New Delhi is the capital city of India. Founded in 1911 by George V, Emperor of India, the city was designed by the British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. Since then, it has continuously evolved and now, the modern city of Delhi is a blend of historical forts, colonial-era buildings, colorful markets, street food, convenient transportation system and well-architectured religious places.
I have spent 24 years of my life in New Delhi, which compels me to share with you five amazing and unmissable things you need to do on your next trip to New Delhi:
#1 Chandani Chowk
Chandani Chowk is the largest trading center of northern India; it is also known as the Moonlit Square. It is crammed with jewellery, fabric, and a great place to relish Delhi’s famous street food.
Even if you are not a foodie, then also moving around the streets of Chandani Chowk would ignite your taste buds. In the narrow lanes of Chandani Chowk, you’ll find something special and unique to eat everywhere. Don’t forget to explore the famous Paranthe Wali Gali, where each and every shop offers more than 20 varieties of Paranthas. Another specialty from Chandani Chowk is Natraj‘s Dahi Bhalle and FYI, this shop is one of the oldest there as it was established in 1940.
Also, don’t forget to visit Gianiji ka Falooda, Ghantewala Halwai, Kanwarji Bhagirathmal Dalbhajiwallah among others.
How to reach: Metro – Chandani Chowk – 5 minutes Walk
#2 Connaught Place – Rajiv Chowk
One cannot miss taking a stroll in Connaught Place when in Delhi! Within a series of roundabouts, you will witness numerous shopping stores, well-lit cafes and a few street vendors. Connaught place also houses the famous Hanuman Temple, which is also featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for its worshippers having chanted the Hindu mantra ‘Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Ram’ non-stop for 24 hours.
There is also an underground market – Pallika Bazaar – in the heart of Connaught Place, where you can do some cheap shopping for products ranging from clothes to mobile accessories to jewellery.
If you have a sweet-tooth, then don’t forget to go to Wenger’s, which is one of the first bakeries in the country. Adjacent to Wenger’s is Keventers, which is another gem of Delhi. The place has been serving flavored milkshakes in glass bottles from the 40s.
Connaught Place is also the home of numerous cafes and lounges which makes it the perfect Saturday Night Party place too!!
How to reach: Metro – Rajiv Chowk – no walk
#3 Delhi Metro Ride
New Delhi Metro Corporation (DMRC) is one of the most successful infrastructural projects of India, covering almost every important area of Delhi. The metro ride is cheaper as well as more convenient than other means of transport like auto rickshaws or cabs. The average frequency of the train does not exceed 5 minutes; the Delhi Metro is punctual 99.7% of the time.
The escalators at all the Delhi metro stations are equipped with a unique ‘sari guard‘ feature that sidetracks loose clothing such as saris or long skirts of ladies from getting trapped in the escalator
Also, a lot of metro stations provide ‘bicycles on rent’, so, your post- metro deboarding requirement is also taken care of here!
Please note – In 2014, Delhi Metro was ranked the second most popular metro system globally. In fact, the United Nations certified the DMRC as the first metro and rail-based system that gets carbon credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Paharganj is a district in Delhi that is known for its crowded streets, small cafes, tiny shops – also referred to as the Backpacker district of Delhi. It is really close to the New Delhi Railway station, hence, it is an obvious place for cheap guesthouses and lodges.
You can indulge in some cheap shopping of comfortable footwear at Saluja & Bittoo Footwear or Vishal Footwear. To pick some amazing books at throwaway prices, Jackson’s Bookstore is the place to be. Head over to Sheetal Exports for leather bags, backpacks and some cute collections of totes. Jurek’s Jewellery is the most famous exporter of silver, precious, semi-precious stone and macrame jewellery, so, if you are looking for some ornaments to adorn your hands or neck, then this is the perfect place!
For some cheap authentic Korean food, visit The Shim Tur cafe. To satiate the hipster in you, go to Club India Cafe & Restaurant. If you are looking for a terrace seating, then Sam’s Cafe is unmissable!! Khosla’s Cafe is where you can have your breakfast at to kickstart your day in Paharganj!
How to reach: Metro – New Delhi Railway Station – 5 minutes Walk
#5 Lotus Temple
The famous tourist destination Lotus Temple has been attracting tourists in Delhi from a really long time now. The Fariborz Sahba creation and the Flint & Neill structure resembles a lotus flower but in white colour. The Bahai temple is open to all people, irrespective of their race and religion and can accommodate up to 2500 people at a time.
It takes around 40-50 minutes to see in and around the temple. In the prayer hall of the temple, special prayer services are held 4 times throughout the day i.e. 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm for a duration of 5 minutes. Films in Hindi and English are shown from 5pm to 5.30pm every day. Please note that a permission from the administration is required to click photographs around the temple.
There are nine entries to the central hall of the temple.
How to reach: Metro – Kalkaji Mandir Station – Walk
Timings: 09:00 am to 07:00 pm in summer. 09:00 am to 05:30 pm in winter. Closed on Mondays.
If you are planning your trip to New Delhi and want to have an awesome experience, make sure to be here between the months of September to March, as rest of the months are a little hot and sweaty.
Situated in the northern part of India, New Delhi is home to people from various castes, creeds, religions, and races. A perfect combination of people, culture, food and chaos, New Delhi opens its heart to everyone to visits and makes them fall in love with it!