New Delhi is a clean modern city that contains the Embassies, tourist hotels and shopping centres that most modern capital cities have. However there is also old Delhi which is a little run down and doesn’t really give a damn about tourists and prefers to stay the way it’s always been.
Nothing wrong with that but it also wants to attract the financial benefits brought by tourists without putting in the effort of making them feel welcomed. Of course they can’t have it both ways and the epitome of this dilemma is the Red Fort.
This item is in desperate need of cleaning, a little maintenance and some entrepreneurial flare. When you consider the basic offering, it is tired, dirty and in need of some renovation (a little like me really). It is registered as a world heritage site, but is poorly cared for. However with cleaning, a little restoration and some imagination it could be a major international attraction. If the site was improved, even superficially, and a group of people acting as soldiers, dressed in the uniforms from the days of the British Raj, were introduced, with two flag raising/lowering ceremonies each day a little like the Wagah border, this would be a fantastic attraction.
The Jantar Mantar observatory is an interesting attraction, built in the 18th Century and employing large brick built astronomy instruments, and there are several others, such as the India Gate, but I was under whelmed at the offerings of such a culturally rich capital city.
To cap it all I have caught a cold, or I hope that’s what it is as there is a near epidemic of ‘dengue’ in Delhi. The papers are claiming that the health service hospitals have no vacant beds, little medicine and that patients are being discharged before they are well. A bit like the UK without the problem of MRSA!!
We will move on to Agra and the Taj Mahal.