Delhi is the capital territory of India, located in the northern section of the country, with the state of Uttar Pradesh flanking it on the east and Haryana on the west. It covers an area of 1,484 square kilometers and serves as home to 25 million people.
Also known as the City of Djinns, Delhi has a glorious 5,000-year history. It took centuries to take center stage and to date, it has continued to be the focal point of every aspect of Indian life. Modern Delhi is a tapestry of ancient fortifications, Mughal mausoleums, mega malls and colonial-era town planning.
Gartin Bastion Road or G.B.Road is one of India’s largest red light districts. Situated in the older part of the metropolis, it stretches from the Ajmeri Gate to the Lahori Gate, running parallel to the railway lines. It is a filthy place littered with junk yards, open drains, and public urinals, around which live an estimated 3,500 women who offer sexual services at nearly negligible rates.
The best and the most awesome area along G.B.Road is Kotha Number 64, which has been likened to the Hotel Bellagio in Las Vegas. Head straight to the second floor which is packed with beautiful Nepalese girls. Drop by and you’ll find that it’s worth your while.
History of the RLD
The history of G.B. Road dates back to the Mughal era. At that time, there were five red light districts or kothas in Delhi alone. The livelihood of sex workers in the area flourished because of the lavish night life of aristocrats and other well-heeled patrons. Subsequently, during the reign of the British Empire, all the five kothas were consolidated to one area by a British collector and christened it after his own name, Road or simply G.B. Road.
Today, there are 96 kothas and each one features its own generation of prostitutes. The majority of the sex workers come from impoverished villages in varied regions like Nepal and Karnataka. Some of the women are runaways, or have been tricked by their lovers and sold there. Then they are introduced or forced to the life of a prostitute.
About a decade ago, G.B. Road saw a decline in wealthy patrons because it became easier to get a woman in Delhi. The five-star hotels began to offer their own “‘special services” and guest houses became widespread in South Delhi. The decline got worse quickly and today the brothels have become venues of inconceivable sadness and misery that it’s difficult to imagine that they exist to sell pleasure.
Since it is illegal to solicit, prostitutes never come out. Their old paunchy pimps moved around, seeking potential clients. The sex trade in G.B. Road is no longer as lucrative as it used to be. The rates range from 100 to 500 rupees, but then the usual patrons like the rickshaw pullers, students, and blue collar workers can’t afford to pay a ton.
How to Find the RLD
G.B. Road is just a ten-minute walk away from the New Delhi Metro Station. You can take a cycle rickshaw to the exact kotha you wish to visit. Don’t try to loiter around especially if you’re new to the area because there are 96 kothas to choose from!
Stay Safe in the RLD
G.B Road is just like any other congested market road in Delhi. It’s very unassuming and there are lots of shops and they are all about business. If you go there at night, you’ll find a lot of pimps, though the cops are also on the prowl so it is relatively safe. Just be smart and avoid talking to any person who approaches you, tries to help you or gives you unsolicited travel advice. All or 99 percent of them are pimps and while prostitution is legal, pimping is prohibited so you can go to jail if you are caught dealing with one.
Don’t blindly believe the advice of taxi and rickshaw drivers. If it’s your first time in Delhi, don’t openly admit it because it will make you more susceptible to scams and touts. Delhi has become an increasingly unsafe city for women. It is not uncommon to hear obscene remarks or even physical touching. Consider bringing pepper spray with you. Avoid walking around or hiring taxi cabs alone. Carry your cash, cards, and passport in a secure money belt, with only enough money for a few hours at a time. Dress conservatively, preferably in Indian clothing to blend in the crowd.
Due to unprotected sex, many and prostitutes have come under the trap of HIV/AIDS. Using condoms is a must if you decide to have sex.
Delhi is among the notable Asian cities with a vibrant and dynamic adult entertainment industry. There are areas in the city where one can find prostitutes and sex workers offering their services in exchange for money. The adult sites include places like GB Road, Katwaria Sarai, Lajpat Nagar, Moolchand Flyover, among others. In these areas, you’ll find brothels, swinger clubs, strip clubs, sex shops, and erotic massage parlours.
Street prostitutes can be found in several Delhi roads when night falls. One of the most popular areas for street hookers is the Raja Garden intersection. The majority of street prostitutes are not on the roadside; instead, you’ll find them in auto rickshaws. Other areas where you’ll find street walkers are G.B. Road, Katwaria Sarai, Lajpat Nagar, Moolchand Flyover, near Krishna Market, outside Jangpura DDA Park, Lajpat Nagar, and near the Kohat enclave metro station. Street prostitutes in Delhi have cheap rates and you can have sex with them for less than $10 USD.
Swinging appears to be a new trend in Delhi. With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, couples have a tendency to get bored of each other and indulge in joining swinger clubs to infuse some fun and excitement into their relationship. Swinger clubs are clandestine groups whose members are strictly screened in order to prevent acceptance of ‘fake’ couples and escorts. A notable club is Adult Indian Swingers which was founded in 2006. The members indulge in swapping partners for one night only.
The primary law that deals with the status of prostitutes is the 1956 law which is known as “The Immoral Traffic Act.” It states that sex workers can practice their trade privately but they cannot legally solicit clients in public. In particular, the law prohibits a prostitute from carrying on her profession within 200 yards of a public place. The legal age for a prostitute has been set at 18.
Under The Immoral Traffic Act, prostitutes can be arrested for soliciting their services. Likewise, call girls are prohibited from making their phone numbers public. If they are caught doing so, they can be imprisoned for a maximum of six months and pay accompanying fines.
Clients who consort with sex workers or engage in sexual activities within 200 yards of a designated public area can be imprisoned for a maximum of three months along with financial penalties. If someone engages in sexual activities with an individual under 18 years old, he/she can be imprisoned for 7 to 10 years. Pimps who live from the income of a prostitute are guilty as well.
People who operate businesses like brothel-keepers and landlords are also liable to prosecution as their trade is considered illegal. For the first offence, they will be jailed for a maximum of three years. If they forcibly keep someone in their brothel to serve as a prostitute or exploited for sexual purposes, they can be imprisoned for a minimum of seven years.
As for gays and the LGBT community in general, they face social and legal difficulties. Female same-sex activity is not criminalized, but sexual activity between two males is illegal and is punishable by incarceration. However, enforcement is rare and LGBT events are generally tolerated by authorities. While arrests have been made under anti-homosexuality laws, no one is known to have been convicted of homosexuality.
The bar scene in Delhi has grown tremendously in recent years. Aside from five-star hotels, the city’s drinking dens are concentrated in the upscale southern suburbs and around Connaught Place. Most of the bars also double up as restos and nightclubs. Espresso bars are also becoming increasingly popular - the two most famous chains being Barista and Cafe Coffee Day.
Delhi also offers an eclectic mix of music, dance and theater shows. Below are some of the notable bars, clubs and other entertainment venues in the city:
There is a bustling gay nightlife in metropolitan areas and a few openly gay celebrities. Meeting up with gays and lesbians for sex can be risky if policemen are patrolling the city. It is known that the law has been used as a means by cops to harass gays cruising on the streets. There are multiple gay and lesbian forums and communities online, and being a member of such groups is an easier way to get in touch with gays and lesbians in Delhi.
General Attitude Towards Gays
Homophobia is prevalent in Delhi. Public discourse about homosexuality has been restricted by the fact that sexuality is seldom discussed openly. However, the behavior towards homosexuality has shifted slightly in recent years. For instance, there are now more discussions and depictions of homosexuality in news media and in Bollywood.
A number of organizations, including the National AIDS Control Organisation, Naz Foundation Trust, Union Health Ministry, Law Commission of India, the Planning Commission of India, and the National Human Rights Commission of India, have expressed their support for decriminalizing homosexuality. They have also pushed for social equity and tolerance for the LGBT community.
India is among the countries with a social aspect of a third gender, but mental, physical, emotional and economic violence against LGBT people still prevail.