the inhabitants and you learn about their watering and hygiene systems.
It’s super interesting to see it with your own eyes and I got such a different perspective now. You are able to meet lots of children on the street, I met the family of my guide and you walk around the tiniest streets to see the textile industry in practice. Especially the fashion and textile part for me was very interesting, as I learned what the wage are (just R10 per item) and the issues the community is facing due to textile waste.
This tour was incredible and the organization very personal, I had a private tour and they work with groups up to 6 people, as well as professional.
Another option for Reality Travels in Delhi for me would be a cooking workshop, which I love as well!
Hereby an impression of the Slum tour with Reality:
The city of Delhi, the capital of India, is an insane hectic and crowded city with 25 million inhabitants. There are many different areas, divided over three states. The city centre is divided into two areas, Old Delhi and New Delhi. The main place in the city is Central Park and Connaught place, where metro lines come together, many shops are situated and good restaurants can be found. In New Delhi, you find beautiful lanes and parks as well as famous sightsee’s such as markets, India Gate and many parks. A big recommendation is Lodhi Garden! A beautiful park with many old palaces. The park is very calm and therefore it’s easy to make beautiful and characteristic photos. The park is filled with beautiful gardens, flowers and green lanes.
In Old Delhi, there are many highlights worth a visit: the Red Fort is incredible and huge – the park inside is amazing – The famous Chandi Chowk market (also named spice market), Haveli Mirza Galib I personally didn’t visit but its a recommendation as well.
But my best recommendations for Delhi?
Just wander around the streets – feel the Indian culture and see as much as you can. The city has the most beautiful things to offer unexpectedly.
And the best area to stay, shop and dine? To me it’s not Connaught Place – it’s very western and common – but I would recommend Chuna Mandi, the area close to the Delhi railway Station. The stores here are amazing, only selling local goods and no harassing on the street. One of the top restaurants – recommended by Lonely Planet – is Tadka restaurant in the main Bazar road. It’s nothing fancy but the food is one the best!
A fun fact about visiting Delhi as a foreigner: people come up to you many times to take a selfie with you. Especially as a blonde person, you tend to stand out. You are something ordinary to them, so they request to photograph you to show it to their relatives. Sometimes they even take ‘secret’ photo’s from you. I had many parents, who came up to me shy, to ask whether I would like to be in the photo with their children. I think it’s pretty cute and I don’t mind – but it happens a lot so be aware as you might end up taking 100 selfies a day instead of seeing the highlights of the city.
Enjoy Delhi when you go and love the difference:)
Some images of my Delhi visit: the Red Fort and Lodhi Garden.