Although my new friend from Udaipur, Akhand, taught me that in India there is no system, I actually found one. The Delhi subway.
A relatively new addition to the city (the first line opened about two years ago), the small line of mostly underground railways is extremely efficient, clean, cheap and pollution-free. While it would have taken at least thirty minutes and cost about 50 rupees to ride a rickshaw from North Delhi to the shopping center, Connaught Place, the subway took less than ten minutes and cost 11 rupees. Most importantly, it provides you with a smog-free way to travel around a limited portion of the city. It’s great for making big leaps and then it’s easy enough to take a quick trip by rickshaw to your exact destination.
A couple of locals (including a taxi driver!) had recommended this as a way of getting around. Dubious about its cleanliness and wondering whether it would be safe for me as a woman, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea, until I saw this beautiful system.
There were rarely crowds and, more often than not, I was able to sit, giving me added protection from any potential pickpockets or gropers. My fears were unfounded and I never felt unsafe.
The underground station for the Delhi subway system.
Looking down the cars on the very clean subway.
Now, if only the rest of the city could be as efficient and clean!