Weeks before our arrival, Delhi’s Metro system was greatly expanded as part of infrastructure improvements for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The Delhi Metro is wonderful and makes visiting India’s capital easy. While I wouldn’t suggest bypassing an auto-rickshaw ride or walking the side streets of old Delhi, the Metro is a cheap, clean, air conditioned way to travel around Delhi, without the hassels of traffic and gridlock.
From our guest house in south Delhi, it was about a 30 minute and US$0.40 ride to Old Delhi and less to Dilli Haat, Hauz Khas, and other areas we visited.
Important things to know about the Metro:
1) Security is taken very seriously. Everyone must go through a screening before entering the platform with separate lines for men and women. Armed miliary personel can be seen in many stations, and photos are prohibited (found out after taking these, I promise I did not sneak them.)
2) Guide books are not updated for the recent metro station expansions. I learned the hard way, don’t rely on a guidebook or even station names to get to a destination on the Metro. Get specific directions from as many Delhi-wallas as you can find and don’t be hesitant to ask for directions.
3) The Metro is very popular, and train cars get very, very crowded at all hours. Despite the crowds (and stares), we found everyone but the older Indian women to be very considerate. (An Indian-American friend warned me about the older women’s aggressive elbowing tendencies and WOW, she wasn’t exaggerating.) I highly recommend the women-only car for mom’s and young children which is less crowded. Dad can stand at the back of the women only car if it isn’t full.