July 1, 2009:

Flight from Leh to Delhi
Delhi Sightseeing: Chandni Chowk
Evening flight back home
We got up early. Our flight was at 7 am. We left the hotel at 5:30 am. At the airport we had to
go through a couple of checkpoints until we made it into the departure lounge.
Our Kingfisher Airline flight was pretty much on time. We again had great seats in the
emergency exit row. At first we had some nice views of the Leh valley and the Ladakh and
Zanskar ranges before the clouds moved in.
Approaching Delhi we had to circle for a while before we were allowed to land. At the
arrival hall, Sonka was there to pick us up. At first we brought Graham back to the Imperial
Hotel. We said goodbye to our trekking companion and then drove on to Paharganj. We got
a room for the day at the Jyoti Mahal. I went across the street to meet with Dhruk Travel.
Prince was there and we had a nice talk. I told him that Marc and I wanted to go to Chandni
Chowk in the early afternoon and wanted Sonka to bring us there.
After having lunch at the hotel, Marc and I left at about 1 pm. It was hot!!! Sonka dropped us
off at the same parking lot where we had been a few weeks earlier, between the Red Fort
and Jama Masjid, in the heart of the action.
We walked over to where Chandni Chowk ends at the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort. Then we
turned west and walked along Chandni Chowk. Chandni Chowk is Old Delhi's main
thoroughfare. It teems with people, honking cars, rickshaws, ox carts, etc. Every side street
is its own bazaar and waiting to be explored.
Among the interesting sights along Chandni Chowk is Lali Mandir, a Jain Temple, a Mc
Donalds (where they serve mutton burgers), Gurudwara Sisganj, a Sikh Temple and, at its
western end, the Fahtepuri Mosque.
What impressed me most was the amount of people and the amount of shops seemingly
offering the same stuff. In particular, many many tailoring shops. Marc and I also went
through some of the side alleys and here the same thing: shop next to shop and masses of
people everywhere. What a great place!!!
It was very hot (114 degrees Fahrenheit) and humid. After we visited the Fahtepuri Mosque
on the west side and walking back towards the Red Fort, Marc slowly became dehyrated
and he was glad when we finally were back at the Red Fort after about 2 hours exploring
Chandni Chowk.
We rested for a while at the Red Fort and then walked back to where our car was parked. I
was a little worried about Marc having gotten a heatstroke but once we were back in the
hotel he got better immediately.
I had one last pleasant visit with Prince, Ragesh and their mother. She is a great lady! Late
afternoon we had a shower, some more food from the hotel kitchen and then, around 6 pm,
Sonka drove us to the airport.
The flight from Delhi to Newark was "only" 15 hours or so. We arrived in Newark at 4:30 am
on July 2nd. Boarded a 7 am flight to Houston and were back home in time for lunch. All in
all a Marc and I had a great time in India. Time to plan another trip!!
McDonald's serving mutton burgers and Gurudwara Sisganj