1) Dehlī – دہلی OR Dillī – دلّی
2) National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT – a federally administered union territory)
3) New Delhi, the capital of India (lies within the NCT)
4) DIFFERENT NAMES OF DELHI
- Dhillu or Dilu, Mauryan King, who built the city in 50 BC
- dhili (hindi for ‘loose’) was used by the Tuar Rajputs to refer to the city because the Iron Pillar built by Raja Dhava had a weak foundation and was replaced. The coins in circulation in the region under the Rajputs were called dehliwal
- Dilli, a corruption of dehleez or dehali—Hindi for ‘threshold’—and symbolic of city as a gateway to the Indo-Gangetic Plains.
5) THE city believed to be formed from seven cities namely: QILA RAI PITHORA (built by Prithviraja Chauhan III), MEHRAULI, SIRI, TUGHLAKABAD, FIROZABAD, SHERGARH, and SHAHJEHANABAD.
6) Oldest reference of this city is in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha founded by Pandavas around 1200 B.C. Another word – Indrapat.
7) Legend has it that any man or king who creates a new city in Delhi will not be able to last his rule.
8) Delhi is believed to have been built and destroyed 11 times. Ruled over by likes of Rajputs, Turks and Mughals — Prithviraj Chauhan, Muhammad Ghori, Qutub-ud-din Aibak, Iltutmish, Balban, Razia Sultana, Allauddin Khilji, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, Firoze Shah, Taimur the Lame, Ibrahim Lodhi, Zahir-ud-din Mohammed Babur, Humayun, Sher Shah Suri upto Shahjehan.
9) The city of Delhi passed on to the hands of the British in 1803 AD.
10) During 18th and 19th centuries, Calcutta was the capital both under British East India Company rule and under the British Raj, until George V announced in 1911 that it was to move back to Delhi. A new capital city, New Delhi, was built to the south of the old city during the 1920s. When India gained independence from British rule in 1947, New Delhi was declared its capital and seat of government. As such, New Delhi houses important offices of the federal government, including the Parliament of India.
11) The final city as you see today expanded from what Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker had planned.
12) In 1956, Delhi was converted into a Union territory and gradually the chief commissioner was replaced by a Lt. Governor.
13) In 1991, the National Capital Territory Act was passed by the parliament and a system of diarchy was introduced under which, the elected Government was given wide powers; except law and order which remained with the central Government. The actual enforcement of the legislation came in 1993.
14) Owing to the migration of people from across the country, Delhi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanization, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Delhi. Today Delhi is a major cultural, political, and commercial center of India
15) Inspite of its rich historical heritage represented by the numerous monuments, Delhi’s population is hardly aware of it and has little pride or feeling for the city’s history. This is due to the simple reason that few Delhi residents actually belong to Delhi. The population of Delhi is a heterogeneous mix of people originally belonging to different parts of North India and beyond. Among the prominent North Indian communities are the Punjabis, who are the descendants of the refugees of the Indian Partition. They are easily the most affluent community. However, their dominance in recent years has been challenged by the increasing affluence of other North Indian communities. Delhi has a prominent South Indian Community, primarily in areas like RK Puram and Munirka. A Bengali Settlement, the Chittaranjan Park in south east Delhi is the Mini Calcutta of Delhi. And the biggest irony is the fact that the descendants of the builders of Delhi’s many Muslim monuments no longer stay in Delhi. Most of them migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, with only a small, ever-diminishing community in Old Delhi keeping old courtly traditions alive.
16) Delhi has a continental climate with high variation between summer and winter temperatures (combining scorching aridity of Rajasthan’s deserts with the frigid cold of the Himalayas).Summers are long, extremely hot (over 40°C is common), from early April to mid-October, with the monsoon season in between. Beginning of March sees a reversal in the direction of wind, from the north-western direction, to the south-western. These bring the hot waves from Rajasthan, carrying sand and are a characteristic of the Delhi summer. These are called loo. The months of February to May see a time of hot, prickling heat, with highly oxidizing conditions. At the end of June, humidity increases, bringing some respite in fluctuating rains in the months of July to September. Winter starts in late October and peaks in January with temperatures dipping to near zero. The shoulder seasons (Feb-Apr and Sep-Nov) are comparatively pleasant, with temperatures in the 20-30°C range, but short.
PLACES OF INTEREST WHILE YOU ARE IN DELHI
1) Red Fort (Lal Qila) : UNESCO World Heritage Site – (Lal ie. red and Quila ie.fort), stands strong on the banks of the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon. It is surrounded by a wall of about 2.4 Kilometers in circumference and is built of Red Sandstone. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (known for building Taj Mahal of Agra) after ruling from Agra for eleven years, decided to shift to Delhi and laid the foundation stone of the Red Fort in 1618 and the fort was completed in 1648, nine years after the king shifted to this city. This new walled city in Delhi served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. India’s history is also closely linked with this fort. It was from here that the British deposed the last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, marking the end of the three century long Mughal rule. It was also from its ramparts that the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, announced to the nation that India was free form colonial rule. The fort has two main entrances, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate which faces the famed Chandni Chowk market. The fort houses the following buildings:
- Chatta Chowk (Covered Bazaar)
- Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience)
- Hayat Baksh Bagh (Life-Bestowing Gardens)
- Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience)
- Khas Mahal (Private Palace)
- Rang Mahal (Colour Palace)
- Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel Palace)
- Daawat Khana
- Swatantra Sangrama Sangrahalaya (Museum of the Independence Movement) on the history of independence activism in India, starting from the 1857 Mutiny
2) The ruins of Qila Rai Pithora have been conserved in a 20-acre DDA Conservation Park at Mehrauli. The park has an 18-foot high statue of Prithviraj Chauhan and a library, and is being developed as a tourist destination housing an interesting museum and artifacts belonging to the medieval period. Located in South Delhi between Mehrauli and Saket. Can be accessed through the Press Enclave Marg or through the Mehrauli Badarpur Road
3) Kabuli or Khuni Darwaza To the left of Chandni Chowk; there was once a gate across the road that was called Khuni Darwaza or the Bloody Gate. The British reoccupied Delhi on 20 September 1857 after fierce resistance by rebels. On 21 September 1857 Bahadur Shah surrendered to Hudson at Humayun’s tomb. On 22 September three Mughal princes, Mirza Moghul, Mirza Khizr Sultan and Mirza Abu Bakr were brought by Captain Hudson in a bullock-cart and shot dead at Khuni Darwaza near Delhi Gate. He ordered the princes to take off their upper garments and killed them one by one. The three bodies were carried to the Kotwali and stripped off all the clothes except a rag around their loins, and laid on stone slabs outside the building before they were buried. The reoccupation of Delhi was followed by massacre and plunder and it was even suggested that whole city be razed to the ground. Mirza Ghalib, the great Urdu Poet, who was a witness to the killings and plunder wrote in his Dastambu: “GOD ALONE knows the the number of persons who were hanged. The victorious army entered the city along the main road. Whomsoever they met on the way was killed.” The “Khuni Darwaza” still stands in its solitary grandeur exactly opposite the main gate of the Maulana Azad Medical College.
4) HUMAYUN’S TOMB, near Hazrat Nizamuddin station: UNESCO World Heritage Site – Built by the wife of Humayun, Haji Begum in the mid 16th century, this red sand stone structure is considered to be the predecessor of Taj Mahal. The structure is one of the best examples of Mughal Architecture. Humayun’s wife is also buried in the red and white sandstone, black and yellow marble tomb. The entry in the complex is free on Fridays. The Mughals brought with them a love for gardens, fountains and water. The first mature example of Mughal architecture in India, Humayun’s Tomb was built by the emperor’s grieving widow, Haji Begum, in 1565 AD. Constructed with red sandstone and ornamented marks the beginning of a new tradition of ornate style, which culminated in the Taj Mahal of Agra. Designed by the Persian architect, Mirza Ghyas, Humayun’s Tomb shows a marked shift from the Persian tradition of using coloured tiles for ornamentation. Located in the midst of a large square garden, screened by high walls, with gateways to the south and west, the tomb is a square tower surmounted by a magnificent marble dome. The dome stands 140 feet from the base of the terrace and is topped with a copper pinnacle. In addition to the remains of Humayun, the complex also houses the grave of many other distinguished members of the Mughal dynasty.
5) Lodi’s Tomb Adjacent to the Dargah Complex on the western side Chiragh Delhi is the tomb of Bahlol Lodi, the founder of the Lodi dynasty and reigned from A.D. 1451 to 1488. This tomb was built by his son, Sikander and may originally have been surrounded to a garden. The tomb is crowned by five domes, the central one of which is fluted and higher than the rest. The north, south and east facades have three archways, while the west wall has two which flank mihrab.
- About 3 Kms to the west of Humayun’s tomb and adjoining the India International Centre are the Lodhi Gardens. In these well-kept gardens are the tombs of Sayyid and other Lodi rulers. Mohammed Shah’s tomb (1450) was a prototype for the later Mughal-style tomb of Humayun, a design that would eventually develop into the Taj Mahal.
- Other tombs include those of his predecessor, Mubarak Shah (1433), and Sikander lodi(1517). The Bara Gumbad Masjid is a fine example of its type of plaster decoration.
6) Qutub Complex, Mehrauli: UNESCO World Heritage Site. Houses structures dating back to the Slave Dynasty (1206-1290)
- Qutub Minar: This 72.5m minaret was the tallest “skyscraper” in the world when built (1193-1368). Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer. No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the finest monuments in India, but also in the world. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.
- Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque: Delhi’s first and grandest mosque. Check out the extraordinarily ornate carvings near the tomb of Iltutmish on the west side of the complex. Iron Pillar is in the center of the mosque. True to its name, this is a seven-meter iron pillar erected c. 400 AD by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, also known as “he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed” according to the inscription carved on the base.
- Ala-i-Minar: Ala-ud-din-Khilji set out to build a tower twice as high as the Qutub Minar, but died after a mere 24.5 m was complete.
- Tomb of Imam Zamin
7) PURANA QILA – It is believed that the Pandavas had built their capital, Indraprastha at the place where this old fort stands today. Covering a circuit of about a mile, the walls of the fort have three gates and are surrounded by a moat fed by the river Yamuna. The wall was built by Humayun while the buildings in the fort are attributed to Sher Shah. The legendary Prithviraj Chauhan ruled from here till he was defeated by Abdali in the battle of Panipat. The notable buildings that have survived in the fort are the Sher Mandal and the Quila-I-kholina Mosque. A light & sound show is held by the Department of Delhi Tourism every evening.
8) Feroz Shah Kotla The ruins of Ferozabad, the 5th city of Delhi, erected by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354 can be found at Feroz Shah Kotla, just off Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg between the Old and New Delhi. The remains of a mosque and a well can also be seen, but most of the ruins were used for the construction of later cities. Feroz Shah was a great builder and so, this fifth city of Delhi was full of splendid palaces, mosques and gardens. The Tughlaqabad area was woefully short of water and this made the Tomars move westward to Mehrauli. Firoz Shah, Muhammad Tughlaq’s successor solved this problem by building his new city on the banks of Yamuna. Kotla was the inner citadel of Firozabad, built like Windsor, with great palaces and a magnificent mosque inspiring Timur’s envy. Destroyed by the Mughals, Kotla palaces were reduced to mere ruins, exposing to view the subterranean passages and covered cloisters. One can still see the pyramidal structure topped by the Ashokan Pillar brought from Topra, and a three-tiered baoli. Timur’s invasion of Delhi reduced the city to a city of ruins as he took away with him elephants loaded with treasures and costly building material, artists, masons and skilled workmen as prisoners. The Saiyyads and Lodis used Kotla as their citadel. Now more famous for the cricket ground.
9) Tughlaqabad was a magnificent fort when built by Ghiasuddin Tughlaq in 1324. But soon after his death it became a deserted, haunted place. But the great fort & city was never lived in and still has scarce human habitation. This fort was built within four years between 1321 and 1324. It contained a vast number of buildings, mosques, palaces, towers, and tanks surrounded by mammoth bastions. In fact Ghiyasuddin had selected this site for the fort when he was a mere soldier. But soon it became a deserted, and a haunted place. No enemy has attacked the fort nor has anyearthquake destroyed it.
- Why was the third fort of Delhi abandoned? It is believed that Saint Nizamuddin was building his baoli – step well at the time when Ghiyasuddin was using all his state power and resources on the speedy construction of the fort. Out of reverence, people worked more agreeably for the saint than for the Sultan who forbade his men to work at the baoli. So they worked at night in lamplight. This irked the Sultan who prohibited the sale of oil. The saint worked a miracle and the baoli water, when used in the lamps, emitted bright light. This exasperated the Sultan. In a fit of bitterness, the saint cursed the city of Tughlaqabad-‘ya rahe usar, ya base gujar’ (either it remains barren, or else be peopled by the Gujjar tribesmen). The curse prophesied doom on the city not yet fully completed. Ghiyasuddin, then out in Bengal, threatened to set the saint right when the returned to Delhi. The saint then quipped, ‘Hunuz Dilli dur ast’ (Delhi is yet far away). When Ghiyasuddin returned after his victorious campaign, his son Muhammad Tughlaq arranged for him a reception at Afghanpur, a village outside Delhi. A grand wooden canopy was specially erected on this occasion. When the grand salute was in progress one of the elephants put its foot on the wooden contraptions. The whole canopy collapsed over the Sultan and his infant son, killing them instantly. The prophecy was fulfilled. The Sultan could not reach Delhi to chastise the saint. When Muhammad Tughlaq took over as Sultan, he chose to build his own city and fort-Adilabad. Within a year or two after 1324, the city of Tughlaqabad was just abandoned by Muhammad Tughlaq. It became a haunt of jackals, monkeys and the sheep tending Gujjars who roamed about freely in royal ruins. The curse had materialized.
10) JAMA MASJID: Work on the Jama Masjid mosque was begun in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to complement his palace at the Red Fort. More than 5,000 workers toiled for six years to complete the largest mosque in India. Every Friday, the emperor and his retinue would travel in state from the fort to the mosque to attend the congressional prayers. Completed in 1658 this Mosque has three gateways, four angle towers and two 40 m high minarets. You can enter the mosque but take precaution to take off your shoes and make sure that you are properly dressed before entering. One can also go to the top of minarets. From here you can have a bird’s eye view of Delhi.
11) SAFDARJUNG TOMB near Safdarjung airport. This tomb was built by the Nawab of Avadh for his father. The structure is one of the finest examples of architecture of its time and tells a saga of the last remnants of a dying empire. Built in 1753 by Nawab Shauja-ud-Daula to house the remains of his father, who was a minister in the Mughal court, the tomb is referred to as the “last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture.” It shows how the grace and simplicity of he Mughals had been overtaken by decadence. The tomb also has a mosque.
12) Hauz Khas in south Delhi is the historical battleground where Timur defeated Mohammed Shah Tughlaq in 1398. One can find the remnants of an ancient college and Feroz Shah’s tomb here and on the east to a short distance the Moth ki Masjid built in the finest Lodi style. Once an archetypal North Indian Village in the heart of Delhi’s urban sprawl, Hauz Khas is now a shopper’s paradise successfully marketing the concept of ethnicity in every possible way. You’ll find designer furniture shops, art galleries and boutiques geared towards the upper end of the market. Hauz Khas was a large reservoir built by Allauddin Khilji that was once the water catchments for the city. This village is remarkable for both the ancient and charming ruins in the nearby compound looking down on a still, green tank, as well as for the modern and posh shopping complex, which has sprung up around here. The madarsa, tombs and mosque around it built by Feroz Shah Tuglaq still make for an exclusive and exciting experience. Hauz Khas is also the site of India’s first Night Bazaar being built by the Ministry of Tourism.
13) JANTAR MANTAR: Set within a garden of stately palms, it was built by Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur (1699-1743), a keen astronomer and a noble in the Mughal court in 1719. He had been entrusted with the task of revising the peciali and correcting the astronomical tables then in use. He made daily astral observation for seven years before embarking on these stone constructions. He discarded the usual instruments of brass and built these massive ones in masonry which are used to meaure the movements of stars. This observatory, together with the one at Jaipur, are the finest examples anywhere of observatories pecial on the general pecial laid down by Ulugh Baigh of Samarkand in the 14th century. The observatory is precisely adjusted to meridian and latitude of location. The observatory has the Samrat Yantra, a simple equal hour sun dial, the Ram yantra for reading altitudinal angles; Jai Prakash for ascertaining the position of the sun and other celestial bodies, and the Misra Yantra which is a combination of four scientific gadgets.
14) RAJPATH: The main parade route that leads to the President’s residence (Rashtrapati Bhavan)
15) RAJGHAT: The simple square platform of black marble on the banks of the river Yamuna marks the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. His last words ‘ Hey Ram ‘ are inscribed on this platform which is surrounded by a serene garden.
16) RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN: President’s house. The Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, to be the central point of the British power in Delhi. Originally called the Viceroy’s House, the Rashtrapati Bhavan covers an area of 4.5 acres of land. It has 340 rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies and loggias, 18 staircases and 37 fountains.
17) BIRLA HOUSE / BIRLA BHAVAN, 5 Tees January Marg: where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on January 30, 1948. It was originally the house of Indian business tycoons, the Birlas. It was acquired by Government of India in 1971 and opened for the public on August 15, 1973. Renamed as the Gandhi Smriti (or Gandhi Remembrance). The museum in the building houses a number of articles associated with Gandhi’s life. The Martyr’s Column now marks the place where Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation” was assassinated.
18) NEHRU HOUSE / TEEN MURTI BHAVAN: former residence of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and now a museum. Was used by the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Army before Indian Independence. Also houses a planetarium.
19) INDIA GATE: built as a memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in Second World War. An eternal flame (Amar Jawan Jyoti) keeps burning in honour of the unknown soldiers. India Gate is prominently located in the vicinity of Rashtrapati Bhavan and is a major crowd puller during the hot summer evenings of Delhi by virtue of its lush green lawns.
20) PARLIAMENT HOUSE: Close to Rashtrapathi Bhavan, is a domed circular structure almost a kilometer in circumference designed by the famed architect Lutyens where the bicameral (Lok sabha, the lower house and Rajya Sabha the upper house.) legislature of India meets for its sessions.
1) MUGHAL GARDENS is located in the premises of the Rashtrapati Bhavan – the official residence of the President of India. The building and gardens designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens span an area of about 320 acres that include colourful flowering shrubs and European flowerbeds. The gardens comprise of the Rectangular Garden, Long Garden and the Circular Garden. The Rectangular Garden is the formal garden, which derived its treatment from the water-gardens which the Mughals brought into Delhi. The small flowerbeds, the four waterways and mown lawns produce a virtual paradise. The gardens are open to the public from February to March every year.
2) LODHI GARDENS: In these well-maintained gardens are the domed tombs of Sayyid and Lodi rulers. This garden is known for its fountains, ponds, flowering trees, blossoming shrubs and artificial streams.In the middle of the garden is Bara Gumbad (Big Dome), a mosque built in 1494. The garden has Sheesh Gumbad (Glass Dome), Mohammad Shah’s Tomb and Sikander Lodi’s tomb. These tombs boast of excellent architecture,and this style was later used in the construction of Tajmahal. These gardens are ideal for joggers and for those who seek solitude
3) SHALIMAR GARDEN: It is one of the most important Moghul gardens in the city. The Shalimar Garden, which lies in the suburbs of the city, was once the first-night staging post for the Moghuls on their way to Kashmir and Lahore. In 1658, Aurangzeb was crowned emperor here. Shish Mahal, the beautiful central pavilion built by Shah Jahan is now in a fairly advanced state of decay. Some of the original painted flower decoration has survived.
4) Rose Garden – National Rose Garden is situated in the Chanakya Puri area of the capital. This garden has some of the rare and imported rose variety. The best season to visit this garden is during December / January when the flowers are in full bloom. There is another rose garden in Hauz Khas opposite Safdarjang’s Tomb.
5) Nehru Park, Chankayapuri: A park opposite the Ashoka Hotel & at one end of the diplomatic enclave is not just a regular jogger’s park or children’s park but also a popular venue for many cultural & classical music functions. It is spread over an area of 85 acres landscaped. Popular picnic spot.
6) National Zoological Park The Delhi zoo, close to Purana Qila, near ITO, was established in 1959 and is spread over a massive area of 214 acres. Is regarded as one of the finest zoos in Asia and efforts have been made to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds. There are more than 2,000 animals and bird species from places like Africa, America, Australia and even Asia. There is a lot of greenery around the zoo and it is an ideal picnic spot especially in winter. Timings summer 0800 to 1800 hours, winter 0900 to 1700 hours. Closed on Friday.
7) Buddha Jayanti Park At Palam-bound Sardar Patel Marg via Karol Bagh opp. Assam House is Buddha Jayanti Park founded on the auspicious eve of 2500 years of completion of Buddhas Great Salvation. A plant of Bodhi-Briksha was brought from Sri Lanka and planted in the commemorating park. The park is full of flowers and the garden is pleasant and charming for rest and walk. Ideal for picnic.
8) Garden of five senses, Saidulazab A beautiful Garden with fountains, sculptures, fragrant frangipani trees & nooks & corners to explore this garden surely fills all the five senses to the brim. Tucked inside Saidulazab off Mehrauli road, this garden has an unique touch of an architects dream.
9) Millenium Park – A new entrant to the picnic spot cum, childrens park, cum entertainment & cultural parks in Delhi is the upcoming Millenium park at the Nizamuddin crossing on Mthura Road.
10) Children’s Park Near India Gate, has swings, slides and an aquarium. Adults are not allowed if not accompanied with a child.
11) Deer Park A paradise for morning walkers, has huts for staying and is approachable from Hauz Khas Village, Safdarjang Enclave or near the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association courts side.
12) Dhaula Kuan Complex Near Dhaula Kuan. It has an artificial lake, hanging bridge, playground and waterfalls. A cooling experience especially during the summer.
13) Idgah Green area around the Idgah in Hauz Khas Enclave.
14) India Gate Lawns Beautiful lawns over a large area, a popular evening location. Ice cream and other snacks available from mobile vendors.
15) Jahanpanah Ideal place for bird lovers in Chirag Delhi. It also has well developed forests.
16) Kalkaji District Park With lakes and beautiful terraced gardens a quiet spot near the Nehru Place office complex.
17) Kalindi Kunj Near the NOIDA border near Apollo hospital, a good getaway with fountains and colourful lights during the night.
18) Mehrauli On the outskirts of Mehrauli near Qutab Minar, the Phool Walon ki Sair is held there in October every year.
19) Mahavir Gardens Located on the Ridge it is named after the founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavir.
20) NDMC Lake Park Has a musical fountain and is located near the Safdarjang Flyover in Lakshmibai Nagar.
21) Okhla Dam Near the Yamuna Canal it has facilities for fishing. Close to the Holy Family Hospital it is a picnic spot.
22) Yamuna Water Front South of Rajghat, it is a 4 km long boulevard with green lawns and a floral clock.
23) Musical Fountain — Delhi Tourism’s musical fountain at Ajmal Khan Park is spread over an area of five acres and provides a refreshing getaway from the bustle of the city. The scintillating lights synchronised with music, and the cascading water turn this complex into a quiet haven, particularly during the heat of summer. If you are travelling with kids or just want to enjoy a pleasant evening with your partner, then pay a visit to the Musical Fountain at Ajmal Khan Park This is spread over an area of five acres and provides a refreshing getaway from the bustle of the city. The musical fountain is in operation for two hours every day after sunset except on Tuesday.
24) Appu ghar, Pragati Maidan — India’s 1st amusement park. Inaugurated on 19th November, 1984, by the then Prime Minister, Late Sh. Rajiv Gandhi, on the occasion of the birthday of Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, Appu Ghar has come a long way and has created a niche for itself. It is the almost happening place in the city. The dream child of the Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi was formally opened under the aegis of International Amusement Limited, with its registered office at Gate No.4, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
Spread over 15.5 acres of land, it houses 22 immensely popular rides in its premises, along with a recently opened Water Park – O.Y.S.T.E.R.S. spread over 3.5 acres of land. Apart from the rides, Appu Ghar has fast food centres which serve all kinds of Indian food and a variety of shops selling gift items and wares.
Often referred as a Mini-Disneyland, is a major crowd-puller for the people residing in Delhi and neighbouring NCR cities. Appu Ghar was planned and designed to provide the children their own extended amusing space of recreation. The ideal location of this amusement park makes it easily accessible for tourists and also ensures great fun.
One of the most exciting features of Appu Ghar is the Ice-Games. Appu Ghar has prepared itself to provide the young saplings the real adventurous splash of fun and frolic.
25) Fun & Food Village – An amusement park & water park near Gurgaon.
1) Shankar’s International Dolls Museum, Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. – There are about 6,000 dolls collected from over 85 countries and a third of the collection has been gathered from different parts of India. Each doll is resplendently dressed in costumes that represent the country or the region they come from. Closed on Mondays & Govt. holidays.
2) National Museum, Janpath: Sections on Indus Valley Culture and the Buddhist Heritage are quite informative. Arts and handicrafts from different regions of India. Keep an eye out for the 4600-year-old Harappan temple dancer, the Gandhara-era standing Buddha with Greek hair and a Roman toga, the stunning miniature painting gallery, and the giant temple chariot parked outside.
3) National Science Centre – Gate No. 1, Pragati Maidan.
4) The Rail Transport Museum (closed on Monday)- It is a must for rail buffs. Its vintage display includes the oldest locomotive in the world-still working; the Vice regal Dinning Car (1889) and the Prince of Wales Saloon (1876). Children can enjoy a ride on the miniature rail track located in the south of Delhi close to the diplomatic area of Chanakayapuri it traces, through exhibits, the 140 year-old history of the Indian Railways. The museum, established in 1977, and spread over a ten-acre area, is the first of its kind in India. Timings: summer 0830 to 1130 and 1600 to 1730 hours, winter: 0900 to 1730 hours.
5) National Rail Museum, Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri, – a worthwhile look into India’s proud railway heritage. The collection includes carriages belonging to Indian potentates and British viceroys. Children can take a small toy train ride that circumnavigates the museum. Its pride is a model of India’s very first train, a steam engine that made its journey from Mumbai to Thane in 1853. It was built as per plan of British architect M G Satto on 1957, 1st Feb, on the carpet area of 10 acres of land. The museum displays 27 locomotives and 17 carriage. The saloon car of the Maharaja of Baroda (1886), the carriage of the Maharaja of Mysore made of teak covered with ivory; the cabin of the Prince of Wales (1876), the carriage in which the ashes of Gandhiji was carried in 1948; Fairy Queen of 1855 (oldest steam engine in the world); evolution of Indian Rail from steam engine to present era are vividly displayed. Even, the skull of an elephant who struck a Mail train in 1894, with his head is also projected here in the exhibition. The Toy train is running – you may buy here as a souvenir of your visit. Restaurant and Libraries are also there Monday Closed.
6) National Philatelic Museum: Dak Bhawan, Sardar Patel Chowk Sansad Marg – Rare Stamps, first day covers & special cancellations are display at the museum. Counter for sale of stamps from all over the world. Closed on Sat & Sun. Timings 10-5.
7) National Museum of Natural History: FICCI Building, Barakhamba Road – The focus is on ecology showcased through various galleries on earth’s natural resources. Activity rooms for children. Film shows from 11 am to 3 pm. Monday closed. Timings 10-5.
8) National Gallery of Modern Art: Jaipur House, India Gate, Near Delhi High Court – The museum houses an art reference library. A collection of best contemporary art reproductions are on sale at the counter. Monday closed. Timings 10-5.
9) Crafts Museum Bhairon Road, Pragati Maidan, diagonally opposite the Old Fort (Closed on Sunday): The Crafts Museum complex is a charming oasis in the midst of hustle and bustle of Delhi. Inside the museum the craftsmen showcase their talent while the shopper can, not just buy but also see how it was made. Mud huts with painted walls and thatched roofs, courtyards, terracotta horses recreating village shrines, craftsmen at work are some of the elements that add to the rural ambience of the place. Traditional Indian crafts, wooden carvings and images, metalware, especially ewe Perdue objects from Bastar, West Bengal and Bihar, clay and terracotta pots, toys and images, folk and tribal paintings, jewellery and textiles. There is a small shop to sell the same craft items.
10) India Habitat Center, Lodhi Road, (http://www.indiahabitat.org/main.htm). This center is most noted for its ever-changing art exhibits, plays and films, as well as an international selection of food items in its food court.
11) Tibet House, 1 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, Established by HH Dalai Lama with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of Tibet. There is a museum, exhibition space and library. The museum has a collection of Tankhas (painted scrolls depicting the life of Buddha), old currency notes, head pieces, prayer objects & musical instruments. Sat. and Sunday Closed.
1) CHANDNI CHOWK (Closed on Sundays) The heart of Old Delhi, this is the place to go for the full-on Indian experience of crowded, twisting alleys and tiny shops.The entire area was designed by Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter and was then inhabited by the well-to-do families of that time. Leading off Chandni Chowk are Dariba, the silver market, Khari Baoli, the spice market and Kinari Bazar for trimmings and tinsel. In some of these bazaars the item for sale are manufactured at site, which lands a special charm to the shopping experience well integrated into the culture of the old city, these bazaars offer the visitor a glimpse of life in Old Delhi.The Fountain serves as a useful orientation point.
2) MEENA BAZAAR There are some antique stores behind Jama Masjid, and more lining the entrance to the Red Fort, where the Meena Bazar once was. These offer items arranging from jewellery to painting and furniture, and cater almost entirely to tourists.
3) CONNAUGHT PLACE (Closed on Sundays) One of Delhi’s most popular shopping centres built as early as 1931 there is nothing that one cannot buy here and it also has several eating-houses. The state emporia buildings are also located in this area so are the head offices of major banks, airlines and other major businesses. The complex popularly referred to as CP is an important meeting point for all sections of people and is something, which no tourist should miss if for nothing else then for its architecture and the humdrum of everyday life.
Oxford Bookstore, 1st floor Statesman House, Barakhamba Road. The on-site Cha Bar which allows you to read any book from the shelves and relax with a cup of tea. Ponder over their long list of teas which include liquorice, peppermint and even thyme. For something more nourishing, try the milk with honey and nuts. If you’ve got the munchies, Cha has the usual (cafe) suspects – muffins, sandwiches, cakes, salads and the like. Open daily.
English Book Store, 17-L, Connaught Circus, Situated in midst of the unique Connaught Place market, this is good place for picking up reading material on aviation, guns, military, religion, health and fitness, and other specialized subjects. The staff is knowledgeable and very helpful. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they will either make arrangements to order it for you or refer you to the right bookstore.
PALLIKA BAZAAR is the air-conditioned underground market at Connaught Place. The market makes a good refuge from the soaring heat on the ground. It is made up of hundreds of shops selling every kind of item—from clothes, accessories, shoes, photography equipment, black market mobiles, food etc. Sheilma and Pyramids (music shops). The grassy area above the market is popular for lazing around, chatting, eating snacks, and drinking tea.
v PEOPLE TREE, Parliament Street, 8 Regal Building – The blink-and-you’ll-miss it. Although it is a shop which sells biodegradable clothes, funky accessories, books, shoulder bags, ethnic costume jewelry and more, People Tree insists on calling itself a Tree which beckons to people from all walks of life: artists, students, corporates, families and tourists. The emphasis is on allowing the designer to express himself uninhibitedly and hold back nothing. So don’t be surprised if you find unpretentious kitschy stuff, alongside elegant, artsy accessories. A large book space at the back sells a mammoth collection of offbeat books and Indian literature. This ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss it’ shop is definitely worth a dekko if you are inclined towards the ‘I want to save the world’ types.
4) JANPATH (Closed on Sunday) Located in the heart of Connaught Place Janpath is one of the busiest roads in New Delhi. This street market is a bargain-hunter’s dream. Haggle hard. You can get all kinds of fashionable clothes, trousers, belts, pajamas, jeans, t-shirts, jewellery,etc. Beckoning tourists with its shimmering mirrorwork textiles, colourful shawls, brass Oms, psychedelic T-shirts, dangly earrings and trinkets galore, is this touristy belt running north of the Imperial hotel. Some famous shoe & music stores are also here in Janpath. A small but fragrant shop here sells original essential oils, “itr” in forms of ready to use concentrate perfumes. Loads of junk & glass jewellery shops dot the lane. For a good variety of stoles & scarves Janpath is an ideal choice. The Tibetans sell jewellery and ritual objects, while embroideries from Gujarat and Rajasthan, sell wall hangings, shawls, furnishings & readymade garments and bric-a-brac.
Famous Book Shop
Tibetan Market, Janpath, Opposite Hotel Ashok Yatri Niwas. is an ideal place to go if you are looking for antiques. There are loads of shops dealing in antiques, brass lamps, wooden chests, miniatures, Buddhist tangkhas and other bric-a-brac. Also, haggling is recommended. A little searching could yield rich and exotic results. There have been stories of valuable treasures being found under heaps of ordinary antiques. The Tibetan Market is set amidst bustling Janpath and is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, clothes and jewelry shops
United Colors of Benetton or better known as UCB, (Off Rajiv Chowk, E-13, Inner Circle, Connaught Place) has been around for a long time now. The clothing store, which is renowned for its contemporary designs and chic styles grabbed the attention of the young at heart from the time they hit the market. Located in all major metros, the Delhi store of this clothing gem is huge and stocks all the latest fashions. Stylish clothing is what one would certainly get at this famous shopping shrine. Whether it’s for men, women or even children for that matter, Benetton is well-versed in making a style icon out of anyone. Do drop by for a complete make-over.
5) BENGALI MARKET, Off Babar Road. Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House. Built in 1930 by Bengali Mal Lohia, the Bengali Market in Connaught Place is a haven for Bengali expats, residing in the capital. Famed for its delicious rosogolla, mishti doi, chamcham and sweetened milk garnished lavishly with chopped almonds, a visit here promises to be a culinary delight for the discerning foodie. For those not inclined towards sweets, the North Indian street food stalls will suffice but watch out; your taste buds may explode with the unusual colors and spices which are so fundamental to Indian cuisine. The best bet would be to sample some spicy street fare followed by the delicious sweets.
6) KHADI GRAMODYOG BHAVAN, Connaught Circus, 24 Regal Building (Closed on Sunday) – Shopping on a trip to Delhi would be incomplete without adding some traditional Indian handicraft items to your luggage. This government-run store, Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, has a range of interesting products such as soaps made of natural products (that look good enough to eat, from basil and rosewater to mango and mint), khadi cloth material, ready made & embroidered clothes, silk & woollen clothes, incense, spices, henna and handmade paper for art & craft purposes. Khadi a revolution in weaving initiated by Mahatma Gandhi has come a long way in the last century. They also have a special discount for three months before 2nd October every year, in honour of Mahatma Gandhi and his love of the handmade fabric of khadi. From Oct 2, every year the Khadi gives heavy discounts on its products for a month, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti celebrations. The multi-counter purchasing system is ludicrous – arrive early to avoid queues, especially just before the Diwali festival.
7) COTTAGE INDUSTRY EMPORIUM (Closed on Sunday) – Right in the heart of Connaught place is the govt. run one place mall for every kind of art & craft products made in India. Right from jewellery, silk, sarees, furnishing, carpets, furniture to toys, trinkets, clothes, tea, silver, sandalwood, pottery and brass items.
8) STATE GOVT. EMPORIA, Baba Kharak singh Marg (Closed on Sunday) Just the corner form the Khadi bhavan, opposite the Hanuman Temple is the Emporia Complex. Starting from ‘Gram shilp’ in one street are the emporium shopping malls for all the different states of India. For all authentic regional craft & silk one can directly go to any of these govt. emporiums. And of course the Delhi emporium has something from every state.
9) SAROJINI NAGAR MARKET (Closed on Monday) reputed to be the largest outdoor, pedestrianized shopping area in Delhi. Huge bargains on all sorts of western and Indian wear. It is known by expatriate teens as THE shopping area for affordable current hip fashion trends. If you are lucky you can also get many reputed western brands here (export surplus) – The back streets of Sarojini are famous for selling rejected export apparel at bargain prices. Also a great market for fresh fruits, vegetables and household goods! Avoid Sunday afternoons when the area swarms with elbowing shoppers
10) GOLE MARKET. One of Delhi’s oldest surviving colonial markets, Gole Market is a circular structure that marks the critical crossing of an important axis on Lutyens’ plan and is in proximity to the historic Bangla Sahib Gurdwara on one side and Lakshmi Narayan Temple on the other. It also serves as a subsidiary market to the prime business centre of Connaught Place.
11) DILLI HAAT. Opposite INA market, located in South Delhi near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), is a place where crafts fairs happen every few weeks. It is a wonderful place to get crafts from all over the country. What is distinctive here is that the artists themselves come to sell their goods, so your money goes directly to them, rather than to middlemen. Some bargaining may be necessary if you want the best price. Prices are higher than elsewhere, but the modest entry fee keeps out beggars. Ripoff artists, and most touts, and many visitors find the mellow atmosphere worth the extra cost of shopping here. It also has a section called Foods of India. This has a huge number of restaurants, each showcasing the food of a particular state of India. (Most of them give a mix of Chinese and Indian food, but state delicacies are also included). This section is a must-go for the foodie cum tourist.
12) KHAN MARKET. Subramaniam Bharti Marg,( Mo to We from 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM,Fr to Sa from 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM) was originally tilling land allocated to refugees of the North West Frontier Province, who were displaced during India’s partition with Pakistan. Now it has been rated as the costliest retail space in India, owing to its proximity to diplomatic enclaves and expat residential areas. Although not as expansive as some of the newer malls in Delhi, unlike them this U-shaped market has more than the usual eateries and designer shops. Like Alladin’s Cave, one can find photography labs, tailors, dentists, liquor shops, bookstores, delicatessens and unusual little shops here. Around the Christmas season, Khan Market is lit up like a fairyland during Delhi’s chilly winters, when the city descends here for some warmth and shopping. Favoured by expats and Delhi’s elite, this enclave has shops devoted to fashion (including tailoring), books, sunglasses, homeware and accessories. This is also the place to find gourmet groceries, from Australian grapefruit to Italian pesto. For handmade paperware (cards, diaries, photo albums etc) check out Anand Stationers. There’s a small branch of Fabindia here. Avoid Saturdays when the crowds can be exasperating.
v Chocolate Wheel, 55, Jor Bagh, Sanjay Gandhi Green Lane, Lodhi Road. The entrance of this quaint and charming store is surrounded by beautiful green ivy with pink flowers. The shop is situated at the end of a tiny brick lane that digresses from the main Jor Bagh road. This is a small shop but has a long list of Delhi’s who’s who as loyal clientèle. It is known for its special birthday and wedding cakes. They also have the best cookies, pastries and bread. Chocolate Wheel is best known for its ridiculous variety of scrumptious chocolates. A must buy is Secret Desire special Plum Cake.
13) ANSAL PLAZA, Andrews Ganj (Closed on Monday) This huge, upmarket complex on Khel Gaon Marg is the closest in Delhi to an all-American shopping mall. The four floor Shoppers’ Stop is the biggest attraction here. The Plaza also has stores selling branded products, several popular restaurants and bars, entertainment centres, and mini playgrounds for children. The design of this sprawling building is contemporary, with red and blue exteriors. There is a courtyard in the middle of the complex circle which is used to host carnivals and entertainment events.
14) LAJPAT NAGAR CENTRAL MARKET: is the pulsating heart of south Delhi. The market was named after famous Congressman Lala Lajpat Rai and dates back to the 1950s, when migrant Sindhis and Punjabis inhabited the area, post-Partition. One of the largest street-shopping destinations of the city, it offers everything for everyone. From jazzy western wear to traditional lahenga cholis, from gorgeous footwear to beautiful handbags and accessories, from decorative housewares to best bargain electronic goods, Lajpat Nagar is a street-shopper’s paradise. If you’ve fallen in love with those colourful jangly bangles widely worn by Indian women, you can find them here. The market is lined by fast food outlets and stalls selling the best momos and chaats in town. One of the chief attractions of the market, are the numerous mehendiwalis flocking the pavements and obliging enthusiastic young girls with intricate designs on their hands. Lajpat Nagar is an experience. Go live it!
15) GREATER KAILASH M-BLOCK and N-BLOCK MARKETS: An upmarket shopping enclave best known for its awesome garment and home-furnishings store Fabindia, which has fantastic readymade clothes that won’t look odd back home. It also sells organic jams and bodycare products. Next door is Cottons, which has a smaller clothing selection but is also worth a peek.
16) SOUTH EXTENSION PART-I & II MARKETS: This high-class market is comprised of two enclaves, on opposite sides of the road, each selling designer clothing, jewellery, shoes, handbags and sportswear. Bg’s is strictly chick territory, with a glittering treasure trove of costume jewellery and flashy hairclips. Rhythm Corner,
v Mid Land Bookshop
v RS Books and Prints, A-40, South Extention Part-II, is an answer to the prayers of collectors of antiquities and those with a Vasco Da Gama hangup. It is a treasure cove of ancient maps, rare books and even rarer prints. It stocks a good selection of engravings and priceless lithographs and also imports these items on request. (Mo to Sa from 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM).
v Musicland, 6, Community Centre. is a favourite with the young and the restless of Delhi. With a modern decor, numerous soundstations, impressive selection of Hip Hop, Rock, R&B, Indian and Western Classical, this store has become a popular hangout for the thrill-seeking south Delhi teen crowd. There is a coffeeshop and a multiplex next door and that seals the deal. On a serious note; Musicland is sure to have the most hard-to-find soundtracks.
17) HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE – The haunt of the nouveau riche, these markets offer a combination of ethnic chic and designer labels, Indian and international. Hauz Khas Village has set a very interesting trend as market. Over the centuries, a village had developed around the medieval college and the tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq. A few years ago, an association called Dastakar – set up a showroom in the village. Now the village has a plethora of boutiques, galleries and restaurants, which coexist with the buffalos, cow pats and men smoking hookahs on charpoys. Far from being a deterrent, the “rural” ambience is a positive attraction. Other villages like Mehrauli, Khirkee and Lado Sarai are fast following suit. Walk into the quaint shops to find the most exquisite handicrafts, trinkets along with the most renowned designer clothes stores of India. Also in the village are some good eating joints for the traveller to explore. A true example of India in flux…modernity surrounded by the traditional. This place was actually a village (still is, in the middle of post South Delhi), but then became a popular place for designers to open shop in. There is a relaxed informality about the place, with high-end designer shops and restaurants strewn in midst of a rural landscape. You can find an impressive range in fashion ensembles, carpets, old silver antiques, furniture and artifacts that use traditional techniques. Don’t be surprised by cow herds resting for hours outside a designer cafe. That’s what the Village is all about.
18) KAROL BAGH (Closed on Monday) reputed to be the largest shopping area in Asia with 20,000 shops and traders. This middle-class market sells competitively-priced consumer goods, from kidswear to kitchenware. Get spice-happy at Roopak’s (6/9 Ajmal Khan Rd) two side-by-side shops with similar spices. Their namkin (savoury nibbles) are ideal for long train journeys – the roasted green lentils are a healthy alternative to the mostly fried varieties.
19) PAHARGANJ MAIN BAZAAR, sometimes referred to as the “backpacker’s district”, is one of the most colorful and vibrant street markets in north-west Delhi. The narrow, dusty lanes lined by old buildings and myriad shops on both sides are a huge attraction for tourists as well as the local Delhi crowd. Although officially closed on Monday, many shops remain open during the tourist season. Clothes, footwear, jewelry, handicrafts, costume jewelry, essential oil, fruits, vegetables, bakery products and so on are found aplenty at the main bazaar, not to forget the wide range of eateries offering inexpensive street-side delights. The market bustles with life day in and day out, with weekends being the most crowded. Paharganj Bazaar is truly a street-shopping paradise!
20) SUNDER NAGAR MARKET, Mathura Road, Central Delhi (Closed on Sunday) a fine place to stop for antiques and silver jewelry. It is a neat and well-designed market complex and has many stores competing to sell exotic souvenirs, fine silver jewelry from Ladakh, semi-precious stones, textiles, and brass, copper and silver objects d’art. This area also has many art galleries. Not far from here is the famous Crafts Museum shop, which is also a popular hunting ground for antiques.
21) KAMLA MARKET, Off Shraddhanand Marg is a famous market known for apparels and spicy road side food. The market is famous for the street side food and Chaat which is mainly spicy, tangy lip smacking snacks which are a specialty of urban India. The spicy flavors, the authentic sweets and the trendy clothes make Kamla market a regular hangout for students, families and tourists, alike.
22) SANTUSHI SHOPPING ARCADE, This shopping complex opposite the Ashoka Hotel has become another popular up market haunt. Developed by the Air Force Wives Association, it has a select number of boutiques where apparel, furnishings and accessories are available. A restaurant and patisserie add to the quiet charm of the place.
23) Qutub shopping arcade – A more up market outlet for Indian handicrafts and antiques is the bazaar near the Qutab Minar.
24) SADAR BAZAAR, Qutab Road, is a buzzing wholesale market in old Delhi, and one of the largest of its kind. Located on the western side of Khari Baoli, this market is known for its wide range of household items and decorative pieces that are available at reasonable rates. The bazaar is open on all days except Sundays and witnesses teeming crowds from all age groups and socio-economic classes. The spot is also a favorite among retail-buyers. When in Delhi, hop into this charming area and shop till you drop!
25) CHOR BAZAAR (only on Sunday) – Behind Red fort there is a weekly market, which sells old & antique things. If not for buying one can go there to just have walk around the flea market & who knows you could find a treasure.
26) Weekly Book Market (only on Sunday) – On Sundays the Darya Ganj Street comes alive with hundreds of shops & buyers browsing the old books Market.
27) DELHI BOOK STORE (DBS), 19 Ansari Road,Daryaganj (Mo to Sat from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM). is a landmark by itself. Being one of the most famous book stores in India’s capital, this one opened way back in 1947, when it was just a small-time shop. But today it finds itself to be the biggest store for medical books in the whole of Asia. They not only sell medical books, but also books from various genres such as History, Music, Art, Computer Science, Law and lots more. In other words, DBS possibly has books related to anything in this world. Do drop by, and browse for that special edition, you have been hunting for a long time.
28) YASHWANT PLACE, Near Chanakya Cinema, Chanakyapuri, Central Delhi (Closed on Sunday) is a complex of over a hundred shops selling garments, jackets, bags, belts and other accessories made of pure leather. The products are guaranteed and the quality is assured. Prices are quite reasonable, but bargaining is alright. Outside the complex, there are hoardes of small Chinese and Tibetan restaurants for your dining pleasure. These are very popular for their dim-sums.
29) NEHRU PLACE, (Sunday Closed) (http://www.npithub.com/) IT hardware market complex and a perfect place for finding gadgets at very cheap rates. Any computer-related accessory can be found here.
30) MAJNU KA TILLA, TIBETAN COLONY, north of the Red Fort, on Dr. K.B. Hedgewar road, Nearest Metro Station: Vidhan Sabha. Tibetan refugees who arrived in India with the Dalai Lama in 1959 now operate guesthouses for visitors. The New Tibetan colony at Majnu Ka Tilla offers excellent-value hotels with immaculately kept rooms. The area has a very Tibetan feel, with Tibetan shops, and restaurants serving Tibetan food, as well as Internet facilities and money changers and rooms here are much nicer than what you would get for the same price in Paharganj; on the other hand, beggars and sob-story artists tend to be persistent, and it isn’t very convenient for central Delhi (Connaught Place is Rs80 away on an auto, and the auto- and rickshaw-wallahs waiting at the colony exit are keen to overcharge). Old Delhi isn’t so far away however (Rs40-60 by auto). Book ahead if you intend to stay here as hotels are often full up. Lhasa House, White House, Wongdhen House. Visit the Tibetan Buddhist temple while you’re there. Mornings and evenings it’s packed with families chanting prayers and incantations. You can catch a direct bus to McLeod Ganj from here (bus ticket costs around 350 rupees, daily at 6:30 and 7 pm).
31) SAB MALL, Off Captain Vijyant Thapar Marg, Sector 27, Noida. This mall over the years has turned out to be a prime landmark in Noida. The architectural pattern is contemporary and hip, as you can see in any other major malls in India. There are a range of shopping and dining options inside, with multinational brands lining up. The mall is crowded most times of the day and that itself demonstrates the popularity of the mall. A visit to Sab Mall will make you appreciate the vibrancy and youthful vigor.
32) CENTER STAGE MALL, Off Ashok Marg, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Sector 18, Noida (Mo to Su from 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM). With a host of department stores, food outlets, cinema halls and other entertainment venues housed within itself, the Center Stage Mall not only promises to keep you occupied the entire day, but also promises you’ll have a great deal of fun while you’re at it. Besides the numerous stores, there’s also the Wave Cinema for those who’d like to catch a movie, and for those looking to grab a bite, there are options like Ruby Tuesday, Taste of India, Punjabi Tadka, and Geoffrey’s. There’s also a parking facility for those driving down to the 11-storey mall.
33) Sector-18 Market, ATTA, Off Captain Vijyant Thapar Marg.
- The closing days for the shopping complexes in Delhi is as follows:
- Sundays: Connaught Place, Janpath, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Jor Bagh, Khan Market, Malcha Marg, Nehru Place, Sunder Nagar, Yashwant Place, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazaar.
- Mondays: Defence Colony, INA Market, Jangpura, Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, South Extension.
- Tuesdays: Greater Kailash, Green Park, Hauz Khas, Kalkaji, Krishna Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave, Vasant Vihar, Shahdara, Yusuf Sarai.
- Dances of India, Parsi Anjuman Hall, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg – A one-hour performance of regional dances that includes Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Manipuri. Styles range from classical to folk and tribal dance. Tickets are sold on site and performances held every evening.
NEARBY PLACES TO VISIT
5) HARIDWAR & RISHIKESH
6) AGRA / TAJ MAHAL
8) Badhkal Lake-32 km – Situated in the Faridabad district of Haryana, the panoramic Badhkal Lake is a natural pool surrounded by vast lawns and lush greenery. Just over 30 km from New Delhi, the lake is a popular picnic spot. It also offers boating facilities to tourists.
9) Sohna-56 km – Atop the Aravalli hills lays the picturesque health-cum-holiday resort. Sohna literally means `gold’ in Hindi. Once, gold dust was collected from the sands of streams around it and so the place came to be known as `Sona’, gold. Sohna is famous for its sulphur springs, reputed for their medicinal properties, with the temperature ranging from 46.10c to 51.70c. The springs are located at the feet of a perpendicular rock, and are capped by a dome believed to have been built in the 14th century. The spa complex with sauna, sulphur and steam bath facilities for the tourists is situated up on the rock. There is also a mini swimming pool, filled with water spewed from a wall mural. Sohna is also famous for its vintage Car Rally which is held during the month of February every year.
10) Suraj Kund- 18 km – Situated 11 km from the Qutab Minar on the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Surajkund is the site of a perennial lake surrounded by rock-cut steps. The Sun temple stood here during 1000 AD, the remains of which can still be seen here. The temple and the enchanting surroundings of this place won the heart of a Tomar chieftain Surajpal, who belonged to a clan of sun worshippers. Raja Surajpal had a sun pool and amphitheatre built in this area with the sun temple at its periphery. After the chieftain Surajpal, who built the complex, the place was named Surajkund.
11) Okhla-11 km – Okhla is un-doubted the No. 1 Industrial Area of the capital city of India. Located in prime area of South Delhi, it has wide roads, clean surroundings and ample parking space. There are negligible power cuts and it has continuous water supply, adequate sanitation and drainage facilities.
12) Ballabgarh-36.8 km – The venue of the Kartik Cultural Festival is the historic fort of the king Nahar Singh at Ballabgarh. Around 1739 AD work on the construction of the Fort of Ballabgarh began under instruction of the forefathers of King Nahar Singh. Two gates once guarded it. The four corners of the Mahal were decorated with – ‘minars’ on which were mounted large cannons. After Nahar Singh’s death in 1857, his palace at Ballabgarh, just outside Delhi, faded into ruin and oblivion. Rediscovered and rescued by the Government of Harayana, the palace was entrusted to a well-known team of experts, under whose direction it has been restored to its original, delicate bearty. In a unique joint venture, the district administration of Faridabad, the Ballabgarh Beautification Society, the Departments of Tourism and Cultural Affairs of the Government of Harayana, the Office of the Director General of Tourism, Government of India, local business leaders, and leading artists and arts venture of international stature.
13) Karnal lake-132 km – Karnal Lake is situated on the National Highway No.1 near Karnal, 124 km from Delhi and about 150 km from Gurgaon. It’s a lovely green stretch that celebrates one of the protagonists of the epic Mahabharatha Karna. The Karna Lake is man-made on a marshy land. The structures round it provide some of the most delightful luxuries for tourists. Designer decorated guest rooms look out to the lake outside. Each room faces the landscaped surrounding. The tall eucalyptus trees shut off the din of the highway. Karna Lake also has twin luxury cottages, quiet and restful. A well-equipped conference hall is an integral part of the complex, complete with steno cabin and allied facilities. The lake has an identity of its own for its green waters and a small island. The surrounding fringes of bottlebrush have attracted darters and the pled crested Kingfishers. Ducks and geese filt in and around the water, adding to the quiet pleasures of Karna Lake. Boating is an added attraction here.
14) Dabchick- 92 km – On the border of Haryana as one travels to Agra, Dabchick resort greets the tourists. The resort is cozy, compact and geared to cater to the tourists in a hurry. Here the very best of facilities await the travelers.
15) Other Excursions In Haryana & Rajasthan
- Hindon- 19 km
- Hodal- 90 km
- Maur Bund- 32 km
- Sardhana- 24 km
- Dasna- 40 km
- Dhanaa- 41 km
- Dharudara-70 km
- The International Trade Fair – The International Trade Fair starts on the 14th day of November every year. This trade fair is held at the Pragati Maidan. This fair is a major event for the Business community. Corporate houses from all over the world come in this fair and business deals are finalised in a big way. This fair is also a major tourist attraction and lakhs of people visit the fair, which ends after thirteen days.
- Pragati Maidan — Pragati Maidan is also host to many other fairs, which includes the Auto Expo and the leather Fair. Through out the year Pragati Maidan is the venue for fairs and expositions. The Shakuntalam theatre is located in Pragati Maidan and regular film shows are held here.
- Handicrafts Fair — The months of September, October and November are busy with various types of fairs. The Handicrafts Fair at Delhi Haat is a major attraction for the lovers of handicrafts. The business fair held by the Delhi Government is also a major attraction for the Business community. The Diwali fairs around the Diwali festival is held in almost every community.
- The Surajkund Handicraft Mela – Surajkund is a small ancient kund (pond) in Haryana on the outskirts of Delhi. This picturesque place is the venue for the annual Handicrafts fair. This handicraft fair gives the artisans an opportunity to show their skills on the spot and customers get to see the working style of the artisans. The fair is held on a particular state theme. There are fashion shows and puppet shows, which represent the amalgamation of the traditional art with the modern trends.
Delhi being the capital city has the most diverse population and enjoys a large variety of religious celebrations with traditional music, dance and colorful costumes. Apart from the religious festivals several other colorful occassions also bring together the top perfomers from the field of music, dance, drama and art. With the break of the new year in the month of January, the festivity in Delhi starts and gathers momentum through the year.
1) Republic Day Parade: A national festival that no tourist should miss. Celebrated on the 26th of January when India became a Republic. It is the most spectacular pageant of Delhi. The march past includes military displays, elephant pageantry, floats representing different states etc.
2) Lohri (January) : In this festival, the climax of winter is celebrated with bonfires and singing. Traditionally, Lohri marks the end of winter.
3) Makar Sakranti (January): A major harvest festival of India. It is one of the biggest events in the states of Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. But fights and bullock race is an important feature of the celebrations. Also celebrated in the eastern region when millions of piligrims take a holy dip in the Ganges.
4) Kite-Flying Festival (January): Held on Makar Sankranti day on the green lawns above Palika Bazaar, Connaught Place, this colourful extravaganza attracts national as well as international participants. Republic Day (January): The national festival in India observed through out the country to make the inauguration of the Republic of India on 26th January 1950. In Delhi, the celebrations include a magnificent parade of the armed Forces, folk dances and floats from all the different states of India.
5) Basant Panchami (February): The biting winter winds continuing till the end of January-early February, when the Hindu festival of Basant Panchami welcomes the spring. This is also the chosen day to worship goddess of learning, Saraswati. Many schools & Bengali communities celebrate this day. This is the season when the prestigious Mughal gardens behind Rashtrapati Bhavan are opened to public for a month.
6) Thyagaraja Festival (February): An enthusiastic display of south Indian music and dance, opposite Jawaharlal Nehru University in Vaikunthnath temple.
7) Holi (March) – A festival of colours celebrated with much fervour in delhi, with colours, sweets & lots of harmless fun.
8) Maha Shivratri (March): Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the ‘Amavasya’ (no moon) night of ‘Phalguna’. It is said Lord Shiva danced the ‘Tandava Nritya’, which means cosmic dance on this dark night. He is worshipped at temples with all night vigils and prayers and unmarried women keep day-long fasts so that Shiva may grant them good husbands.
9) Amir Khusrau’s Anniversary (April): Amir Khusrau’s Anniversary is celebrated in April, with a fair in Nizamuddin and prayers and ‘qawwali’ singing. The event also sees the National Drama Festival, staged mostly at the Rabindra Bhawan.
10) Baisakhi (13th April): In north India, the Hindu New Year is celebrated on Baisakhi in mid-April just as the sun begins to get fierce and the dusty winds herald summer. It is also known as the beginning of the harvest season.
11) Easter and Good Friday (April) – Mostly celebrated by Christians in particular but even other people in general.
12) Buddha Jayanti (May): The first full moon night in May marks the birth of the Lord Buddha. Prayer meetings are held at Buddha Vihar, Ring Road and Buddha Vihar, Mandir Marg. Buddha Purnima is the month of ‘Vaisakha’, commemorates not just Lord Buddha’s birth, but also his ‘Enlightenment’ and gaining ‘Nirvana’.
13) Mahavir Jayanti (May): The birth of Lord Mahavira, who founded Jainism, is celebrated around this time of the year with prayers and processions.
14) International Mango Festival (July): A particular event, with over five hundred types of mango on show, usually held in Talkatora Stadium. Tourists can enjoy free tasting and a cultural programme to sample.
15) Independence Day (August): Like 26 January, 15th August is also celebrated in the city as the Independence Day to mark the Indian independence from the British rule in the year 1947. The Prime minister of the nation addresses the nation from the Red Fort and many people gather around the Red Fort to hear the Prime Minister’s address.
16) Teej (August): A monsoon Festival celebrated by north Indians. Mainly a fun and frolic time for women to wear loads of glass bangle, fine clothes, and henna on their hand. They put up swings in the garden,
17) Raksha Bandhan (August): Symbolising the bond of love and protection. Also know as Rakhi, when sisters & daughters tie a band of love on the wrists of their brothers & fathers praying for their safety, health and well being. And in turn the brothers give gifts & a promise to protect their sisters. Popularised by.
18) Janam Ashtami (August): A hindu festival. The birth celebration of Lord Krishna. Children everywhere make little replicas of the story of lords krishna’s birth with toys.
19) Ganesh Chaturthi (August): Celebrated by the Maharashtrians but not up to the level as in Mumbai. Idols of Ganesha are worshiped in a 10 day long festival.
20) Phoolwalon-ki-Sair (October): In early October, a festival specific to Mehrauli, in Delhi, takes place. This is the Phulwalon-ki-Sair or the Flower Sellers Procession, which originated in the 16th century. The highlight is a procession of people carrying decorated floral fans, which are blessed at the shrine of the 13th century Sufi saint, Khwaja Utb-ud-din Bakhtyar Kaki and at the Hindu temple of Jogmaya, both in Mehrauli. The procession ends with a formal ceremony at the Jahaz Mahal, a 16th century pleasure resort by the side of a lake.
21) Qutub Festival (October): Delhi Tourism organises the popular Qutub Festival in October. Musicians and dancers perform at night by the city’s 12th century landmark, the Qutub Minar. This festival gives tourists a glimpse of the cultural grandeur of India.
22) Durga Puja (Oct – Nov) – Durga Puja mainly celebrated by Bengalis and other east Indians, commemorates the homecoming of Goddess Durga to her maternal home, along with her four children, Lakshmi – goddess of wealth, Saraswati – goddess of learning, Lord Ganesh & lord Kartikeya. Worhipped both as a mother and ‘Mahishasur Mardini’ Slayer of the demon ‘Mahishasure. The five day long celebration culminates at Dusshera.
23) Dussehra (Oct – Nov) – Related to the mythology of Ramayana, this day is celebrated as the day when Rama killed Ravana after the battle in Lanka. For nine days, during the navratras various theatre groups perform the story of Rama throughout Delhi. on the final 10th day Huge effigies of Ravan, his brother Kumbhkarn and his son Meghnad are erected, and stuffed with fire crackers.
24) Kali Puja (November) – Celebrated mostly by the Bengali community. The Kalika form of Goddess Durga is worshipped in the community setting. Sometimes kali puja coincides with Diwali.
25) Deepawali (November) – Diwali is the celebration of Rama returning home to Ayodhya after slaying Ravan & rescuing his wife Sita. The day is celebrated with houses & streets decorated with lights, lamps, candles on the night of no moon. The weeks of preparation, buying new clothes, & gifts, and making sweets culminates on this. In the evening the entire city decks up like wearing jewellery of lights & people burst firecrackers the entire night. Ganesh & Lakshmi are worshipped.
26) The Bengali community celebrates ‘Kojagari Lakshmi Puja’ or the sleepless night. They believe that Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth come to the homes of the lucky few on this day. Being a dark night it’s essential to show lights to her & keep up all night to welcome her. Little feet are drawn, with rice paste, from the gates of the houses to her place in the house to guide her way.
27) Bhaiya Duj / Bhai tika / Bhai Phota (November) – Another festival celebrated by the sisters for their brothers. This time the sisters put a little dot of sandalwood as a symbol of protection from dangers, on the forehead of their brothers. And then exchange gifts & sweets.
28) Guru Purab (November – December): Guru Purab is the celebration of the birth of first of the ten Sikh gurus, Guru Nanak. ‘Nagar Kirtans’ are taken out through the streets and in the Gurdwaras, ‘Granthees’ recite verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.
29) Christmas (25th December): On 25th of December the capital witnesses special Christian Eve entertainments at its all-major hotels and restaurants and the midnight mass and services at all churches.
30) New Year’s Eve (31st December): The culmination of the Indian festive spirit is celebrated on the 31st of December, with most hotels and restaurants offering special food and entertainment.
31) Id-ul-Fitr means the ‘festival of breaking the fast’. The fast of Ramadan is broken with special prayers and festivities. ‘Fitr’ is derived from the word ‘fatar’ meaning ‘breaking’. Another connotation suggests that it is derived from fitrah or ‘alms’. Certain Sunni Muslims believe that fitr comes from fitrat meaning ‘nature’ and Id-ul-Fitr is the celebration of god’s magnanimity in providing nature to man. Celebrated on the first day of the new moon, it marks the end of Ramadan. The 30-day fast is broken on Id-ul-Fitr with sumptuous feasts which people embrace each other three times, as is laid down in the Quran. The festival originated when after proclaiming Ramadan as the period of fasting and austerity, Prophet Muhammad announced a day for celebrations to reaffirm the feeling of Id-ul-Fitr brotherhood. Women prepare sweets at home. Vermicelli cooked in sweetened milk, is popular. People then go for Id get together and socializing. Some people visit cemeteries and stay there for many hours, often even camping out overnight. This is perhaps to honor their ancestors and to be with their spirits. To a devout Muslim, Id is a time to forget all past grievances.
32) Id-ul-Zuha It is one of the grandest Muslim festivals, and is also known as Bakrid. It fails on the 10th day of the Muslim month Zil-Hijja. The sacrifice of a ram or goat also symbolizes that man’s position in the creation is far higher than any beast, and any sacrifice, however great, is a small thing for the sake of religion and Allah. The sacrificial ram or goat is reared with great care and is kept quite healthy and fat and the man who does the sacrifice must be a man of a character and deeply religious.
On Bakrid, the Muslims go to the mosques in the morning to offer prayers to Allah. And then sacrifice the animal at home. The cooked meat is partaken by the friends and relations. The poor, needy and sick are given money, clothes, etc., in charity on this day. Children get money to spend and gifts from their elders. People embrace one another out of sheer joy and greet each other. Hindus also participate in it and offer their good wishes to their Muslim friends and well wishers.
33) Milad-ul-nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammed, is celebrated with traditional pomp and religious fervour by Muslims.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
1) Birla Mandir, Also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, it is ideally located in central Delhi (Mandir Marg). This temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and Lord Narayana (Lord Vishnu) was built in 1938 by the prominent Indian industrialist Raja Baldev Das Birla and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The temple, built in Orissan style, has a large number of idols representing various gods of Indian pantheon. The well-grafted gardens need a special mention.
2) Lotus Temple, Nehru Place (Mo-Su, 9.30a-5.30p): Completed in 1986, the Bahai temple is built in the shape of a white lotus, surrounded by nine crystal blue pools of water and lush green lawns. The idea is to create an illusion of a white lotus floating in water. India is a known as a country of hundreds of religions and communities and the Bahai Temple is a symbol of such tolerance and respect. It repesents the Bahai’s faith which is an independent world religion, divine in origin, all-embracing in scope, broad in its outlook, scientific in its method, humanitarian in its principles and dynamic in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men. This building welcomes worshipers, believers and non-believers from all over the country and the world and it strives to create a space of calm and positive energy. Adherents of any faith are free to visit the temple and pray or meditate silently. Enjoy the spectacular view of the temple just before dusk when the temple is flood lit.
3) ISKCON Temple — Built on a hilly place in 1998, the temple is a complex of temples run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (also known as ‘Hare Krishna Movement’ founded in 1966 in New York City by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada). Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this elegant temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India. It has a large number of Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna cult followers.
4) Chattarpur Mandir, is located beyond the Qutab Minar in Mehrauli. The temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, is built in South Indian style. The temple complex is spread over a large area with beautiful lawns and gardens. Though devotees visit these temples throughout the year, the main attraction comes during the Navarathri festival, when devotees come from far and near. During this time, there are special bus services provided to the devotees.
5) Bala Hanuman Temple — This elegant temple stands on the south-eastern side of Ranmal Lake. The 24-hour chanting of the mantra ‘Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram’, which has been going on in the temple since August 1, 1964, has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
6) Kalkaji Mandir — Situated beyond the commercial complex of Nehru Place lies this temple dedicated to the goddess Kalika Devi. This domed twelve-sided Shakti Kalkaji temple, also known as Kalika or Kalka Devi lies on the same hill as the Baha’i temple. Its oldest section dates back to 1764 and additions were made in the mid-19th century; yet, most of the building is modern. This popular Kali shrine is at the heart of a village and the Hindu worship of its ‘Mahants’ (important sadhus) makes a fascinating contrast with the new faith of the Baha’is. Thousands of pilgrims throng the temple, especially in October during the nine days of ‘navratra’, when a huge fair is held over here.
7) Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir — Digambara Jain temple dates back to the time of Aurangzeb’s reign and is famous as Delhi’s oldest temple. It is situated right opposite the Red Fort, at the entrance of the main road. It was built in 1658 AD, but modifications and additions are going on ever since, and it remains a haven of tranquility amidst the noisy and chaotic main street of Chandni Chowk. The temple authorities also run a Bird hospital & hundreds of pigeons and other birds are there in the temple complex.
8) Hanuman Mandir, Connaught Place Situated on the Baba Kharak Singh Road (old Irwin Road) about 250m southwest of Connaught Circus. The original temple appears to have been constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh about the same times as the Jantar -Mantar, but has undergone large scale renewals since then.
9) Nizam-ud-din’s Shrine Location: West of Mathura Road, Across from Humayun’s Tomb is Nizam-ud-din’s Shrine, resting place of the Muslim Sufi saint Nizam-ud-din Chishti, who died in 1325, aged 92. The premise of the shrine is a tank, which is surrounded by many other tombs. It is said that there was an argument between the rulers of Tughlakabad and the saint over building this tank. The saint had said that the city of Tughlakabad will never prosper and so did it happen. The tomb has been through several renovations ever since it was built. The present mausoleum dates back to 1562.
- The complex of the shrine includes several other tombs, including that of the noted poet Mirza Ghalib (1786-1869), Amir Khusrow and the grave of Jahanara, the daughter of Shah Jahan.
If you happen to be there at around sunset on Thursdays, don’t miss out the extravagant performance of qawwali singers that takes place after the evening prayers.
Urs Of Hazarat Nizamuddin Aulia is celebrated in November or December at his tomb with lot of pomp along with the accompaniment of quawalis and a wide array of sweet meats.
10) St. James Church Located very close to Kashmiri Gate in north Delhi, St. James Church is the oldest church in the capital. It was built by James Skinner and consecrated in 1836. It is designed in a cruciform plan with the entrance towards the west and the altar towards the east (the standard norm in most churches the world over). The dome interestingly is very similar to the dome of Florence Cathedral in Italy that was the first renaissance structure built in the world. Porches on the north, south and the west provide the building with three entrances. The central portion of the church is an octagon with circular columns supporting the dome.
11) Aurobindo Ashram Again in the south of Delhi near the Indian Institute of Technology on the road to Mehrauli it has literature on the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and has an ashram where devotees can come to meditate. There is also some accommodation available for devotees of Sri Aurobindo.
1) Gopal Jee Chole Bhatura (Govindpuri Kalkaji)
2) Chacha Chole Bhatura (Kamla Nagar Market-North Campus)
3) Khari Baawari, near Kavarji (old delhi) – Kachori/aloo saag and lassi
4) Paratha wala (Moolchand Flyover- Vikram Hotel)
5) Flavors (Defence colony, Under Moolchand Flyover) – home style pecial food
6) Little Italy (Defence Colony) – pizzas!
7) Gopala (amar peci colony market) Rossogullas!
8) Dhabas at Murthal (on NH1 after sonipat) – dal/kadi/aloo gobhi coupled with stuff paranthas.
9) Keventers (CP) Pocket B Inner Circle CP Next to wenger pastry shop – Milkshake, Shakes & Cassatta Ice Cream
10) Wenger (CP) all kinds of cakes, pastries, burgers, patties Legendary Wenger’s has been baking since 1926 – their convoluted purchasing procedure certainly harks back to ye olde days! But the rigmarole is worth it, with a rewarding pastiche of sweet and savoury treats, including a frightfully good fig tart. They also do birthday cakes, cookies, muffins, marzipan and around 30 types of homemade chocolate.
11) United Coffee House 15 E-Block, Connaught Place: Oozing old-world charm, this classic 1940s restaurant is a splendid spot to slow the pace. Popular with pecializ and Delhi denizens alike, its menu has oodles to choose from – soups, grilled sandwiches, sizzlers, pastas and scrummy Indian cuisine; the Haryali paneer kofta (stuffed dumplings) is delish, especially with garam garam naan.
12) Ghantewala Near the Sisganj Gurdwara, this simple pecial has been churning out traditional mithai (Indian sweets) since 1790. Prices for mithai are around Rs200 per kg.
13) Govinda’s Promising a ‘transcendental dining experience’, Govinda’s pure-veg (no onion or garlic) Indian buffet is indeed otherworldly. Every Sunday there’s a jaw-dropping 56 dishes (around 30 on other days) – come on an empty stomach!
14) Haldiram’s Chandni Chowk offers samosas, pakoras and other fried morsels for chump change. This high turn-over restaurant is deservedly popular for a salty or sugary snack on the dash.
15) Jalebiwala Dariba Corner, Chandni Chowk: Calories schmalories! Century-old Jalebiwala does Delhi’s – if not India’s – finest jalebis (deep-fried ‘squiggles’), so pig out and worry about your waistline tomorrow. Luring everyone from taxi-wallahs to Bollywood stars, you’ll quickly see what all the fuss is about once you’ve taken your first crunchy-yet-oh-so-syrupy bite.
16) Not Just Parathas M84, Greater Kailash II Master the art of eating with your hands at this chirpy cutlery-free restaurant. There are over 120 types of parathas, including low-calorie (wholemeal, olive-oil smothered) options. Stuffings include palak (spinach) sweet corn, soyabean, mushroom and broccoli, just to name a few. For something more adventurous try the sharabi paratha (filled with alcohol-soaked dried fruit).
17) Naivedyam A snug South Indian restaurant that dishes out great food at great prices. The paneer masala dosa (large savoury crepe stuffed with spiced unfermented cheese) is a winner.
18) Paratha wali gali A foodstall-lined lane pecializing in parathas (traditional flat bread) flipped fresh off the tawa (hotplate). The many stuffed varieties range from aloo (potato) and murli (white radish) to smashed pappadams and crushed badam (almond), all served with a splodge of tangy pickles.
19) Sagar Ratna 5 K-Block, Connaught Place is another dosa dreamland, offering expertly-prepared uttapams (savoury pancakes), idlis (steamed savoury rice cakes) and other southern goodies.
20) Saravana Bhavan 46 Janpath, Connaught Place Massively popular, Saravana does dosas, idlis (rice cakes) and other southern specialities with aplomb, most served with lovely fresh chutneys. They also have inventive sweets such as the cucumber-seed ladoos (sweetmeat balls). There’s a first-in-first-served policy – arrive early! Branch at 15 P-Block, Connaught Place.
21) Jawaharlal Nehru University, (JNU) Campus –Mamu Ka Dhaba
22) 1911: Named after the year in which Delhi was proclaimed British India’s capital, this grand bar boasts over 500 beverages, from killer Bloody Marys to green apple martinis. It ain’t cheap, but it’s certainly stress-banishing and guaranteed to restore your sanity after madly haggling at the nearby Janpath (Tibetan) Market.
Sources: Incredible India, Delhi Govt, Wiki Travel, Yahoo Travel, Lonely Planet