The Paharganj market was one of the few sights we saw on our second day in India, only a short walk from our hotel. But even a short walk is an experience in India.
Crossing the road from our hotel requires a mix of stupidity and skill. You can wait for a gap in the traffic, one might appear, some day. But your best bet is to wait for it to become a little lighter and then start squeezing your way across. You needto have faith that the traffic will move around you and mostly it does, unless you challenge something too big like a truck or a bus. They will all honk at you too, as is standard. Having crossed the road we made our way down towards the New Delhi train station before turning towards the market. The footpath is sometimes there, sometimes not, but always lined with the trash of the streets. We observed rats running down the gutter opposite restaurants we would never brave. Shortly before turning on to the market street the acrid scent of urine stung our nostrils from some unseen place.
The markets themselves had plenty on show it if you wanted the standard Indian fare – saris, shoes, jewellery, hats, bags, general clothing and cheap electronics. After a while it begins to repeat itself and despite the urging of the various shop owners that they have the highest class of their particular product, you will no doubt find it somewhere further down the road.
Apparently Paharganj is at the lower end of markets in terms of price, so if that is your thing it is perhaps worth the side trip.