With daytime temperatures now hovering around the 40 degree mark, I could forgive myself for putting off sightseeing another season. But I dragged myself out of bed at crowbreak on Friday morning for an excursion/recce to check out central Delhi's flower markets.
First stop was Old Delhi's Genda Phool Mandi market. Driving along Netaji Subhash road, I watched the sun rise over the Red Fort:
A left turn took me to Chandni Chowk; inside, Old Delhi was stirring. Men were wandering the empty blocks, brushing their teeth with the chewed ends of neem sticks, while schoolgirls commandeered cycle rickshaws to get to early tuitions. At the flower market, it was unloading hour, with trucks banked up along the length of the street, tossing tightly-tied parcels of marigolds over the sides. Along the street sat a row of men, patiently waiting for the whole thing to be set up so they could get to work. On one side of the road, the entrance to the Fatephuri masjid; I nearly accidentally walked in before I realised what it was.
Soon afterwards the flower rolls were unfurled and brisk trading kicked off, even at that early hour.
Next up was the Phool Mandi, closer to the centre of town at Connaught Place. Here, the market was already in full swing and in a relatively more developed area, meaning a paved surface and parking outside.
There's one more, in the southern suburb of Mehrauli, known for having a lot of Mughal ruins. That's next, hopefully.