Delhi Can be Chaotic
by Douglas Scott

The capital of a country with over a billion people, Delhi lies towards the central north of India. Delhi is different things to different people. For uninitiated visitors, a visit to Delhi is worn as a badge of honour. Its not a terrible place, but as a first introduction to India, its not particularly flattering. Delhi can be chaotic and overwhelming at times, and many visitors retreat to the leafy order of the well kept diplomatic enclave.

Although the attractions of Delhi dont match the stunning sites elsewhere on the subcontinent, it does have quite a bit to see. Theres a sprinkling of grand history and depth to the rather flat and sprawling capital, much more than many other big cities in Asia. If you believe all the horror stories you hear about this crossroads of the subcontinent, you might just be pleasantly surprised when you arrive.

Delhi is the symbol of old India and new. Even the stones here whisper to our ears of the ages of long ago and the air we breathe is full of the dust and fragrances of the past, as also of the fresh and piercing winds of the present.

On first impressions, with its jam packed streets, tower blocks and temples, forts, mosques and colonial mansions, can be both disorienting and fascinating.

In Delhi, it is almost impossible to obtain an alcohol license. Most of the swishiest bars and nightclubs are in the five star international hotels with prices to match. Apart from these hotels, the drinking venues of Delhi are located around Connaught Place, with various outposts in the more upmarket southern suburbs.

Wine in Delhi is expensive and often of questionable quality those who wish to drink would be wise to stick to spirits, cocktails or beer. There is no minimum drinking age, however the minimum purchasing age in India is 18 years. The price of a beer in Delhi can vary considerably, depending on the establishment.

There are no casinos in Delhi as gambling in India with the exception of the racecourse is illegal.

There are around half a dozen discos that are regular haunts of up scale Delhiites. Most are in the luxury hotels and several of them have a couples only policy, as well as a dress code.

Most of the cultural centres host exhibitions and concerts, as well as presenting films in English or their native language.

Local newspapers publish daily and weekly listings of all events and are a good reference for anyone interested in sampling the rich cultural life of Delhi.