Delhi City Guide
Delhi or rather New Delhi is the capital India. Delhi, which actually consists of two distinct cities namely the New Delhi; designed by British architects namely Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker and the walled city of Old Delhi; established by the Mughal king, Shahjahan as Shahjahanabad in 1639, is a cosmos of sorts and is where the Indian demography converges, foods mingle with each other to become exotic and cultures cross each other at every turn and corner.
Both these two locations make up the city of Delhi that has functioned as the seat of power in India for several centuries. Any visit to Delhi gives travelers an insight into the city’s rich historical heritage. This rich history includes the reigns of the successive Mughal kings, who repeatedly conquered Delhi and the rest of North India by launching successful campaigns from Central Asia from the early 16th century onwards. This Mughal rule was soon followed by the colonial rule of the British that lasted over a hundred years in Delhi and the rest of the subcontinent.
New Delhi and Old Delhi couldn’t be more different in appearance for while New Delhi is known for its verdant parks, wide leafy avenues, many government buildings and palatial homes, the walled city of Old Delhi is characterized by huge crowds, busy markets and a narrow maze of streets populated by numerous vendors, iconic eating houses and an assortment of historically significant sights.
Where to stay in Delhi
Delhi is an important destination on the tourist travel map and this vacation hotspot offers numerous hotels of every type and grade in its many neighborhoods.
The area of North Delhi encompasses several Old Delhi neighborhoods like Delhi Gate, Kashmere Gate, Darya Ganj, Model Town, Pitampura and Civil lines. Also located here is the chaotic market area and backpacker favorite, Paharganj which is known for its discount hotels and many budget accommodation options. North Delhi additionally hosts one of the first luxury hotels in Delhi along with many clubs, hospitals and the Old Delhi Railway Station.
Central Delhi is perhaps the most important zone in Delhi that hosts neighborhoods like Connaught Place, Willingdon Crescent, Pragati Maidan ( a prominent trade fair ground) and Lodhi Gardens. Central Delhi is also home to several politically important buildings like Rashtaparti Bhavan (home of the Indian president), Sansad Bhavan (the houses of Parliament) and India Gate. This area hosts many of the big Delhi luxury hotels which are favored by visitors who enjoy staying in the midst of all the action so as to speak.
Crowded, perennially busy Karol Bagh in Old Delhi is one of the oldest shopping enclaves of the city. If you wish to shop till you drop on your Delhi vacation, then the many diverse hotels of Karol Bagh should probably get your vote on where to stay in the city.
South Delhi hosts some of the most exclusive and posh addresses in Delhi. This area is home to upscale neighborhoods like Vasant Kuj, Greater Kailash, Chankyapuri and Safadarjung enclave as well as opulent luxury hotels. Also, located here are several leafy green parks, broad tree lined promenades and some of Delhi’s most famed monuments like Qutub Minar, Purana Qila and Humayun’s Tomb.
Gurgaon is a township that lies within the NCR ( National Capital Region) region of Delhi. This rapidly developing area is a prime business district of Delhi that plays host to numerous information technology and business process outsourcing companies. Accordingly Gurgaon hosts a good selection of business-oriented and luxury hotels that are largely favored by business travelers.
Places to see in Delhi
Red Fort or the Lal Quilla is a prominent historic attraction in Delhi. This fort, which lies within the walled city of Old Delhi, was built entirely of sandstone in the early seventeenth century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan of ‘the Taj Mahal fame’. The fort served as the official residence for Shah Jehan and other Mughal rulers. Located within the fort are various other interesting buildings like the Lahore Gate, the Diwan-i-Aam, the Diwan-i-Khaas, the Moti Masjid. The Red Fort continues to be an important historical site until today for it is from here that Indian Prime Minister addresses the nation every year on 15th August, a day that commemorates the Indian independence. The Red Fort is one attraction that you can’t afford to miss on your vacation in Delhi.
The Qutub Minar is a 238ft (72m) tall tower that was built by the Muslim ruler Qutab-ud-din Aibak to commemorate his victory over the Hindu kings. The Qutub Minar is now a World Heritage site. The Qutub complex, which contains this tower, has two other attractions, the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, which is India’s oldest mosque that was erected on the ruins of various Hindu temples and an iron pillar which has Sanskrit etchings on it and dates back to the time of a renowned Hindu ruler, Chandragupta Maurya.
Garden of Five Senses
One of the newer attractions in this ancient city of Kings is the Garden of Five Senses, which is not merely a park but is a planned green space that has been created to awaken the five senses to the beauty of the environment that surrounds us. This garden extends over 20 acres and is a pure a visual treat for the geometric arrangement of its rare plants, meandering pathways and lotus pools never fail to enthrall and delight visitors. Moreover visitors are also encouraged to touch the displays, smell the flowers, see and enjoy the landscaped gardens as they listen to the sounds of ceramic bells and the gushing of the waters over the landscaped waterfalls. The garden also hosts a food court, which aims to cater to the sense of taste.
The huge Jama Masjid mosque was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1656 and took the efforts of 5000 laborers and six years to complete. This huge mosque can accommodate 25000 worshippers at a time.
This edifice was built in 1594 and contains the tomb of the second Mughal emperor: Humayun. This tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s senior wife Haji Begum and was designed by the Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. This tomb, which is believed to have inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal and several other important Mughal buildings, is a peaceful site which features an artfully carved building constructed out of marble and sandstone surrounded by gardens.
The towering India Gate is the national monument of Delhi. The huge archway, which is situated in the heart of New Delhi, was designed by renowned British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who was also responsible for the layout of New Delhi. The India Gate was previously known as the All India Memorial and commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the Birtish Indian Army who lost fighting for the British Empire during World War I and II.
Best time to visit Delhi
Delhi’s climate can best be described as an extreme climate. Due to the city’s unique location on the Ganges plains, it experiences intense summers and genuinely cold winters. In fact Delhi’s summers that tend to last between the months of June to August are quite unbearable as temperatures in the city often soar above 40 C (104F). These summer months are also characterized by violent dust storms which are colloquially called ‘loo’.
The best season to visit Delhi is between November and March when the weather is quite agreeable with day time temperatures in the low 20’s (70F) and night time temperatures falling way below 10 C (50F). This season also coincides with the traditional wedding season in Delhi. Flight and hotel rates for Delhi during this period are typically very high, but if you need to book a vacation to Delhi at this time, you should contact Fare Buzz with your requirements for it offers flight deals as well as hotel discounts for Delhi all throughout the year.
Getting around in Delhi
Delhi is easily accessed from all over the world through its Indira Gandhi International Airport which lies 12 miles or 20km southwest of Connaught Place and is accessible via a forty minute drive from the city center. The Indira Gandhi International Airport plays host to numerous international and domestic carriers and thus renders Delhi to be an immensely accessible destination from all over the world.
In fact, Fare Buzz periodically announces cheap air tickets for Delhi and if you are planning a trip to Delhi anytime soon, it’s best that you contact Fare Buzz for your requirements.
Delhi, like other Indian cities is equipped with a public transport system that consists of public buses and metered taxis. However in recent years the city has also come to be equipped with an extensive metro system, which connects most parts of Delhi.
Many visitors on a visit to Delhi however choose to rent a car for the duration of their stay in Delhi. Car rentals in Delhi are offered by various operators and if you need to rent a car for your vacation in Delhi, then Fare Buzz can be of assistance as it offers a variety of affordable car rentals for Delhi.
Where to shop in Delhi
Delhi is considered to be one of the prime shopping destinations in India. The Indian capital city offers varied shopping experiences at its many shopping locales like bustling bazaars and ritzy, glitzy malls.
If souvenir-shopping is the focus of your Delhi visit, then you can’t afford to miss the city’s shopping extravaganza known as Dilli Haat. This open-air market which is fashioned to look like a traditional village market is a showcase for artisans from all over India and thus offers an unmatched shopping experience. Aside from handicrafts, the market also offers live cultural performances and many food-stalls. Other popular locales for souvenir shopping in Delhi include the Janpath and Tibetan Markets (apparel, handicrafts, and trinkets) in New Delhi and Chandini Chowk in Old Delhi (silver and antique stores). Well-priced shopping options are also available at various other Delhi markets like Paharganj, Sarojini Market, Lajpat Nagar and Karol Baug
In addition to these traditional markets, Delhi also offers upmarket shopping options at its newer shopping establishments like Khan Market(not a market but mall that features outlets of various local and international brands), DLF Emporio (outlets of luxury international and national names like Hugo Boss, Manish Arora, Rina Dhaka and others) and the Ambience Mall.
Where to eat in Delhi
Good food in Delhi is synonymous with rich North Indian cuisine. A cuisine whose complex flavors evolved and developed under the 500 year rule of the Mughals, Muslim invaders from Central Asia who ruled Delhi and the rest of North India from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Some of the best samplings of this cuisine can be had at famed Delhi restaurants like Bukhara at the Hotel Maurya Sheraton, Dhaba at the Hotel Claridges and various other stand-alone restaurants like Karim’s at Jamma Masjid and Khan Chacha at Khan Market.
Like many other Asian cities, Delhi also has its own unique street-foods scene. However, visitors are cautioned to sample these delicious street-food eats like Papdi-chaat, gol-guppe only at reputed, supposedly ‘hygienic’ outlets like Bengali Sweet House at Connaught Place. Similarly recommended are the many small eateries that are located within the labyrinth of streets and alleys that surround Delhi’s famous landmark, Jama Masjid. The eateries located here offer celebrated Delhi street eats like parathas(Indian breads), jalebis(a donut-like Indian sweet) and kachoris(fried, spicy and savory dumplings)
However, in addition to the above traditional cuisines, Delhi also offers wide array of global cuisines at countless restaurants dotted all over the city. Some of the city’s well-regarded eateries include establishments like Zo (Mediterranean), Blu (Italian), Fujiya (Japanese-), Set’sz(European) and Megu(Japanese).
The city also hosts outlets of various international fast-food chains like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Costa Coffee, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, a comforting aspect for those visitors who rather not experiment but stick with the tried and true.
Nightlife in Delhi
Delhi boasts of a raucous nightlife scene. The city maybe the India’s political center, but it is far from being a dull backwater for it hosts many cultural and entertainment events daily basis. Art-gallery openings, live-music concerts, poetry-readings, book launches, fashion shows, the city offer them all, along with lively clubs and bars. Some of the city’s most happening bars currently include spots like Q’Ba, Smokehouse Grill, Kuki, Keya, Tabula Rasa, F-Bar, Agni, Ai and Aura.