I would have much rather been stuck between a rock and a hard place, than stuck between a hundred other people that we found ourselves amongst at Chandi Chowk. Best known for being one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, I would take that a step farther and say that Chondi Chowk is the busiest, most congested place in all of India, if not the world. We were absolutely dumbfounded at the massive amounts of people, cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, trucks, bicycles and anything else that could move, that were crammed into the narrow streets and alleys. Walking past vendors involved less of you actually walking freely at your own pace, and more of being shoved from behind and in return, shoving those you were smashed up against in front of you. Needless to say, personal space does not exist here. It was so crowded that if I had an itch on my leg I could not bend over to scratch it. If I wanted to turn around and head the other direction, I would have had to fight my way out of the river of people and elbow my way in to the swarms heading the opposite direction. The constant touching, poking, shoving and smashing of peoples wasn’t even the most bothersome part. What sent Britt and I searching for the Advil was the noise and smells that went along with Chandi Chowk. Vendors yelling, trying to get you to buy their product, people gabbing into their phones, cars honking, the places of worship blaring prayers, people haggling prices, and so on and so on. On top of all that the smells took this experience and turned in into, what I would suggest, was a mild nightmare. Exhaust (so much of it), incense, oil for frying, smoke, garbage, and the smell that comes along with hundreds of people crammed into a small space. Now, with all of that said, I am glad that we went and experienced this. It was something that we will never forget and perhaps, something we would have regretted not doing had we skipped out on it. Will we ever go again. No. Absolutely not. Never.
Why did we venture into this chaos, you ask? Again, thanks to Lonely Planet, we were on a mission to taste the best parathas (fried bread) in Delhi, at a place called Paratha Gali Wali. This vendor was tucked back in an alleyway, so it was a bit less chaotic than the main streets, only because cars were too large to fit down the narrow path. Motorcycles, however, found their way back there. Here is a short video I took while waiting for parathas. Notice at the 30 second mark a guy on a motorcycles is making his way through the crowd. It was absolutely insane!
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