India, a land of unity in diversity, well known for its culture and heritage has more to offer than what usually people can fathom. In the heart of the nation resides the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). Delhi is an extravagant metropolitan city with a tint of rich heritage, inhabited since 6th century BCE. I have lived in Delhi for eighteen years and have yet failed to grab everything it has to offer. Having discovered many parts of the city, there is still SO much left on the plate to explore. Each site being so different from the other, none of my explorations of the city fail to mesmerize and provide me an authentic experience. Following the commonly heard phrase ‘Dilli dilwalon ki’ meaning Delhi belongs to the large hearts; Delhi’s people, food, culture, and heritage will never disappoint you!
The city lies in the northern part of India. It is cited in the northern plains with a network of rivers passing through and around it.
Because of its distance from the coast, Delhi experiences drastic weather changes, witnessing all seasons to the peak. Summers from June to August, are very hot. Monsoon season is between June and September, which leads to high levels of humidity in the air. Winters surface from December to February and are quite cool.
October to March is the peak travel time.
The city also witnesses Diwali
(the festival of lights) as well as Holi
(the festival of colors) in November- December and March- April respectively. A person visiting the city during these festivals will have once- in –a lifetime kind of experience by getting a direct peek into the hues of the Indian culture.
Diwali- The festival of lights
In a tiny corner in Saket, this street of unknown wonderment is hidden. Champa Gali takes one away from the chaos of the city. The place is marked by themed cafes, stores selling traveler merchandises, wall graffiti, art gallery and above all, a vibe of its own. The site is home to many live events and also has a comedy club.
Other similar sites: Hauz Khas Village, Hudson Lane
Firoz Shah Kotla
Kotla is a fortress built by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Stationed at the site, is the pristine Topra Ashoka Pillar from the 3rd century BC. It is popularly believed that Jinn(s) bless the place due to which people seem to pen down their wishes on paper and leave them behind at the site in the hope of getting them fulfilled. Other Historical sites: Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila
Ugrasen ki Baoli
The site is believed to be built by King Agrasen. It is a step-well that has reportedly witnessed many paranormal activities. The site has been featured in many Bollywood films such as PK and Sultan. The place is a writer’s paradise, especially in the early winters. Other similar sites: Tomb of Safdarjung, Humanyun’s tomb
Rashtrapati Bhavan and Mughal Gardens
Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the President of India, located at the western end of the Rajpath. What most of the people don’t know about this historical site is that it is now open for tourists to visit. This Presidential estate also includes the Mughal Gardens famous for its rare species of flowers which bloom in February and March. Other similar sites: India Gate, National War Memorial, Rajghat
The experience this spiritual-cultural campus brings out is serene. In contrast to the traditional temples, this Hindu Mandir uses modern technology to tell its visitors the tales of Shri Swaminarayan’s life. This is done via various exhibits this place is known for; such as Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values), Nilkanth Darshan (Theatre), Sanskruti Vihar (Boat Ride) as well as the mesmerizing musical fountain. Other Religious Sites: Laxshminarayan Temple, Nizamuddin Dargah, Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple
Chandani Chowk is the food and shopping hub of Delhi. This soul of Old Delhi is the go-to location for street food lovers. One will find 100-year-old shops there, still glorious as they were in their time. A week before Diwali, this place witnesses a street food festival late at night about which only a street food enthusiast would know!
Birla house was home to Mahatma Gandhi for 144 days before he was shot dead. As a tribute to the Father of the Nation, the site has been converted into a multimedia museum. The grounds include a hi-tech museum, the rooms where Gandhiji
spent moments of his life, doll museum, lush green lawns, etc. Other similar sites: National Science Museum, National rail Museum, Nehru Planetrium
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
This Gurudwara, located at Connaught Place, is a Sikh Worship house. The concept of Langar is practiced here. The grounds also include the holy pond known as the ‘Sarovar’ as well as an art gallery.
Janpath market is lined with exquisite handicrafts and garment stores for budget shoppers. The actual fashion street exists behind these stores. The street is known for quirky jewelry and trendy clothes available at great bargains. Alongside the shopping stalls, one would find the famous Delhi street food stalls as well. A skip and a jump away from Janpath is the Palika Baazar, an underground market dominated by stores selling clothes and electronics at throwaway prices. Other similar sites: Sarojni Nagar Market, Dili heart
Indian handicrafts available at Janpath
Lodhi Gardens and Art District
Amidst the lush green yards of the gardens are the tombs of historical rulers which make this place extraordinary. Many bird species have found a home beside the lake in the premise. In the vicinity of the gardens is the picturesque Lodhi Art District. The entire Lodhi Colony is marked my wall graffiti making the site a focal point for photographers. Other attractions: Kingdom of Dreams, National Zoological Park Happy Exploring!