Delhi is the capital city of India, located in the northern part of the country. It has a rich and diverse history, with roots dating back to ancient times. The city is known for its historic monuments, such as the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and India Gate, as well as its vibrant culture, food, and markets. It is also a hub for business, education, and politics in India, with a population of over 20 million people.
1. Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
Delhi, the capital of India and home to an estimated 18 million people, is a thriving urban sprawl that does not often win many fans from visiting tourists. Called a gritty, congested city by some, one thing is certain, it’s a city stuck somewhere between reality and the modern metropolis the Indian Government has spent years and billions of dollars to change. Below is a list of 10 things to see and do in Delhi; A starter’s guide of the top destinations will help immerse any tourist in the history, culture, appetite, and consumerism of India.
The first female Prime Minister of India won many fans as well as enemies for her political actions. Unfortunately, it was her enemies who were successful in assassinating her in 1984. As she walked from her home through the lush, well-groomed gardens to a scheduled interview just yards away, she was gunned down by her bodyguards. Her home was converted into this museum where visitors can learn about her life inside, and outside of politics.
2. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
The father of Indira Gandhi and one-time Prime Minister of the newly independent India, his untimely death in 1964 was a national tragedy. Now converted into a memorial museum, Teen Murti Bhavan still houses many of his personal belongings. Press clippings and photos tell the story of his life as visitors move through the various rooms on both levels. Simple gardens surround the whitewashed building which once played the backdrop to the most powerful people in India.
3. India Gate
This magnificent archway is located in one of the central nerves of New Delhi. Tourists will find themselves driving past the monument several times as crisscross the city. The names of the 90,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the First World War, the Afghan campaign of 1919, and the North-West Frontier operations are inscribed on the walls of this grand structure.
4. Jama Masjid
A final and fitting end of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan’s extravagant building era can be seen in the magnificent Jama Masjid; A massive complex comfortably taking the title as the largest mosque in India. Properly referred to as Masjid-i-Jahan Numa meaning ‘the mosque commanding a view of the world’, today the landmark of India is a tourist ‘Must See” while in the city of Old Delhi.
5. National Gallery of Modern Art
Housed in the imposing former residential palace of Maharaja of Jaipur, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is situated at the eastern end of the Rajpath near India Gate administered by the Government of India. Inaugurated on March 29, 1954, the gallery has a wonderful collection of around 15000 paintings, sculptures, and works of art by Indian as well as international artists. The gallery acquires, preserves, and displays works of modern art from mid 19th century onward.
6. Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk, meaning Silvery, Moonlit Square, once had a canal running through it. Laid out in 1648, it was Shahjahanabad’s most elegant boulevard lined with mansions and grand shops. Tightly packed stalls selling everything from jewelry, clothes, shoes, and more line the current-day alleys and lanes. Behind every corner, travelers can find shops tucked behind another bend where only pedestrians could possibly fit.
7. Lodi Gardens
The Lodi Gardens are a beautiful example of history preserved in the heart of modern south Delhi. A walk around the serene oasis of the Lodi Gardens is sure to prove a refreshing break from the urban rush of bustling Delhi. The gardens are a popular picnic spot in winter and the park can get very crowded during winter afternoons. Yoga classes are held every morning in the park and regular walkers exercise early in the morning and late at night. Street lamps along the paths and jogging track ensure the route is well lit.
8. The Imperial Hotel
Impeccably maintained grounds of palm trees, green grass, and perfectly sculpted hedges surround the immaculately clean art deco building. This showcase for tourists of India houses many restaurants and boutiques as well as a spa and pool. This is a place to relax and indulge. Come hungry and ready to shop!
9. Qutub Minar
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is considered the highest stone tower in India. Local and foreign tourists converge to the ancient ruins as a top sightseeing location of not just Delhi, but all India. Years ago it was considered one of the “wonders of the East”, second only to the Taj Mahal.
There are plenty of great sites to explore in Delhi, India, but none more so than Akshardham. This newly built temple is simply…perfection. It’s an architectural experience combining religion, culture, and history into one area. Big and bold, this temple skipped no expense during the construction process. Built of hand-carved stone covering acres of land, this tourist Must Do is sure to impress even the most cynical of India.
How to reach
Delhi, the capital city of India, can be reached by various modes of transportation:
- By Air: Delhi has a major international airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is well-connected to most cities around the world.
- By Train: Delhi is well-connected to all major cities in India by an extensive network of trains. The city has several railway stations, including New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
- By Bus: Delhi has a well-developed network of buses that connect it to various cities in North India. The Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Delhi is the main bus terminal.
- By Car: Delhi is connected to major cities in North India by a network of highways. You can also hire a taxi or self-drive car to reach Delhi.
It is advisable to check the latest travel guidelines and restrictions before planning your trip to Delhi, as they may change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It would be helpful to know what kind of essential information you are looking for, as it could be related to various topics. However, here are some general essential information that might be useful:
- Emergency numbers: In case of any emergency, it’s important to know the emergency contact numbers of the area you are in. In India, the universal emergency number is 112, which can be used to connect to police, ambulance, and fire services.
- Currency: The currency used in India is Indian Rupees (INR). It’s advisable to carry some cash with you as not all places may accept credit cards or digital payment options.
- Time zone: Delhi and the rest of India follow Indian Standard Time (IST), which is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+5:30).
- Language: Hindi is the official language of Delhi and most of North India, but English is widely spoken and understood in urban areas.
- Weather: Delhi has an extreme climate with hot summers and cold winters. It’s advisable to check the weather forecast before planning your trip.
- Culture and customs: India has a diverse and rich culture, and it’s important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, remove your shoes before entering religious places, and ask for permission before taking photographs of people or religious sites.
Where to stay
Delhi is a large city with a wide range of accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Here are some popular areas to stay in Delhi:
- Connaught Place: Located in the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place is a popular area for tourists and has a mix of budget and mid-range hotels.
- Karol Bagh: This area is known for its budget hotels and is a good option for travelers on a budget.
- Paharganj: Located close to the New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj has a mix of budget and mid-range hotels and is a popular area for backpackers.
- South Delhi: South Delhi is a more upscale area with a range of hotels, including luxury properties.
- Aerocity: Located close to the airport, Aerocity has a mix of mid-range and luxury hotels and is a good option if you have an early morning flight.
It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist season, as rooms can get booked up quickly. Additionally, it’s important to check the latest COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions before planning your stay in Delhi.
India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, and Delhi being the capital city, celebrates a number of festivals throughout the year. Here are some of the most famous festivals celebrated in Delhi:
- Diwali: Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Delhi. People light up their homes with diyas, candles, and fairy lights, and burst firecrackers to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
- Holi: Holi is the festival of colors and is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Delhi. People smear each other with colored powder and water and enjoy festive food and drinks.
- Eid-ul-Fitr: Eid-ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival celebrated at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. People dress up in new clothes, offer prayers at mosques, and celebrate with family and friends.
- Christmas: Delhi has a sizable Christian population, and Christmas is celebrated with great zeal in the city. Churches are decorated with lights and flowers, and people exchange gifts and enjoy festive food.
- Republic Day: Republic Day is celebrated on 26th January every year to mark the day when the Indian Constitution came into effect. The main celebration takes place at Rajpath, where a grand parade is held with colorful floats, music, and dancing.
It’s important to note that some festivals may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s advisable to check the latest guidelines and restrictions before planning your travel.