Explore the Historic Delhi, The Capital City of India
January 1, 1970
by Gagandeep Singh Vaid
Delhi is the Capital City of India, which is the second most populated country in the world. The city is well known for its heritage, mixed culture and fast life. The city sees tourism throughout the year, with people of different countries, and other cities of India- coming very excited to explore the art, and beauty of the metropolitan city. It is a modern city, but its past is kept as it was- untouched and unharmed. It has a population of 19 million people (as per the records in the year 2012). Home to many monuments and places of architectural significance, the city has one of the best public transportation systems in the Indian cities. Given below are the pointers which make Delhi what it is:
1. Historic Legacy
Delhi holds great history in its name. The Delhi is divided into six parts, namely, the North, South, East, West, Central, Old and New. The Old Delhi as the name suggests houses the old buildings, houses, religious places, and other places of historical significance. Places in Old Delhi are the Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar, Daryaganj, etc. Chandni Chowk is famous for its street food, old buildings, Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Jama Masjid Mosque, Church and Red Fort. It is also a hub of shopping jewellery (Dariba Kalan), spices (Khari Baoli), wedding clothes (main market), etc. The Jama Masjid is the biggest mosque in India, and a must visit for every tourist.
The Red Fort in Delhi was the creation of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, which is also turned into a museum for tourists. It is taken care of by the Archaeological Survey of India, which maintains the monuments under the Government of India. The New Delhi was planned by British Architects, one of whom was Edwin Lutyens. It has the President’s Estate known as the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, PM’s house, etc. Connaught Place is a shopping hub of Delhi, also referred as the centre of Delhi, having a rich and fine architecture. Many bars, offices, cinema’s and clothing shops could be found in the Connaught Place. Delhi is moreover, surrounded by the Non-Capital Region (NCR) which has cities such as Noida and Gurgaon.
Some of the monuments you should see if you are in Delhi are listed as follows:
- Red Fort
- India Gate
- Bada Gumbad, The Lodhi Gardens
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Safdarjung Tomb
- Qutub Minar
- Old Fort, (Near Delhi Zoo)
2. Mixed Culture
People from all walks of life, different cities of India live together in harmony in Delhi. Some are migrants from villages who come to the metro city to find work, while others are old residents of the city. Tourism is very common in Delhi; as tourists could be found exploring the streets of the city to the sprawling gardens. Interestingly, in Old Delhi, there is a lane which has a Gurudwara, a Mandir (temple), Mosque and Church. Like in any other Indian city, here also, festivals of all religions are celebrated with great pomp and show! The testimony of the same could be witnessed during the festive seasons. All over the year, people like to visit the city and understand its mixed culture (since, people from different parts of the country stay here; so no, definite culture is practised, unlike the other Indian states).
3. Delhi’s Weather
The best time to visit Delhi would be when the temperature is not soaring. So, to beat the heat, try making a plan to visit Delhi between September-April. While even the hot Delhi summers can’t keep the tourists at bay! Fascinating things to do in the summers are, ice-skating in Gurgaon and Noida. The amusement parks like Adventure Island and Worlds of Wonder make way to beat the heat! Anyway, the Delhi Metro keeps you energetic, with quick transportation from one place to the other at economical rates. So, swim your way through the beautiful city in any season with an efficient Metro rail connectively!
If you are a theatre lover, you could take a seat in the best theatres around the city. The Central Delhi starting Mandi House gets some live theatre performances on a daily basis. While weekends see a house-full seating capacity of the theatre enthusiasts. Some places you could search for live performances are as follows:
- National School of Drama, Mandi House
- Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House
- Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg (Near Mandi House)
- Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg (Near Connaught Place)
- Indian Habitat Centre (Amphitheatre & Stein Auditorium), Lodhi Road
You could also find art shows including classical dancing, classical singing, etc., in Delhi.
5. Places to Eat
You could find an endless list of restaurants; all you need to do is explore. From budget restaurants to classics to 5 stars, the list is fresh and delicious as it sounds. Here are some favourite places where Delhites like to hang-out!
(i) Old Delhi
Paharganj is near the New Delhi Railway Station, having plenty of budget restaurants. We have listed the top three for you;
- Sita Ram Diwan Chand
- Malhotra Restaurant
- Darbar Restaurant
Near Jama Masjid, you should try the famous Karim’s Hotel. Moving to Daryaganj area of Old Delhi, you should try the butter chicken at Moti Mahal. The flavour of butter chicken is said to be originated from this very heritage restaurant of Old Delhi.
(ii) Connaught Place
To drink the best shakes in the city, head towards Shake Square, formerly called Keventers in Block A. You could spot a McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, KFC, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Naturals Ice Creams, Nirula’s, Haldirams in the inner and outer circle. While for fine dining, you should head to The Host, United Coffee House or Kake Da Hotel. You could stop over at Cha Bar for sipping tea or coffee while reading your favourite book; as the cafe and book shop are under one roof!
(iii) ITC Maurya- a Luxury Collective Hotel
Head to ITC Maurya, in Diplomatic Enclave (Sardar Patel Marg) for getting the taste of responsible dining. The Dal Bukhara is the most popular dish of the 5-star restaurant which is renowned all around Delhi!
It would be great to spend 4-6 days in the capital city of India. If you are a qawwali lover, then head to Nizamuddin Dargah in the evening to make a memory for a lifetime. (all positive, given you take care of your belongings.) Moreover, an evening walk at India Gate having ice-cream could give you picture-perfect and fond memories. The view of the President’s Estate on the straight road from India Gate offers a refreshing view of Delhi at sunset!
Now you are ready to head to one of the most happening cities of India, Delhi!