Explore Delhi, India
Explore Delhi, India’s capital city and the home of executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. Delhi is a large metropolis with strengths in arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence.
Districts of Delhi
- South West Delhi — Defence Colony, Hauz Khas, Green Park, Greater Kailash, Vasant Kunj, Lajpat Nagar, Nehru Place, Malviya Nagar and Kalkaji.
- East Delhi — Gandhi Nagar, Preet Vihar, and Vivek Vihar.
- North Delhi — Sadar Bazar, University Enclave (Kamla Nagar), Kotwali, and Civil Lines.
- West Delhi — Patel Nagar, Rajouri Garden, East Sagarpur and Punjabi Bagh.
- Central Delhi — Connaught Place, Khan Market, Chanakyapuri, Karol Bagh and Paharganj.
- Old Delhi – Daryaganj, Kashmere Gate, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Lal Quila and Jama Masjid.
Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Jerusalem and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times. The oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha.
- The capital of India built by the British. It also houses few of the most famous hotels you can find in India like: The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi The Grand jüSTa Hotels & Resorts
- New Delhi is also famous for its luxurious wedding and celebration in places like: The Jehan
- South Delhi is a more affluent area and is the location of many upscale hotels and shopping malls, quaint guesthouses. It also includes the Qutab Minar, a major tourist attraction. The area is easy to get around via taxi/car and is served by 3 metro lines.
- The capital during the Mughal period.
- This area includes many buildings developed during British rule. Majnu Ka Tilla is a Tibetan settlement in the area.
The shoulder seasons (Feb-Mar and Oct-Nov) are the best times to visit, with temperatures in the 20-30°C range. From April to June, temperatures are sportingly hot (over 40°C is common) and, with every air-conditioner running at full blast, the city’s creaking power and water infrastructure is strained to the breaking point and beyond. Monsoon rains deluge the city from July to September, flooding roads on a regular basis and bringing traffic to a standstill. In winter, especially December and January, temperatures can dip to near-zero which can feel a lot colder because central heating is largely unknown and homes are usually designed with a view to keep cool in the summers rather than warm in the winters. In addition the city is blanketed in thick fog, causing numerous flight cancellations and train delays.
What to do in Delhi India
Take a walk at Connaught Place (CP), the heart of New Delhi. It is now called Rajiv Chowk. The British-designed colonial equivalent of a shopping mall, it’s laid out in two concentric rings divided into blocks, all bursting with shops and lots of pampered pigeons waddling about. Long neglected, the area received a major shot in the arm after the opening of the major Metro junction of Rajiv Chowk under it, and it’s going more upmarket by the day.
Be careful, there are plenty of well-organized hustlers trying to trick you to take a riksha ride to places where you can supposedly do “cheaper and better shopping”. At the centre is a small but pleasant park, while on one edge is the notorious Palika Bazaar, an underground den of cheap wares, many pirated or smuggled from overseas. The area is surrounded by tall office buildings on nearly all sides. Train fans will want to check out the Metro Museum inside the (Patel Chowk) station, open 10AM-4PM, Tue-Sun (free with valid Metro ticket). Quite simply the best place to hang out!
National Zoological Park (NZP), Mathura Road. 9:30AM-4PM (Closed Friday). The Delhi Zoo is a very large and sprawling park dedicated to preserving the rich biodiversity of the country. This park may be the only chance of seeing a tiger or elephant for some travellers. Be prepared to do a lot of walking.
Delhi Photo Tour. Take this tour to explore Delhi and its different aspects, sights and people of the city which most visitors miss. These photography tours help you experience the city like a local as well as take some excellent photographs. You can use almost any camera you have or rent one if you feel like it.
For a half-day itinerary in Old Delhi, see Footloose in Old Delhi.
Food Tour In Delhi. A must do for foodies, these food tours are an excellent way of tasting the local cuisine which most tourists can’t due to lack of knowledge and time. These food tours can be customized to include different places and food items of your choice. A typical food tour covers food as well as sightseeing in various parts of New Delhi and Old Delhi.
What to buy
If you’re not afraid to haggle and bump elbows in bazaars, Delhi is a great place to shop. Also, Western-style malls are plentiful in the suburbs of Gurgaon and Noida. Many shopping districts are overly crowded on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
Cottage Emporium, located near Connaught Place, is the main government-run location for selling handicrafts from all over the country. The prices are a little more than what you’d find if you went bargain hunting, but you can shop in air-conditioned comfort and all of the sales people speak English. The quality of items is quite good. You can pay with credit cards. Nirula Bazar is one such place that is located in Gole Market, a 15min walk West of Connaught Place. Be sure to try a number of the shops in this area as all are selling similar goods. They will try to sell you a hand-made Kashmiri rug.
The calm of Dilli Haat
The state emporium is the state’s equivalent of a Cottage. They are all located on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, one of the radial streets coming off of Connaught Place, and each state specializes in certain kinds of crafts. Some are better priced than others, and you can bargain a little. Many of them will take credit cards.
Dilli Haat, South Delhi (INA Market stn, Metro Yellow Line). Crafts fairs happen here every week. 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. 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. Please beware about fake Delhi haats usually taxi drivers will take for commission. Prices will be very high & goods not worth. There are only few authentic.
The Crafts Museum also sells some handicrafts.
The Indian book industry is huge, producing annually about 15,000 books in English, and obviously far more in Hindi and other native languages. Delhi is hub of this industry, so small, specialist bookstores abound. Locally produced books can be very inexpensive and many popular Western titles are published and available here for a fraction of their original cost.
Khan Market, This is a shopping area for local diplomats. There are many book shops here that have a wide selection at reasonable prices.
What to eat and drink
What to eat
Delhiites complain about many things in their city, but the food will satisfy even the most demanding gourmet. Not only can you find some of the best Indian food on the subcontinent, there is also an increasing number of excellent (if often pricey) international restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. When ordering, do remember that Delhi is about 1,000 km from the nearest ocean, so vegetarian, chicken and mutton dishes are the way to go.
Delhi has arguably the best street food in India. However, do not eat unhygenic or open food. There are plenty of restaurants offering street food in a potentially more hygenic environment (but still the best taste is found in the streets). Enjoy the street foods but keep some tropical medicines for GIT problems (Norfloxacin Tinidazole composition works very well)
You can join local groups of foodies who go out regularly to sample and savor what new and old dishes the city has to offer.
If you want to eat chaat, the North Indian street side snack food, Delhi is the place to be. Like Spanish tapas or Greek mezze, chaat can cover a vast variety of things, but Delhi style tends to mean a deep-fried pastry shell, stuffed after cooking with potatoes, lentils or almost anything else. They’re then topped with yogurt, chutneys and chaat masala spice mix and eaten fresh.
Some typical chaat items are paapdi chaat (a mix of small round fried crispy things with yogurt and other sauces), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked in a tandoor with spices), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy sweet blend of sauces).
The best place to go for chaat is the Bengali Market (near Mandi House Metro Stn) near Connaught Place in the center of town. The restaurants are high quality and the food is great. There are ATMs as well. One of the best known restaurants there is Nathu’s. But for the really good chaat you have to make your way to Old Delhi, and particularly to Ashok’s near Chawri Bazaar. While connoisseurs insist that the best chaat is prepared on the street, most travellers try to find a comfortable middle ground between hygiene and authenticity.
You will find McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut in malls and throughout the city. The Indian menu without beef and with lots of veggie options can be interesting even if you would otherwise steer clear.
What to drink
Delhi’s nightlife scene has undergone a total transformation in the last decade. There are plenty of modern, cosmopolitan joints out to separate you from your rupees. In a desperate attempt to keep the sex ratio vaguely equitable, many lounges and clubs have couples only policies (that is, no single men or men-only groups), enforced with varying degrees of strictness. While everything is theoretically to shut down by 1AM things can keep going much longer. The BYOB scene is rising in popularity. Most places are right next to a store that sells beer, wine etc.
Coffee / tea
The coffee culture in Delhi consists mostly of large, heavily standardized chains. The two most common, Barista and Cafe Coffee Day, can be found in multiple locations across the city, most notably around Connaught Place. The partly UK-based Costa Coffee also has presence in the city with several outlets spread across the city. US based Starbucks Coffee has also made a recent foray into the market with a few outlets in South and central Delhi but adding more and more outlets day by day.
Independent coffee shops are harder to find in Delhi, but they do exist, and are well worth seeking out.
The native language of the Delhi area is Hindi, which also happens to be the main official language of the Union Government. However, for official purposes, English is more widely used than Hindi. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak Hindi, quite often with the Bihari and Punjabi accents. However, most educated people will also be fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers will have a functional command of English.
Explore Delhi, India and the cities near by
- Kurukshetra place of holy war “Mahabharata” and birth place of Srimad Bhagwat Gita. 150km from New Delhi, 3 hrs drive or train ride each way.
- Agra and the Taj Mahal are a 3-6 hr drive or train ride each way. Now there is a new state of art 6-lane express highway connecting Delhi and Agra named “YAMUNA EXPRESSWAY” which shortens the trip to about 2 hours, Book tickets in the train cars with seats far in advance, and look for the seats put aside especially for tourists. The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.
- Bandhavgarh National Park and the Bandhavgarh Fort, are the “Tiger Reserve” at M.P. This is a Tiger preservation project and has the highest density of Tigers in India.
- Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile, is 10-12 hr to the north. Tickets can be purchased from Main Bazaar Tourist offices, Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan Settlement or the I.S.B.T.
- Shimla, the summer capital of British India and the queen of all hill stations in India. It has many scenic and historic locations and is about an 8 hr drive or 10 hr in a bus. A direct flight from Delhi takes just 1 hr to reach Shimla.
- Jaipur and Rajasthan, are reachable by plane or overnight train.
- Kathmandu, in neighbouring Nepal is a roughly 36+ hr by coach, or longer (but more comfortably) on a combination of train and coach.
- The holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas, are a 5-6 hr bus or train ride away.
- Mussoorie, one of the original British hill stations in India; also known as The Queen of the Hills.
- Jim Corbett National Park- 280 km from Delhi, has beautiful terrain, and heaves with wildlife including tiger, elephant and leopards and hornbills, eagles & owls.The place makes you feel lively,the whole feel of the jungle,surrounded by thick dense forest.The Jeep and Elephant safari,including those adventure activities.Perfect place for a adventurous travel.
- Nainital – another beautiful hill station in the Kumaon hills with the magnificent Naini Lake.
- Char Dham- Delhi is the starting point of the famous piligrimage centres Badrinath, the abode of Vishnu, Kedarnath, the abode of Shiva , Gangothri and Yamunothri, the origin of sacres rivers, Ganges and Yamuna respectively
- Ride the Maharajas’ Express, a luxury train running between Delhi and Mumbai.
- Visit Pushkar located about 415 Km from Delhi.Pushkar is famous for Jagatpita Brahma Temple.Another tourist attraction at Pushkar is its Camel and livestock fair that takes each year in the month of Novamber.
- Salimgarh Fort is at easy reach distance from the Tomb of Humayun.Create category
Official tourism websites of Delhi
For more information please visit the official government website: