Delhi vs. Mumbai

Broad avenues of Central Delhi
Broad avenues of Central Delhi

The last month and a half have been both wonderful and tiring. I have been shuttling all over the place on work, pleasure and family commitments, and finally I’m back in the city I call home. Sadly my blog has suffered in the meanwhile, but Date with Delhi was always just a thought away…

Particularly when I was on a longish stint at Mumbai, itself a majestic city by any account, I often stumbled upon the never-ending debate of Delhi vs. Mumbai. Everybody was discussing it.

* Broad tree-lined avenues vs. narrow traffic-clogged roads

* Women’s safety issues vs. freedom even at midnight

* Extreme harsh temperatures vs. maddening rains

* Swanky metro vs. the lifeline of Mumbai- its local trains

* Weekends at lovely hill stations vs. pristine beaches

* Tikki chaat vs. vada pao..

….. and the list goes on.

IMG_20130702_161301
Mumbai rains

On the Date with Delhi facebook pageΒ one reader says: “Purani Dilli’s food and its monuments clinch it for me. However if I were a woman, I probably would have chosen Mumbai over Delhi.”

Another reader colorfully puts it as “for me Bombay was girlfriend and Delhi is wife. Both are loves, but then different kinds!”

As for me, a woman in Β in love with Delhi’s monuments and food, yet uncomfortable to venture out alone at night, I am simply unable to choose one over the other…

The jury is certainly out on this one. What are your views?

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26 Comments Add yours

  1. Mumbai is my muse whom I am obsessed about while Delhi is the new found love that charmed me. I just declared ma love for Delhi yet Mumbai mates called me traitor. Both are soulful cities in their on way:) They have their own charms.

    1. wanderfool says:

      Couldn’t agree more Vishal!

  2. Delhi certainly wasn’t kind to me http://acollectionofmusings.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/the-indian-airport-chronicles-delhi-edition/

    That being said Mumbai airport has also provided me with adventures I could do without

    1. wanderfool says:

      Just read your article- funny tone and sad state of affairs. That said, I am sure every city on the planet will have its own set of problems…I have had issues at San Francisco and London and Paris. There will always be a few in power who will be jerks and taint the reputation of others.

  3. Unfortunately, I cant compare cities as I have never been to Mumbai…but I like your comparisons.I really do wish Delhi was safe at night, it is a great city, so lively! Love the name of your blog too!

    1. wanderfool says:

      Thanks a lot, Amelia, and welcome to my blog. Indeed Delhi is a wonderful city….and if safety could be taken care of, I think it could be a world-class city.

  4. I would love to be in either city having not visited either! Also, had no idea you were a woman before! Now hoping I didn’t make silly remarks in the past on this blog!

    1. wanderfool says:

      Haha, not at all Ken πŸ™‚

      1. not that it matters, of course – just very unlike me to make an assumption… πŸ™‚

  5. My Say says:

    Mumbai is anytime better .. a lot different place than that city called Delhi ..i have stayed in both the cities .. Delhi is rough .. Mumbai is tough but not rough … people do not bother .. but they do not insult or misbehave..
    Mumbai is a little lonely .. Delhi is too poky and ill-mannered !
    The weather both in Delhi and Mumbai is horrible ! at par !
    Mumbai accommodations are awfully high.. Delhi is thankfully very economical .
    Mumbai an average meal can be managed in 60 bucks . Delhi ? forget it !!
    Mumbai looks lot lot lot safer than Delhi !!
    Mumbai is packed with UP ke Bhaiya … Delhi with Biharis .. they are considered same but .. still the former is better than the later .. as an auto driver , taxi guy, liftman or doodhwala .. or even a colleague in office !
    Mumbai trains are fast and experience is furious specially in the Western Line Trains .. Delhi life is cool in the metro train – just that annoying MIND THE GAP is irritating .
    πŸ˜‰

    1. wanderfool says:

      Thank you for the detailed analysis πŸ™‚

      1. My Say says:

        πŸ˜‰ thanks bro

  6. Ansh says:

    I am into Sales and Marketing I have been more or less to every city in India however comparison is between the Kings Delhi and Mumbai. I will give 9/10 to Delhi and 5/10 Mumbai. I had high hope with Mumbai (fast city, decent people, high salary, high standard of living) but I would say it is 20-30 years old story now. Its just a mind set of people. And the ground realities are (Mumbai seems to be expansive because of the salary trends are low, city is not that fast you can see that pace in every metro city in India, decency- I have come across with the misbehavior many times, Standard of living- lets go to Punjab you will be surprised). Safety point of view, yes Mumbai is safe but there is one more fact, Media in Delhi is real active comparatively so I would say there are many incidents happens everyday in Mumbai also… Please do not feel offensive people.

    1. wanderfool says:

      Hi Ansh, thanks so much for reading and offering your candid opinion on this heated debate!
      Welcome to Date with Delhi πŸ™‚

      1. Ansh says:

        Thanks πŸ™‚

  7. There is one major difference between both the cities, and that is ‘the pace’. Mumbai is a fast paced city, with no time to even breathe. You stop to catch your breath, BAM! You just missed you local. In Delhi, you can take a moment to admire the beauty around you, because you know the next metro/bus will be going to the same destination, and it will be around in another 3-4 minutes. In Mumbai, I have seen people getting up really early and ready for the day even on the holidays. While in Delhi, we need our slumber, be it weekend or weekdays. Life is a bit relaxed in the national capital, but it sure doesnt mean its easy.

    1. wanderfool says:

      That’s an interesting point Swapnil…will share on the facebook page, too. In Delhi, (if we want) we can stop to take a breath and soak in the beauty of the surroundings and our lovely monuments. Also I think Delhi is a far better place for foodies!

  8. Badami says:

    The benefit Delhi has is because of the Central Govt there, funds flow fast and being a city state allows the money used in propping up the city, I wish the Mah politicians had guts to do the right thing for Mumbai and develop it like say Shanghai or a Singapore.

    Mumbai has a soul and a rich history of seeing poor becoming rich, Delhi on the other hand is still caught up in a feudal warp where contacts matter.

    For me Mumbai anyday (mind you I stay in Bangalore and I feel this city is going the Delhi way)

    1. Ansh says:

      Ok thanks for the new information, however I was under the impression that the funds are raised by the central Govt on the basis of the upcoming requirements of the state which all the states are suppose to mention in the yearly budget. With this, state Govt also gets taxes from individuals, companies or any other industry. So I do not think that state Govt has to wait for central Govt to raise some funds. Mumbai is known as the FINANCIAL CAPITAL of INDIA, Anyway, another thing is even in Mumbai contacts matter a lot, I had to use my contacts many times. As I said earlier, that I’ve to been to every city in India and Delhi and Mumbai are the most visited cities. Even in Delhi there are huge number of people who were poor and became rich, In Delhi I’ve seen rarely people sleeping on the footpath. Cities likes Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Ahmadabad, Bangalore gets 10/10. But Mumbai… Hopeless case. About Delhi- main roads, highway, city roads are in the best condition always, Delhi metro amazing mode of transport, Buses another nice way to travel. Delhi NCR has the largest Mall in India and many more.

      1. gary s says:

        Dont dare call my city a hopeless case .. The slump that mumbai is facing is Temporary .. wait till 2020 and lets see where do the Foolish Delhiites Stand.. 😦

        1. wanderfool says:

          Hey Gary, indeed, Mumbai is majestic, and I love visiting. No offence meant!

  9. Ansh says:

    I am in Mumbai from the last 1 year, I stayed in Delhi for 3 years, I do not see any difference in the Pace between the two, however I get up half n hour early because I know I will definitely get stuck in a Traffic jam. In rush hours both cities are the same. one of the most inconvenient thing in Mumbai there is only one Public Convenience from Borivali to Bandra (highway) and to enter that TOILET it is next to impossible because the things which should be inside the toilet they are on the entrance (yucksss). So if you want to pee be ready with INR 100/- to 500/- Rs for BMC workers for fine. Dude is that a joke?? No toilets. Anyway when I was Delhi I used to go to Gurgaon and I could see that everything is organised, every metro station is in high security. Anyway I do not know I should mention this on the blog… Migrants have spoiled both the Cities. And I support MNS or Manse thinkig on this matter.

  10. Ansh says:

    no reply till date?????

  11. prannayjha says:

    Brilliant article, you took all points in bullets. I too would choose Mumbai, its a place you wanna stay at and Delhi a place you want to party at….Do check my views
    http://subtlewords.com/2011/06/03/mumbai-vs-delhi/

    1. wanderfool says:

      Thanks a lot Prannay. Just checked out your article, and it’s bang-on. The indomitable spirit of Mumbaikars is truly unique and beautiful.

  12. Dilli Kaa Rehne Waalaa says:

    From historical perspective, Delhi beats Mumbai hands down!
    A 5000-yr old Capital city, with over 1500-yr old continuous documented history as Capital, Delhi has a long, gleaming independent history, which has dictated history of much of India especially northern Indian Subcontinent! Oh yeah, it doesn’t belong to any community, religion or group, unlike the Marathi-goons-ruled-Mumbai and Tamil-propagandists-ruled-Chennai! Such rich, colorful, diverse range of monuments belonging to so many different dynasties of different backgrounds- Rajpoot, Turkic, Persian, Mongol, Sikh, Sufi & British; a city of many cities, destroyed and rebuilt so many times; home to Hindi and Urdu (Hindustani language); land of Sufi saints (after Punjab)…. and so on!!!!
    Mumbai on the other hand, struggles to find its identity and significance prior to the British Rule!

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