Delightful Delhi!

We arrived in India on our first visit, in early November 2017. After a fantastic three week tour of southern India, we flew to Delhi for a few days. Delhi is a vibrant city that is worth visiting, but sadly has a horrible pollution problem.  The city is however working to improve the situation.  

We hadn’t planned a long stay in Delhi, so to maximise our time we had booked an Old Delhi tour.  We were picked up bright and early on our first morning, and took a fun tour of Old Delhi – a combination of walking and rickshaw – with India Arrival Tours.  This was very well organized, and timings were adjusted to suit our last-minute need for changes. We took a rickshaw to the spice market wedding market, and then enjoyed walking around, looking at the delicious looking foods available, and the beautiful fabrics and accessories for weddings.

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We visited the Raj Ghat, on the banks of the Yamuna river, where several prominent Indian politicians have been cremated. In particular, this is the memorial site for Mohandas (Mahatma) K. Gandhi, Indian independence activist, who was assassinated in 1948.

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Danila getting mehndi

While in Delhi, we caught up with some friends, who very kindly invited us to join them at the wedding celebration of a cousin. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to catch a glimpse of Delhi life. Everyone was very welcoming, and we so much enjoyed being a small part of this important event.

We learned a little about the traditions: first the groom’s family arrives, and dances and sings, typically for a long time, requesting entrance. In the meantime, the bride’s family has put a ribbon across the entrance, until negotiations have been completed. (In reality, negotiations have already taken place, this is just the symbolic enactment.)

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the beautiful mother and sister of the groom, Delhi wedding

Before the groom and his family arrive, guests start arriving and enjoy the pre-wedding entertainment, the food, and chatting with family and friends.

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Once the groom has been allowed in, he waits on the stage for the bride to finish her preparations. Finally, she processes towards him, with her family.

groom prepares for the bride’s arrival, Delhi wedding

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The bride and groom and meet, and show themselves to family and friends on top of a revolving podium, complete with rose petals flung into the air, a mass of cameras, including an overhead drone.

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Photos are taken with the bride and groom and an endless array of family and friends.

Posing with the bride and groom, Delhi wedding

After this, the most significant part of the ceremony occurs. The sacred fire is lit, and the bride and groom make seven circles around the fire, while uttering promises and taking seven vows to each other. We felt very honoured to be included in this special occasion, and wish the bride and groom much happiness together.

Delhi is a busy, bustling city, like all capitals. It’s well worth a visit.

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2 thoughts on “Delightful Delhi!”

  1. The wedding must have been a wonderful experience. We did a tour of Delhi too around the Chandri Chowk area. In all we had about 9 days I Delhi I think. It’s an amazing city.
    Alison

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