New Delhi and surrounding deserve certainly a visit of several days, or even a few weeks, to enjoy quietly the local beauties. But for those who are just passing through or who do not have much time, here is a possible route easily adaptable to your taste and to your specific needs to see the city in just three days, for example by visiting the major tourist attractions in a romantic long weekend:
In the morning you can start your tour of the city from the Qutub Minar and the Chhatarpur Temple complex. In the afternoon, we suggest a visit to the Lotus Temple and the Kalkaji temple. Then, head into the city center to admire the India Gate. The nightlife is concentrated around Connaught Place or in the prosperous southern suburbs. Many bars of Delhi in the evening are transformed into restaurants and nightclubs. Delhi also offers a rich blend of music, dance and theater performances. Local newspapers, including the Hindustan Times and The Times of India, publish a weekly list of daily events.
In the morning visit Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Later, visit Chandni Chowk. In the afternoon, head to Rajpath, home to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Indian Parliament House. Then head to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and the Jantar Mantar. You can take advantage and dine at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Visitors are always welcome here, and an excellent meal is available at no cost in the large kitchen of the Gurdwara. Everything that is asked in return is that the hair is covered and shoes are removed (free scarves are provided).
In the morning you can visit the Purana Qila and National Zoological Park. Then, head to Mathura Road, Nizamuddin, to the Humayun's Tomb. In the afternoon you can visit the Akshardham temple and enjoy the water show in the evening.
An interesting day trip from New Delhi is Mathura and Vrindavan. Situated 142 kilometers from Delhi, Vrindavan is considered sacred for Krishna. You can visit this destination through a two hours drive or even arrive there by train. Standing on the banks of river Yamuna, this pilgrimage town can certainly satiate your spiritual appetite or at least your curiosity literally filled with temples dedicated to Krishna, and other facilities mythological places, including the temples like Iskcon, Mirabai, Gokulananda, Radha Raman, Vrindavan Dham, etc. Dozens of temples, ancient and modern, dot the area. They come in all shapes and sizes, for a total of about 5000, and many have their own unique peculiarities.
If there is a temple in Vrindavan which can be regarded as an architectural masterpiece is the Shahji Temple, which came into existence in the year 1876. The temple itself suggests as a palace for the divine abode of Radha and Krishna. The Temple of Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana was opened in 1580 on a 50 feet Dwadasa Aditya hill called Tila and was the first temple to be built in Vrindavan, which at that time was just a forest.
The Radha Raman temple is one of the temples of the most exquisite workmanship and among the most revered of Vrindavan. The Sri Radha Govindaji Temple is the most spectacular work of devotional art that the eyes can see. The Banke-Bihari Temple is one of the most famous temples in Vrindavan that was built in 1864. Right next to Vrindavan is the city of Mathura, another meta culturally rich birthplace of Krishna.
Agra is just 3 hours and 15 minutes drive from New Delhi located near the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh and is home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, and many other magnificent structures including the Agra Fort. The city is located a few hours drive from Delhi and is part of the rich history of India from 1000 BC onwards. The town was first mentioned as 'Agra' by the Greek philosopher Ptolemy in 200 AD. The city rose to prominence as the capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century.
Many of the city's heritage sites date from this period. The Taj Mahal became de facto tourist emblem of India that is an immense mausoleum of white marble. Taj Mahal is the jewel of India and one of the masterpieces universally admired in the world. The streets of Agra are dotted with old buildings in happy harmony with modern shops and houses. From its beautiful work of art with marble inlays to its delicious sweet shops, the city offers much to the visitor.
Another mausoleum of the city, small and discreet was built by Nur Jahan, Persian poet, for his father Itimad Ud Daulah, during the Jahangir empire. Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone contains, within its 2.5 km length of the enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It consists of many fairytale buildings, like the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan, Diwan-i-Khas. You can reach Agra by bus or train early in the morning, and you can get back at night by a night train.
The areas with the highest concentration of hotels are near Daryaganj and Paharganj, near the Old and New Delhi Railway Station respectively, which are cheaper, Karol Bagh and Janpath, on the southern side of Connaught Place, for budget and medium hotels.
Visa and Customs
All foreign visitors must have a visa to visit India. You must obtain it before arriving in India, which is possible, addressing the Indian Embassy or consulate general. Among the various documents remember that the passport is a must having a validity of at least six months with free pages for affixing the visa. The Indian authorities do not issue visas on arrival at the airport for most countries.
When to go and Climate
Summer in Delhi is not a joke as April temperatures rise inexorably up to reach over 45 ° C in May and June and it does remain warm almost uninterrupted until October as from Rajasthan arrive furious sandstorms called loo. The arrival of the monsoon in late June results in a high increase in humidity. August and September are characterized by heavy rains that can last the whole day.
The period from November to late March is the best, thanks to a climate rather cold but sunny. This, moreover, is the Holi season, one of the popular festivals of the country. October marks the end of the monsoon, but it's still enjoyable. Nighttime temperature can be quite stiff in December and January.
One of the disadvantages of Delhi is the fact that for six months a year the climate is not the best. For about five months, from November to the end of March, the weather is good, with daytime temperatures between 21 and 30 ° C.
How to get there
Delhi is the center of India's air links with readily available in price ranges international and domestic flights and in different classes and a number of travel agencies that are queuing up to offer you the best rates. The domestic and Indira Gandhi International Airport terminals are both pretty, but is far from the city with the first is 15 km from the center, while the second at 8 km from the first.
The Inter State Bus Terminal at Kashmiri Gate, north of the Old Delhi Railway Station, runs long distance services headed towards Rajasthan and Chandigarh and the hill towns of Himachal Pradesh. From here you can organize long journeys to east across the plains of the Ganges to Calcutta, and south to Mumbai (Bombay) via Agra.
Delhi is an important railway junction and the New Delhi Railway Station is the most convenient place to make reservations and purchase tickets. There are long-distance trains headed east to Calcutta via Varanasi, and southbound trains towards Mumbai with transit from Agra. In the city, there are two main stations the Old Delhi station, and the New Delhi station in Paharganj. Be sure to know the station as the New Delhi train station is closer to Connaught Place. Ajmeri Gate is the entrance to the New Delhi train station for Paharganj.
Delhi is the entry point of India for international flights, but it is also a good source of cheap airline tickets. It is connected by internal flights to all major destinations in the country. The domestic terminal (Terminal 1) and for international flights (Terminal 2) is located here. There is a frequent and free shuttle between the two terminals.
The main bus station is the Inter State Bus Terminal located at Kashmiri Gate, north of the Old Delhi Railway Station. Among the most frequent services are linked with Rajasthan via Jaipur and the hill towns of Himachal Pradesh.
CNG Buses in circulation in Delhi operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation are not recommended for the faint hearted and those who need to be on time. They cover much of the city but are also overcrowded. Some seats on the left side of the bus are reserved for women. Learn to deal with the fare before departure. Over short distances, the autorickshaw proves generally faster and less expensive. If you have time, try to rent a bicycle, especially in New Delhi, where the wide streets and fewer crowds make safer travel on two wheels.
There is a pre-paid taxi service. You will find the kiosk at the exit of the international terminal. At the domestic terminal of the prepaid taxi counter, it is inside the building. The auto rickshaws are generally faster than taxis for short distances and cost half. Again ask the fee before boarding and make sure that your will is respected.
The metro system is a rapid transit system capable of serving Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida in the territory of the national capital territory of New Delhi and offers an extremely efficient service with announcements of arrivals and departures in English. The tickets are sold at stations and you can buy a tourist card for 1/3 days.
Health and safety
It is recommended to always use an insect repellent even in large cities and to pay close attention to what you eat and drink. You will find pharmacies in almost all markets. In case of medical examinations, there are hospitals like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Apollo Hospital, Apollo Pharmacy, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and East West Medical Centre.
Delhi is packed with people who will try to convince you to buy something or follow you somewhere. Be cautious in accepting invitations and if someone tells you that the hotel where you are going to stay caught fire, is closed or fully booked, ask to see for yourself. The thefts are one of the scourges of Delhi. Always lock your room, especially in cheaper hotels, preferably with a lock of your property.
Another risky place is the Inter State Bus Terminal, especially in the evening. Lately, there are increased cases of deception on the part of unscrupulous travel agents who sell all inclusive packages. Choose an agency that gives the guarantees.
Both the old part of the capital as the new one have an alluring charm for visitors. Surrender yourself to the mysterious secrets of the prehistoric city in the labyrinthine streets of ancient Delhi and then re-emerge in the wide open spaces of modern New Delhi, with its ordered views and lush tree-lined streets.