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Tour On a Rickshaw in Delhi

So, what’s it like to see the streets of Delhi? Well, I must say that Delhi is just like any other city in a developing country, dusty, polluted and chaotic. But don’t get me wrong, that is the fun of living in a big city, full of people, full of life. Street life is everything, it’s where you see the truth of life. Recently I experienced a fraction of street life in Delhi while riding on a rickshaw that took my husband and I through a busy market street on a Friday.

The ride was supposed to cost us 100 rupee each; which means for the two of us it could cost us 200 rupee, and the rickshaw rider was a skinny young lad and I was unsure whether he could manage both of us.


The rickshaw man took us through the alleyways between Jama Masjid Road, Chawri Bazaar, and Nai Sarak Marg, where the real city life was happening.

As he peddled on, he keep on shouting to the people in front of him to tell them that we were coming and to give way.


We turn to "narrower street", where the ride began

We turned into a “narrower street”, where the ride began

I wondered if there were any regulations for this small “street”, whether it was a one way street or a two way street? or whether this street was exclusively for rickshaws or not, but obviously its not as ahead is a car going into the narrow street.


Things they sell along the street

Things sold along the street

Along the route he tried to explain to us whereabouts in the section of the bazaar we were, as we passed by the gold selling stores, then the sari selling stores… and he yelled again to tell people we were coming.

As we made another turn, the street was getting narrower, but that didn’t mean that less activities, as more and more people were on the street with all sorts of activities, from selling goods on the floor (not inside a shop or kiosk) to moving goods either with or without trolley/wheelbarrow.

I guessed as this street should have been a one way street by now, as there was no space for people to walk side by side with our rickshaw, but oops I was wrong:

another rickshaw going to different direction to us....

Another rickshaw going in a different direction to us….


Out of nowhere, there was this man suddenly walking in front of us carrying “tons” of….

a man with a sack of .... walk slowly infront of us

A man with a sack of …. walking slowly in front of us what should we do…?

and another one, this time in a more massive size.

and another one, this time with an even bigger load.


On this street, it seemed life and the excitements not only happened on the surface, as another excitement was happening on top of the electricity pole;


where all the wiring of the power supply for the shops are entangled together and "working" very hard, just like what's going on on the surface of the street.

where all the wiring for the power supply to the shops are entangled together and “working” very hard, just like what’s going on at street level.


where all the wiring of the power supply for the shops are entangled together and “working” very hard, just like what’s going on at street level.

Monkey on the wire

Monkey on the wire

I wondered whether this monkey tried to fix the wiring system or it’s the one who messed it all up… or it’s just taking the advantage of the messy power cables.


What about these guys? are they trying to fix the problem? or trying to catch the “un-authorised wire specialist” (the monkey)? or maybe they are on a suicide mission, trying to get themselves electrocuted.


And the excitement didn’t stop there, as soon as we got out of the “alleyway” this is the other side of street life:

Waiting to be picked up

Waiting to be picked up

A sewage truck got stuck in a ditch, waiting to get lifted back to street level, while the majority of the people seemed not to worry at all.

I guess this is what the real life is. It was chaos, and it’s been working like this for decades, and counting.  I am glad to see and experience this first hand, I guess this is what happens in developing countries. I was pampered for the last 8 years living in Doha with everything looking modern and clean. On the other hand, as somebody coming from Indonesia, this was how I grew up, with unorganized chaos, this also reminded me of our very own traditional market, minus the monkey, all activities and excitement are jumbled up together. I had been there….

Our tour guide

Our tour guide with a personality.

Thanks to my rickshaw man who give us a quick and effective guide through the alleyways. It was an exciting ride and in the end we gave him 500 rupee from the both of us.


  1. Iwan Diran

    Nice article on a ride in a rickshaw, it reminded me of the childhood in Jakarta with becak…
    Thanks & cheers


    • Yes, it really was like riding on a becak, but the difference is the atmosphere… as the fibrance and the hustle and bustle of the city is so alive….
      Thanks for dropping by anyway.


  2. Muhani Irawati Nandana

    I remember the “cow dung” part which was used as “charcoal” as a replacement of a heater – I also know how they produce them. Every afternoon they collect the “cow dung” and make them similar to potato patties then slam them on to the outside part of the wall of the house and parched by the sund they dry out naturally and fall off the wall once they are dry then they get collectected to be used as charcoal. I was quite shock to see the process and it remained in my mind years after – that was in 1952 when I was 8 years old……th positive side of it,, it is a natural product when one consider that cows only eat grass….it is not that bad.


    • And obviously the ingeneous technology hasn’t change since….. 🙂
      Thanks for the additional info T. Han….


  3. “Street life is everything, it’s where you see the truth of life.” I love this sentence at the beginning of the post. So many things happen on the streets. A lot of the time I don’t think we think about people watching us when we’re out on this streets, so really we can get caught out doing or saying anything.

    Great photos, loved every one of them. I like the last one the most. Looking right into your lens and I can definitely believe it when you say he’s a tour guide with a personality. He looks young, though 🙂


    • Yes, city life is reflected from its street. the crazier the street the livelier the city. In Delhi you will feel it not only on the main street but especially on the smaller street.

      Thank you for dropping by, its nice to hear the comment from you. Please visit again soon.


  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Missionary IOU 差情尋

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