Paharganj is a fun place to visit and shows you the real india. It has hundreds of hotels and small shops. There are people who will try to sell hard, give you bargain offers or even try to trick you. I come here every year as it is perfectly placed next to new delhi railway station. And with my experience, I have learnt where to buy and where not to buy.
Unique Suggestions: For shopping, go to R. Expo House next to big mosque on main bazaar. I think the address is 1115 Main Bazaar. This is by far the cleanest and biggest shopping place. They have some of the most fantastic smelling fragrances and perfumes. I really like their solid perfumes and oils. And their soaps, the best scent and most refreshing. I think it is by the name of Song of India.
For eating, go to Sita Ram's Chola Batura. Though, it can be a bit unhygienic, but really tasty!
For hotels, be careful and choose a hotel based on cleanliness level. Hari Piorko is okay, but not always good price.
For buying local handicrafts and indian clothes, though there are several shops but I go to R. Expo again. Their handicrafts are of good quality and last longer. And, I get good collection too.
For transportation, I take a rickshaw or go to R. K Ashram metro station. Paharganj is very well connected with the entire Delhi. Because of CWG games, the roades are broader and less traffic. It is less chaotic and easier to travel.
For business, there are a lot of export shops here. You have to be very careful whom to do business with. I have learnt from my mistakes. Hari Piorko is unorganized but has a lot beads selection. They don't deliver to their commitments and one time I ordered, my stuff never came. Shell Expo have duplicate stuff and horrible to work with. R. Expo are trusted and fine to work with. Got a good choice of incense - nag champa and hem. Surya exports also keep incense, but packaging not that good. Khusboo exports keep synthetic perfumes labelled natural.
Fun Alternatives: Look for these shops online and place order to them on phone or by email.
India was the last stop for me on a year long wandering walk about through Asia. I had seen the street kids in Cambodia, spent on Vietnamese beachs, become immune to the dirty babies on the backs of Tibetan teen mothers begging for medicine, dealt with Chinese cabbies, haggled with Indonesian art dealers and had even spent a month in Kerala in the south of India just prior to coming to Dehli. A full year of nonstop haggling and budget travel; but nothing prepared me for the hussle overload that is the Paharganj. Nothing. It was truly overwhelming. From the minute you step into the street until you lock your door safely behind you at night there is someone at your side pumping your hand selling you a freaking carpet. I do have one tourist trap in particular that I fell for. I did the same thing in Bangkok and it worked out for me, so I was open to the idea in India. Here is it........as you leave the Paharganj in a hired rickshaw the driver will stop and pick up a friend. The friend explains that he will take you around the city and show you the sights for free. The catch is that you have to go into gov't 'cottage industry' shops for a couple minutes and look around. You don't have to buy anything, just resist the high pressure sales pitch for 15 minutes and leave. Sounds like a fair trade right? I mean, I have been resisting high pressure sales pitches for going on 12 months now I am a pro. The deal is the drivers get a commission for every tourist they bring in to browse so they 'guides' are making money by you just being there. And it kinda works out, but not really. You end up seeing the inside of alot of shops, but very few monuments. It is better to just get out and find a rickshaw that you can pay with money. Also, if a driver offers to take you to a shop know what you are getting into and negotiate the price of the drive accordingly.....he is making money from your browsing.
Unique Suggestions: Get a rickshaw that will take cash. Specify a price and demand no shopping BEFORE you get into the auto. Never pay until you get there.
Please carefull when you visit in India mostely Railway Station, Airport and another Important tourist Place.You find the Touts like, May i help you, I am belong Goverment of India tourists help, etc.
On 11th Feb 2005 happen with my tourist is this.
Dear Mr Mahavir ,
when we were at the station we ask somebody for the entrance you mentioned. Then he saw the telefon number on my paper. He dialed on his mobile phone and gave me the phone. I thougt it was you that I was talking to. Wasn`t it You?
Dear Mr. Yadav,
I feel very sorry about all that. I thought I know most of the tricks of the
people who work with tourists, but this man was very clever. I realy thought
that you have annother customer and for this case you work with an office to
make shure that I will get another driver. After the travell with the train we
were tired and in that moment not very clever. Please write all your custerms
when you want to meet them that they shall not go with other people.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid and Don't belive them Please.
Fun Alternatives: when you miss your Resiver on the Railway Station/Airport. Please Dial the number your self or check the number there you want to call or find Relaible Place to confrom for all details otherwise get a problem that is you never have been in your Dream.
It can often happen that your cab driver or some random guy who accosts you while you are walking along with a `i am new here' look on your face, that you will be told that the hotel you have made your booking with or are headed to, is full.
They will offer to take you to some alternate place- almost sounding like they are being helpful. These guys obviously get a cut from the other hotel to bring in customers.
This is not uncommon for hotels in the Paharganj area- the backpackers zone.
Unique Suggestions: Try and pre-arrange an airport pick up with the hotel you are booked into, many will organise a cab guy to wait for you at the airport exit with a placard with your name...
Otherwise, try to get a cab booked at the pre-paid taxi counter operated by the police, near the exit. They assign cabs to you, and make a note of your name/cab number/ destination etc before you set off. Its not fool-proof, but a deterent still...
when you travel in Delhi be careful of touts/Auto Driver they want to take you to Tourist office free of coast or even less Price.But they may never take you to the right Place of Tourist Office.There are lots of place with a big sign board of tourist Information,Be careful when you deal with them.
Unique Suggestions: Don't belive themTake Taxi from your hotel.Then it will be the responsibility of Hotel authorities.Learn a few words of Hindi and a lot of people might think you have been living here for a while and hence you are familiar with the place.
Fun Alternatives: Never travel/walk alone late evening/night. Donot wear heavy jewellery and display heavy cash .Donot wear to less cloths or too mutch make-up. lots of touts always keep your eyes your beongings. Many guys looking to find womens for sex......but they can do nothing untill you support them ..... Just ignore strangers.......on streets .
Many forgenirs like to have sex , please do not show that you are tempted for fun .
Govt. of India Tourist Office is on 88 Janpath Road Connaught Ph 23320005 Or contact Tourist Police have a nice trip surely.
Dont ever try to get some cheap rental places near the area called PAharganj.Getting a room there is dirt cheap but its a crime area where a lot of robberies have taken place in the past and a lot of foriegners have been arrested for possession of drugs.
DONT BE NEAR THAT PLACE!