(sharing my post from http://www.indianholiday.com/. Read more and follow the link for a one-stop-Delhi-Travel Guide)
Delhi is haste, Delhi is lethargy, Delhi is serene, Delhi is bustling; a million words too would fall short, if we intend to parallelize the vastness of what this city is comprised of. The city is the seat of Indian Government, mainstream media channels, India’s topmost universities, sky-soaring industries, superabundant shopping scenario, pious shrines, deafening parties, toothsome foods and this list expands every millisecond here. With every line you read in this article you will proceed an inch forward in knowing this city better. Call this a full-fledged Delhi travel guide and go ahead.
A Tale of Two Cities
Delhi has two faces. It’s like two faces of a gold coin; part of one thing, having equal glint and significance. You can experience splurging in the world’s most expensive brands in the New Delhi; or in the Old Delhi area you might walk or let the crowd walk you, as your shoulder gets pressed against hundreds of other folks.
This dichotomy of the two worlds carried in the palm of one city, makes Delhi fulfill all the needs or wants of its travelers and locals. All of the vastness Delhi is compiled with, has made it a totally livable place for all the classes of the society. Even if you are a budget traveler or a wealthy personality, just take a back seat and let this city offer you the best, without having to compromise.
Old Delhi has an old-world charm which lies unscathed. The simplicity of the area has lured a million travelers and locals to its narrow streets and blingy aura. The area is renowned for its palatable and wide food options, its magnificent monuments like Red Fort and Jama Masjid, its superabundant markets, its captivating Islamic dazzle; and if I try to list out all of its assets, I might end up writing at least a tonne-weighed book.
The opposite world of Lutyen’s Delhi has an equally vigorous captivity; but different ingredients. You can walk parallel to some of the hi-tech edifices, up-market shopping destinations (With flea shops around it too. Delhi is all about stealing the deals), some eminent political spots and scurried metal roads. New Delhi or The Lutyen’s Delhi is a well planned area of the city, which houses some world-class facilities and world-known buildings.
Delhi Heritage Walks
Not all heritage lovers are historians! There are people who would rather swirl their finger-tips over the walls of a dilapidated fort, they least know of. Every city, every town; indeed even a minute atom too has a story. New Delhi has got stories to startle. So, if you are up for a heritage walk, Delhi has a bag triple the size of a Santa’s bag. The whole city is dotted with 174 monuments, many of which lie unexplored and lack the attention they deserve.
I am listing out the best of Delhi’s monuments which you need to put at the top of your list for a heritage walk worth looking back to.
The fusion of Persian and Mughal architecture has lured its visitor since its creation, which started in 1565 and ended in 1572. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s wife Bega Begum, and it was the first gardened and heavily red-stoned tomb in that era. Many famous Mughal emperors rest here in peace. UNESCO too was moved by the structure and listed Humayun’s Tomb as a World Heritage Centre.
Qutb Complex and Mehrauli Archeological Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has got it all to captivate you. The Qutub Complex is dotted with architectural marvels built to commemorate the victory of Mohammed Ghori, by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak, in the year 1192. The most notable structure here is Qutub minar, made up of red-sandstone and marble. This is the second tallest minar in India, with a height of 73 meters and having 379 steps.
Adjacent to the Qutub Complex is Mehrauli Archeological Park, this is spread over 200 acre. The park has about hundred ruins like Tomb of Quli Khan, Jamali Kamal Mosque, Zafar Mahal, Jahaz Mahal etc.
Red Fort (Laal Quila)
Red Fort was the residence of Mughal Emperors for about two-hundred years. What else could talk about its flawlessness and Grandeur?! Red fort is not just a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also is a major iconic symbol of India. This is where the prime minister of India hoists the Indian flag in the occasion of Independence Day, every year. The fort exhibits the impeccability of Mughal architecture in every inch of the complex. Delhi, gate, Water gate, Chhatta Chowk, Naubar Khana, Diwan-i-aam, Nahir-i-behisht, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal are the most notable spots inside the fort.
India Gate was designed by Edwin Lutyens, a British architect who headed the architectural projects of New Delhi plan. The monument commemorates 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army and officers from the UK, who sacrificed their lives in the Third Anglo-Afghan War. There are names of such brave soldiers inscribed in the walls of the monument.
In the center of the monument lies an eternal flame “Amar Jawan Jyoti”, beside a rifle topped with a war cap. The best time to visit India Gate is during early morning, when people flock around in yoga pants and relax in the park. Or visit it in the night, when the monument is decorated with lights and people come with their families to have a good picnic time.
Old fort, as its name says, is the oldest known monument in Delhi, said to be dating back to 5000 years. The fort is well maintained by the Indian Government and is adorned with beautiful forts, gardens and a museum. It is said that the fort was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri and was completed by his son Humayun or Islam Shah. The Old Fort is beside National Zoo, and you can easily find a food court or catch autos/ buses around it.
This is a famous picnic/ tourist spot of Delhi. The park is spread over an area of 90 acres. You can indulge in many rejuvenating activities like yoga, jogging, cycling, in here. Lodi Garden is revered because of the Lodi Tomb inside it. The ruins date back to 15th century. The remnants in the park are Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, Sikander Lodi’s Tomb, Bara Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad; all of which are enough to tug you to the enigmatic chapters of what the vicinity is witness of.
Bargain Shopping in Delhi
One thing that you are definitely going to experience is some elegant personalities offering a bargain-battle to the sellers. And interestingly, most of the time the buyers bag a great deal. There are two possibilities; either the Delhi-ites master the art of bargaining, or Delhi actually offers an expansive scope in bargaining. Not sure about the Delhi-ites but the latter part is unarguably true.
A pinch of funds might make you get a pocketful of stuff you would totally love. Some of the markets famous for its cheap but quality stuffs are:
Best place for shopping for males and techno-geeks.
Doesn’t matter what your age is, or what your gender is, you can get something for yourself here.
There are two Janpath Markets, one is arrayed in the street-corners and one is located in a field. The latter one offers affordable and trendy stuffs for young guys and girls.
Yet another market where you can get branded and local things, irrespective of gender or age.
There is no end to what Chandni Chowk offers to the shoppers. You can hop here for a wide range of variety in everything related to wedding, stationary, books, pets, electronics, spices, and what not!
Visit this place for jaw-dropping deals in gadgets and electronics.
Karol Bagh/ Gaffar Market
Karol Bagh is a typical wedding-shopping destination but also has a lot of things for anyone and everyone. Just adjacent to Karol market is Gaffar Market, famous for its deals in mobile phones and gadgets.
Lip Smacking Street Food in Delhi
Right from the streets to the dense silence of exquisite restaurants, there is a flood of food that would make you drool in a flash of time. New Delhi is a hub of foodies, some like to dive in to similar cuisine and some would try out newer things without hesitating; whichever category you fall in to, New Delhi has everything to soothe your senses and treat your taste buds. Though Delhi itself is an ocean of food; it is nearly impossible to list all of the spots of the city meant for the foodies, but listed below are the famous stopovers of the foodies:
This is the main hub of the foodies. You can get mouth-watering veg and non veg dishes at very reasonable rates. The nominal rates and perfection of the food make the people demand it more, and let it come, until their stomach bursts.
This urban village has some elegant and exquisite restaurants. With captivating view of the Hauz Khas Lake, you not only treat you taste buds, but your eye balls and heart too. Some of the popular restaurants of the area are Smoke House, Gung the Palace, Hauz Khas Social, Ace of Flames and Coast Café.
New Delhi’s Bengali town offers a wide range of Bengali cuisine, one hundred person genuine and two thousand percent drool-worthy.
Anything and everything surviving on the planet earth can be found in Central Delhi; and food makes the survival an easy thing, and that’s what CP masters in too. Right from the Dhabas to sophisticated cafés and restaurants, CP has all of it.
Culture, Museums & Galleries in Delhi
Just like every other city, Delhi too flaunts a culture but the difference is that this metropolis is the repository of art and culture encompassing entire India and its civilization. Call me bias or anything, but the culture that this city thrives on, is worth thrice more than what you get after accumulating all the exuberant folks of the world.
National Gallery of Modern Art
The gallery exhibits over 14,000 works of art by artists like Gaganendranath Tagore, Nadalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Ravi Verma, Thomas Daniell and many others. The oldest artwork it houses, dates back to 1857. National Gallery of Modern Art is the primary art gallery of the state managed by Ministry of Culture.
There is a lot to flaunt, and a significant part of those million things that Delhi boasts of is showcased in its museums. Rail Museum has a collection of trains and its equipments belonging to different ages and regions. Sulabh Toilet museum spreads the knowledge and importance of sanitation through its toilet seats since its emergence. There are many museums mastering in their fields like the Air Force Museum, National Museum of Natural History, Archeological Museum, National Children’s Museum, Nehru Museum and Planetarium; the alone has about 21 museums in total.
Nizzamuddin Dargah Qawwali
Nizzamuddin Dargah is associated with the eminent saint Nizammuddin Auliya. Apart from its soulful aura which pours the heart with sheer nirvana, Nizzammuddin Dargah’s qawwalis seeps into the senses and gets the people captivated. This is your chance to experience the sanctity of Islam, your chance to let the sound of magic caress your eardrums for the good; you better don’t let this slip by.
Delhi is amongst the major hubs of theatre and nukkad natak. Its people are involved in these activities with all of their heart and dedication. There is much beyond glamour, these theatres justifies the existence and significance of acting skills to a parameter unexplainable. Delhi’s famous theater groups are National School of Drama, Drama tech, Akshara Theaters; in fact there are theatre groups from schools and colleges, which have proven to be strong competitors for the same.
Changing of Guards
Similar to the one in Wagah Border, changing of guard of Delhi takes place in Rajpath. Every Saturday, the presidential guards on the horses march, and the old and new guards swap their places. This is an utterly brilliant sight, because of the precision of army men. You might need special permissions to witness this awe-inspiring event also confirm the timings as there is no fixed schedule.
India in a Microcosm
Delhi has its own culture, which is born out of the accumulation of several cultures of India, and beyond. The city is less a capital and more of an elder brother which treats all his siblings equally. And this state has its arms wide spread, for all the other states, and exhibits every state’s culture and specialty with equal indulgence. Some of best ways through which you can experience the gems of every state in India are:
Delhi Haat/ Dilli Haat
An open-air area, where you can find the artifacts, handlooms and much more, all relating to the Indian tradition. Here you can also savor cuisines from different parts of the country, fun activities like cultural performances, braiding, contests etc.
Right in the heart of city in Central Delhi, is the States Emporium. This shopping complex has different showrooms for different states like, Kashmir, Gujarat, and Punjab etc; these will acquaint you with the handcrafts and artifacts of the said state.
For the foodies, there is State’s Bhawan, where you can find the local cuisines of the state. Some of the State’s Bhawans’ canteens are open for visitors and offer sumptuous delicacies in reasonable rates and simple ambience.
Surajkund Crafts Mela
An open ground having every possible hue on the face of earth. This colorful crafts mela is a major attraction of Delhi and this takes place in the month of February, every year. You can find folk arts, local cuisines, folk performances and much more, from every state of this beautiful country.
Urban Villages in Delhi
With constant honks and bustles around the city, there are some places in Delhi which allure with their simplicity. Urban villages are a fusion of the charm of the villages with the glint and glamour of the cities.
The whole area is filled with lavish restaurants and showrooms. Don’t be heartbroken if you are tight on money; because there always is a corner for budget travelers here in Delhi, in its every corner. The area is developed by DLF and with the introduction of famous designers’ boutiques; Hauz Khas started getting more popularity. Hauz Khaz Fort is a major attraction here; spend some time in the fort and enjoy the view of its lake and love songs of the birds around it.
This village is located near Hauz Khas in South Delhi. Siri fort, the ancient capital of the city is its major attraction. Siri fort ruins and Siri Fort auditorium are bustling sensation of the area. Similar to Hauz Khas, Shahpur Jat is a Fashion Hub of the city, where you can find boutiques of famous designers. Most prominent shops of Shahpur Jat are antarDESI, Little Umbrella and Om creations.
Follow the link for more. – See more at: http://blog.indianholiday.com/2014/10/16/delhi-travel-guide/#sthash.M9IKegGJ.dpuf