Delhi and my mother - what to do!

#1 Apr 18th, 2018, 18:28
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#1
Hi, everyone. I've been gone for a few years simply because I haven't been able to afford a trip long enough to satisfy me.
Now my mother, who is 57, has decided she wants to see India before she gets old.

I am quite confident of the itinerary I set up (Delhi - Varanasi - Amritsar - Dharamsala - Agra -Delhi) , but I need some advice about Delhi:

My mom has specifically requested to experience "my" India, to be shown everything I have loved so deeply through the years. In Delhi part of that would be staying in the madness that is Paharganj. I want to share that with her, but quite frankly, I am scared that if we stay there the first night she'll just be exhausted!

We are staying one night at the start and two nights at the end of our trip. I need help deciding between the following two scenarios:

Staying the first night in a less unfamiliar environment somewhere in South Delhi and staying the last two nights, when she has learnt to navigate the country and culture, in Paharganj

OR

Diving straight in and staying the first night in Paharganj preparing her for anything - and then end the trip with a couple of nights in a cozy, relaxed hotel in Hauz Khas

Any opinions? Or tips in general?
#2 Apr 18th, 2018, 18:45
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#2
Well, 57 is not very old at all !

I'd take her straight to the madness of Paharganj and show her your favourite places.
#3 Apr 18th, 2018, 19:40
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#3
I know we have some experience in India, but last February we stayed for the first time in Paharganj and loved it. And we are nearly 75.

About your itinerary, have you considered to visit Varanasi at the end, between Agra and Delhi? It avoids some backtracking.
#4 Apr 18th, 2018, 19:54
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#4
I took my Dad to India several times when he was in his late 60s.

We also stayed in Paharganj and he loved it.

On the first day, a few hours after landing, I checked on him in his room in the hotel. No answer to my knocking on the door.

I went down to reception to ask if they had seen him "oh yes - he went out about an hour ago".

Argh! I thought to myself. Dad! Alone! First few hours in Delhi! He will be scammed! Or kidnapped! Or worse!!

...he returned after about three hours:

"Oh I was having a lovely time. There is a nice temple down the road. Got chatting with quite a few people too! I'm told there is a Catholic church not too far away. I'll go and visit that tomorrow"

So much for my paranoia about looking after him on a first trip!

Chris.
....
#5 Apr 18th, 2018, 19:57
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#5
Personally I would dive straight into Paharganj ,it is not that mad !!!

But a word of caution.Last year my long term girlfriend visited India for the first time.I duly met her at the airport,I had been in India for a couple of months,
took the metro to New Delhi station and walked over the footbridge to Chelmsford road turned right under the bridge on DB Gupta road to our hotel.This did not go down well at all !!!! Every time we went out we had to take an auto to avoid"That damn stinking bridge."

On returning to Delhi we stayed in Karol Bargh.
I still love Paharganj.
Happy travels ,Simon.
#6 Apr 18th, 2018, 20:38
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#6
You know what, I think I will. Thanks, you guys. Yes, she is not very old at all (especially me being 38), but she has been sick for a few years and very low on energy. We are going because she is finally feeling better, though, so I am really looking forward to it!

If you have more tips I'll be happy. I spent many years in India, but the last time was eight years ago.
#7 Apr 18th, 2018, 20:55
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra View Post Hi, everyone.

My mom has specifically requested to experience "my" India, to be shown everything I have loved so deeply through the years. In Delhi part of that would be staying in the madness that is Paharganj. I want to share that with her, but quite frankly, I am scared that if we stay there the first night she'll just be exhausted!

Any opinions? Or tips in general?
Paharganj for the first night would be OK if your mother is not too tired and jet lagged from the travel.

Just make sure you have a comfortable and decent hotel room in Paharganj to retreat to in case the madness of Paharganj is making your mother mad
#8 Apr 18th, 2018, 20:59
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#8
If you can afford it book a hotel with an airport pick-up, it makes traveling a lot easier.
#9 May 25th, 2018, 14:29
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#9
I have many years experience and speak decent Hindi, so I'm not that afraid of the transport part and know what to expect (also considering we are landing in the morning), but thanks, I will consider it.
#10 Jul 11th, 2018, 14:52
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Hm. I just let myself be persuaded by my best friend (who I brought to India twice) AND my Norwegian-Indian friend who grew up in Paharganj to change plans in order to let her her meet India in a less in-your-face-way. (They teamed up against me!) So we'll do it the other way around: We'll stay at a cozy place in Hauz Khas for the first night. It actually makes sense, we'll be closer to the airport for next day's morning flight. And then we'll stay in Paharganj for two nights on our way back.

Thanks for the advice still, everyone! I am SO looking forward to see that deeply beloved country again in just 79 days.
#11 Jul 11th, 2018, 14:56
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#11
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Originally Posted by Chandra View Post Norwegian-Indian friend who grew up in Paharganj
I'm curious! In the 1960s Paharganj wasn't a very reputable part of town. In those days Fatehpuri was where budget tourists sttayed.
#12 Jul 11th, 2018, 15:23
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#12
I don't know what you mean? That he doesn't know the area? His family is still there (some blocks north of Main Bazaar), and he visits a couple of times a year, so it is not like he doesn't know what it's like now.
The last time I was in Delhi I met up with him and hung out in Paharganj (as well as seeing a lot of cool Delhi stuff that I wouldn't have found otherwise.)
#13 Jul 11th, 2018, 15:29
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#13
..or how it was growing up there? I don't really know, he seems to have had a pretty average lower middle class Delhi upbringing, and remembers that a place in Main Bazaar that was a shady smoke-cigarettes-indoors-liquor-bar (eight years ago) used to be a family restaurant where he and his siblings would get ice cream.
#14 Jul 12th, 2018, 03:34
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post Well, 57 is not very old at all !

I'd take her straight to the madness of Paharganj and show her your favourite places.
Agree!

Let you mum explore the India madness. I didn't mind staying in the pottygunj. I just avoided eating from the kebab place with urinal opposite at the end of my hotels lane.
#15 Jul 12th, 2018, 04:19
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#15
I say let mum have a comfortable first night in a nice hotel. India can be so overwhelming for the first time visitor of any age, no need to experience the backpackers HQ area on the first night.

At the end of the day, you know your mum, we don't, so just chill and do what you feel is best.

Good luck!

Ed.

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