Do not let your first impressions of travel in Delhi remain stuck in your mind as a sacred cow in the middle of traffic. Go beyond the facade to discover the inherent peace of a city rich in culture. The architecture and human diversity rooted in history is completely a must. Delhi is for those who enjoy travel and the pleasures of life.
Delhi is at the western end of the Gangetic plains bordered to the east by Uttar Pradesh. The rest is with the state of Haryana. Those who visit Delhi has the unique opportunity to see two cities for the price of one. The old Delhi was the capital of Islamic India from the 17th to 19th century. It boasts a wealth of formidable mosques, monuments, and forts. It is a lively area of colorful bazaars, narrow streets, and uncontrollable chaos. The most famous being the Chandni Chowk.
New Delhi is the imperial city created by the British Raj. It has spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. It has a sense of order, absent in other parts of the city. The heart of New Delhi is Connaught Place. Here you'll find most of the posh shopping centers, offices, travel agencies, and banks. Near Connaught Place, there are several movie theaters and entertainment centers.
Among South Indian food, Idli and Sambar are popular. The tasty steamed cake has a batter of fermented black lentils and rice. It is usually served with sambar, which is a vegetable stew. The Mughlai is an elaborate main dish buffet with a wide assortment of side dishes. Naan is soft slices of bread.
Aloo Paratha is an Indian flat bread made from whole wheat and potatoes. It has various other fillings and is the favorite dish of Punjabis. The murgh makhani or chicken curry is one of the famous Indian chicken dishes. Kolhapuri Chicken is spicy. You can also opt for a chicken tandoori, a roasted chicken. The red-orange color comes from spices like turmeric, pepper, and chili powder.
The Chana masala is a vegetarian dish. Small chickpeas are in a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions and spices. It includes garlic, chili and garam masala. It also has a mixture of cones curry pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and cardamom. For dessert, try the Gulab Jamun and kheer. They are dough balls covered with a glaze of syrup with rose water, while the kheer is a rice pudding dessert.
In old Delhi, Moti Mahal is an outdoor venue that every night plays Qawwali (religious songs). The restaurant is popular for tandoori dishes.
Orient Express is a stylish bar and a fine restaurant with a menu inspired to travel the Orient Express. It has an environment that echoes the Imperial period with a modern design. Order a martini, sit at the bar and let the notes of the piano fill magic in the air.
Gaylord is one of the most elegant restaurants in the area. It has large mirrors and chandeliers and a menu of Italian specialties. It is delicious but expensive. If you usually take care of the costs, the quality of the ingredients deserves an exception to the rule.
Parikrama Revolving Restaurant is unlike many panoramic restaurants. The beauty of the views often serves to mask a kitchen of second grade. Here it's all delicious and top quality, though expensive. To make a full panoramic tour it will take 90 minutes, enough to enjoy a good three-course meal. Not advisable to go there in the evening, when all that you can see is your own reflection in the glass of the window.
The Kwality Restaurant serves Indian and Continental cuisine. The Jhinga Tandoori are its specialty along with the exquisite crème caramel. The shahi paneer is also great. It is cheese chunks immersed in a creamy tomato sauce.
At Hotel Imperial, the Patiala Peg offers an intimate atmosphere. Here you can recuperate after the shopping in the Janpath Market. For an immediate resumption order a Misty Green vodka, white wine, mint cream, and lemonade.
Do you want to try the south Indian delicacies of inexpensive and good quality? There is no better place than the Andhra Bhavan in the heart of New Delhi.
In Delhi silk is cheap and is often of excellent quality. It is a perfect combination to convince you to buy the sari you have always dreamed. The Handloom House is the place to start your search. Remember that a sari should be 5.5 m long (without the short blouse worn under) and become quite heavy when held in hand.
Fab India has an assortment of dresses in pure cotton at reasonable prices. They sell fabrics and furniture. The fabrics are almost all made by hand by local artisans.
Ansal Plaza is a modern shopping center near Khelgaon Marg. The Ansal Plaza caters to the wealthy class of Delhi. Shops sell designer fashion, cosmetics of foreign houses and what not. It is ideal as a shelter for rainy days.
You can hop over to the Select Citywalk, an elegant mall located in South Delhi in Saket. It is ideal for shopping, dining, and shopping. It has a wide selection of well-known brands. There are restaurants and entertainment options. It has a multi-screen cinema, a fitness center and much more.
Delhi Points of Interest
Jantar Mantar is at a short distance from Connaught Place. This complex of buildings was one of the five observatories of the Maharaja Jai Singh II, a native of Jaipur. He ordered its construction in 1725. The building has a huge sundial. It has other instruments to observe the course of the heavenly bodies and predict eclipses.
The National Museum is on Janpath. It is home to an interesting collection of Indian bronzes, pottery, and wood carvings. They date back to the Mauryan Empire from the second to the third century BC. There are relics of the Vijayanagar period in southern India. It also has miniatures and wall paintings, and musical instruments. There are manuscripts, tapestries, costumes of tribal groups and much more.
Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Manipuri dances take place in places like the Dilli Haat.
For the incurable nostalgia of British empire go to the Coronation Durbar Site. A lone obelisk in a desolate field is in the countryside north of Old Delhi. The highlight of this place is a 15 m high statue of George V, which stands alone over the acacia trees. It was in the central canopy of Rajpath before independence.
On the opposite side of the Humayun's Tomb is the shrine dedicated to Nizam-Ud-Din Chishti. The Sufi saint died in 1325.
Near Chanakyapuri, Teen Murti Bhavan is the house of Jawaharlal Nehru. It is now the Nehru Memorial Museum and Nehru Planetarium. The photo exhibition has newspaper clippings. It provides a striking view of the history of the independence movement.
Haji Begum built the Humayun's Tomb in the mid-sixteenth century. It is the most important structure in Mughal India. The elements that characterize it are in the Taj Mahal in Agra. Humayun's tomb has formal gardens and other tombs. It includes that of Isa Khan, the architect of the Taj Mahal.
Jama Masjid, the grand mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a yard that can hold up to 25,000 devotees. Built in 1644, it was the last in a series of architectural works commissioned by Shah Jahan. The Mughal Emperor also commissioned the building of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. This beautiful mosque has three doors, four towers and two minarets 40 meters high. It is build with red sandstone and white marble and alternating vertical stripes.
Visitors can climb to the top of the minaret to the south for a spectacular view of Old Delhi. Then visit the large central pool used for washing before prayers. Visitors must remove their shoes before entering the entrance. Non-Muslims are not allowed during prayers.
Qutub Minar, the tallest minaret in the country was build in the 12th century. This tower is more than 70 meters. Intricate carvings characterize the history of Qutub with inscriptions from the Koran. The complex also includes Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid. There is a mosque at the base of the tower, various tombs and an ancient iron pillar from 2000 years, Alai Minar.
Lotus Temple, with its magnificent central dome, is an architectural masterpiece. Built in white cement and marble, the whole structure looks as delicate as the flower. Built in 1986, the temple has already attracted more than 80 million visitors. It is one of the most visited attractions in the world.
India Gate is an imposing arch that resembles the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It is a magnificent stone arch. It is a memorial to Indian soldiers killed in the World War I.
An eternal flame burns under the facade. Its walls bear the names of more than 90,000 soldiers who have died in the conflict. The structure dominates the surrounding park and its fountains. Crowds of tourists and locals enjoy a picnic or relax.
Rajpath is the ceremonial avenue in New Delhi lined with trees, grass, and ponds. Here is the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official presidential house. The British Viceroy stayed here in one of the grandest buildings in Delhi. It has an eclectic mix of Mughal and European architectural styles. It has about 340 rooms. Of particular interest is the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum. It offers an interesting exhibit related to the presidents of the past.
By way of comparison, the whole of the White House in the United States is 17 times smaller. It is the third largest house of a head of state in the world after the Quirinale Palace in Rome and Ak Saray to Ankara. The architectural project was by Edwin Landseer Lutyens. The original plan was to place the house of the Viceroy on the top of Raisina Hill. The secretariat was to be underneath. Lutyens stated that the dome is in the model of the Pantheon in Rome.
The Mughal Gardens located at the rear of the building is the synthesis of Mughal and English styles. It features a wide variety of flowers. The gardens are open to the public every February. There is a red sandstone pergola in the center over the central pavement. There are rose creepers, Petrea, bougainvillea and grape vines. Along the walls, covered with vines, are the Chinese orange trees. Here is also a collection of bonsai, one of the best in the country.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib near Connaught Place is the important place of Sikh community. Highlights include the magnificent pool and the Sarovar. In the heart of this large complex is an art gallery, as well as its famous golden dome with flagpole.
Red Fort, built by Shah Jahan in 1648 served as the seat of Mughal power until 1857. Its tall red sandstone walls cover an area of more than two kilometers. The entirety of which is crescent-shaped and surrounded by a moat. The imposing Lahore Gate is so named because it faces towards Lahore in Pakistan. The even bigger Delhi Gate was for ceremonial processions.
Entering the Lahore gate, visitors can reach Chhatta Chowk. It is a 17th century covered bazaar. Here silks, jewels, gemstones, and silverware are available along with souvenirs and food. The Naubat Khana inside the Red Fort once housed the musicians. They played for the Emperor. The beautiful galleries contain interesting musical instruments, such as drums, gongs, and cymbals.
Akshardham is a Hindu temple, which seems centuries old. It has intricate and elaborate carvings. This magnificent building attracts many visitors for its majestic beauty. Of particular note are the 234 pillars decorated in support of its nine domes. Other features of interest include a theater. It shows a film about the construction of the building. There is a fun ride in 15 minutes by boat depicting the rich history and the diverse culture of India. There is the spectacular laser water show in the Yagnapurush Kund. The large musical fountain is fantastic when it is lit up at night.
National Zoological Park is one of the best in Asia. It provides a habitat for about 1,500 animals and bird species. Of particular note are many chimpanzees in the zoo. There are hippos, spider monkeys, zebras, hyenas, deer, jaguars, and tigers. Do not miss the complex of reptiles in the basement. It houses a variety of snakes including the deadly cobra.