There is no better way of seeing and understanding India’s capital than by taking a ride on back a rickshaw through the streets of Old Delhi. Built in 1639 as the Mughal capital Shahjahanabad ( شاه جهان آباد) the intensely crowded and dilapidated streets of Old Delhi remain the heart and soul of the city and are a sight to see. For the narrow, shadowy streets of Old Delhi offer a glimpse into what life was once like and still is for millions of Indians.
On back of a rickshaw, be prepared to be thrust into humanity and taken away by all one’s senses. The sights, smells, sounds, feel and taste of the place is enough to put any reasonable person over the edge. It is an overwhelming experience especially in the midst of Delhi’s infamous summer heat with highs reaching the unbearable 120 degrees. Yet it is an experience of a lifetime that will shed light onto this vibrant country filled with complexity and contradictions in every aspect of life.
Here are the photos taken from the bumpy ride on back of a rickshaw through the narrow streets of Old Delhi ( I was unable to stop so all these photos were taken in motion). I left the ones of my driver in this set so you can see how incredibly narrow these streets are to manage on a rickshaw. Sadly, most rickshaw drivers barely make ends meet and oftentimes live on the street next to their rickshaw fighting to survive. Another tragedy of Old Delhi is the state of the buildings. Many are falling apart and recently one collapsed to the ground in the middle of the night while 35 people slept right through their death. It is one of many sad realities of life on the streets of India.
And then emerging once again back into the heart of Delhi, rubbing my eyes to make sure what I just saw was actually real.