This trip to Delhi is not my first trip been there few times but every visit surprises me, keep on discovering new places I missed previously. Arrived here by Air India unlike last time, I still remember the exciting Rajdhani Express train trip from Kolkata a few years back. Airport taxi to the White House was smooth. Wait a minute this is not the same White House that you have in your mind. Actually, I choose this hotel in the Karol Bagh district because it’s very easily accessible from the metro station/Train station, only 5 minutes walk.
New Delhi and Old Delhi what a difference, to me old is gold. If you wanted to really experience untouched old world charm then this is it, the simplicity of the area has lured millions of travelers and locals to its narrow streets of the town. The area is renowned for its traditional and wide food options, it’s magnificent monuments like Red Fort and Jama Masjid, classic markets, its captivating Islamic dazzle and the list goes on. People say just go to the narrow alley of old Delhi and you may not need to walk instead the crowd will walk you, as your shoulder gets pressed against hundreds of other folks.
On the other hand in New Delhi, you may think you are in the mainstream of modernization. And you would feel like you did not even leave the county.
Getting around in Delhi:
Traveling within the city could be a great experience too, based on budget and time you have the option to choose the best.
Delhi Metro: It is the best way of getting around in the city. Metro not only has great connectivity but also got air-conditioned carriage. Fares are really cheap and the best way to avoid traffic jams.
Auto-Rickshaw (Tuk Tuk): CNG three-wheel auto-rickshaws can be another way of moving around the big city if you know the routes well enough.
Hop-on Hop-off Bus: HoHo buses are air-conditioned and run mostly around Delhi’s top tourist attractions; if you have limited time this could be a great way to cover highlights of Delhi and it’s affordable too.
Cycle Rickshaws: For short distances in the alley and inner cities this could be a mode of transport or just to have the experience to take back home.
Top Things to do:
The Lotus Temple
The Lotus Temple, located in New Delhi, India, is a Bahá’í House of Worship completed in 1986. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and has become a prominent attraction in the city.
Lotus Temple tops the charts, not only in terms of the enlightening lessons it teaches but also in the field of architecture. The building has won many awards already. Lotus temple is shaped as a lotus, with immaculate petals. This temple is also known as Baha’i Temple. Baha’i teaching talks about the oneness of God, religion, and humanity.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
This is a very significant worship place for the Sikhs; in fact, not just the Sikhs, but people following other religions too. The Gurudwara is associated with Sikhs’ eighth guru, Guru Har Krishan. The domes of the edifice are covered with gold and reflect in the adjacent pool, weaving a panorama worth hailing. The pool, also known as “Sarovar”, is believed to have medicinal qualities and you can see people having a dip here too.
India Gate was designed by Edwin Lutyens, a British architect who headed the architectural projects of New Delhi plan. The monument commemorates 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army and officers from the UK, who sacrificed their lives in the Third Anglo-Afghan War. There are names of such brave soldiers inscribed in the walls of the monument.
In the center of the monument lies an eternal flame “Amar Jawan Jyoti”, beside a rifle topped with a warm cap. The best time to visit India Gate is during the early morning when people flock around in yoga pants and relax in the park. Or visit it in the night, when the monument is decorated with lights and people come with their families to have a good picnic time.
The Red Fort
Red Fort was the residence of Mughal Emperors for about two-hundred years. What else could talk about its flawlessness and Grandeur?! Red fort is not just a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also is a major iconic symbol of India. This is where the prime minister of India hoists the Indian flag in the occasion of Independence Day, every year. The fort exhibits the impeccability of Mughal architecture in every inch of the complex. Delhi, gate, Watergate, Chhatta Chowk, Nubar Khana, Diwan-i-aam, Nahir-i-behest, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal are the most notable spots inside the fort.
Jama Masjid, Delhi
The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India.
Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India.
The fusion of Persian and Mughal architecture has lured its visitor since its creation, which started in 1565 and ended in 1572. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s wife Bega Begum and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect chosen by her, and it was the first gardened and heavily red-stoned tomb in that era. Many famous Mughal emperors rest here in peace. UNESCO too was moved by the structure and listed Humayun’s Tomb as a World Heritage Centre.
Sprawling over 7 acres, Laxminarayan Mandir, or as it is fondly called, Birla Mandir is one of the well-known attractions of Delhi. Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, it took some six years to complete its construction. The work started for this one in the year 1933 and was completed only in 1939, after which it was thrown open to visitors. Built as an initiative of B.R. Birla and Jugal Kishore Birla, well-known industrialists, and Samaritans, the temple is dedicated to Hindu deities–Vishnu and Laxmi. King Udaybhanu Singh laid the foundation stone for the temple.
The 3-storeyed temple was built in Nagara style with the entire temple carved with scenes from Hindu mythologies. Apart from Lord Narayan and Goddess Lakshmi, various other shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Hanuman, and Buddha are also present.
Qutub Minar in Delhi is world heritage site and a great masterpiece of Mughal architecture it should be on your must-see list. The 72.5 meters (237.8 feet) tall minaret was constructed in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. The soaring conical tower is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture.
The base of the Qutub Minar measures 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 meters. The bird’s eye’s view of Delhi city from the top is amazing.
The tower is so high that around 379 steps are needed to be climbed to reach the top. Another taller tower adjacent to Qutub Minar is named Alai Minar which is somewhat tilted in one direction.
Hotels I stayed in Delhi:
- Radisson Blu Marina Hotel, Connaught Place, G-59 Connaught Circus, New Delhi
- Hotel Swaran Palace, 15/A 33 W.E.A. Ajmal Khan Road, New Delhi
- Hotel White House, W.E.A Channa Market, Karol Bagh, New Delhi
Have you been to Delhi, India, here are a few pictures from my trip: