ABOUT DELHI CITY
Delhi the capital city of India is the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. This city has everything; heritage sites, modern buildings, high-class shopping areas, multi-cuisine restaurants, etc. It is just not the architecture and food that is diverse but the culture, religion and tradition is also diverse. Delhi’s population includes the local people and people from around India, who come to this city in search of job. As Delhi has many good companies, which makes it easy for people to stay here and work. Major population of Delhi is from other part of India. They bring their religion, culture, language, food & tradition with them. Being the capital, Delhi is the centre for politics in India. It is the second most populated city and 28th most visited city in the world. Every year so many people from around the world travel Delhi to explore this beautiful city.
Delhi has really deep history which connects us to the ancient time. In ancient time during Mahabharata Era Delhi was called Indraprastha (Home to Pandavas). Many dynasties came in and many rulers ruled Delhi city. Every heritage site in Delhi has unique architectural work based on the era it was built in. These heritage sites are still very much intact and most of them are very well maintained. This city is home to 3 UNESCO World Heritage Site (Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Red Fort)
Although you can visit Delhi at any time and it will be happening as always. But the best time to travel Delhi is from September until April. As from May until July mid it is quite hot and from July mid until August end it is rainy season. If you want amazing photos of the monuments then avoid visiting Delhi in the December and January month. As both these month face a lot of fog.
Delhi city is divided into two parts; Old Delhi and New Delhi. Both these parts have equal importance in the history.
1. Old Delhi
Old Delhi was a walled city founded in 1639 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. He rebuilt it and named it Shahjahanabad. Huge thick walls with 14 gates were built around the Old Delhi at that time. Shah Jahan decided to make Shahjahanabad the capital of Mughal Empire. It remained the capital until the fall of Mughals in 1857. In 1857 these huge walls and gates were damaged during attacked by British army. You can still see some gates and parts of the walls in Old Delhi. Only 5 gates survived the attack and are still standing strong. They are Ajmeri Gate , Delhi Gate, kashmiri Gate, Turkman Gate and Nigambodh Gate.
When we speak of Old Delhi the first thing that comes to mind is busy narrow streets, cycle rickshaws, old buildings, messed up electrical wiring, noises, etc. Yes it is like that but worth experiencing. Anyone who has been to Old Delhi would agree with this.
2. New Delhi
New Delhi was built by British. The foundation of the city was laid in 1911 by Emperor George V. British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker designed New Delhi. It was inaugurated on 13 February 1931 by Viceroy of India Lord Irwin. This part of Delhi has wider clean roads, more greenery, buildings with British architecture and is well sorted. Many buildings were built by the British in New Delhi, some of them are; India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s House) and Parliament House.
WHERE TO STAY
Delhi has all types of accommodation, ranging from pocket friendly to 5 stars lavish hotels. These accommodations include; hostels, guest house, home stay, very basic hotels and luxury hotels. It is always better to make the booking in advance especially during season time (From October until March end is season time). All types of accommodations area easily available throughout Delhi. Here are some of the places in Delhi which has different accommodation options;
Aerocity is the area where top brand hotels are located. It is about 4 KM from Delhi Airport. Best option for travelers who want to stay over a night in Delhi and have a flight to catch next day. Being near to airport it saves you from getting stuck in Delhi city traffic. Aerocity is well equipped with shopping malls, restaurants, food court, coffee shops, etc. Top brand Hotels in Aerocity; IBIS, Roseate House, Aloft, Novotel, Holiday Inn, JW Marriott, Pullman, Andaz (Hilton Hotel) and Lemon Tree.
Janpath & Connaught Place:
Janpath & Connaught Place is the area where hotels of all ranges can easily be found. As Connaught Place is the most famous Up-Scale shopping area. This area has many stores of big international brands, restaurants and bars. Hotels in Janpath & Connaught Place; The Imperial, Le Meridien, The Taj Mahal, The Shangri- La’s-Eros, The Lalit, Metropolitan Hotel and Spa, The Claridges, The Park, Royal Plaza, Radisson Blu Marina, The Hans, Bloomrooms and YMCA International Guest House
Paharganj is the area well known for small hotels ranging from guest houses to 3 star categories. This area is too busy and noisy throughout the day and has narrow streets. So if you think on staying here then you should definitely know that taxi won’t be able entre the street. Because it’s quite busy and congested during day time. But if you arrive in Paharganj early morning or late night then the car can still go in and drop you at the hotel gate. Hotels in Paharganj are quite cheap. Paharganj is about 4 KM from Connaught place.
Karol Bagh is another place just like Paharganj. Here also you can find hotels ranging from guest houses to 4 star boutique hotels. Streets of karol Bagh are also narrow and congested during day time, as it is the market area. But taxis can still reach to some hotels easily that are in bit wider streets.
WHERE TO EAT
Delhi is famous for its food and it has many options for both vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians. People of Delhi are real foodie. Delhi’s population is the mix of People from all over India which means there is diversity in taste and cuisines. It is really important to check where you eat and what you eat so that you don’t fall sick. This is especially for overseas travelers. The reason is that Indians are used to eating spicy food but foreigners are not used to it. So it can be possible you and your Indian friend eat the same Indian street food. Next day you fall sick and your Indian friend feels perfectly fine. You have to understand the body of an Indian is used to all these spices. It’s not that you should not enjoy the Indian food but go slowly let your body ease into the world of spices. So travel Delhi and enjoy diverse Indian Food. Some of the best places in Delhi where you can enjoy the Indian food are;
- Pindi, Pandara Road
- Gulati, Pandara Road
- Sarvana Bhawan, Connaught Place
- Sagar Ratna, Connaught Place
- Pind Balluchi, Connaught Place
- Parikrama- The Revolving Restaurant
- Plum by Bent Chair Lutyens
- ITC Bukhara, Diplomatic Enclave
- Moti Mahal, Dariya Ganj
- Karims, Old Delhi
- Jalebiwala, Old Delhi
- Paranthe wali Gali, Old Delhi
- Roshan Di Kulfi, Karol Bagh
- Moolchand Parantha
HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND DELHI
Delhi city has one of the best transportation facilities in India. It is easy to travel from one place to other. You can choose from various transportation options.
Delhi Metro was inaugurated in Delhi in 2002. Most parts of Delhi and NCR region is well connected with metro. Rajiv Chowk in Connaught places is the station for interchanging metro. First coach of every metro is reserved for ladies. Now there is an Airport Express metro which makes traveling to and from Airport T3 quite easy without getting stuck in traffic. You can get the tickets at the station counter. Metro working hours are from 6AM to 11PM. During office hours the metro is extremely crowded and it can be really hard to get in. Even beware of pick pockets in metro. Best time to travel in metro is between 11 PM until 4 PM because the crowd is less during this time.
Another public transport is low-floor buses that run throughout Delhi. You get in the bus from the back gate take your tickets from the bus conductor and when your stop arrives get down from the front gate. Just like metro Delhi buses are also crowded during office hours.
Autorickshaw AKA Tuk-Tuk runs throughout Delhi city. They run by the meter. Always keep an eye on the meter, make sure when you start, the KM reading is zero and the base fare is Rs 25. Because sometimes the meter reading runs faster than usual and that’s because the driver must have did some trick to earn more. Also be careful while in autorickshaw, if you find something fishy just ask the driver to stop and get down. It is always not so safe to travel by autorickshaw as they may lead you into some trap.
Hiring Tax from a travel company is the best and comfortable option to travel around Delhi. That is because you don’t have to wait in line for tickets and you also get to avoid the crowd in the metro and buses. It is also safe to travel in a taxi hired from a reputed travel company. As the travel companies are really strict with the safety of the travelers. Because if anything happens then they will be held responsible for that and this would affect their reputation. Even there drivers are well trained and well mannered. Now days it’s become easy to search for good travel company by looking at the reviews online.
There are many places in Delhi where cycle rickshaws are used for very short distance travel. Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi is really famous and travelers from around the world enjoy it. Rickshaw will pass through the narrow streets of Old Delhi and it gives the view of day to day life of labors, shopkeepers, etc.
WHAT TO DO
Delhi city has so much to offer and it can never let you down. There are so many historical sites, temples, museums, markets and entertainment activities that you can enjoy when you travel Delhi. Delhi faces a lot of traffic so visiting around Delhi needs more time. Major sites of Delhi can be covered in a day. But if you want to cover complete Delhi then you need at least 3 to 4 days time.
Free Attractions of Delhi:
- Jama Masjid (Free entry but 300 INR for photography Fee & Closed on Friday after 12PM)
- Raj Ghat
- Chandni Chowk Market (Hire rickshaw and ride through the narrow streets of Old Delhi)
- Akshardham Temple (Free Complex Entry & Closed on Mondays)
- India Gate
- Gandhi Smriti (Closed on Mondays & national holidays)
- Connaught Place
- Agrasen Ki Baoli
- Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
- Lodhi Garden
- Adham Khan Tomb
- Lotus Temple (Closed on Mondays)
- Rashtrapati Bhawan (Click photos from outside)
- Parliament House (Click photos from Outside)
- Mughal Garden (Opens for public from Feb to March)
- Laxminarayan Temple (Birla Mandir)
- Khan Market
- Hauz Khas
- Iskcon Temple
- Jahaz Mahal
Paid Attraction of Delhi:
- Red Fort (Closed on Mondays)
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Jantar Mantar
- Qutub Minar
- National Rail Museum
- Nehru Planetarium
- Shankar’s International Doll Museum
- The Waste of Wonder Park
- Garden of Five Senses (Open from April to September)
- Delhi Haat
- Safdarjung Tomb
- Purana Qila
- Akshardham Temple (Fee for Exhibition and Musical Fountain & Closed on Mondays)
- Tughlaqabad Fort
- Kingdom of Dreams (Entertainment) (located in Gurgaon near Delhi)
Delhi city in past has been ruled by many Kings of different religion and region. Each ruler left its impact on Delhi in the form of heritage buildings, culture, language and cuisines. It is the merge of both heritage and modern world. This city has entertained every traveler and will always do it. Hope this guide helps you plan your Delhi travel.