Riding the Delhi Metro During Crush Hour

The Delhi Metro.

 

Holy Moly, you guys.

 

A bit of advice for expats braving the Delhi Metro.

 

Hands down, riding the Delhi metro is the most chaotic traveling situation I’ve ever been in.

 

Important Travel Tip:

 

If you ask directions, ask a minimum of three people for the same bit of advice.

 

Never forget that your culture travels with you only in your heart. You may very well find that while traveling in Asia you’ll never hear the words “I don’t know”. If you ask a question, you will be given an answer. Regardless of if the person knew the answer.

 

Aaaaand, that’s how we find ourselves a little lost on the Delhi Metro on a recent day trip. Thankfully it didn’t cause a problem for our schedule but we did waste a good hour.

 

Delhi Metro Sign

Also, it comes in handy to know how to read Hindi. I realize most tourists won’t have that skill at their disposal. I read Hindi like a kindergartner but it was encouraging to be able to read “You are here” once or twice. Of course, after painstakingly reading this Hindi metro sign, I found a sign in English at the other end of the platform.

 

I was feeling pretty hard core for riding the metro in Delhi, in standing room only, until we switched lines. Nothing can prepare you for the Blue Line during rush hour. Or as it’s affectionately called, crush hour. It looks a lot like this.

 

delhi metro rush hour

People clawing their way out. People pushing their way in. Intense is an understatement.

 

Once you’re in the crowd to get on, you couldn’t not board if you tried. Everyone behind you pushes in a collective effort to cram as many sardines people as possible onto to train. I never could have imagined that so many bodies could fit in one compartment. “Standing room only” doesn’t properly describe it. You’re packed in so tightly, if someone passed out, they’d continue to stand upright.

 

Also, fair warning – there may be groping. My fifteen year experienced some wandering hands.

 

But that’s not the hard part. The truly scary bit is trying to get back off. After you’ve been squished into the train, at every stop after that you continue to somehow get forced further and further away from the door. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Seriously zip.

 

So you’d better be good and ready when your stop comes. Elbows out, people. You yell and push to get to the door because you only get one chance. We barely got all six of us off, with my husband pulling up the rear and kicking the doors back open.

 

riding the metro

In hindsight, not a great way to travel with kids. There’s a very real chance of getting separated, I would think. Jeremy and I both clung desperately to our youngest two so they wouldn’t get trampled or left behind.

 

The picture to the right is my daughter when we only thought we were crowded. Soon after that the Blue Line put us in our place.

 

Whew.

 

Have you ever ridden the metro anywhere?

 



Booking.com

Jessica

Comments

  1. I grew up in NY City, and subway system there can get crazy, but occasionally there was hope of getting a seat. Looks like you couldn’t even see if there were seats there in Delhi! Guess I’d try to avoid crush hour, if that’s possible and safe…

  2. Being Southern born and bred…I’d probably die of polite-ness on the Blue Line.

  3. Oh jeez, and I thought the metro in London was bad during rush hour! This seems like proper hell, I really like my personal space and I guess I wouldn’t have any on these metros. Respect that you brought your kids on their, I think my parents would have had a proper freak out if they had to do that when I was little!

  4. hahaha! very entertaining to read and definitely informative. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. Wow. This is worse than rush hour in NYC! I actually saw an undercover cop arrest a guy for groping a woman on the subway even though she didn’t realize it herself. That was awesome of the cop!

  6. Oh God, I don’t think I would have survived that! I’ve been on the London Underground during rush hour and I thought that was bad!