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India: Delhi rickshaws

Delhi rickshaws | India | Asia

[Visited: June 2003]

Traffic in Delhi is as congested as you could expect of the capital of a country with more than a billion inhabitants. It consists of any possible vehicle from the latest versions of Mercedes to a hand-pushed wooden cart. While it is exciting just to look at, it is even better to dive into it. The best way to do so, is to take a motorized rickshaw. These are nothing more than three-weeled scooters with a roof and a seat in the back. Before setting off, you need to negotiate a price or, better still, persuade them to use their meter. After the usual hassle, off you go!

Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Indian nrickshaws in New Delhi

The biggest advantage over a taxi is that the rickshaw is open, which means you might get some refreshing wind inside while you go, and you can directly sense the smokes, shouting, chaos, every day life while you criss-cross through the traffic. The downside of the rickshaw being open is that, once you come to a stand still, the heat falls upon you mercilessly. The seat in the back can comfortably take two not-too-big passengers, but many rickshaws take much more: washing machines, enormous boxes, and all kinds of other cargo, plus passengers!

Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Rickshaw in New Delhi street

Taking a ride in a rickshaw in Delhi is not for the fainthearted. Their flexibility is a major advantage in the chaotic traffic, and the driver takes full advantage of this. He takes you from left to right, cutting corners where possible, passing others on all sides, and when necessary, driving in the wrong direction. He will steer his vehicle in every little hole he thinks his rickshaw fits. Apparently, their biggest challenge is to stop at the last possible moment. Fortunately, drivers have an incredible sense of the dimensions of their rickshaw, and just when you are convinced that you're going to crash into a car or cow, your driver steers you safe in a last, brisk manoeuvre.

Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Two rickshaws waiting in street, New Delhi
Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Digital fare meter for rickshaw, New Delhi
Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Rickshaw in New Delhi traffic
Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Rickshaw parking in New Delhi
Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Rickshaw waiting for a ride, New Delhi
Picture of Delhi rickshaws (India): Number plate of rickshaw, New Delhi

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