My Indian Adventure. Day One – Going solo in Delhi

Last December I took the big step of travelling to India alone. I had been enchanted by this country for a very long time and having heard stories about how much people either loved or hated it intrigued me. I wanted to see which category I fell into. After waiting a long time for someone to join me, I eventually decided to bite the bullet and book the trip myself. I booked a month off work, cleverly including all of the holidays over Christmas, so I managed to take just 11 day annual leave and away I went. My trip was a combination of solo travel, an organised trip and some adventures with people I met along the way. As promised, here is the beginning of my trip to Incredible India!

The Journey
I knew that I would not spend much time alone from the moment I sat on the plane at Heathrow airport. There was not one single seat free on the flight and it was loud and boisterous. I settled myself in to watch some movies and pass the time. I was half way through “Magic Mike XXL” when I got a tap on the shoulder. I was a bit annoyed to be quite honest, because the big finale was coming up…. ladies, you know what I mean! A elderly Sikh gentleman wearing a turban passed me a piece of paper with the word “Khang” written on it. I then learnt that this was his name. I also learned that Khang was an army veteran from Amristar. After a long interesting conversation about politics, Indian culture and my itinerary, Khang invited me to stay with his family in the North of India. Sadly I had to decline, but I left with an overwhelming feeling of warmth and hospitality.

I had booked my transfer from the airport with “women on wheels” an organisation of female drivers set up to provide employment for local women and safe transport for solo female travellers. Along with my driver Sunita, I had a baptism of fire on Delhi’s insane roads. Zipping in and out of multiple lanes and dodging trucks while repeatedly honking the horn of her little Tata car, “how is my driving?” she laughed! Little did I know, that this was actually the norm.  We passed a distinct monkey temple on Karol Bagh and arrived at my hotel breathing a sign of relief!

Going solo in Delhi
I decided not to miss a single moment of my trip and I jumped straight into Delhi. Since I was new to the city I asked the hotel to organise a driver for me. I agreed a price of 800 Rupees for 4 hours and set off to see the local sights. First stop was the Indian parliament and India Gate which is a war memorial in New Delhi surrounded by beautiful green gardens.

Humayan’s Tomb
My first experience of beautiful Indian architecture came from the vast and opulent tomb of the Mughal Emporer Humayan. I spent hours wandering around the main tomb itself and the many other tombs housing the remains of subsequent emperors and descents of Humayan.

After a long day of sightseeing I ended my first day in India by ordering far too much food at a recommended restaurant and experienced my first wild monkey!

Little did I know that day one in India was just a quick intro to a country that was just waiting to be explored. I can’t wait to tell you about what happened next.

Clair x

30 comments

  1. Despite the negative news and crimes against women in India, you went there by yourself. BRAVO! I always thought that news were sensationalized.

    Lately, I have been reading more blogs on India and I must say that I find it fascinating. Culturally, we are so different and there is so much to see and experience. I am sure a month in India is equivalent to a lifetime of memories for you.

    http://www.amazinglifedaily.com

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  2. Ok, this is really good. It's been my dream to go visit India. I've seen so many great places there (through pictures). I have asked my wife if we could go there. It's still up in the air. Lovely pictures.

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  3. You remind me of my trip to India and the first day I arrived in India by myself. I arrived during the night, but the first thing I visited was Humayan's Tomb. You seem to have had better weather than me, I was there in December/January 2014/2015 and it was all foggy and cold. We should do a trip together, it seems we are going to the same places anyway, haha. 🙂

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  4. Beautiful trip, now I am inspired to see India! I've always been warned that solo backpacking as a female is not the smartest thing to do, but I wonder did you feel unsafe at all during your India trip? I'd like to know more!

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  5. I love travel and culture, and especially since I am a yoga instructor and practitioner, India is on my bucket list! I don’t normally travel alone, but this is something I wanted to do alone, being the birthplace of yoga, I wanted a more solemn trip. People warned me though that India is not the place to be alone, so I am very interested in your post. I will take note of “women on wheels” if I ever decide to go ahead with this! It seems if taking tours as you did, rather than attempting to go on your own, makes it safer. The sites look breathtaking! I’m getting inspired to go!

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  6. Great pictures! I would love to explore Delhi myself one day. I love how their architecture is done and I'm always intrigued by their rich history.

    Way to go for going solo. Sure must be fun and exciting as well as it being a challenge.

    Your post inspired me to definitely plan a trip here. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. The architecture is so traditional, it's stunning. I feel like dehli screams culture ! I would love to visit the city myself one day but I feel like I can't travel solo … I will get bored really quickly

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  8. Well, first of all congratulations for your successful attempt to travel to India alone… gosh I hope I also have the guts to do the same… it must take a lot of courage to explore a country that you are not fully aware of…
    what really amaze me about India aside from their fascinating culture are the buildings with intricate carvings and paintings!
    thanks for giving us a tour

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  9. I read so many blog posts about India and it never bores me. It's such an amazing and interesting country!
    I love how you have many pictures to illustrate your text. Oh and congrats on the courage to travel alone, i honestly admire that!

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  10. Delhi is just a small glimpse of what India is all about. Do try and venture Rajasthan and Kerela next time you are here. And yes, I hate the honking of the cars too, but in Delhi people just see it as a regular practice. Infact, when I moved to Mumbai, I used to wonder how people manage without honking. Over the years you hear honking here as well, but nothing like what you experienced :).

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  11. Hi Perna,
    I did go to Rajasthan, Utter Praddesh and Mahdya Praddesh. I hope to return some day and see Kerala and the South of India. I will be writing some more on my trip to India if you would like to read more 🙂

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  12. I do not know if I could travel to India by myself but I am proud of you! That is really cool that you didn't wait for other people and you got something you wanted done. Your first day sounds great and so interesting. The wild monkey would definitely make me nervous!
    http://www.cheerykitchen.com

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  13. Man, I just recently tried out traveling by myself in my own country, but the guts to go on the airport and travel in another foreign country alone is something that I still can't fathom hahaha! I'm excited to hear more and to see how you have immersed yourself in the indian culture! By the way, your photos look amazing! 🙂

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