Delhi being the National Capital of India has a culture like none other. It is a blend of all kinds of mores an Indian city can offer. From the extremely upmarket and ‘afternoon garden party’ loving culture in South Delhi to the spik and span roads and buildings in lieutenant Delhi and to the loudness and chaos in North Delhi, the city changes in its outlook every 5 miles. If this change is just not enough, the city harbours the best of architecture in the form of ancient monuments such as Qutub Minar and Red Fort which speak of perhaps the most important part of Indian History. Undoubtedly, Delhi also has the best public transport in India with the extremely well organized Delhi Metro, autos which don’t always take you for a ride and the neat and clean Delhi Transport Corporation buses.
Experiencing all this for someone who is new to Delhi could be a task. To make it simpler, here’s our list of places to go to for understanding the spirit of Delhi.
- Delhi Darshan– Typically, this is going to be a tour of all the monuments and reminiscent pieces of history that are located in and around Delhi. Further, most of the important monuments in Delhi are recognized by the UNICEF as World Heritage sites. What you can’t miss are Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Jantar Mantar, Purnana Quila, Safdarjung’s Tomb, Akshardam Temple, Chandni Chowk, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House and a drive around the India Gate.
- Hauz Khas Village– A street or let’s say a gated urban village with amazing restaurants, cafes and shops. The best thing to do on a wintery afternoon is walk along the Hauz Khas Village while looking at the artsy walls, enter the mosque built by Alauddin Khilji(Hauz Khas Village’s north end) and sit here, doing nothing, for hours.
- Deer Park– A good destination for a weekend outing in Delhi could be the Deer park located in the south of Delhi. It can be accessed from Safdarjung Enclave, Hauz Khas Village and Green Park. People also go there for walking and jogging in the mornings. The best thing about the Deer Park is, within its premises, there are also some Mughal era monuments.
- Chandni Chowk– Leaving the food aside, Chandni Chowk is one experience you cannot miss. The second you walk in here, you have people thug you around, an experience that comes close to the locals in Mumbai. The most striking feature of Chandni Chowk is its mix of new and old. On one side there is a 100-year-old shop selling ‘lassi’ and on the other side is the extremely crowded McDonald’s selling burgers and fries.
- Weddings– The weddings that happen in Delhi are famous for their grandeur. With heart pumping music, copious amounts of liquor and sumptuous spread of food, most of them come closest to what are famously called “the big fat Indian Weddings”. If you do get a chance, don’t miss the ones that happen in areas such as Vasant Kunj or Chattarpur. No, I’m not asking you to crash a wedding. (Or maybe just do, no one will realize, anyway)
- Patel Chowk Metro Station– Patel Chowk metro station is not just any other metro station in Delhi. The station is shelter for Delhi Metro Museum. For the success, the Delhi Metro has achieved so early and the story that is behind it, the metro museum is worth a visit. Once you’ve entered here, why not buy a token and travel to Race Course via the Yellow Line of Delhi metro.
- Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro– The Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro connects Jehangirpuri in the North to the HUDA city centre in Gurgaon. It intersects with the Blue Line at Rajiv Chowk and Purple Line at Central Secretariat. Yellow Line, through its Delhi Course is majorly underground and hence, very fast. The best part about the yellow line is that it connects all of the major places in Delhi that are worth visiting- Chandni Chowk, Delhi Railway Station, Rajiv Chowk(Connaught Place), Central Secretariat(India Gate), INA, Jor Bagh(Safdarjung’s Tomb), Saket, Malviya Nagar, Hauz Khas, Qutub Minar, see that’s almost everything.
- Race Course and Chanakyapuri– Walk along the roads and see the huge identical bungalows of almost all the politicians of India. After walking along Race Course, enter the Chanakyapuri area, onto the Shanti Path and see all the foreign embassies on the road. If not for anything else, just for the feel and realization of their existence. You can also go look at those luxury cars that do the rounds there or you could go play ‘guess the country’ by looking at the flags on the embassies.
- Saket and Vasant Kunj– These areas have mall culture like no other. They have massive sized malls such as Select CityWalk, DLF Place, DLF Promenade, etc which house some of the best restaurants and best branded and international stores in the country. Further, these malls are also very customer friendly and organize festivals very well. Famous bollywood films like ‘Aisha’ have been shot here.
- Dilli Haat– Your one stop shop for collecting all those ‘Indian souvenirs’ from shawls to shoes, they’re all there. Additionally, Dilli Haat consists of many eating joints from different states of India. Dilli Haat also has fares and melas occasionally that are a treat to watch.
- India Habitat Centre, FICCI Auditorium and India International Centre- These three places, mainly located in central Delhi, are your ultimate destinations to witness different art forms and cultures. Their auditoriums often showcase the best of dances, plays and other cultural programs from across the world and India. Heads-Up: The food is also nice.
- Garden/Farmhouse Parties– If you’ve made some good friends in South Delhi, ask them to invite you to one of their garden parties. People in Delhi love these parties which usually happen during the afternoons, for various reasons. It is usually looked at as a get together time for family and friends. These are often fun and a great platform to socialize. Because they’re very prominent in South Delhi, for the kind of crowd that it has, chances are you’ll meet some important person or a biggie.
- Pragati Maidan– This is where a number of fares happen throughout the year. Don’t miss the Auto Expo(the venue is now been moved to Greater Noida), India International Trade Fare and the World Book fare. If that is done, take the Blue Line of the Delhi Metro and head toward Rajiv Chowk. On the way, you can experience the metro going from the bridge to underground at Mandi House.
- Connaught Place– You can’t go to Delhi and not visit Connaught Place. Just walk out of the Rajiv Chowk Metro station and you’re right in the middle of CP. Can you imagine such a wide spread shopping area with beautiful architecture! As you keep admiring the architecture, I will probably come up with another post for things to do at CP.
Another great thing to do in Delhi would be just getting lost, because you never know where you’ll end up. One of the first few times, I ended up outside the Supreme Court of India while walking toward Pragati Maidan Metro station. So just walk around without worrying too much about safety issues and Delhi is one city you will fall in love with.
Comment here if you have any suggestions or to let us know about more such places and feel free to share this with your friends or family. I hope my post has been of some help to you!
If you’re looking for a home like stay in Delhi/NCR, book a serviced apartment now on www.roomlion.com
Photo Credits, Hauz Khas Village: Bedi Chai
Photo Credits, Delhi Metro: Rit Mishra
Photo Credits, Select CityWalk: Select Citywalk website