The Republic of India is a nation that is rich in culture, history, and heritage. Located in South-Asia, India is the seventh largest nation in the world by area, and with a population of over 1 billion people, it is the second most populated nation in the world. India shares borders with Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh, and it is in the same area as the Maldives and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, while India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share borders with Indonesia and Thailand. The largest city in India is Mumbai, and the capital of India is New Delhi.
New Delhi is an urban area that is the seat of the three branches of the Government of India, and it was created in 1911, when the Emperor of India, King George V, laid the foundation stone; and inaugurated in 1931 by Lord Irwin, who was Viceroy and Governor-General of India. Delhi and New Delhi are used interchangeably, but actually, New Delhi is a part of Delhi.
You can get to New Delhi mainly by air, and if you are visiting New Delhi on a luxury tour, your pre-booked hotel will send a car with a chauffeur to pick you from the airport to the hotel. There are some restaurants and hotels near the international airports, so you won’t have far to go to rest and eat after your flight.
New Delhi is home to many parks, museums, and several historical sites. A visit to New Delhi will leave you in awe, because there is a lot to see and do in and around the city, and you might have to make plans to stay a while to see everything.
But there are so many places to go in New Delhi! What are the best places to visit in Delhi, you may ask? Which are the best places to visit in Delhi? Do not worry yourself over that anymore.
Here is a list of over 100 places to visit, things to do, and places to eat when visiting New Delhi.
Given the 2007 Guinness World Record for being the largest comprehensive Hindu temple in the world, the Akshardham Temple, also called the Swaminarayan Akshardham, is major Hindu temple and spiritual campus in New Delhi. The temple is a prime example of Indian architecture, Indian and Hindu culture, and spirituality. Over 70% of all tourists that come to New Delhi are there to visit the Akshardham temple. The temple is named for Swaminarayan and dedicated to the practice of Swaminarayan Hinduism, and the word Akshardham means ‘the abode of the almighty Lord Swaminarayan’.
This magnificent edifice is constructed entirely from Italian Carrara marble and Rajasthani pink sandstone: there is no concrete and no steel supports in this large structure, which makes it even more of an amazing architectural feat. If you are on a spiritual journey to India, the Akshardham temple in New Delhi is a must-visit. It is on the list of the 53 best places to visit in Delhi by thrillophilia.com.
There are so many things to see when you visit this temple, such as:
- The Akshardham Mandir - 43 meters high and 96 meters wide, the Mandir is beautifully carved with dancers, musicians, flora, fauna, and Hindu deities. It also has 234 carved pillars, 9 domes, 20,000 murtis of devotes, acharyas, and sadhus, and also features the Gajendra Pith, which is a plinth that pays homage to the elephant. The elephant is a very important creature in Hindu culture and religion, as well as in the history of India as a nation. This plinth holds life-size elephants numbering 148 and weighing a total of 3000 tons.
- Murtis – the murtis lie directly under the dome in the temple, central of which is the murti of Swaminarayan, which is surrounded by the images of gurus of the same faith as Swaminarayan, in postures of service and devotion. There are also murtis of Lakshmi Narayan and Radha Krishna, amongst others.
- Sahajanand Darshan, or the Hall of Values – in the Hall of Values you get to watch 3-D dioramas of the life of Swaminarayan and see his teachings on peace, harmony, service to others, and devotion to God. These messages and teachings are set in the 18th century and recreated using state-of-the-art fiber optics, lights, robotics, music, sound effects, and dialogues. To cap all of this, you will see the smallest animatronic robot in the world in this Hall, which is in the form of the child of Swaminarayan, named Ghanshyam Maharaj.
- Nilkanth Darshan, or Theatre – the Theatre in the Akshardham temple is home to Delhi’s one and only large format screen, and it shows a film 40-minutes long titled Neelkanth Yatra, the story of a 7-year pilgrimage that the teenage Swaminarayan made throughout India. There is a 27-foot tall murti of Neelkanth Varni, in bronze, just outside the theatre.
- Sanskriti Vihar, or Boat Ride – the Boat Ride is a magical 12-minute voyage that takes you through thousands of years of heritage and history. Using robotics and life-size figures, the Boat Ride shows you the life and times and Vedic India, including family life, bazaars, teaching, and philosophy.
- Yagnapurush Kund, or Musical Fountain – this is India’s largest step well, which provide visitors a place to rest during the day as they tour the complex, and transforms into a musical fountain show at night, called Sahaj Anand Water Show. This 24-minute presentation uses video projections, water jets, underwater flames, multi-color lasers, surround sound, and live actors to create a masterful retelling of a story from the Kena Upanishad.
- Bharat Upavan, or Garden of India – this lush, beautifully manicured garden shows of lawns, shrubs, and trees to natural perfection, and is lined with bronze sculptures of men, women, children, warriors and freedom fighters, all of whom contributed to the rich culture and history of India.
The best time to visit Akshardham is before the monsoon season, February to April, and after the hot summer season, from October to December. There is a souvenir shop and a restaurant in the complex; both of which are open from 11 am to 8 pm, and to avoid the long queues at the security checkpoints to enter the complex, leave all personal belongings at your hotel or locked up in your car, including your cell phone.
Bahai Lotus Temple
Started in 1976 and completed in 1986, the Bahai Lotus Temple is an architectural marvel and an important landmark in India, and a major tourist attraction in New Delhi. This is one place you wouldn’t want to miss on your tour of New Delhi. The Lotus Temple is a building consisting of 27 marble petals that are free-standing, all in three clusters, forming nine sides of the temple. As the name implies, the Lotus Temple looks like a large white lotus flower. Designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba, the Lotus Temple was constructed mainly as a Bahai House of Worship. The Bahai faith is one that teaches about harmony among people, regardless of race, caste, culture, or religion, and as such people of all religions and faiths can freely come to the Lotus Temple to worship or to meditate. Getting to the Lotus Temple is easy as it is close to the Kalkaji Mandir metro station, and entry into this award-winning architectural beauty is totally free. The Lotus Temple is one of the best places to go in South Delhi.
The Lotus Temple is open every day except Mondays, and the closing times depend on the season of the year. In the summer, the Lotus Temple opens at 9 in the morning and closes at 7 in the evening, while in the winter the Lotus Temples opens at 9 and closes at 5:30 in the evening. No one is allowed to read non-scriptural material or perform any ritualistic ceremonies in the temple, but anyone can come in and read or chant texts of their own faith, as well as the sacred texts that belong to the Bahai Faith. The Lotus Temple operates the same way all Bahai Houses of Worship operate, and the same can be noted of the architectural design. For instance, there are no images, pictures, or statues inside the Lotus Temple. This is because the Bahai scriptures state that none of these should be placed in a Bahai House of Worship. Nevertheless, there is a lot to see and do at the Lotus Temple if you are not in the mood to meditate. The gardens are a wonder and perfect for strolling and gazing, and films are shown in the information centre. You can go in with footwear, and taking pictures is prohibited, but the quiet splendour of the Lotus temple is probably best taken in and stored in the mind.
Laxminarayan Temple – Birla Mandir
Built on over 7 acres of land, Birla Mandir in New Delhi is one of several Hindu temples that were built by the Birla family in several locations in India. The Birla Mandir built in New Delhi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, also known as Laxminarayan, and as such is referred to as the Laxminarayan Temple. Birla Mandir in New Delhi is constructed of white marble and sandstone, built in 1939, and it was the first of the temples that were built by the Birla family. Birla Mandir was built specifically with a large congregation in mind, hence the spacious design of the temple. Built to the standards of Hindu worship houses, Birla Mandir has all the accouterments for discourses and congregational worship, built in the Nagar style, and has been equipped with contemporary technological facilities. Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated Birla Mandir after work on the temple was done in 1939, and there are smaller temples, called side temples, flanking Birla Mandir that were built for Buddha, Shiva, and Krishna. There are also several shrines that are built around Birla Mandir, along with fountains and a garden that showcases sculptures about Hinduism and even nationalistic sculptures, and there are Geeta Bhavan built for discourses. Birla Mandir was built to hold a large number of people, and the temple is a major tourist attraction in New Delhi. Entry is free, and the temple is always open, every day, from 4:30 am to 1:30 pm, and then reopens at 2:30 pm and finally closes at 9 pm. The Temple is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi through the metro, and you will find that the New Delhi Kalibari is on the same route that the RK Ashram Marg Metro Station will use to take you to the temple, and you can take the kids with you to see the temple of Laxminarayan. If you don’t like crowds, the best time to go to Birla Mandir would be early in the morning, making it one of the best places to visit in New Delhi in the early morning, or late in the evening, since it is also one of the best places to visit in Delhi in the evening, as the temple closes late.
Towering over the New Delhi southern skyline in Sant Nagar, East Kailash, Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir, popularly known as the ISKCON Temple, was founded in 1966 by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The ISKCON Temple belongs to an association, ISKCON, which belongs to the Hare Rama Hare Krishna sect. This spiritual institution is renowned for its beautiful architectural design, and it is one of the best places to take your whole family to when visiting New Delhi. ISKCON Temple puts on a show of visual presentations of Bhagavad Gita, accompanied by dazzling, colorful lights that enhance your viewing pleasure on the big screen. In the evenings, shows are organized using state-of-the-art robotics, and there is also a Mahabharata show. If you are a vegan visiting the ISKCON Temple, you are in luck: Govinda’s restaurant is on the premises of the temple, and this simple restaurant serves up a lot of vegetable dishes. There are no entry fees to see this colossal beauty, and you can visit the ISKCON Temple any day of the week. ISKCON Temple opens as early as 4:30 am, making it one of the best places to visit in Delhi in the early morning, to 8:30 pm, but the major altar closes from 1:00 pm. Never fear though: there is still a lot to see at the ISKCON Temple to fill your time and your senses.
Jhandewalan Hanuman Mandir
One of the most popular tourist attractions in New Delhi is the Jhandewalan Hanuman Mandir, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. You can’t miss the shrine due to the massive 108-foot tall statue of Lord Hanuman that can be seen from miles away. The temple is located in the village of Jhandewalan, near the city of Karol Bagh, and it is open every day of the week, from 5 am to 10 pm; however, it is very crowded on Tuesdays. The entrance to the temple is a carving depicting the open mouth of a slain Rakshas in the throes of death, symbolizing one of many stories of Lord Hanuman and the monsters he slew in his service to Shri Rama. While you cannot take pictures inside the temple, there are many sights to see and be awed by, such as the statues and other depictions of the life of Lord Hanuman. There is even a small temple at the feet of the statue of Lord Hanuman that is dedicated to Kali, one of the Hindu goddesses. In the evenings, during Aarti, you would want to be outside the temple looking up at the statue. Its arms move backward and its chest slides open to reveal the images of Lord Shri Rama and Devi Sita, who come out to give sight, or darshan, to the Hindu faithful. The best time to visit Jhandewalan Hanuman Mandir is all year round, so make sure you plan a trip to the temple with your family members in tow.
Sri Kilkari Bhairav Temple
Sri Kilkari Bhairav Temple, also known as Bhairo Temple, is a shrine that the locals believe was built by the Pandavas, and it is located in Pragati Maidan, behind the Old Fort. Sri Kilkari Bhairav Temple has two wings with two deities that devotees come to worship. One wing is the Doodhiya Bhairav Temple, and the deity’s devotees offer it milk when they come. The other wing is the Kilkari Bhairav Temple, whose devotees offer the deity alcohol. This makes Bhairo Temple unique among temples in Delhi because devotees offer alcohol to the deity there. One of the deities worshipped here is one of the Pandavas called Bheem, a deity that it is believed that he achieved Siddhis. When visiting Bhairo Temple, make sure to take some alcohol along with you if you wish to make an offering to the deity there, as you might not get any alcohol to buy at the temple or in the shops around it.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
This famous worship house for the practitioners of the Sikh religion is known for its association with Guru Har Kishan, the 8th Sikh Guru, and it is an important Sikh Gurudwara in Delhi and India as a whole. Starting out as a small shrine constructed by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in the year 1783, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is now a complex that is near the famous Connaught Place and is neighbors with the equally famous Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Guru Har Kishan was a Sikh Guru that cared for the people and was well-loved, and he helped the people anyway he could during smallpox and cholera epidemic of 1664. Guru Har Kishan also fell prey to the diseases and died on that year on March the 30th, but the Sikhs firmly believed that the water from the well that Guru Har Kishan drew to give to the sick had healing properties, and they began to draw water from that well and keep in their houses. The Guru’s house and his well are now special places for the Sikh people, and they always remember the Guru every year on his birthday.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib has a pool that is called Sarovar, and that is the well that Guru Har Kishan drank from, and the complex contains a kitchen, school, and art gallery. Everyone can eat in the kitchen at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, regardless of race, caste, or religion: nevertheless, you must remove your shoes and cover your hair when entering the Sikh worship house. The Gurudwara does not require an entry fee and is open all days of the week, round the clock. There are three major metro stations near the Gurudwara that you can take to get there, which are Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Patel Chowk Metro Station, and Rajeev Chowk Metro Station, making this place one of the best places to visit in Delhi through the metro.
Parks, Zoos, and Museums
The famous Madame Tussauds wax museum that started in London has spread across the globe, and you can visit Madame Tussauds in New Delhi too. Founded by Marie Tussaud, the wax museum is famous for its life-like wax sculptures of famous people, both dead and alive. Madam Tussauds opened in New Delhi, India, in 2017, and is operated by Merlin Entertainments. It is on the list of the 53 best places to visit in Delhi by thrillophilia.com. The time, effort, and resources that go into making this wax museum one of the best places to visit is simply astounding. It takes four months to create a single sculpture, with over 500 exact body measurements are researched and used for every single sculpture. Inserted one at a time, the hairs used are real, and several layers of tints and paints are used to create the realistic skin tones seen on the sculptures. One of the best places to visit with your family, Madam Tussauds in New Delhi gives you an amazing visual and interactive experience, where you get to see and touch Mahatma Gandhi; sing along with Sonu Nigam and Shriya Ghoshal, or hang out with Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachan and Salman Khan.
Popular American icons are at the museum as well, including Michael Jackson and Beyonce, and you can take selfies with them without bodyguards hounding you. Children that are below 3 years of age can visit Madam Tussauds for free, and you can take your entire family with you to enjoy a wonderful time with some of the most famous people before and in our time. This is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your parents.
The National Rail Museum
Formerly known as The Rail Transport Museum, the National Rail Museum first opened to the public in 1977. A testament to India’s prolific use of rail systems, the National Rail Museum sits on 10 acres of land and has both indoor and outdoor exhibits for tourists to see and enjoy. The idea of creating a transport museum was conceived in 1962, but no real efforts were made till 1970. Rail enthusiast Michael Graham Satow came on board as an advisor in 1971, and the first stone for the foundation of the museum was set by V. V Giri, the President of India at that time. Found in Chanakyapuri, the National Rail Museum can be accessed via rickshaw from the Dhaula Metro Station, which is 2 kilometers away from the museum. Open every day except Mondays and National/public holidays, tourists are required to pay an entry fee of Rs.20, and if you want to take the toy ride, you will pay an additional Rs.20. On display are items such as a diesel simulator, a coal simulator, and a steam simulator. On display are signaling equipment, antique furniture, historical pictures, and static and working train models. You will also get to see some historical trains at the museum, such as the Fairy Queen, which is the oldest operational steam locomotive in India; the Fire Engine; the Saloon of the Prince of Wales, the Saloon of Maharaja of Indore and Mysore, and a couple of other items rich in centuries’ old history and fun stories. The National Rail Museum is the best place to take the whole family when touring New Delhi: you wouldn’t want your kids to miss this. Also, train and rail enthusiasts will have a blast visiting the Rail Museum. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make the National Rail Museum your best place to visit in Delhi now.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
Born Indira Priyadarshini Nehru in 1917, Indira Gandhi was the first female, and so far only female, Prime Minister of India, and she was the daughter of the first ever Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. She is not related to Mahatma Gandhi in any way, and she was also the second-longest serving Prime Minister of India. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was one of the most popular Prime Ministers in India before she was assassinated in October 1984. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum is the former residence of Indira Gandhi, well-maintained and preserved in memory of her. This massive mansion is surrounded by carefully maintained lawns and trees, with verdant plants, flowers, and gardens. The rooms are still well-furnished, with a few of Indira Gandhi’s personal items on display for visitors to see through the big, glass picture windows. Indira Gandhi was assassinated in this mansion on October the 31st, 1984, and there are mementos of her death on display in the mansion, now a museum. The sari she wore on that day, blood-stained from then till now is inside the museum, and the spot where her body fell after she was killed is marked off and set apart by a glass frame, set as a memorial to her.
Located on Safdarjung road, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum is easily accessible via the INA Metro Station, and it is one of the most popular places to visit in New Delhi. There are very rare pictures in a display of the nationalist movement, as well as pictures of the Nehru-Gandhi families together. There are also well-preserved pictures of her from childhood through to adulthood. Visiting the museum would be a great trip for the entire family, as it is a grand display of history and life, interwoven to give visitors an awesome touring experience.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, you can visit the museum free of charge from 9 am to 5 pm. You can visit the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum any time of the year, though the best times to visit would be during the summer periods. You can visit with your partner while on your honeymoon in New Delhi, or you can take the kids on an educational, historical field trip. They will love it.
National Zoological Park
Also known as the Delhi Zoo, this is a must-visit for anyone making a trip to New Delhi. The first of its kind in India, the National Zoological Park is a large zoo that covers 176 acres and is situated near the Old Fort, or Purana Qila, in New Delhi. Construction started in 1956, and originally Major Aubrey Weinman, of the Ceylon Zoological Garden, was considered to draw up the plans for the construction of the park. However, another person, Carl Hagenbeck from the Zoological Garden of Hamburg was brought on board by the Indian government, and he made the plans for constructing the National Zoological Park. Construction on the northern part of the zoo was completed in 1959, three years after construction began; and then the zoo was inaugurated in that year as well, and the zoo was christened the National Zoological Park in 1982. This was so as to make the National Zoological Park a model for subsequent zoos in India.
The National Zoological Park is like an oasis in the bustling city of New Delhi. Some of the rarest flora and fauna are found in this zoo, as well as a stunning collection of 1350 animals of different families and species. In 2012 the National Zoological Park attracted some negative attention from the international community when a male visitor to the zoo fell into the cage of a white tiger and was killed, raising questions about the zoo’s security and safety measures. Visitors shouldn’t fear though: the security of the zoo has been reviewed since then, ensuring that both the animals and the visitors are safe at all times.
The National Zoological Park is one of the best places to visit with your family, and it is best to visit the zoo during the day. The National Zoological Park is beauty to behold, and you can either explore it at a leisurely pace on foot, or you can rent a battery-operated vehicle at the zoo. The best times to visit the National Zoological Park are from mid-October to March, and from March to mid-October. From mid-October to March, the zoo is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm; while in March to mid-October the zoo is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The entry fee for Indian children ages 3 to 5 is Rs.20; adults pay Rs.40; and seniors pay Rs.20. Foreigners pay Rs.200 for adults and Rs.100 for children. Visitors are not allowed to bring in their own food into the zoo; nevertheless, you can always get food at the canteen in the zoo, and you can bring your own water.
National Museum of India
The National Museum of India in New Delhi is located on Janpath road, and it is one of the biggest museums in India. Set up in 1949 by the Government of India and managed by the Ministry of Culture, the National Museum houses a stunning array of art covering prehistoric times to the contemporary era, as well as the cultural pieces of several countries that are as old as 5000 years old! The National Museum is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with the whole family, alone, with friends, or with your partner, and you will be glad you made the decision to enter this museum. All the departments are covered in the National Museum, including Jewellery, Manuscripts, Textiles, Anthropology, Central Asian Antiquities, Western Art Collections, and Pre-Colombian American Art Collections.
The National Museum of India has a great number of galleries with many interesting art exhibits and historical relics, some of which are:
- The Maurya, Shunga and Satvahana Art Gallery: This gallery house objects that date as far back as 1 BC! These items include small pieces that were part of ancient stupas, and they display a certain amount of Greek influence. This art gallery also has inscriptions and carvings that depict Buddha’s life; however, there are no sculptures of him, even though the time period this gallery showcases was an important period in the Buddhist religion
- Medieval Gallery: This gallery covers items from the 7th to the 10th centuries in India, the period after the Gupta Empire fell, which is the Early Medieval period; and artifacts from the 10th to the 1st centuries, which cover the Late Medieval period.
- Miniature Painting Gallery: This section showcases about 17,000 Indian paintings, including Mughal art, Deccani, and Rajasthani, amongst others.
Other exhibits include the Gupta Gallery, the Buddhist Art Section, the Decorative Gallery, and the Harappan Gallery.
The National Museum of India also has an auditorium that can comfortably seat 250 people. Usually, the film shows on history, cultural heritage, and art are screened in the auditorium. There is also an audio tour that you can pay for at the National Museum, and if you want the audio tour (which lasts for 75 minutes) you will have to indicate when you pay your entry fee, as the cost will be included when you get your entry tickets (if you are a foreigner). Tickets may cost anywhere from INR200. The audio tour is done in Hindi, English, Japanese, French, and German. You can get to the National Museum via Udyog Bhavan Metro Station: you will need to get a taxi or a rickshaw to go the rest of the way, as the museum is about 4 kilometers away from the station. The best time to visit the National Museum of India is 10 am on Wednesdays: the museum organizes gallery walks at 11 am on Wednesdays, and you wouldn’t want to miss that.
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art is a museum that is dedicated to contemporary and modern art. It is the first ever private art museum in India, and it is located in New Delhi as well as in Noida: Noida is one of the best places to visit near Delhi by bike. Created in 2010, the museum displays art by young, contemporary artists, but the bulk of its collection is made up of post-independence 20th-century paintings.
The private art museum was started by Kiran Nadar, a woman who was a philanthropist, contract bridge player, and art collector. She started her gallery in the cafeteria in her husband’s office, which was outside New Delhi. Subsequently, she moved out of the cafeteria to the South Court Mall, to share her art collections with the average mall shoppers. The collection is over 4500 pieces strong and features many Indian artists of renown, including Anish Kapoor, Raja Ravi Varma, Jamini Roy, and Ram Kumar.
Gandhi Smriti is a museum that is dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi. Located in Tees January Road, Gandhi Smriti was originally known as Birla Bhavan, or Birla House, as it belonged to the Birla family, one of the wealthiest families in India at the time. Mahatma Gandhi used to live with the Birla family whenever he was in New Delhi, and he had stayed there for 144 days before he was assassinated in 1948 on the 30th of January.
Built in 1928, Birla Bhavan was built by Ghanshyamdas Birla. Mahatma Gandhi was a frequent guest of the Birlas, him and Sardar Patel. When Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, wrote a letter to Birla, asking him for permission to turn part of the 12-bedroom home into a museum dedicated to Gandhi. Ghanshyamdas Birla wasn’t enthusiastic about this, but in 1971 the government was able to buy the house from KK Birla for Rs. 5.4 million, and the house was opened to the public in 1973. The name Birla Bhavan was changed to Gandhi Smriti, which means Gandhi Remembrance. The museum displays several items related to Gandhi, both in life and in death, and visitors can go into the house and look at the room where Gandhi slept, which is very well preserved; and visitors can also tour the grounds and see the exact place that Gandhi was shot and killed while he was out on his routine night walk. The Martyr’s Column is built over the spot where Gandhi was shot and killed.
Gandhi Smriti is open every day of the week except on Mondays, and you can visit the museum as early as 10 am and leave as late as 5 pm. There are dolls and dollhouses that illustrate Gandhi’s life in the museum, and at 1 pm to 1:30 pm, you can watch a multi-media show about Gandhi’s life at the museum. This is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your parents.
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum Delhi
The International Dolls Museum is a famous museum that was established by K. Shankar Pillai, a famous political cartoonist. The International Dolls Museum is one of the largest doll collections in the world. The museum started out with 1,000 dolls, and now there are over 6,000 dolls from about 85 countries, making it one of the most diverse doll collections you will ever see in one place.
The inspiration for the International Dolls Museum came when the Ambassador of Hungary gave Shankar Pillai a doo as a gift in the 1950s. The doll so fascinated him that he started traveling just to collect dolls from different countries. From one doll Shankar expanded his collection to 500 dolls, and then he decided to make an exhibit of his dolls in India, together with paintings that were done by children. His doll exhibit was a mobile one, and some of his dolls experienced wear and tear and serious damage because of the constant travel. He brought up the issue with Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, his daughter, and it was the latter that suggested that Shankar have a stationary museum for his dolls.
The International Dolls Museum is located on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, in the Children’s Book Trust building. The museum has two sections, each of which hold more than 160 glass cases mounted on the walls. The one section displays dolls from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, India, and so on, while the other section showcases dolls from the United Kingdom, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, amongst others. Handcrafted Indian dolls are exchanged for foreign dolls, and are even sold to international museums and other collectors within India. The Dolls Workshop is attached to the International Dolls Museum, and its handcrafted dolls are authentically Indian. The museum should be on your list of top 4 places to visit in New Delhi.
The museum is opened from 10 am to 5:30 pm every day except Monday and tickets cost Rs.17 for adults and Rs.6 for kids. However, if kids come to the museum in groups with as many as 20 children, tickets will be sold to them at Rs.3.37 each.
National Gallery of Modern Art
The National Gallery of Modern Art was created in 1954 in Jaipur, New Delhi, and it is run and managed by the Ministry of Culture in India. The National Gallery of Modern Art was the first of its kind in India and has since opened branches in Bangalore and in Mumbai, other major cities in India. In 1949 an idea floated around of starting an art gallery in Delhi, but this only took on substance when the gallery was inaugurated in 1954 by the then Vice President, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. Before it was the National Gallery of Modern Art, the building was the palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur and is still called Jaipur House by people today. Built in the shape of the butterfly with a central dome for a torso, the building was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, and construction work on the building was done in 1936. The first ever curator for the art gallery was German art historian Hermann Goetz, and as the years went by the gallery added on new departments and facilities, including an Art Reference Library and an Art Restoration department, and in 2009 a new wing was added to the gallery. Tourists from around the world come to the National Gallery of Modern Art today and see a conservation lab and a preview theatre, and can peruse art collections of over 14,000 pieces. The National Gallery of Modern Art is one of the largest art galleries in the world and features historical art and sculptures alongside works by Thomas Daniell, Jamini Roy, and RajaRavi Varma, amongst others. The gallery is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi during the rain. Entry is free for children ages 0 – 18, and anyone older than that pays an entry fee of Rs500 for non-citizens and Rs20 for Indian citizens. The National Gallery of Modern Art is one of the best places to take the whole family to on tour, and it opens everyday from 11 am to 6:30 pm, except on Sundays and public/national holidays.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
Located in the Mahavir Enclave in New Delhi, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets displays toilets from the ancient, medieval, and modern times. The museum is managed and run by Sulabh International, a non-profit organization that is based in India. The International Museum of Toilets was created to promote sanitation in India, and the museum has made it on TIME Magazine’s list as one of the world’s weirdest museums.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets was created in 1992, and houses toilet exhibits from 50 different countries, ranging from 3000 BC to the 20th century. There is a toilet at the museum that looks exactly like the toilet King Louis XIV of France used, which was made in such a way that he didn’t have to leave court to ease himself. There is a toilet that is made of silver and gold, as well as a toilet that is two stories tall that was used in the 1920s in the United States of America. It isn’t just toilets that are in the museum, but also information about toilets and sewerage. There is information on some correspondence between NASA and Russia about a 19 million dollar deal to convert urine into drinkable water, as well as information a flush pot that Sir John Harrington designed in 1596. You will also find information on the sewerage system that was used in the Harappan Civilisation, as well as info about how toilets were developed during the Indus Valley Civilisation.
The museum is opened from 10:30 am to 5 pm, and it is one of the best places to take your family and kids to for a fun and slightly weird tour.
Nehru Memorial Museum & Library
The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library is located in Teen Murti House Complex, and it is a museum and library that preserves and reconstructs the Indian Independence movement, as well as documents and preserves everything about the life of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
The Teen Murti House Complex was built in the late 1920s, and it was then known as the Flagstaff House, housing the Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. After India got her independence, the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, moved into the complex, making it his residence. Nehru died in 1964, and Teen Murti House, or Teen Murti Bhavan, was converted into a museum and library to foster more research into modern Indian history, with emphasis on the Nehruvian period. The study of Jawaharlal Nehru is well preserved inside the museum, and tourists are allowed inside the building to see as much as they want to. There is a Centre for Contemporary Studies set up by the museum, and there is also the Nehru Memorial digital library, which contains the digitised manuscripts and historical documents of the museum. The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund was set up in 1964, with the then President of India, Radhakrishnan, as Chairman, and Indira Gandhi, Nehru’s daughter, as Secretary. The JNMF has awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships since 1968, and it also plans and organises the Annual Nehru Memorial Lecture, which is held on the day before Nehru’s birthday.
The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library is open every day except Mondays, from 10 am to 5 pm. If you are a student of the Social Sciences, this should be among your top 4 places to visit in New Delhi.
National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
The National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, also known as the National Crafts Museum, is one of the largest crafts museums in India, and it is located in New Delhi. Managed by the Ministry of Textiles, the museum sits right on the corner of Pragati Maidan on Bhairon Road, and is directly opposite the Purana Qila, or Old Fort complex. Starting in the late 1950s, it took over 30 years to set up the National Crafts Museum, a project that was spearheaded by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay. The place the National Crafts Museum sits was seen as a place where craftsmen from all over India could come and work to preserve the traditional arts and crafts of the nation. A sizable collection of arts and crafts was amassed by the 1980s, and soon the museum began to grow until it became what it is today.
The National Crafts Museum has more than 35,000 pieces that are very rare and unique, showing the undying tradition of Indian craftsmen in their paintings, textiles, embroidery, and crafts of stone, wood, and clay. The galleries in the museum include the Gallery of Courtly Crafts, the Gallery of Popular Culture, the Textile Gallery, and the Rural Craft Gallery. Among its most-prized collections are the 300-year-old Bhoota Collection, which is from Karnataka; 300-year-old dushalas from Kashmiri; exquisite brocade and Kutch embroidery; Chamba handkerchiefs renowned for their peculiar embroidery; and rare pieces of jewelry. The museum also houses an extensive collection of textiles, as well as a village complex that covers more than 20,000 square meters. The village displays 15 structures that show village houses, shrines, courtyards, and day-to-day life tools and other items. The village is actually the remains of an exhibition in 1972, whose theme was ‘Rural India’. The museum also has a reference library, a photo lab, a conservation lab, an auditorium, and Research and Documentation facilities. The National Crafts Museum is open every day except Mondays, from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The museum is a great place to take your kids to, or if you have friends that love arts and crafts. You can reach the museum via the Pragati Maidan Delhi Metro Station, or you could get a bus or a taxi. One of the best times to visit the National Crafts Museum is from September to May, when 50 craftspeople are invited every month within that period to demonstrate making arts and crafts live, as part of the Crafts Demonstration Program.
National Science Centre
Set up in 1992, the National Science Centre in New Delhi is a science museum that was established as part of the National Council of Science Museums, which is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture. The National Science Centre is on Bhairon Road, close to Pragati Maidan’s Gate 1, which overlooks the Old Fort, or Purana Qila. The National Science Centre in New Delhi is the zonal headquarters of the northern National Council of Science Museums. The first of these Science Museums was created in Calcutta in 1959, and after that, another one was opened in Bangalore in 1962, inspired by Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy and encouraged by the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The National Science Centre in New Delhi was opened and inaugurated in 1992 by P.V. Narasimha Rao, who was the Prime Minister then. The National Science Centre is very innovative in its Education Outreach programs, and this has encouraged and increased the number of visitors to the museum since 2009. The museum organizes visits for kids with special abilities, workshops for children with autism and cerebral palsy, and breast cancer awareness for women without homes or families. They also organize Science versus Superstition competitions for slum dwellers, sign language classes for the hearing impaired kids that attend Municipal schools. There are also programs such as astronomy awareness with the aim of dispelling myths about eclipses, training in basic first aid for housewives, programs in collaboration with the Armed Forces for Army widows, and skills acquisition training for widows and destitute women.
Children and school students make up the largest number of visitors to the National Science Centre, and the museum also has one of the world’s largest exhibits in its entry plaza! The galleries include Our Science and Technology Heritage, which displays the Indian Heritage in Science and Technology, which goes as far back as 4,500 years. The second gallery is the Human Biology, followed by Fun Science, and others include Information Revolution Gallery, Pre-Historic Life, Emerging Technologies - A look into the future, and Water - The Elixir of Life, which is probably the most popular exhibition in the Centre.
The National Science Centre is open every day from 10 am to 5:30 pm, except during the Holi and Diwali festivals. There is a cafeteria in the Centre that serves Indian and Continental food, and there is a souvenir shop that you can buy some cool things from. There are also 3D shows of flying snakes and carpets that are fun to watch, and make sure you enter the Maze of Mirrors with a guide! This is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your family and kids. Tickets cost Rs.40 per person for general entry. To watch the 3D show, tickets cost Rs.25 for grownups and Rs.20 for kids.
The Sanskriti Museums is a complex that houses three museums, which are the Museum of Everyday Art, the Museum of Indian Terracotta, and the Textile Museum. The Sanskriti Museums is in an artist village complex that covers 8 acres and is about 10 kilometres away from New Delhi. Established in 1990, the museum was founded under the Sanskriti Foundation by O.P. Jain. It is one of the best places to visit near Delhi by car or by bike.
The Museum of Everyday Art is a collection of ‘Everyday Art’: artisans take everyday items such as cups, saucers, spoons, and toys, and transform them into works of art that are displayed in the museum.
The Museum of Indian Terracotta houses more than 1,000 pieces of terracotta sculptures, art, and figurines that display the tribal arts from the many tribal areas in India.
The Textile Museum is an exhibition of the most diverse and the best of Indian textile heritage.
The diverse range of items on display at the Sanskriti Museums makes it a veritable treasure trove of Indian art heritage. There are earthenware pots that are used in the rural area to store drinking water next to larger-than-life equestrian figures of Tamil deities, and this diverse range of items makes the museum a fun place to take the entire family for a visit. The museum is open every day except Mondays and public/National holidays, and you can there as early as 10 am, and the museum closes at 5 pm. There is a restaurant at the museum, and you can get tea or coffee to drink depending on what you fancy. There are also medical facilities and accommodation at the Sanskriti Museums.
Indian Air Force Museum
The Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, is found at the Palam Air Force Station in Delhi, and it is the first of its kind: it was actually the only one of its kind for years until the Naval Aviation Museum was opened in 1998, followed by the opening of the HAL Aerospace Museum in Bangalore. Right at the entrance to the museum is a grounded laser-guided missile, and when you enter the museum, you will see an indoor exhibition of historic photos, uniforms, weapons, and memorabilia of the Indian Air Force, dating back to when the Indian Air Force was created in 1932. From here you will go to a hangar displaying Air Force anti-aircraft guns and vehicles, as well as small aircraft and ordnance. The Air Force museum has an outdoor gallery to display exhibits that are too large to be indoors. The outdoor gallery showcases war trophies, captured enemy vehicles, large aircraft, and radar equipment.
The Indian Air Force Museum has Vintage Aircraft Flight services where they service old and rare aircraft, keeping them in an airworthy state. While visitors are not allowed to see these aircraft, they are put on display during the yearly Air Force Day. There is also a small souvenir shop where you can buy cool items for your family and friends back home. There are 15 different types of aircraft on display at the museum, and kids will love a trip to this museum, where they can see old and modern aircraft and warfare equipment, while at the same time they learn about the history of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Air Force Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesday. From 10 am to 5 pm the museum stays open, and entry is free.
A major tourist attraction in New Delhi is the Lodhi Gardens, built in the 15th century by the Sayyid and Lodhi rulers. Lodhi Gardens, also spelled as Lodi Gardens, houses various mausoleums, including Bara Gumbad’s Tomb, Sikandar Lodi’s Tomb, Shisha Gumbad’s Tomb, and Mohammed Sha’s Tomb. An old waterway connects the Yamuna River to Sikandar Lodi’s Tomb. Lodhi Gardens is filled with ancient architectural splendor, and this makes it a great place to visit while touring New Delhi. Lodhi Gardens is situated between Safdarjung’s Tomb and Khan Market, and you can reach it via the JLN Metro Station, which is near the park. Using this route means that you will drop off at Jor Bagh Station, and walk a way to Lodhi Gardens. This is a cheaper and more scenic route, but you could always take a taxi straight to the park, which is more expensive.
Construction of Lodhi Gardens was done in the 15th century and was started by the Lodhi rulers. The Sayyid rulers added their own bits to the park afterward. Lodhi Gardens was formerly called Lady Willington Park, and it was renamed after India’s independence. Lodhi Gardens is a well-preserved display of ancient history and architecture, and there is a lot to see in and around the park.
Apart from the mausoleums, Lodhi Gardens is an exercise hub for morning joggers, yoga practitioners, and other fitness lovers. The beautiful, verdant foliage in the park ensures that the atmosphere is cool and pleasant at all times. The Garden Restaurant promises fresh and original dishes to tantalize your taste buds, and the locals also enjoy the food there, so you will too. Entry into Lodhi Gardens is free, and it is open every day from 6 am to 7:30 pm. The best time to visit Lodhi Gardens is during the weekdays if you want a little more peace and quiet: the park is always crowded during the weekends. Make out time for a picnic in this scenic park, or enjoy a stroll while looking at the fountains with your partner on your honeymoon in New Delhi.
Delhi Golf Club
The Delhi Golf Club was established in the 1930s, originally as the Lodhi Golf club, by the Chief of the Horticultural Department at the time. It became the Delhi Golf Club in 1951 and was saved from bankruptcy and closure when founding member Dharma Vira asked the then Prime Minister to lease the government land to the club for a period of 30 years at very low annual rents. Since then, the Delhi Golf Club has been a thriving place that civil servants, police officers, business men, the elite of the elite in the social world, and tourists visit to relax, eat great food, and play a round of golf or two.
The Delhi Golf Club also houses some monuments from the Mughal period, such as the Lal Bangla. Lal Bangla is the tomb of the mother of Shah Alam II, Lal Kuwar, and the tomb of his daughter, Begum Jaan, which were built in 1780. The Delhi Golf Club, or DGC as the locals call it, is open from 5 am to 10:30 pm, and you will need to book in advance before you can get into the golf club. The food and drink at the golf club are superb and constantly praised by foreigners and natives alike, but you cannot pay using cash: you will need to pay for coupons at the window where you will also pay to go out on the green.
Garden of Five Senses
The Garden of Five Senses in New Delhi is situated in the village of Saidul Ajaib, which is near Mehrauli, a noted heritage location. The Garden of Five Senses took three years for the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation to create, and in 2003 the garden was inaugurated. The Garden of Five Senses was built on the rocky ground, divided into sections which have different themes, including a section that is reminiscent of the Mughal Gardens at the Presidential Palace. The Garden of Five Senses is one of the best places to go on Valentine in Delhi, as well as one of the best places to visit in and around Delhi.
The Garden of Five Senses is a major tourist attraction, drawing crowds year after year, and there are always events hosted in the Garden of Five Senses during the year. Cultural events, food festivals, and other programs are held in the Garden of Five Senses throughout the year, and the best times to visit the Garden of Five Senses is during the Garden Tourism Festival and the Dandiya Festivals. It is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for photography, and one of the best places to visit in New Delhi in the early morning.
The Garden of Five Senses was designed to stimulate all five of the human senses, giving you a multi-sensory experience of beauty and peace that you can feel and touch, smell, taste, see, and hear. The Garden of Five Senses is made up of bamboo courts, a solar energy park, pools of floating water lilies, herb gardens, and other beautiful flora and fauna. Entry requires a fee of Rs.30 for grownups and Rs.10 for the elderly and children ages 0-12. One of the best places to visit with the family or if you are on your honeymoon, the Garden of Five Senses also hosts flower shows, where you can see varieties of exotic flowers on display. There are also beautifully-designed fountains and water cascades that are kind of like smaller, scenic waterfalls. There is a food court, and a restaurant called Fio Country Kitchen and Bar that serves some of the best food in the area: it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your husband, and one of the best places to go in Delhi with your girlfriend. There is also a shopping center and several sculptures for your viewing pleasure. The Garden of Five Senses is open all seven days of the week, from 9 to 7 in the summer and from 9 to 6 in the winter. To get more out of your visit, walk to the Garden of Five Senses from the Saket Metro Station. It is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi through the metro.
Mehrauli Archaeological Park
The site of over a hundred historical sites and monuments, Mehrauli Archaeological Park is a gem of a place in New Delhi. Mehrauli Archaeological Park witnessed ever-changing occupation for thousands of years and houses ruins and relics of ancient dynasties, including tombs, palaces, wells, and shrines. Mehrauli Archaeological Park is the only existing site in India that stands as a testament to years of constant occupation by different rulers.
Mehrauli Archaeological Park contains the remains of structures from as old as the 10th century, and you will find other ruins and remains such as:
- Architectural remains from the British Raj, the Mughal Empire, the Khalji dynasty, the Lodhi dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty, and the Lal Kot that was built by the Tomar Rajputs.
- The tomb of Marlins Jamali Kamali, the tomb of Quli Khan, the tomb of Balban, and an empty burial space that was meant for Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last King of Delhi.
- Various step wells, Gandhak ki Baoli, a Madhi Masjid, the Zafar Mahal, and the Dargah of Qutub Sahib, which is a Sufi shrine.
Mehrauli Archaeological Park is a place teeming with history and archaeological finds, and this is one of the best places to take your kids for a fun outing. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset, and if you are visiting New Delhi in July, you should pack some sunscreen or some sun shades. Also don’t forget to wear strong, rugged walking shoes, and long trousers, because at sunset the insects might come out to bite any and all exposed skin. Qutub Minar Metro Station is the closest to the park, so getting there wouldn’t be any hardship for you.
Named after the first Prime Minister of India, Nehru Park is a major tourist attraction in New Delhi. What makes it even more prestigious is the fact that it is situated in the Chanakyapuri Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi. Created in 1969, Nehru Park covers over 80 acres of land and is to New Delhi what Central Park is to New York in America. Many programs and festivals are held in Nehru Park, such as the program's Music in Park and Morning Ridge and Shyam Ridge, which are all organized by the NDMC, which stands for New Delhi Municipal Council. Other events that are held at Nehru Park include the annual Bhakti Mahostav festival and the Spike Mikey Music Festival. In the mornings, there are regular yoga classes for the yogis. So if you are into yoga, you can attend a class or two at Nehru Park early in the mornings: the area is peaceful and quiet, and perfect for meditation.
There is a life-size statue of Vladimir Lenin in Nehru Park. The alloy statue is in honor of Lenin, who was the leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. The statue was set up in Nehru Park in 1987, on the 70th anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution, and the statue was unveiled by the then Soviet Premier, Nicolai Riyazkov; the then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi; and his wife, Sonia Gandhi. On the 22nd day of April every year, the Communist Party of India, Marxists, and other Left-Wing parties and their members celebrate at Lenin’s statue in Nehru Park.
Nehru Park is one of the best picnic spots in New Delhi, with many families coming out on Sundays to picnic in the park. Bird watchers will also love Nehru Park, as there are many birds that call the park home.
The best time to visit Nehru Park is from the 1st of April to the 30th of September, from 5 am to 8 pm; and from the 1st of October to the 31st of March, from 6 am to 8 pm. Nehru Park is the best place to visit with families, with kids, and it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi on your honeymoon.
Sometimes referred to as The Ridge, Delhi Ridge is located in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, India. The ridge is an extension of the Aravalli Range, which is about 1,500 million years old. The ridge contains quartzite rocks, extends from the southeast region near the Bhatti mines, and branches out in several places, finally tapering off near Wazirabad. The Delhi Ridge covers a total distance of 35 kilometers and is called ‘the green lungs’ of the city, as it protects the city from the hot desert winds that blow in from Rajasthan. Delhi Ridge is second in the world to Nairobi in Kenya, as the most bird-rich capital city in the world. The Ridge has been divided into 4 zones, which are the Northern Ridge, the Central Ridge (which is in New Delhi), the South-Central Ridge, and the Southern Ridge. The Delhi Ridge is home to some great parks and monuments that tourists come from all over to see, such as the Buddha Jayanti Smarak Park, which is in the Central Ridge in New Delhi. The park was built to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of the enlightenment of Gautama Buddha. Indian architect M.M Rana designed the park, and there is a gilded statue of Buddha on an artificial island in the park. The Buddha Jayanti festival, celebrated in May, is held in this park every year. So visiting the Central Ridge in New Deli would be a great opportunity to experience the celebrations. The North Ridge is also worth a visit when you visit New Delhi, as you will find several monuments there, such as the Ashoka Pillar, brought there in 1356 by Firuz Shah Tughluq; the Flagstaff Tower, where the British women and children in India went to hide during the Indian Revolt of 1857; Chauburji; Pir Sahib, which is a hunting lodge and observatory built in the 14th century by Feroz Shah Tughlaq; and Old Baoli. Bird watchers will love going to the Ridge, and you are sure to see some animals like the Northern Palm Squirrel when you go there.
Also known as Ramlila Ground, Ramlila Maidan is a large space that is most famous as the site for the annual Ramlila celebrations in New Delhi. Ramlila Maidan is also used for various religious festivals, political rallies, large meetings, and as a venue for entertainment occasions. Ramlila Maidan is near Delhi Gate, and also near the New Delhi Railway Station. Ramlila Maidan used to be a pond, and then in the 1930s, it was filled in with earth to become the new site of the Ramlila festivities, held every October. Ramlila Maidan became a site for political gatherings, and Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, and Jawaharlal Nehru held and addressed political rallies at the site. There is still a tiny pond on the grounds as a memorial to what the site originally was.
Historical Landmarks, Monuments and Architecture
The India Gate
This historical monument sits in the middle of New Delhi as a tribute to the 70,000 Indian and British soldiers that were killed in action during World War I. The memorial is an archway that was built using France’s Arc-de-Triomphe as a model and is set in the middle of a major crossroads in New Delhi. It is on the list of the 53 best places to visit in Delhi by thrillophilia.com. Designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, the foundation stone of this memorial was laid in 1921 by the Duke of Connaught, and, 10 years later, the India Gate was dedicated to India by the Viceroy at the time, Lord Irwin. Amar Jawan Jyoti, the Eternal Flame, was added to the memorial several years later, after India got her independence, and the flame truly is eternal, burning day and night as a tribute to the Indian soldiers that died during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. The India Gate is free to visit and pulls a lot of visitors, and it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for a picnic, as it is a popular picnic spot due to the lush, manicured lawns that surround the memorial. At night, the India Gate becomes a show of beautiful lights due to floodlights and the multi-coloured lit fountains that are nearby. In the summer evenings, couples and families flock to the India Gate to picnic on the lawns and secure a good spot for the night light shows, making it one of the best places to visit for families and couples. It is also one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your parents.
Aptly named because of its walls made of red sandstone, Red Fort was ordered built in 1639 by Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor, and Red fort was designed by Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the architect who construction the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan is also the emperor that ordered the construction of the Taj Mahal. The Red Fort was built as the royal palace of the Mughal capital, Shahjahanabad, and it became the royal habitat of the Mughal emperors until 1856, almost 200 years. Later additions were made to the Red Fort by emperors that came after Shah Jahan, and the historic fort has stood through wars and pillaging, destruction and rebuilding. Though most of the buildings and marble walls inside the Red Fort were destroyed by the British after the Revolt of 1857, the Red Fort today houses many museums; several restorations have been made and are currently in progress, and it is one of the best places for tourists to visit in New Delhi. Officially named Red Fort Complex, Red Fort was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
One of the best times to visit New Delhi is during India’s Independence Day, which is on the 15th day of August. Every year on this day, the Prime Minister of India raises the national flag of India at the fort and makes a speech while standing on the ramparts of the fort, which is broadcast on national television. Red Fort is the largest historical monument in India, rich in architectural beauty and steeped in culture and history, features that make the fort such a pull for tourists. Entering through the Lahore Gate leads you to a mall that is equipped with Indian jewelry and craft stores. Some of the buildings are still quite intact with their decorations still in place; in other buildings, those decorations, such as the inlaid marble, were pillaged. Tourists can’t go into the mosque and the public baths, but you can look inside them through the windows. The tea house has been restored and is used as a restaurant, so there is a place for you to eat while you are there. The water features are all dry, but the museums make up for most of these, with one museum featuring ‘blood paintings’, which are stories of Indian martyrs from the 20th century; another museum is an archaeological museum, and there is an Indian war museum in the Red Fort. The Red Fort is one of the best places to visit in Delhi in the evening with your girlfriend because there is an evening program, which is a sound-and-light show telling vivid stories of Mughal history. Visiting the Red Fort is a treat for couples on honeymoon or the entire family.
Directly opposite the Red Fort is this stunning example of architectural beauty from the Mughal period called the Jama Masjid. Also built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Jama Masjid is one of the oldest and largest mosques in India and one of the best places to visit in New Delhi. Built in 1658, the mosque was originally built to be the main worship place for Emperor Shah Jahan and his royal family. The original name of this magnificent mosque is Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, which literally means The Mosque Commanding View of the World, and it is a perfect representation of that name. When you get into the southern minaret of Jama Masjid, you have a perfect view of Delhi! To get this awesome view, however, you will need to pay a fee to climb up into the minaret; otherwise, entry into Jama Masjid is free. People claiming to be tour guides might try to take money from you like the entry fee into Jama Masjid, so be a smart tourist.
Three gates, double-storied, lead into Jama Masjid, placed at the north, the south, and the east of the mosque. The gate to the east is the largest, and it was the gate that the emperor and his family used to go into the mosque. Even today, tourists are only allowed to enter the mosque via the north and south gates. The mosque itself was built facing west. The gates lead into the courtyard, which can hold 25,000 people! To enter Jama Masjid, you must remove your shoes and cover your arms and feet – women must cover their heads - in respect of the Islam faith that the mosque symbolizes. In the prayer hall you will find structures of arched marble that are inscribed with the history of Jama Masjid in fine detail. The floor of the Jama Masjid is made of black and white marble, which was made to look like a typical Muslim praying mat. The holy north-eastern part of Jama Masjid contains writings of the Holy Quran written on deerskin, as well as some other relics of Mohammed the Prophet. The best time to visit the Jama Masjid is during the celebrations of Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Zoha, two important and special Muslim events that draw Muslim devotees and tourists from all corners of the earth to Jama Masjid. To avoid the crowds, you could go there as early as 7, but you will have to leave at 12:15 if you are not a Muslim, as the Islam faithful will be coming in for their prayers. The mosque reopens at 1:45 pm and stays open until 30 minutes to sunset, and you can bring your own camera to take pictures. Jama Masjid is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for photography, and it is one of the best places to go in South Delhi.
Commissioned by Mughal Emperor Muhammed Shah and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II from 1724 onwards, Jantar Mantar is a prime example of old science and astronomy. This historical observatory in New Delhi sustained heavy damage during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and Jantar Mantar had decayed a lot by the year 1867. Nevertheless, this ancient observatory is a living testimony to the pursuit of knowledge by Indians of the time, and the accuracy of their charting equipment. The Maharaja also built four other observatories in India, all named Jantar Mantar, but the one in New Delhi is the first and the oldest.
Jantar Mantar was built mainly to revise the calendars, predict the movements and times of the sun, the moon, and the planets, and to compile astronomical tables. The four instruments in Jantar Mantar have specific purposes, and they were highly accurate in what they did. They include:
- Samrat Yantra – the ultimate sundial, the Samrat Yantra was built when sundials were already in use, but it made them even more precise in measuring coordinates and declination.
- Jayaprakash Yantra – this allowed observers to align the positions of stars.
- Rama Yantra – this tool was used to calculate the altitude of a star based on the longitude and latitude of the earth.
- Misra Yantra – this mixed instrument consists of 5 instruments that were used to find out the longest and shortest days in the year. It was also used to accurately tell when it was 12 noon in New Delhi and in other locations, irrespective of their distance from New Delhi.
Jantar Mantar with its larger-than-life instruments is a great place for a fun learning excursion. This is one of the best places to visit with your family in New Delhi. The observatory is open on all days of the week, from 9 am to 7 pm, and you are required to pay an entry fee of only INR100 if you are a non-citizen.
In Mehrauli, South West New Delhi, you will find a structure made of red sandstone and marble and featuring a tower. This is Qutub Minar, one of the most valuable and well-protected structures in India, and one of the best places to visit in and around Delhi. Qutub Minar is a part of the Qutub Complex in India which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it an important monument of cultural and historical relevance. Getting to Qutub Minar is very easy, as the structure is just about 3 kilometers away from the aptly named Qutub Minar Metro Station, which gives easy access to this UNESCO World Heritage site. It is said that the design for Qutub Minar is inspired by the Minaret of Jam, which is found in western Afghanistan. Qutub-ud-din Aibak founded Qutub Minar, and he was the force behind the entire existence of the Sultanate of Delhi. He started construction of Qutub Minar in 1192, but didn’t live to see it completed, and his successor, Iltumish, completed the structure in the year 1220. The main feature of Qutub Minar, the tower-like structure, is about 73 meters high, 5 stories tall, 14.3 meters wide at the base, and it tapers to 2.7 meters at the high top above ground. Qutub Minar is the largest brick minaret in the world. Another feature of Qutub Minar is found inside the tower, which is the spiral staircase that is made up of 379 steps. Touring Qutub Minar is perfect for hikers, fitness buffs, or anyone who simply likes a challenge. Kids may have fun climbing the steps, but after the first 20 steps, it may look daunting. Qutub Minar had some restoration done on it several decades after it was completed due to the destruction caused by lightning, and this restoration was done by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, who fixed the story that was damaged – the topmost one – even added on another story, making it the five stories we see today. Architecture lovers will notice several influences in the design of Qutub Minar apart from the Afghani one, such as Iranian and local architecture, and you can even spy some Nagari and Parson-Arabic inscriptions on different parts of the well-preserved structure. Around Qutub Minar, you will see other places worth visiting, such as the Iron Pillar of Delhi and the Quwat ul IslaMosqueue, and while there is an entry fee to get into Qutub Minar, any kids of the ages of 15 and below can get in for free. The site is open from sunrise, which is at about 7 am, and closes at sunset, which is around 6 – 8 pm. Qutub Minar is a great place to visit any time of the year, but you would best enjoy visiting the site in October-November, as you would get to experience the Qutub Minar Festival: so Qutub Minar is the best place to visit in Delhi now. Qutub Minar is usually packed with tourists, so get there as early as possible. Visiting New Delhi in the summer? Make sure to pack some shades, hats, and sunscreen when going to Qutub Minar. The evenings provide tourists with some entertainment, as Qutub Minar hosts a Decorative Light Show in the evenings. Qutub Minar is the best places to visit in New Delhi with your husband, and it is also one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for adventure.
Agrasen ki Baoli
Also known as Ugrasen ki Baoli, this step-well is the source of several fables, myths and legends of Indian natives. Brought to the attention of the world through a hit Bollywood movie, Agrasen ki Baoli is 60 meters long and 15 meters wide, and it is under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India. The main reason behind the myths and legends surrounding Agrasen ki Baoli is that no one really knows when it was constructed. Of course, there are stories about why the well exists, including several tales involving the well and its usefulness, as well as rumors that the step well is haunted, but there is still debate about who made it. The most credible source states that the well was built by an ancient king, King Agrasen, who was a legendary king of India; and the well was apparently rebuilt sometime in the 14th century by the people of the Agrawal community. The word ‘baoli’ could possibly be of Rajasthan or Gujarat origin, as the word for step well in these languages sounds like ‘baoli’. Agrasen ki Baoli is one of the best places to go in South Delhi.
India has several step wells and water temples or shrines, and Agrasen ki Baoli is probably one of the most popular, and it is located in New Delhi. Agrasen ki Baoli has 108 steps and a living testament to the extraordinary architectural prowess of the ancient Indians. The three levels of the step well that can be seen have arched niches on both sides of the levels, and you can go and see this famous well for free, any day, at any time from 7:30 am to 6 in the evening. The nearest transportation route is the metro station at Barakhamba road, and on your way to Agrasen ki Baoli, you will be able to see graffiti drawn by famous people such as Harsh Raman.
Feroz Shah Kotla Fort
Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq built the Feroz Shah Kotla fort in New Delhi in 1354 in a bid to have his own city, another version of Delhi, which he called Ferozabad. The fort has a beautiful Topra Ashokan pillar of polished sandstone that was abandoned in Topra Kalan, one of several pillars that were erected by the Mauryan Emperor. Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq ordered that one of the pillars be brought to his new fortress, and there the pillar stands. The pillar stands as an obelisk in Feroz Shah Kotla fort, and it has writings inscribed on it in Brahmi, Pali, and Sanskrit script. The inscriptions in Pali and Sanskrit were added many years after the original inscriptions in Brahmi script were made. Feroz Shah Kotla fort has seen many battles, and what remains of the once glorious fort is more of ruins, but tourists still come yearly to see these ruins and imagine how the fort was in its heyday. New Delhi natives simply refer to the fort as Kotla, and the inscriptions in the obelisk were successfully translated in 1837 by James Prinsep, so you can really know what the writings mean. When Feroz Shah Kotla was completed, the Sultan made it the new capital of Delhi, but obviously, that didn’t stay long after the Sultan’s death. From Tuesday to Sunday, Feroz Shah Kotla is open from 6 to 6, and entry is free for children ages 0 – 15. Above that, you will need to pay Rs.100 for non-Indians and Rs.15.Feroz Shah Kotla Fort is one of the best places to visit in Delhi in the evening, especially if you are looking for the best places to visit in Delhi in July.
Purana Qila, or Old Fort
Purana Qila is one of the oldest forts in India, and the fort as its seen today was built by Sher Shah Suri, the man credited with founding the Sur Empire. When Humayun ruled Delhi, Purana Qila was part of the inner citadel of Din Panah, a city in Delhi at that time. Humayun renovated the fort in the year 1533, and the fort was named Shergarh by Sher Shah Suri when he defeated Humayun in battle and became king. He added more structures to the fort Shergarh, and it and the areas surrounding it were rebuilt and renovated to be the sixth city of Delhi. Sher Shah Suri died in 1545, and it is claimed that Sher Shah Suri did not complete his plans to make Shergarh and its surroundings and a city. It is said that the fort was completed by his son, Islam Shah. However, Sher Shah Suri’s dreams of making the city did not come to fruition due to the events that happened in the partition of India. During this time, Purana Qila and Humayun’s Tomb, which is just nearby, were both refugee sites. Purana Qila functioned as a refugee campsite till the year 1948.
Purana Qila means Old Fort in English, and the area is probably one of the oldest places that were settled in India. The Archaeological Survey of India carried out a dig at the Old Fort, and they excavated some painted grey ware that dates as far back as 1000 BC! Though the fort is in ruins, the ramparts still stand, and these have served as a backdrop in many plays, including plays about Tughlaq, Sultan Razia, and Andha Yug. The Old Fort also served as a center for cultural events, concerts, and theatre productions, and today you can watch a sound and light show at the Old Fort in the evenings that detail the story of the historical seven cities of Delhi. There are also boat rides in the lake near the Old Fort, and you can see Humayun’s Library, also called Sher Mandal, which was commissioned by Sher Shah Suri. Also, don’t forget to visit the Forbidden Gate or Talaqi Darwaza: this is another major tourist attraction in New Delhi, and it is in the Old Fort. Purana Qila is open every day of the week, from 7 am to 5 pm, and the entry fee is Rs.200 for non-Indians and Rs.20 for Indians. Pictures are free, but you will pay a fee for videos.
Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb
Located in Mehrauli in New Delhi, Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb are two monuments dedicated to two different people. Jamali is the Urdu form of the name Jamal, meaning beautiful, and it was one of the names of Shaikh Fazullah, who was also called Shaikh Jamali Kamboh and/or Jalal Khan. Shaikh Fazullah was a Sufi saint of renown who lived in the time that Lodi was king: this period was before the Mughal era started. Not much is known about Kamali, but he was an associate of Jamali’s. The Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb were built in 1528 – 1529; Jamali was buried in his tomb in 1535, after his death. Both monuments are situated in a garden that is enclosed, like Humayun’s Tomb, and the complex’s entry is to the south. Built of red sandstone and marble, Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb is one of the best things to see in New Delhi. The enclosed garden in which the Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb contains a courtyard in front which leads into a large prayer hall, and five arches with a dome on the central arch, which also has beautifully fluted pilasters. The mosque and tomb are decorated with ornaments and marble decorations and medallions, and the back end of the mosque is adorned with some oriel windows. Jamali and Kamali’s marble tombs lie in the mausoleum. It is sometimes said to be one of the top 4 places to visit in Delhi.
The architectural design of the buildings is said to be a precursor to the Mughal architectural design, as many Mughal buildings have similar elements in their design. Jamali and Kamali Mosque and Tomb draws thousands of tourists, and you can visit the mosque and tomb any day and anytime from sunrise to sunset. Entry is free, and you can bring your entire family along to visit the site. The Qutub Minar Metro Station is near the Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb, and it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi through the metro.
The Legend of Tughlaqabad says that when Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty, wanted to start construction on the fort, he ordered all the workers in the area to take part in the work. One of the workers, Nizamuddin Auliya, did not like this idea, and out of anger or resentment he cursed the fort, saying that, ‘May this fort stay unoccupied or be inhabited by herdsmen!’ It is not sure if this really happened or not, but one thing is certain: the locals believed this curse, and no one would live in it because they felt the fort could not be prosperous nor could it excel, and so Tughlaqabad Fort has stayed uninhabited till today.
Nevertheless, Tughlaqabad Fort is a historical site in India that draws thousands of tourists every year, and it is one of the best places to visit when you are in New Delhi. Tughlaqabad Fort covers over 6 kilometers, with walls that rise up to 15 meters high, topped with bastions and battlements. Tughlaqabad Fort used to have 52 gates, but now there are 13 still standing. Divided into 3 areas, Tughlaqabad Fort has a wide city area containing houses, the citadel which has a tower at the highest point in the Fort called Bijai Mandal, and there are several remains of halls and an underground passage that children would love to explore. Tughlaqabad Fort is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm, and there is an entry fee of Rs.100 for non-natives and Rs.5 for Indians; and if you have kids that are 15 years old and younger, they can get in for free. Tughlaqabad Fort is quite large, and it will take roughly 3 hours to complete a full tour of the Fort. Make sure you wear proper hiking shoes for your visit because the terrain there is very rough and uneven. The best time to visit Tughlaqabad Fort is from October to April: the summer months are way too hot to visit this fort in New Delhi. Also, the fort is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi in the evening, so stick around from 5 pm onwards, as there will be an entertaining Light and Sound Show, presented in both English and Hindi.
Shopping in New Delhi
Dilli Haat is situated in the commercial district of South Delhi and directly opposite the INA market, and it is the creation of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation in India, Dilli Haat is a large complex that a craft bazaar and open-air food plaza, unique of its kind, and it is a permanent fixture in New Delhi that stays open on all days of the week. It is one of the best places to visit in Delhi during Diwali. Tourists will love Dilli Haat because of the vibrancy and eclectic blend of cuisines, crafts, fabrics, and art pieces. Originally part of a reclamation project by the government, Dilli Haat is a plaza built on a solid foundation that covers 6 acres of land and made up of several kiosks and thatched roof cottages. The market is always open, and some of the stalls or shops rotate every 15 days: some of the shops, however, are permanently in the market. Dilli Haat is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for shopping because you can get great deals off of items that may cost you a lot in the malls or bigger shops outside Dilli Haat. You will find wood carvings made from sandalwood and rosewood, footwear made of camel hide and beautifully embellished, fabrics of silk, the softest cotton and wool, and exquisite items made of metal. There is an exhibition hall where you can see handicrafts and even handlooms. There is also music and dance and cultural performances held there by different troupes and organizations. The entry fee is a small token, and Dilli Haat is among the best places to visit in Delhi in the evenings because you will get to experience the Indian cultural diversity at its best. This might also make it the most crowded time to visit Dilli Haat, but you are guaranteed a great time when you go there.
Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest markets in New Delhi and is also one of the busiest markets in the city as well. Built in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan, he left the design of the place to his daughter, Jahanara. Chandni Chowk is called Moonlight Square by the English, and the Red Fort is part of this old and lively square. In the original design, Chandni Chowk had the capacity of 1560 shops in a square that is 40 yards wide and 1520 yards long. Canals divided the square in strategic lines so as to reflect the moonlight and there was a pool in the middle of the square that made it glow in the moonlight. However, the pool was covered up and a clock tower was put in its stead in the 1950s, and there used to be a specific space for silver merchants that have since been converted into stalls for other merchants. Chandni Chowk offers just about anything and everything to buyers, as long as you know what you are looking for. Street food doesn't get any better than what you can get at Chandni Chowk, and you must make plans to visit the flea market that opens every Sunday morning. Open from 10 am to 7 pm every day except Mondays, Chandni Chowk is free to enter, and you will find it quite easy to navigate through the market as everything is sold separately in different parts of the market. So you would easily spot electronics, home decor and accessories, suits, footwear, sarees, shawls, food and kitchen utensils, and a whole lot of other things sold in separate parts of the market. Chandni Chowk has a metro station nearby, making it easy to reach the market, and tourists must remember to check out Papri Chaat for roadside kebabs and visit the Paranthe Wali Gali, one of the best places to go on Valentine in Delhi. Couples on honeymoon should make sure to visit Moonlight Square, and you can bring your family with you, or that aunt, mother, cousin or friend who just loves a good bargain.
Built in 1945, Khan Market started out as a U-shaped double-story complex that had residential flats on the bottom floor, with small grocery shops and middle-class stores operating in the complex. By the 1980s there was an increase in real estate prices, making the families that inhabited Khan Market to move out of the complex. It is said that some families still live in a few of the flats, but most of the flats have been to merchants as shops. Now, Khan Market has a name as the most expensive retail market in India, as well as the most sophisticated real estate areas in New Delhi. Named after Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan, Khan market started out with 154 shops and 74 flats, but now it is safe to say that the complex gas more shops than flats. Not far from Khan Market is Sujan Singh Park, which is worth a visit, as it is thought to be the first-ever apartment complex in New Delhi.
This old market is all about high-end, high-street retail, so if you are in for some luxury shopping, Khan Market is the place to go. It is one of the best places to go out in Delhi. There is a wide variety to choose from in showrooms and stores, popular high-end brands and local names. Khan Metro Station is your closest bet to getting there, and it is open every day except Sundays, from 10 am to midnight, making it perfect for night owls. Entry into Khan Market is free, and you can browse and buy to your heart’s content of any choice of jewelry, books, paintings, fabrics, hardware, and fashion pieces. There are also good restaurants to eat in at Khan Market, so make sure you check out some of the best places to visit in New Delhi to eat.
Sarojini Nagar Market
Formerly called Vinay Nagaland, Sarojini Nagar is located in the southwest area of New Delhi, and there is an awesome market there that you can go shopping for so many items of great quality at cheap prices. If you know anyone who is thrifty, Sarojini Nagar Market is the place to take them. Sarojini Nagar is very close to the Safdarjung Airport, so it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi near an airport, and it is a very vibrant and lively place that also contains South Extension, Safdarjung Enclave, and Chanakyapuri, amongst others. Sarojini Nagar Market is lined with shops that sell branded shoes, clothes, fabrics, and accessories at very low prices. You are probably most likely going to get a better deal if you visit the market when it is crowded. There is no entry fee to get into the market, and the street-side shops are always open from 10 am to 9 pm on every day except Monday. Sarojini Nagar Market actually has some shopping rules that protect your interests as a visiting shopper, and one of them is that you shouldn’t pay more than INR 250 for any dress, skirt, or top. Typically, you would pay at most INR 150 for a top. Also, you have to make sure the size of the cloth is right for you. The sizes are on them, but you have to check for your size. If the garment is adjustable, there is a darzee that you can go to for a quick fix. Thrift shoppers will be experts in shopping here, as they always check the condition of an item before purchasing it, and you should take a cue from them: always check for wear and tear before paying for an item. This will get you a sizable discount when paying for it. Also, take your own bags to carry your shopping in: the sellers might give you bags that tear easily when the shopping gets heavier.
Sarojini Nagar Market was hit in 2005 during the bombings that happened in New Delhi, but it has since been rebuilt and safety measures heightened. The shops in the market are owned by different families, and there are different sections in Sarojini Nagar Market that offers you a huge variety to choose from, ranging from clothes to food. You can get to the market via the INA Metro Station, and your best bet would be to visit the market around noon to 4 pm during the weekends. Sarojini Nagar Market isn’t probably the best place to take your kids, but you can go as a couple or with friends that like great deals on purchases.
Lajpat Nagar Central Market
Lajpat Nagar is a commercial and residential area in the south of New Delhi. Lajpat Nagar was named for the Lion of Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai, and the area has since become a major tourist center, mostly due to the fact that you can tour the entire area in one day. Lajpat Nagar is divided into 4 sections, dubbed Lajpat Nagar 1, Lajpat Nagar 2, and so on, and each section comprises colonies, such as Dayanand Colony and Amar Colony, as well as the National Park, which is one of the best places to go in South New Delhi, and other places to visit.
Lajpat Nagar Central Market is a dream-come-true for shoppers of all kinds, as it houses large collections of items that you can get at good prices. The market is actually the place that attracts the most visitors in Lajpat Nagar, and they come from all over the world to buy food, clothes, accessories, decorations, and host of other items. You will find locally made goods sold side-by-side with high fashion brands, and the street shops are always well-arranged to display goods in the best light. If you are on a budget, Lajpat Nagar Central Market has something for you. If you want to do some luxury shopping, Lajpat Nagar Central Market is the place to go. If you love to haggle and bargain, you will meet your match in Lajpat Nagar Central Market. Most of the items for sale come at a fixed price that the sellers won’t want to go below, but if you are a regular customer, you are sure to get a huge discount. So maybe you should visit with some of your Indian friends that are regulars in the market. The Lajpat Nagar Station is the closest transportation system to the market, and it will definitely be cheaper than taking a taxi. Lajpat Nagar Central Market opens at 9 in the morning and closes at 10 pm, and it opens every day except Monday. You don’t need an entry fee for Lajpat Nagar Central Market, but you should come with the mind to look and buy. Bring your shopaholic friends along, or bring those friends that just like to window shop: regardless, you will have the time of your lives in Lajpat Nagar Central Market, one of the best places to visit in New Delhi.
Laying claim to the title of the most expensive mall in India in 2007, DLF Emporio is a paradise for all rental shopping lovers. DLF Emporio is located in Vasant kunj in New Delhi, and it is unique as it is one of the first luxury malls to open in India that was truly zoned. It was created in 2007 by DLF Universal and officially opened in 2008, and they sell more than 130 brands in their stores, including high-end brands and locally made items. Built of Italian marble, brass, and burnished wood, DLF Emporio was designed by the Indian architect Mohit Gujral, and it covers 320,000 square feet of land. DLF Emporio is 4 stories tall and has six levels of covered parking with valet parking available. In 2017, Vogue India even held a shopping fiesta in DLF Emporio. DLF Emporio is the place to go for luxury shopping. You will find brands on display such as Versace, Kate Spade, Burberry, Gucci, Coach, and Dior, and high-end Indian labels such as Ogaan, Nikhil, and Ritu Kumar. The best time to visit DLF Emporio would be during the shopping fiesta, so keep your ears open for news of there being one when you visit New Delhi.
Janpath is one of the major roads in New Delhi. Formerly called Queensway, Janpath was supposed to actually be part of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ design for Delhi, which had become to the new capital of India at that time in 1931. Janpath starts at Connaught Place in the north, and along this major thoroughfare, tourists will see many commercial buildings, Lutyens’ Ministers Bungalow, the National Museum of India, 10 Janpath, the official residence of the president of the Congress Party, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and the jewel of it all: the Janpath Market.
Janpath Market is one of the most famous markets in New Delhi, bringing both locals and foreigners to its stalls and shops for some shopping, haggling, sightseeing. Janpath Market stretches from Connaught Place to Windsor Place, and it is basically a long line of shops and stalls that sell everything and anything that you may not find in a mall or a showroom in New Delhi. Janpath Market is most famous for its Kashmir Shawls Emporium, where you can find the finest quality Pashmina shawls available. Janpath Market has stores that are as old as being established in the 1950s, so you will also be shopping in some historical places as well. You will find lovely Kashmiri woolen shawls and scarves, beautifully made carpets, and brass ornaments and artifacts. On the corner of Janpath road and Connaught Place has located the Indian Tourist Office, where you can buy good, detailed maps of New Delhi, India, and other regions you fancy. The Tibetan Market is also in Janpath, and here you can find a good range of quality Himalayan crafts and arts, including bead shops, musical instruments, and wall hangings. Not far from here is Jantar Mantar, the life-sized astrological instruments that you wouldn’t want to miss visiting. Janpath Market isn’t just full of shops and stores though: it also has a fair share of wandering vendors who hawk their goods by hand and are known to be great at bargaining. These vendors sell beautiful pieces of jewelry and handicraft items, as well as horns, drums, jootis, and trinkets. If you are going to buy from them, be prepared to haggle well. Janpath Market thrives in the night as well as in the day time, so the best time to visit it would be early in the morning around 11 am when most of the shops would just be opening and there wouldn’t be much of a crowd. Janpath Metro Station connects Janpath to places like the Red Fort, Delhi Gate, and the Jama Masjid, so you can always visit those places either after your tour of Janpath or before you go there for the day’s shopping.
Originally, it was Chanakya Cinema, and then it was torn down in 2007 and rebuilt as The Chanakya, a building 4 stories tall that is a luxury mall slash multiplex. The Chanakya is one of the best places to go to for some luxury shopping in New Delhi. It is fancy and very upscale, so if you are in New Delhi with a limitless budget, The Chanakya is the place to go. There are many big-name brands at The Chanakya, as well as eateries and pastry shops, so go prepared to shop till you drop, literally. Below are some of the stores and what you can see and buy and do at The Chanakya.
The Chanakya Foodhall is one of the best luxury places to go to with your kids. There are nut butter stations, meat markets, bakery counters, and candy counters where they make the candy LIVE for your viewing pleasure. Yum!
The Rolex Boutique in The Chanakya is the first ever exclusive Rolex Boutique in New Delhi. Look no further for the perfect luxury watch for your spouse or partner!
Nicobar sells simple, elegant dresses and home decoration pieces that are simple yet very stylish. Nicobar also has a cafe called NicoCaara, a cafe which has a tropical theme, so stop by the store for some fancy shopping and take a sip of what they are selling in the cafe.
Janavi India is the place to go for luxury cashmere items, including monogrammed kaftans and stoles.
The Chanakya is home to the Hermes brand, and if you always wanted to own one of their famous scarves, you will definitely get them here.
In need of a new hairdo? Noir at The Chanakya is a luxury salon that employs only the best hairdressers. They actually refrain from suggesting dozens of hair treatments to their customers, and you can get a haircut for as low as INR 1500!
If you are on a diet, you might want to avoid going to Yoku Moku, home to the best Japanese cookies in New Delhi. The perfect place to take your partner on Valentine’s Day or if you are on your honeymoon, Yoku Moku serves delicious Double Chocolat Au Lait cookies and yummy Cigare Au Chocolat. Maybe you should forget your diet for a few minutes and try these pastries, they are worth it.
The Collective Denims carries only denim. At The Collective you can get luxury denim items from brands like Versace, Replay, and Seven For All Mankind. There are over 40 sizes that you can choose from, and denim items include jackets and accessories.
Cafe C at The Chanakya is the place to go to if you are a tea or coffee lover. Their tea and coffee selections are broad, and there is also a sushi bar and quick eats such as crepes and sandwiches. Cafe C is lauded for its Caramel Hot Chocolate that is just the right amount of sweet and is perfect for cold weather.
The outhouse is a jewelry brand that sells edgy jewelry that speaks to your inner wild child. Statement jewelry such as zip-tail drop earrings, butterfly ear cuffs, bronze bracelets, and enamel rings are all here for you to shop and make your choices.
Visit Montblanc and get some fancy pens for that calligrapher that you know back home. Montblanc is known all over the world for its pens and stationery kits, and they also have some luxury watches that would make the perfect anniversary gift.
Stop over at PVR ECX for a movie with your spouse or partner. You can choose from three different seating options, which are Rocker, Mini Europa, and Recliners; and there is a large selection of meals that you can pick from, with separate counters for healthy gourmet meals and crunchy fries. Their popcorn selection is also impressive: you can choose from buttered popcorn, salted caramel popcorn, or chocolate popcorn.
Tombs and Memorials
Raj Ghat is a memorial to the most important historical figure of India, Mahatma Gandhi. Raj Ghat is actually the name of a ghat in Shahjahanabad, which is Old Delhi. Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, Raj Ghat as we know it is near the Raj Ghat Gate of the walled city or the ghat, and Gandhi’s memorial became known as Raj Ghat as well. The memorial itself is a platform made of black marble, symbolic of the spot of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation, which took place on January the 31st, 1948. While entry into the Raj Ghat is free, you are required to remove your shoes before going in. The memorial is enclosed in a wall, and a stone pathway leads into it. An eternal flame burns at Gandhi’s memorial, and there are other memorials nearby, as well as symbols of other cremation sites, or samadhis, of important figures in Indian history.
Raj Ghat is open every day, from 5 am to 7:30 pm, and there is a commemoration service held at the site every Friday, a ceremony that you would want to witness. Even foreign and national delegates come to the memorial to pay tribute to Gandhi, leaving flowers to show their respect before leaving. The Gandhi Memorial Museum is a must-visit, where you can see the life and times of Gandhi and the Sarvodaya Movement, all of which you can watch in a movie. There are days when the movie show is in English, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, except Thursdays: on Thursdays, the show is in Hindi. On Sundays, you can come and watch the show in English at 5 pm. If you want to watch the Hindi show on Sunday, catch it at 3 pm. Raj Ghat is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for photography.
The construction and landscaping for Raj Ghat were carried out by Alick Percy Lancaster, the last Englishman to be the Superintendent of Horticultural Operations for the Government of India, and to the north of Gandhi’s memorial is Jawaharlal Nehru’s memorial, called the Shantivan. Adjacent to the Shantivan is K.R Narayanan’s memorial, called Ekta Sthal, and you should make plans to visit these memorials as well. Raj Ghat isn’t a gloomy place full of cremated sites though: the landscaping is beautiful, and the place is filled with trees that were planted by foreign dignitaries who visited Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. The memorial is also one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for singles.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, Humayun’s Tomb, or Maqbera e Humayun, is a main historical landmark and tourist spot in New Delhi. Humayun’s Tomb is the final resting of Mughal Emperor Humayun, and its construction was commissioned by his first wife and chief consort Empress Bega Begum in 1565. Empress Bega Begum brought in a Persian architect by the name Mirak Mirza Ghiyas to design it, and it is situated in Nizamuddin East. Humayun’s Tomb is a garden tomb, the first ever found on the Indian sub-continent, and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site is what has made it a popular tourist destination. Made of sandstone and marble, Humayun’s Tomb is part of a complex that houses other tombs, including the main tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun himself, the grave of his wife Bega Begum, and the graves of other members of the Mughal’s family. The tomb was completed 9 years after Emperor Humayun’s death, and there are strong Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic tones in the architectural design. Humayun’s Tomb is 47 meters tall and 91 meters wide, and there is a beautiful garden of Persian design called the Charbagh Garden in the complex. Entry is not free except for children 15 years old and younger: they can visit the tomb without paying anything. For those older than 15, entry fees vary based on citizenship. Humayun’s Tomb is open throughout the week from sunrise to sunset. Humanyun’s Tomb is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi in July, but because that is in the summer, it would be the best place to visit in New Delhi in the early morning or to visit in Deli in the evening, which could be 8 am in the morning and 6 pm at dusk. The midday sun during summer is too hot for tourists to visit the site. The site has needed restoration projects a lot over the years, but that doesn’t tamper its beauty or significance in any way. Near the tomb is a tomb that is even older, which is Isa Khan Niyazi’s Tomb, and you might want to visit that one whenever you go to Humayun’s Tomb. It is one of the best places to go in South Delhi.
Tomb of Safdarjung
This epitome of late Mughal Empire architecture is the mausoleum of Safdarjung. Born Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, Safdarjung was the viceroy of an independent ruler called Muhammad Shah, who was the richest and most powerful of the rulers in India. Later on, Ahmed Shah Bahadur became Emperor of the Mughal Empire in 1748, with his throne in Delhi, and Safdarjung became his vizier or prime minister. As the years went by the Emperor’s rule began to decline, and Safdarjung, as vizier and the Emperor’s second-in-command, took over the rule of the Delhi, with the Emperor still on the throne as a figurehead, or a puppet ruler. Some time passed, and the Emperor’s family wised up to Safdarjung and kicked him out of Delhi and the Mughal Empire as a whole. Safdarjung died in 1754, and his son, Nawab Shujaud Daula, came to the Emperor and begged him to let him build a tomb for his late father in Delhi. His request was granted, and today we have one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Delhi in the form of the Tomb of Safdarjung. The tomb is one of the best places to visit near Delhi in June.
Built of marble and sandstone, the Tomb of Safdarjung architecture was designed by an Abyssinian. Safdarjung’s Tomb is the last of the Garden of the Mughals tomb ever built, and it is built in the style of Humayun’s Tomb, in that it is designed as a tomb in an enclosed garden. The tomb features a dome and arches that are reddish brown and white in color. There is also a nine-fold floor plan, with a five-part facade, a hidden stairway, and a large podium. The actual tomb itself sits in the center of the garden. Not far from Safdarjung’s Tomb towards the south is a historic battle site that you wouldn’t want to miss visiting. It is the site of the 1386 battle between Mohammed Tughlaq and Timur of Mangol. The Tomb of Safdarjung is open from sunrise to sunset on all days of the week, and getting there is very easy, as the Jor Bagh Metro Station is very close to this tourist site. This makes this site one of the best places to visit in Delhi through the metro. The entry fee is Rs.200 for non-Indians and Rs.15 for Indians. Photos are allowed, and this is for free, but if you want to make a video of your tour of the Tomb of Safdarjung, you will be required to pay a fee of Rs.25. The Tomb of Safdarjung is a great place for the entire family to visit, and the kids will especially be interested in Safdarjung’s story and the historic battle site that is nearby. Safdarjung’s Tomb is one of the best places to go in South Delhi.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, or Nizamuddin Dargah, or Nizamuddin’s Tomb
Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah is the tomb of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Syed Nizamuddin Auliya (1238 – 1325). Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, or simply Nizamuddin Dargah, is a mausoleum located in New Delhi, in the Hazrat Nizamuddin west area, and is a place of importance to Islam faithful, who visit it in droves every week. Nizamuddin Dargah is also a tourist attraction, and attracts thousands of tourists every year, making it one of the best places to visit in New Delhi. The tomb is tended and taken care of by Nizamuddin Auliya’s descendants, who live in the surrounding area, making up the dargah.
Nizamuddin Dargah, or mausoleum, is a complex that comprises tombs of other famous historical figures, such as the tomb of Inayat Khan, the tomb of the Mughal princess Jehan Ara Begum, and the tomb of famous poet Hazrat Amir Khurso. The neighborhood around the dargah is separated by the Mathura Road, so you have Nizamuddin West and Nizamuddin East. There is a bustling market of Muslim vendors in the neighborhood, and other monuments surround the dargah, including Humayun’s Tomb, Mirza Ghalib’s Tomb, and Chausath Khamba. Also nearby is the National Zoological Park, the Millennium Park, and Purana Qila, or the Old Fort.
The dargah community is made up of people who follow Nizamuddin Auliya’s teachings of love for humanity, and they are a community committed to helping people. They help people arrange marriages and give out items such as cooking utensils, clothes, food, and furniture to those who need them. Parking may be difficult near the dargah, so you will have to park at some distance and walk to the complex, or you take the Jangpura Metro Station to the dargah, which is about a kilometre away. The best time to visit Nizamuddin Dargah is on Thursday evenings when they hold special musical qawwali sessions. While there is no entry fee, there are a couple of rules to entering Nizamuddin Dargah: Women cannot go into the main shrine, and they must cover their heads when going into the dargah; no footwear is allowed inside, but you can leave your shoes at the counter at the entrance. You will be given a token as a sign of assurance, and you can use it to redeem your shoes when you leave the dargah. Also, ensure to eat some delicious kebabs at the market before you leave.
The Tomb of Mirza Ghalib
Mirza Ghalib was born in 1797 as Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, and he was a famous Urdu poet who lived in the waning years of the Mughal Empire. Ghalib was actually his pen name, and it means ‘dominant’ in Urdu, while Asad means ‘lion’ in Urdu. It was while he was still alive that the Mughal Empire was overthrown by the British after they were defeated in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and Mirza Ghalib wrote about these events. Mirza Ghalib wrote many poems in his lifetime, and today he is still considered one of the most prominent and influential Urdu language poet, and he remains popular in India, Pakistan, and to the Hindustani in diaspora.
The Tomb of Mirza Ghalib, also called the White Marbled Grave, was built 100 years after his death, and the tomb is near the Hazrat Nizamuddin area. Mirza Ghalib’s grave lies within the tomb, which has a courtyard and an iron gate that is usually locked. The tomb is simple and small in comparison to the royal tombs in New Delhi, but it is still one of the best places to visit in New Delhi. There is a tablet engraved with a few words about Ghalib, which you see as you enter the courtyard, and the grave itself is encased in a marble structure that is truly striking. There are other graves in the courtyard that are said to be the graves of Ghalib’s family members. The Ghalib Academy is right beside the tomb, and is holds books on Urdu literature written by Ghalib, paintings, and works by Ghalib. Many tourists flock to see the Tomb of Mirza Ghalib, and Muslims actually revere this site. Entry to the tomb is free, and you can go there to see it from sunrise to sunset.
Popular Roads in New Delhi
Sansad Marg, or Parliament Street
Parliament Street is the street that leads to Parliament House, which is called Sansad, hence the name Sansad Marg. Parliament Street is one of the most notable streets in New Delhi, and a visit to this famous street wouldn’t be amiss. There are a lot of places to visit on Parliament Street, such as the Indian Parliament House. You can watch Parliament sessions as they go on live and relax in the public gallery. This is probably the greatest attraction on Parliament Street, so you wouldn’t want to miss out. To enter, you need to get permits from the reception office on Raisina Road, and you are all set. Also on Parliament Street are such attractions as Jantar Mantar, one of the oldest observatories in the world; the Palika Kendra National Philatelic Museum; and the Church of North India. Connaught Place is also in Parliament Street, a must visit for all your shopping needs, and there are a host of luxury hotels that you can spend the night in comfort.
Shantipath, or Shanti Path
Shantipath is the major road in Chanakyapuri New Delhi. Shantipath is a name in Hindi that means Peace Road, and it is a very important road in New Delhi because it is surrounded by many foreign embassies. Chanakyapuri was built after India’s Independence to be a diplomatic enclave, and Shantipath is a heavily guarded road, though public transportation is allowed to use it as a transportation route. The embassies of the United States of America, Great Britain, Afghanistan, and Belgium are located on this road. Shantipath is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your family, as the kids will love to see the various embassies that are there.
7, Lok Kaylan Marg, formerly 7, Race Course Road
7, Lok Kaylan Marg is the official residence of the Prime Minister of India. The official name of the Prime Minister’s residence complex is Panchavati, which is still part of 7, Lok Kaylan Marg. Construction started on the complex in1980, and in 1984 Rajiv Gandhi became the first Prime Minister to live in this official residence. 7, Lok Kaylan Marg is located on Lok Kaylan Marg, a road that was formerly called Race Course Road. In 2016 in September, the name ‘Race Course Road’ was changed to ‘Lok Kaylan Marg’ and as such the name of the Prime Minister’s residence was changed from 7 Race Course Road to 7 Lok Kaylan Marg. Robert Tor Russell is the architect who designed the bungalows in 7 LKM. He was part of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ team of designers when Sir Edwin Lutyens designed New Delhi in the 1920s-1930s. The residence covers 12 acres, and the Prime Minister’s offices are not in the complex, but there is a conference room for small, informal meetings. There are five bungalows in Lok Kaylan Marg. Bungalow 7 is the official residence of the Prime Minister from which he operates from, while Bungalow 1 contains the helipad used by the Prime Minister. Bungalow 5 is the Private Residential Zone of the Prime Minister. Bungalow 3 is a guesthouse for the Prime Minister’s guests, while Bungalow 9 houses the Special Protection Group, which is the Prime Minister’s security detail. There are huge, well-kept lawns on the premises, with many trees, including semal, Gulmohar and Arjuna trees that are home to many species of birds, and even some peacocks. Lok Kaylan Marg is closed to the public, but you can see it in passing and enjoy the view from afar.
The Signature Bridge is a project that was started by the Delhi government in 1998. The government was moved to build this bridge when 22 students died in 1998 on the Wazirabad Bridge, which is very narrow and usually very congested with traffic since it is the only bridge that crosses the Yamuna River. Plans for building a new bridge began by the end of that year, and construction on the bridge began. Due to financial difficulties and insufficient manpower, the Signature Bridge took longer than originally estimated to build. The bridge, which should have been completed in 2010, before the Commonwealth Games of that year, wasn’t completed. In 2013 a new completion date was set for 2016, but the bridge still wasn’t completed. Finally, the Signature Bridge was slated to be completed in the first week of November 2018. The Signature Bridge is a little over 35 meters wide and 675 meters long. It connects East Delhi to Wazirabad, easing the traffic pressure on the old Wazirabad Bridge. The main pillar of the bridge is 154 meters high, and the bridge has facilities in place that can carry tourists to the very top of the main pillar so that they can get a bird’s eye view of Delhi. You can even see as far as North Delhi from the main pillar of the Signature Bridge.
Baba Kharak Singh Marg
Baba Kharak Singh Marg is a road in New Deli that is famous for being a busy shopping district. Baba Kharak Singh Marg is home to the State Emporia Complex, which houses several shops and has many beautiful items for sale. If you are visiting New Delhi, visiting Baba Kharak Singh Marg should be near the top of your to-do list.
The Kashmir Emporium called Zoon is widely known for its collection of authentic wool and cashmere shawls. The Tamil Nadu Emporium store called Poompuhar is your best bet for bronze lamps that make you think of Aladdin and the genie. Cauvery of the Karnataka Emporium is the place to go for exquisite and expensive silk, original quality and no fakes. The Bihar Emporium, Amrapali, is best known for its stock of Madhubani paintings, and the Rajasthan Emporium called Rajasthali is the place to go for jewelry, printed cotton, and miniature paintings. All these shops are simply some of the best places to visit in New Delhi. If Rajasthali doesn’t have what you seek, check at Gurjari, the Gujarat Emporium: they sell similar items. At the West Bengal Emporium, you will find a large selection of teas in Manjusha, as well as saris made of cotton and silk, which include Taunt, Batik, and Kantha. Mrignayani, which is the Madhya Pradesh Emporium, is famous for its wood carvings. The Tripura Emporium of Purbasha is three stories tall and offers a wide selection of home decorations and ornaments, beautifully made of cane and bamboo. The Rajiv Gandhi Handicrafts Bhavan sits right next to the State Emporia Complex, and here you will find a lot of paper products, including books, many rural handicrafts, and so on. If you are wondering about what to buy for your family and friends back home, trouble yourself no more: you will find something for everybody at Baba Kharak Singh Marg.
Interesting Districts, Villages, Towns, Cities, and Neighbourhoods in and around New Delhi
Connaught Place, or CP as it is fondly called by New Delhi natives, is the largest business and commercial district in India. Located on Parliament Street, Connaught Place is home to several stores, malls, hotels, banks, and restaurants of high repute. Connaught Place is the headquarters of many firms and business holdings in India, making it a very important place indeed, and it is one of the best places for tourists to visit in New Delhi. Started in 1929, Connaught Place took 4 years to complete and was named after the first Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The Rajiv Chowk Metro Station is built directly underneath Connaught Place and is also worth a ride, so don’t limit yourself to taxis and trams. The pride of the British when they still occupied India, Connaught Place was built in the Georgian architectural style, with inspiration from the Royal Crescent in Bath, England. Connaught Place is made up of two concentric circles, called the Inner and Outer Circles. The British thought the horseshoe shape of the structure would bring good luck to those who transacted business in it, and seeing the growth of the place, it sure is lucky. Several shops and showrooms are found in the Inner Circle, including Adidas Originals, the Johnson Watch Company, and Neelkanth Jewellers. In the Outer Circle, you will find Lacoste, Omega, and TAG Heuer, amongst others. Exclusive, high-end brands are yours for purchasing, and there are a couple of hotels if you want to stay at Connaught Place, such as Intercontinental Hotel, where you can also buy exquisite hand-crafted jewelry from the Ivory Mart Jewellers. Make sure to check out the food in Connaught Place as well, as it has some of the best places to go for breakfast in New Delhi: Wenger’s sells some of the best-baked goods in the place, and the central park puts on some shows for tourists. Connaught Place is one of the best places to go on Valentine in New Delhi, or to go in New Delhi with your girlfriend. There is no entry fee, and shops are open as early as 10 in the morning to as late as 8. This is a tourist hotspot, so make sure you come prepared to snatch of purchases before others get to them. Connaught Place is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi in monsoon season.
Located in the south of New Delhi, Hauz Khas, also known by the name Mehak ka Chota Quila, formerly Siri Fort, is a lovely neighborhood that is also a must-visit spot for tourists who come to New Delhi. ‘Hauz’ means water tank in Urdu, and ‘Khas’ refers to royalty – Hauz Khas was a water reservoir built by Allauddin Khilji to bring water to those who lived in the Siri Fort. The water reservoir was called Hauz Khas, literally meaning royal water tank, and that became the name of the region. Surrounded by Green and Gulmohar Parks, which are some of the best places to play Pokemon Go in New Delhi, Hauz Khas is an important neighborhood that has hosted such diplomatic missions as Burundi, Macedonia, Albania and Iraq. This charming village is divided into several blocks, from A to B, each block comprising a specific part of the neighborhood. For instance, the E Block is right in the middle of the fort, and houses the main market in Hauz Khas. One of the major attractions in Hauz Khas is the Mayfair Gardens, and there are several pubs, clubs, cafes, and restaurants in the village, and you should make a note to visit as many of them as possible. The locals are friendly, and you can move about as freely as you please, without the need for entry fees. It is one of the best places to visit In January, and the Hauz Khas Village Complex opens from 10 in the morning to 7 at night on all days of the week; however, the restaurants within the complex stay open till 11 pm. The Hauz Khas Fort is also a must-visit, and it stays open from 10:30 in the morning to 7 pm. Hauz Khas has a very enchanting night scene, so don’t rush to go to bed just yet, and take the time to enjoy the nightlife in the various restaurants and clubs. Bird watchers will love it at the fort, and this is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for a picnic, so pack a basket and come with your loved one!
Paharganj is a subdivision neighborhood in Central Delhi that is full of dhabas, restaurants, lodges, hotels, and shops. Built in the Mughal dynasty, Paharganj was called Shahganj, which means King’s Ganj or King’s Marketplace. In the 18th century, Paharganj was a major grain market in Delhi. Grains were shipped on the Yamuna River to Paharganj after the wholesalers in Patparganj trade with the warehouses in Shahdara. Yet another wholesale market was situated between Paharganj and Akbarabadi called Shahgaj, but Paharganj was the main grain market because it was the King’s Market.
Situated to the west of the New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj is a place that draws tourists and Indians because of its many shopping and leisure spots. New Delhi has five main markets, and Paharganj is one of them; however, it is the only one that is located on the outside of the walled city. The market is called Paharganj today because of its location around the Raisina Hill, the site of the Presidential Palace, or Rashtrapathi Bhavan, today. Paharganj has a thriving leather goods business, and you can find a lot of good quality leather goods in some shops opposite Sam’s Cafe, including boots, belts, and bags. Paharganj is the place to go if you have currency to exchange, as it has many shops dedicated to currency changing and conversion: it is actually home to the largest number of such shops. Paharganj is sometimes the first stop for tourists who need to exchange currencies, and entry into the market is free. Getting there is also easy: just hop on to the New Delhi Metro Station, or use the Ashram Metro Station, which is actually closer. Paharganj is open every day except Monday, and you can go there as early as 11 am and shops will be open, and you can stay as late as 9 pm. Once inside Paharganj, make sure you go to Multan Moth Bhandar and try out their Kachoris. Amritsar De Chur Chur Naans is a low-price shop: for Rs.100 you can get a thali with two naans and some sabzi with raita! The cheapest drinks in New Delhi are sold in Paharganj, in a cool place called My Bar, so you could make that your final stop before leaving the market for the day.
Dubbed ‘the new New Delhi’, Gurgaon, now officially called Gurugram, is a satellite city about 30 kilometres south of New Delhi, and if you are ever in New Delhi, visiting Gurgaon should be on your to-do list: Gurgaon is one of the best places to visit near Delhi now. There are so many places to see, experience, and enjoy, that planning a trip to Gurgaon can actually be a separate thing from travelling to New Delhi. Nature lovers can go to the Leisure Valley Park that is right in the middle of Gurgaon for some peace and quiet. It is one of the best places to go to play Pokemon Go in Delhi. It is a beautiful, lush green place that holds musical concerts at night, and it is ideal for a stroll with your partner on nights that there are no concerts. Gurgaon is one of the best places to visit from New Delhi by car, and it is one of the best places to go for singles.
The Kingdom of Dreams is the place to go to for more boisterous night activity, reminiscent of Las Vegas pomp and dazzle. In the day time, you can shop there for locally-made arts and crafts, or try out Varieties of Indian cuisine at Culture Gully, the indoor food street.
Gurgaon is most famous for its vibrant food scene: it has some of the best places to for lunch and dinner in Delhi. There are rows of restaurants and cafes that you can check out, such as Cyber Hub and SodaBottleOpenerWalla, a fun, quirky eatery that serves Parsi food. The Great Kebab Factory serves up great kebabs, as the name implies; you can eat Japanese food in South Point Mall; or try great pizza at Fat Lulu’s.
Despite the fact that people call it a ‘concrete jungle’, Gurgaon still has open-air markets beside its gigantic indoor malls. Ambience Mall, or Ambi Mall as the locals call it, is the largest of the indoor malls, offering high-street brands for purchase, entertainment zones for kids and adults, a beer garden, food court, and a concert space. You will also find good-quality traditional Indian wear at Ambi Mall.
Bars and pubs offer variety for the nightlife, and Gurgaon even has microbreweries producing beer locally. Speakeasy offers some of the best cocktails around, and Soi 7 has an in-house live band that performs while you try the beer.
There are several hotels to choose from in Gurgaon to spend a couple of nights. Gurgaon is the best place for couples on honeymoon to visit, and you can check-in to Anya, a fresh boutique hotel with the artist in mind, or Westin Sohna, which is perfect if you are traveling with family. Gurgaon is one of the best places to visit near Delhi in June.
New Okhla Industrial Development Authority – Noida
Noida is another satellite town close to New Delhi that has been winning awards, including the Best City in Uttar Pradesh, the Best City Housing in all of India, and the greenest city in India, which makes it a place you must visit when you consider the best places to visit in New Delhi now. The Greens Golf resort is there for golf enthusiasts, and there are several malls and shopping centres in Noida, including the Great India Place that houses Big Cinemas Cineplex; Spice Mall; and Shopprix Mall. There are also open-air, old style Indian markets that you can go to in Noida, including Indira Market and Naya Bans. Noida is one of the best places to visit when you are in Delhi by car.
The Stupa 18 Gallery is an art gallery that is open to the public, and you can see several art exhibitions by new and well-known artists.
Punjabi by Nature is the place to go to dine in luxury, with superb surroundings and tastily expensive food. It is one of the best places to go to when you visit Delhi to eat. You will also find Pizza Hut and Dominoes outlets for some pizza, or splurge on some excellent Mughlai food at Moti Mahal. While drinks are more expensive in Noida than in New Delhi proper, there are a variety of places to choose from to get drinks and relax, such as Flluid, Chicane, and Pearl’s Regency.
Hotels for the night include Mosaic Hotel, Park Plaza, Radisson Noida – the first branded hotel in Noida – and Nirulas, the oldest hotel in Noida, which also has a fast food joint, a bakery, a pastry shop, and a coffee/tea lounge and bar. Noida is one of the best places to visit near Delhi in June.
Kuchesar is a village in the district of Bulandshahr, located in Uttar Pradesh, which is about a hundred miles away from New Delhi. Despite the fact that Kuchesar isn’t technically in New Delhi, it is a place you must visit when you come to visit New Delhi, and it is one of the best places to visit from New Delhi by car. Kuchesar used to be the primary residence of Zamindari, and it is famous for its Mud Fort. Built during the mid-18th century, the construction of the Mud Fort was commissioned by the Jat, who ruled in Kuchesar at the time. The Mud Fort is a relic of the Jats and their tumultuous past of struggles and fights with the British East India Company, French travelers, and even with other religions. All of this arose as a result of the fall of the Mughal Empire. So it is quite obvious that when you go to visit Kuchesar, you are going mainly to see the Mud Fort.
In 1998, part of the Mud Fort was restored and made a heritage hotel by Neemrana Hotels. The Mud Fort now comprises two heritage hotels, which are the Mud Fort Kuchesar and the Rao Raj Villas. So another reason why you should visit Kuchesar is to experience their heritage resort, which offers you luxurious comfort while you take in the history at leisure. Kuchesar, in the past, was mainly populated by people of the Jat caste that belonged to the Dalal clan, but today the area is inhabited by people from different sects and clans, so you will see different people and get to taste different cuisines when you got to Kuchesar.
The Mud Fort heritage resort contains 16 well-furnished rooms, excellent service, modern amenities, and great hospitality. You can take a walk in nature while you are there, or ride in a bullock cart (something the kids are sure to enjoy); take walks through the Kuchesar village and meet the locals; go horseback riding; take a swim, and even go camping. Brij Ghat is a natural haven that is about 25 kilometers away from Kuchesar, and you can go there on a picnic with your partner and watch the serene Ganges River. The best time to visit Kuchesar and the Mud Fort is from November through to February, when you are sure to miss the hot summers and the wet monsoon season. Kuchesar is one of the best places to visit near New Delhi in June or January.
Saket is an upper-class colony in the south of New Delhi, and it is a neighbourhood that is worth a visit when you visit New Delhi. Saket is a Sanskrit word that means ‘place that is close to the heavens’. Saket is named after an ancient city in Uttar Pradesh called Ayodhya, which is a religiously significant place there: Saket was the ancient name of Ayodhya, the city. Mainly a residential area, Saket comprises residential blocks that are alphabet-coded from letters A to N. Saket has a lot of places of interest for tourists, such as the restaurants. All the shopping malls in Saket have some popular restaurants, including McDonald’s, Domino’s, Subway, Burger King, and Pollo Tropical. These ones can be found in the PVR Anupam Complex. The J-Block Market has more local eateries, such as Gopala and Misthaan Cafe, which are famous for the sweets and baked goods. Saket’s malls are lauded are some of the best places to go shopping in New Delhi, so make plans to visit DLF Place Saket, Select Citywalk, Square One Mall, and MGF Metropolitan Mall. The first ever multiplex in India is also in Saket, which is the PVR Cinemas Anupam-4 Multiplex Theatre. Select Citywalk Mall also has a 6-screen multiplex, and there is also a video game parlour and many novelty shops. The Garden of Five Senses is also nearby, so it would be a stone’s throw from Saket. If you are looking for a good hotel to stay in, look no further: Saket has a good selection of hotels that you can stay in, including Sheraton New Delhi, a 5-star hotel that has 220 rooms. The Hilton Garden Inn is also a lovely place to stay in, and The Hosteller is a fancy take on a hostel with dormitory-style rooms, all with full privacy. You can reach Saket via the Malviya Nagar Metro Station or the Saket Metro Station, both of which are underground; or you can get a bus at Outer Ring Road to take you there.
Kamla Nagar is a residential and commercial neighborhood that is named after freedom fighter Kamala Nehru, who was the wife of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Kamla Nagar became a hotspot after the Ram Swarup Clock Tower was built in 1941 on Grand Trunk Road, and the area became even more prominent when the Jaipuria and Birla textile mills were built. Kamla Nagar became a residential area for the affluent in the 1950s. During the British Raj and the twenty years after India’s independence, Kamla Nagar and its neighboring areas were filled with freedom fighters and political figures, making them prominent areas in the political scene. Bollywood stars and wrestlers also lived and trained there, making it a cultural hub, as well as a political one. The University of Delhi’s North Campus is to the east of Kamla Nagar, with Shakti Nagar, Roop Nagar, and Malka Ganj to the west, north, and south, respectively.
Kamla Nagar is one of New Delhi’s major shopping centers, and a must stop for tourists visiting New Delhi. This former affluent residential area has to become a bubbling commercial district, and you will always find many students from the University of Delhi’s North Campus in Kamla Nagar’s market. There are Indian stores side by side with international luxury brands, retail stores and restaurants, and street food stands. You will find Indian street food and Chinese street food, as well as roadside apparel shops and chain restaurants that include Domino’s, McDonald’s, and Cafe Coffee Day. Kamla Nagar has been adopting a new look these days, becoming more of a high-street shopping hub for ladies. Ladies will find western wear, ethnic clothes, and there are always shops were you can get bargains on good quality items. The best time to visit Kamla Nagar in New Delhi is in July to August, and in February to March. This is the peak period for apparel shopping. There are also stores that sell excellent footwear, and you can find genuine leather items in a store called Food venture. There are some booksellers and publishing houses in Kamla Nagar as well; and there are showrooms that you can check out, including Chhota Gol Chakkar and Bada Gol Chakkar.
Nearby in Shakti Nagar, you will see the Roshanara Garden, created in the 17th century, and the Roshanara Club, which was established in the 19th century. To the east of Kamla Nagar is the Kamla Nehru Ride Forest, and here you will find the Mutiny Memorial, the Flagstaff Tower, and an Ashoka Pillar, which is one of many such pillars in New Delhi. The Ram Swarup Clock Tower is to the south, and the Vice Chancellor’s residence, formerly the Viceregal Lodge of Delhi, is also near Kamla Nagar. You can get to Kamla Nagar via bus, taxi, or train. Subzi Mandi is the nearest railway station to Kamla Nagar, and Pul Bangash Metro Station and Vishwa Vidyalaya Metro Station are the two closest metro stations to the area. The Kamla Nagar market is open every day except Mondays.
National Buildings and Structures in New Delhi
Rashtrapati Bhavan – the President’s House
Rashtrapati Bhavan, or the President’s House, was formerly known as Viceroy’s House, and is one of the largest presidential houses in the world. Also built by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Presidential House is a massive structure that covers 320 acres of land, has 340 rooms (including guest rooms, the president’s office, staff rooms, and halls), and also includes the Presidential Estate, which houses the Mughal Gardens, the presidential gardens that some of the most beautiful sights to see in New Delhi. Taking 17 years to build, the Presidential House was completed in 1929, and in 1950 the first Indian President moved in and renamed it Rashtrapati Bhavan.
To visit Rashtrapati Bhavan, you can book a ticket online at this site. Rashtrapati Bhavan is not entirely open to the public, but you can admire the extraordinary architecture from outside, and see the Changing of the Guard which happens at 10 am every morning. In February every year, the Mughal Gardens are open to the public during the festival of Udyanostav. Viewing these gardens up close is something you wouldn’t want to miss, so visiting New Delhi in February may just be the best time to visit New Delhi, even f it’s just to get into the Mughal Gardens. Also, the Presidential Museum inside Rashtrapati Bhavan is open to the public, and you can get an inside view of the palace, and see all the gifts that the presidents of India have received from world leaders and people from around the world. On display are the silver chairs that King George V of Britain and Queen Elizabeth sat on, as well as art, architecture, and a lot of information on the past presidents of India. When touring the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex, you will also get to see the Stables, the Clock Tower, and the Garages, which are all open every day except Mondays. If you happen to be in New Delhi during the Indian Republic Day celebrations, you will get to see the President’s House beautifully lit up at night with millions of dots of light.
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India was created on January the 28th, 1950. At the time, the Federal Court of India and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council were the ruling justice bodies in India: when the Supreme Court was created, it replaced both of them as the highest justice system in India. The first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, laid the foundation stone of the building in 1954, and the building was designed by Indian architect Ganesh Bhikaji Deolalikar. The dome id over 90 feet high, and the main block of the building covers 17 acres of land. The Supreme Court of India moved into the building in 1958 while construction went on, and in 1979 the East and West Wings were added to the building. Construction finally finished in 1994.
The Supreme Court of India is built as a symbol of the scales of justice. The building has three wings: the Central Wing holds the largest courtroom in the building, two court halls on both sides, and the chief justice’s court. The Left Wing houses all the offices of the court, and the Right Wing houses the offices of the Attorney General, the court library, the bar-room, and the offices of other law officers. In total, there are 15 courtrooms in the Supreme Court building.
Tourists flock to the Supreme Court of India, and not just to see the building, but also the Mother and Child Sculpture that is in the lawn of the court. This black sculpture is over 6 feet in height, and the Mother symbolizes Mother India; the Child symbolizes the Republic of India, and the book the child holds symbolizes the laws of India. The Mother and Child sculpture is directly behind the sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi, and the sculpture was made by Chintamoni Kar, a famous Indian sculptor and artist.
The Supreme Court of India is not open to the public, but you can visit the Supreme Court Museum from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm, and you can walk the grounds of the Supreme Court. This is a great place to take your kids to, so that they can see the sculptures and look at the items on display in the museum.
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium
Popularly known as National Stadium, the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi is a field hockey stadium that is named after Dhyan Chand, who was an Indian field hockey player. In 1951, National Stadium was the venue for the first ever Asian Games. Built in 1933, the stadium was a gift from the Maharaja of Bhavnagar to Delhi, and it was originally meant to be a multi-purpose stadium, and t was called the Irwin Amphitheatre. The complex covers 37 acres, and the stadium itself covers more than 17,500 square feet. The National Stadium is adjacent to the Indian Coast Guard Headquarters. The stadium has three pitches: one for practice and two confirmed to international pitch standards. The main hockey field can seat over 16,000 spectators, while the second pitch has 900 permanent seats and room for 1,600 additional seats. The stadium is lit by floodlights that are perfect for high definition transmission on television, as well as night games. The stadium is air-conditioned and equipped with changing rooms and relaxation lounges.
Architect Anthony S. DeMillo designed the stadium, with plans that were contrary to the plans that Sir Edwin Lutyens had for the stadium. Before the Asian Games in 1951, the stadium changed from Irwin Amphitheatre to National Stadium; in 2002 it became Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
In 2010, the National Stadium hosted the Men’s Hockey World Cup, as well as the Commonwealth Games of that same year, and it was renovated in January of 2010. In 2017, the National Stadium was the host venue of the Jashn-e-Rekhta, which was the fourth edition of this Urdu festival led by Rajiv Saraf of the Rekhta Foundation.
The National Stadium is a great place to visit in December if you want to see the Urdu festival of Jashn-e-Rekhta. You can also visit New Delhi during hockey season and catch a game or two at the National Stadium with your entire family, or with your friends who are hockey fans.
Institutions and Centres in and around New Delhi
India Habitat Centre
The India Habitat Centre is a large edifice of learning, arts, and culture. Perfect for evening visits and days with little or no scheduling, you can take the entire family with you to the India Habitat Centre. Events and presentations are held there a lot, and mostly at evening, so even if you have an evening planned, make some time to go to the Habitat Centre.
The Joseph Stein Auditorium is large and has state-of-the-art facilities that make it perfect for conferences, lectures, conventions, and film-screenings. Cultural performances and presentations are usually held there, as well as stand-up comedy nights, so make plans to be in attendance.
The Habitat Library and Resource Centre is massive, peaceful, quiet, and stocked with reading material on almost any subject matter you can think of. From there, you can stroll on to the Visual Arts Gallery, which hosts art seminars on maintaining art, and has art exhibitions for your viewing pleasure.
The All American Diner takes you back to the 60s with its extensively American menu. There are hotdogs, shakes, pancakes and waffles, and even Mexican, so forget breakfast at the hotel and come and dine at the Habitat Centre. It is one of the best places to go for breakfast in New Delhi.
Outdoors, you will find the charming Lotus Pond, so charming you just want to sit and look at the fish swim and the lotus drift on the water’s surface. Then you can go to the Amphitheatre, which is an open-air arena that is used for theatre performances. The amphitheatre is of Greek origin, and the one at the Habitat Centre is used just the way the Greeks did: several cultural events are held there, such as music, poetry, dance, and drama, as well as language festivals and competitions. The best time to visit the Amphitheatre at the Habitat Centre is during the Penguin Spring Fever, and though the theatre comfortably seats 200 people, you may want to secure seats early during this festival period.
The Kingdom of Dreams
Situated in the ‘new’ New Delhi, Gurgaon, the Kingdom of Dreams is the first live entertainment, theatre and leisure center in India. Inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Haryana, the Kingdom of Dreams was opened to the public on September 18, 2010. The Bollywood musical titled Zangoora showed there for the first time ever, and its premier show included famous Bollywood stars such as Kashmira Irani. The Kingdom of Dreams has two major theatres, Nautanki Mahal and Showshaa Theatre, and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan is the global ambassador of the Kingdom of Dreams as of 2010. Nautanki Mahal is a large space that can comfortably seat 864 people, and it looks and feels like a palace. Get tickets to watch an Indian theatre performance that makes you think of old Las Vegas. Showshaa Theatre seats 350 people in an amphitheater with a sky-high tent. The Culture Gully is an area that displays culture and cuisine in eye-catching, mouth-watering arrangements, and the entire space is fully air-conditioned and offers live kitchens and themed restaurants. The restaurants here are some of the best places to visit in Delhi to eat.
The Kingdom of Dreams is open every day except Monday, with Saturday and Sunday opening at 12 noon and weekdays opening at 12:30: the Kingdom of Dreams closes at midnight on all those days. Entry fees are of different prices, depending on the seats you pay for. For maximum comfort, book the Diamond seats at INR2,999 per person on weekdays and INR3,999 on the weekends, and you should book online in advance and get to the theatre early to avoid the crowds, because the Kingdom of Dreams is a major tourist attraction. This is one of the best places to come for a honeymoon, even though you can’t take pictures while inside the theatre. You can take pictures in Culture Gully, and there is even valet parking and as much as you can eat at the theatre when the show is on intermission. Since the Kingdom of Dreams is mainly an indoor area, it is one of the best places to visit in Delhi during rainy season.
Pragati Maidan is an exhibition center as well as a complex that is located on Mathura Road. Pragati Maidan covers about 150 acres of land, and it is properly fitted out with gardens, outlets, roads, pavements, and lawns. Pragati Maidan was designed by Raj Rewal, and he is the same architect that designed the Hall of Nations. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated the complex in 1972. One of the best places for tourists to visit in New Delhi, Pragati Maidan contains eighteen colossal halls, considered to be some of the largest exhibition halls in New Delhi. These exhibition halls or pavilions include the Defense Pavilion, the Son of India Pavilion, the Nehru Pavilion, and the Indira Pavilion. There is an auditorium where rock shows are held, and there is even an internal shuttle service if you don’t feel like walking around in the complex.
Pragati Maidan hosts more than 70 international and national events, including exhibitions, each year, including the Indian International Trade Fair (which is the largest event at Pragati Maidan), Auto Expo, and World Book Fair. If you want to be at Pragati Maidan during the India International Trade Fair, the best time to visit New Delhi would be in November, because the trade fair starts November the 14th every year. You can get to the Pragati Maidan via the Pragati Maidan Delhi Metro Station, and during the trade fair Northern Railways runs trains especially to Pragati Maidan for the fair. Near the Pragati Maidan are other places you would do well to visit, such as the dargah shrine of a mystic from Iran who came to Delhi sometime in the 1260s called Hazrat Sheikh Abubakr Tusi Qalandari. Further down the road you will find the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, and a ways from this you will see the National Science Centre.
The entry fee starts at INR 9914 per person, depending on the event you are going to see, and the visiting hours also depend on the event you are going to see, but each event lasts for about 2 to 3 hours.
College of Art, Delhi
The College of Art, Delhi, was created in 1942, as a program under the department of the College of Engineering, which is currently the Delhi Technological University. The College of Art is now in the Faculty of Music and Fine Art, in the University of Delhi, and this college offers advanced training in Creative and Applied Art, and it is located in Tilak Marg in New Delhi. Art lovers will want to visit this college in March, which is when they hold their Annual Art Exhibition, organized by the students. Usually, students are not allowed to stay on the college premises overnight, but during the Annual Art Exhibition, the students are allowed overnight privileges. The Annual Art Exhibition is covered by the Times of India as well as the Hindustan Times, which means this is a big event that you wouldn’t want to miss.
If you are also considering the College of Art for educational purposes, it is a great place to study art. They offer graduate and post-graduate courses, and you can get a Bachelors degree in Fine, Applied Art, Art History, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Visual Communication, after studying for 4 years. You can get a Masters degree in all those courses after 2 years of study. The College of Art, Delhi, has graduated notable artists such as Gogi Sarol Pal, D.B Seth, Shekhar Gurera, and Amba Sanyal.
University of Delhi
Also known as Delhi University, the University of Delhi is a public university in New Delhi, founded in 1922. The University of Delhi is a collegiate university, and it was made up of three colleges, two faculties, and had 750 students when it was founded. Delhi University is the largest university in India, and one of the largest universities in the world. Now, the University of Delhi has over 132,000 regular students, 16 faculties, 86 departments, and 77 affiliated colleges, with India’s Vice-President as its Chancellor. Among the university’s alumni is 7 heads of state and 2 Nobel Peace prize winners. The University of Delhi’s departments of Sociology, History, Chemistry, Zoology, and Geology have been awarded as Centres of Advanced Studies, adding to the prestige of the school. The University of Delhi is one of the most sought-after universities in India, which means it is a really good school, so if you are looking for an institution of higher learning to attend or send your children to, Delhi University is a good bet.
The University of Delhi has two main campuses, which are the North Campus and the South Campus. North Campus is home to the three colleges that made up the University of Delhi when it was founded in 1922. Presently, North Campus has 12 colleges, which are part of the Faculties of Arts, Law, Management, and Sciences. North Campus is also the home of the Cluster Innovation Centre, Delhi School of Journalism, and Delhi School of Economics. North Campus is also right next to Kamla Nagar, a neighborhood you have to visit when touring New Delhi.
The South Campus of the University of Delhi was created in 1973 as part of the plan to help with the expansion the school was experiencing. The South Campus covers 69 acres of land, and it houses departments that are in the Faculties of Applied Sciences, Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as the S.P Jain Centre for Management Studies.
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, also known as IIT Delhi, is a public engineering school that is situated in Hauz Khas, in South Delhi. Hauz Khas is already a tourist magnet, so when you visit the area, make sure to take a look round the Indian Institute of Technology. Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, laid the foundation stone of the institute in 1959 on January the 28th. In 1961 the institute was inaugurated, and it also admitted its first students. Presently, the campus covers about 320 acres, and is surrounded by other institutions and monuments: the Jawaharlal Nehru University complex is to the west, Sri Aurobindo Marg is on the east, the National Council of Educational Research and Training is to the south, and on the north you will find the New Ring Road, with Qutub Minar and the Hauz Khas monuments flanking it. IIT Delhi awards the degree of Bachelor of Technology in various fields, and has a post graduate school program that awards the Master of Technology degree, as well as Master of Research, Master of Science, and MBA, under different centres and departments.
The campus located in South Delhi is surrounded by the Qutub Minar and the Lotus Temple, as well as the Haus Khas region. The campus’ interior looks like a well-planned city, with beautiful lawns, gardens, wide roads, and residential buildings. There are also shopping complexes, backup electricity, and the campus’ very own water supply, making life very easy and convenient for the residents. There are also 13 student hostels, all of which are named after the mountain ranges in India; the residential complexes are named after the ancient universities in India. Sports and cultural activities are a strong part of student life at IIT Delhi, and there is a Student Activity Centre, as well as several student bodies.
National School of Drama
The National School of Drama, also known as NSD, is an institute that offers theatre training located in New Delhi. The NSD is an autonomous institution that is under the Ministry of Culture, which is under the Government of India. The school was established in 1959, and in 2005 it was recognized and designated as a university, but at NSD’s request, the university status was revoked in 2011.
The school began as an idea gotten from a seminar in 1954. While the Sangeet Natak Akademi, headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, was drawing up plans to create an institution for theatre, Bharatiya Natya Sangh created the Asian Theatre Institute with aid from UNESCO. The Asian Theatre Institute was created in January 1958, and in July of that same year the Sangeet Natak Akademi took over the Asian Theatre Institute. Sangeet Natak Akademi is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama of India. In 1959, the new school created by SNI was merged with the Asian Theatre Institute, and the National School of Drama was born. NSD asked for its university status to be revoked because they felt that being a university would hamper the flexibility, autonomy, and professional training that theatre requires.
NSD has three performing spaces on the campus, which are the Abhimanch Auditorium, the Sammukh Auditorium, and the Bahumukh Auditorium. There is also a studio theatre and some smaller performance spaces, which are used on special occasions. The best time to visit NSD is during the National Theatre Festival, or Bharat Rang Mahotsav, an annual theatre festival that NSD started in 1999. The festival is now the biggest theatre festival in Asia that is wholly dedicated to the theatre, and you wouldn’t want to miss it.
Triveni Kala Sangam
Popularly known as Triveni, this is an arts and culture complex and educational center in New Delhi. It was founded in 1950 by Sundari K. Shridharani, and Triveni houses a chamber theatre, an outdoor theatre, an open-air sculpture gallery, and 4 art galleries. Triveni also runs several music, dance, and art classes. Triveni started in a small room in Connaught Place with two students, and soon enough Sundari’s efforts were noticed by Pandit Nehru, who then gave her land to set up her dance and arts institution. Flutist Vijay Raghav Rao coined the name Triveni Kala Sangam, which means ‘confluence of arts’. American architect Joseph Allen Stein designed the Triveni building, making it the first building he designed in India. He also designed the India Habitat Centre and the India International Centre. The building Triveni is in today was inaugurated in 1963.
The Art Heritage Gallery was founded by Roshen Alkazi in 1977, the wife of Ebrahim Alkazi. She ran the gallery until her death in 2007, and her husband is still the Director of the gallery till date. Triveni’s Tea Terrace restaurant is a hot spot for students, intellectuals, and artists to meet, and it is also well known for its food. The other three galleries in Triveni are the Shridhami Gallery, the Triveni Gallery, and a basement gallery that is run by the Art Heritage Gallery. The complex also houses hostels for students, a potted-plant nursery, and a bookshop with many good titles to pick from. There are various classes held at Triveni in dance and music, photography, and painting. Triveni is close to the Mandi House area, and you can reach it via the Mandi House underground station. Triveni is near the cultural hub of New Delhi, which means that there is a lot more to see in the area, such as the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, which is in front of Triveni. Bring some money for tickets with you, as Triveni’s shows and performances require tickets for you to attend.
The Clubs and the Bars
Kitty Su is one of the most luxurious clubs in New Delhi located in The Lalit, and it is one of the best places to go clubbing in New Delhi. Kitty Su is a nightclub that exudes elegance, sophistication, and class, and it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi in the night. Kitty Su has hosted international electronic music stars, and has popped up on Delhi’s Best Nightclub list since its opening in 2011. If you are a hardcore party goer with the need for a vibrant and fun atmosphere, Kitty Su is the best place to visit in New Delhi for a party. The club is open from 10 pm to 1:30 am, and not only will you get body-moving music, but you will get food and drinks as well. There is no entry fee, but you must get something to drink or something to eat. A meal with drinks for two people costs about INR 5000, and if you want some beer, you will pay INR 600 for a pint. Kitty Su is well-known for its spacious dance floor, so make the most of it when you visit the club, and dance the night away. Kitty Su is the best place for couples on their honeymoon who love to party in luxury, and it is a great place for friends to hang out at night.
This luxurious bar and restaurant is one of the best places to go to in New Delhi for night time food and drinks with friends. Club Pangaea has a good selection of alcohol, including wines and spirits, and there are beverages for those who aren’t into drinking alcohol. Open from noon till 1 in the morning, Club Pangaea is a great place to go to for a fine dining experience. The atmosphere is classy and the food is well prepared, and a meal costs about INR 4000 for two people. They serve cuisine that is both local and international, and you should try their Turkish cuisine, American cuisine, North Indian cuisine, and their delectable Finger Food.
Privee’ is a large club and bar that covers more than 10,000 square feet, with a large dance floor that makes it one of the best places to go clubbing in New Delhi, and a posh VIP area. Privee’ is all about creating a luxurious, futuristic, world-class experience for its patrons, and so far it has succeeded: it won the Times Food & Nightlife Award for Best Nightclub in 2017. Privee’ is the best place to be when you visit New Delhi, and you can bring your friends or your partner you are honeymooning with. Thursdays is called Expat Night, and drinks are free for ladies, and you can even enter their exclusive Breathe and Booze Room just to breathe in alcohol in the air! Privee’ is open from 10 pm to 2 am, and a meal for two costs INR4000.
First opened in 2017, Lithiyum is a club that aims to give you a charged up, explosive experience night of fun. Lithium is divided into three parts, which is the lounge, the nightclub and a fine dining restaurant. The music in Lithiyum changes based on the day of the week, so you can get anything from Bollywood music to house to dubstep, and the club claims its sound systems are one of the best in the world. Whether this claim is true or not, Lithiyum is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for a party, and it is among the best places to go for clubbing in Delhi. The fine dining restaurant serves delicious international cuisine that is prepared by a renowned celebrity chef, so it is definitely one of the best places to go for dinner in New Delhi. Lithiyum is one of the best clubs for party goers to go to in New Delhi, and it stays open from 10 pm to 4 am. A meal for two costs about INR3000, and you can get drinks to go with your meals as well. So you can eat good food, have some drinks, and have one of the best nights of your life in Lithiyum, New Delhi.
Bombay Bar opened late 2017 and offers its patrons a taste and feel of Bombay, or Old Mumbai. The interior is very retro, outfitted with disco balls and showcasing Old Bollywood glamour. The meals are not ordinary either: they are named after famous landmarks in New Delhi and some of the most popular food destinations. So in Bombay Bar you can order Mumbai Chowpatty Chakna, or sip on delicious cocktails like Baadhshah Journey, all the while nodding your head to some sweet Bollywood music in the background. Bombay Bar is open from 12 noon to 1 am, and it is one of the best restaurants and bars to take your entire family to in the day time. At night, Bombay Bar is great for a night out with friends or if you are on your honeymoon. Makes sure you order their Queen’s Necklace cocktail and munch on some Khao Galli Platters while you are there. Bombay Bar is surely one of the best places to visit in New Delhi.
Luxurious Places to Stay in New Delhi
The Leela Palace New Delhi
The Leela Palace is located in the middle of New Delhi’s diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, sitting right beside a busy junction. Despite its location, The Leela Palace has soundproofed walls that ensure peace and quiet for its occupants. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport, and tourists will love staying in this hotel because the Santushi Shopping Arcade is just nearby, giving tourists a wide range of souvenirs, Indian clothing, and home and cooking ware to buy from.
The Leela Palace is a five-star hotel, built five years ago to be one of the best hotels in New Delhi. The hotel’s interior is elegant and classy, fusing traditional Indian and modern European architecture to create something beautiful and magnificent for the eyes to see. Even if you don’t want to stay at the hotel, you can come on a tour there and see the art that is on display, as well as the dazzling flower displays: 14,000 blooms delivered fresh every day. The hotel shines with contemporary Venetian chandeliers, hung to give the hotel an air that captures every mood, whatever the occasion is.
Indian guests demand excellent service, so tourists can expect good service when they come to The Leela Palace New Delhi. Butler service is available for every room in the hotel, and the hotel’s lobby concierge desk organizes luxury cars for guests, including tour guides and personal shoppers. You can pay for a half-day tour, conducted privately, of New Delhi that will cost you about INR 8000. The Royal Club floor of the hotel has its own concierge desk and lounge, and on the roof of the hotel, there is an outdoor pool that is maintained at a temperature of 26 degrees Celsius at all times. There is a spacious spa with a sauna and steam room, and you can get British ESPA treatments at the spa. There s also a bar, a well-equipped fitness center, efficient laundry and parking services, and free Wi-Fi.
The Leela Palace’s Grand Deluxe rooms are the largest hotel rooms in New Delhi, decorated with furniture designed in the Regency style; original Indian miniatures and embroideries and antique brocades beautify the walls. The rooms are done up in creams, reds, blues and yellows, and the lighting is intuitive, with bedside lamps that are bright enough for some late night reading. The bathrooms are spacious and made of Travertine marble, with a bath that is separate from the walk-in shower, and a lavatory that is closed off. The rooms also come with an iron and an ironing board, coffee and tea makers, and the melt-in-your-mouth biscuits are replenished every day.
The Leela Palace offers sumptuous food and drink that will tempt every palate. You can get Italian food at Le Cirque; North Indian cuisine at Jamavar; and great cocktails and finger food in the sunken walled garden of the Library Bar. The Qube is a two-story glasshouse where you can enjoy great Thai red chicken curry, Canadian lobster, and some burgers, pizza, and pasta, which are made right there in the hospital. There is an international breakfast buffet served at the Qube as well, with a chef available to prepare smoothies and fresh fruit dishes according to your wishes. The coffee, however, is weak and made by an espresso machine, so you can ask for a cafetiere for yourself.
The Leela Palace is very family-friendly, and the public areas are all wheelchair accessible. Butlers are also on hand who are well-trained to help with special needs guests, and there is round-the-clock babysitting available. In the low tourist season, which is during heavy monsoon season or the hot summers, rooms cost INR 16,000, with breakfast included. In the high tourist season, which is around mid-October to April, rooms cost INR 25,700.
The Oberoi, New Delhi
The Oberoi is located on Dr Zakir Hussain Marg road in New Delhi, and it is a really fine place to stay in if you are visiting New Delhi. The Oberoi is set on over five acres of land in the midst of beautiful gardens, and, despite its location by a major road, the hotel is very quiet and peaceful. The Oberoi is also a prime place to stay because of its nearness to several tourist attractions in New Delhi. Some of the rooms provide great views of the lush green and wooded area that is the Delhi Golf Course, while other rooms offer you perfect views of Humayun’s Tomb. Connaught Place is also not far from The Oberoi, about 10 minutes away when the traffic is light; and the Lodhi Gardens is a stroll away from the hotel.
The Oberoi is one of the oldest hotels in New Delhi, and it was recently refurbished and renovated, adding to its prestigious standing and luxury. The outside of the hotel is definitely not a reflection of what is inside. Entering the hotel, you walk into a sea of marble that is alleviated by Indian antiques and modern art. The staff is very well trained and highly professional, paying attention to every detail as well as remembering their guests’ names. The Oberoi has several facilities and amenities, which include a spa with six treatment rooms, aromatherapy, and holistic massage services. There are both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a bar, a fitness center, efficient laundry and parking services, a ballroom for dancing and parties, and a business center with smaller meeting rooms. The cigar lounge houses individual cigar lockers for smokers, and cool jazz is always on in the lounge. The air in the hotel is always clean, thanks to some heavy duty air filters.
The Oberoi has 220 rooms that are quite spacious, 34 of which are suites. The rooms have large picture windows, armchairs with desks, televisions, iPad docking stations, and Nespresso. The rooms are both luxurious and comfortable, and there is even an iPad that helps you to open the curtains and show you which way is Mecca for prayers.
The Oberoi has three restaurants that boast exquisite Indian and international cuisine. Omya is one of the luxury restaurants in The Oberoi, and its menu is created by Alfred Prasad, the youngest ever Indian chef awarded a Michelin star. Omya means ‘beautiful’, and it serves wonderful Indian cuisine.
Baoshan is a Chinese restaurant supervised by Andrew Wong, also a Michelin-star chef. This rooftop restaurant serves international cuisine and a range of teas. The Oberoi also sports bar that is on the roof that serves beautiful views and music, lasting till 4 in the morning on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Oberoi also caters to children, offering menus specifically for kids, as well as interconnecting rooms and extra beds. All areas in the hotel are wheelchair accessible, with one room specially adapted for those with special needs. In low season, double rooms cost from INR 20,480, and INR 30,720 in high tourist season, with breakfast, included.
Located about 10 minutes from Connaught Place and some 12 miles from the international airport, The Lodhi is a luxury hotel located in a quiet, tree-lined residential region in New Delhi. Its distance from the airport makes it one of the best places to visit in New Delhi near an airport. The Lodhi has rooms that offer stunning views of the Lodhi Gardens to the eats, as well as the domed tombs of the emperors. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is just a 7-minute walk away, and the Khan Market about one mile away, for the tourists that want to do some shopping without going far from where they are staying. The former Aman hotel is beautifully designed, featuring sharp edges, dramatic sculptural detail, and a lot of stone. The hotel is furnished in simple contemporary styles, with the bedrooms sporting soft creams and blues, and bold pinks and reds in the public areas of the hotel. There is art for sale hung on the walls, gotten from the Apparao Gallery, so tourists can come in and look at the art pieces.
While the Lodhi’s staff is attentive and smiling, they can’t be compared to the efficient professionalism of the staff at The Oberoi. The Lodhi has several facilities that ensure a luxurious and comfortable stay. They offer to pick you up from the airport in black limousines on your arrival. The hotel also has a shop that is stocked with Indian arts and crafts, and there is also a cigar room, a library, and a large gym with top-of-the-line exercise equipment, a spa and a pilates studio. There are also squash and tennis courts at the hotel.
The deluxe rooms come with private balconies, which are netted because of pigeons, a plunge pool and a daybed. The bathrooms are covered in smooth dark marble tiles, and they come with a walk-in closet and dressing room attached. The living area holds a comfy sofa with some armchairs, a fruit bowl, and water.
The Lodhi offers its guests a wide menu to choose from. The restaurant Elan offers Thai green curry and roast chicken with veggies, as well as English meals and fresh dhosas. Over The Water sits in a glass box in the midst of a serene pool, and they serve Italian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisine. The hotel entrance has ramps for wheelchair access, and one under-12 child can stay at the hotel for free. The Lodhi offers double rooms at INR 21,592 during the low season and INR 32,858 during the high tourist season.
Situated in Janpath, New Delhi, is The Imperial, a great place to stay in when you are visiting New Delhi for a short stay. The Imperial is perfect for tourists with limited time to visit New Delhi because it is a central location that is close to many of New Delhi’s tourist sites, such as Rashtrapati Bhavan and Rajpath. You can also visit Old Delhi, or Shahjahanabad, which is thought by many foreigners to be the most exciting part of visiting New Delhi. The Imperial is an old establishment, built in the early 1930s, and it exudes elegance and colonial-era charm, displaying rattan furniture, vintage photos, wheeling fans, authentic period art, with the professional staff dressed in period uniform, and marble floors did up in the classic black and white. The Imperial is a wonderful hotel, a tourist attraction in its own right, with real, living history that you can see and be a part of. The staff of The Imperial can show you where Mahatma Gandhi helped with the negotiations of partitioning India, and the walls show art pieces and photos that visualize the imperial times of New Delhi.
You may want to book very early to stay in The Imperial because there have been complaints in the past of overbooking, but this may not be a problem anymore, as The Imperial has upped its game and earned a lot of praise from guests. The services and facilities in the hotel are excellent and efficient. There is a very deep pool and a squash court that guests forget to look for, and the spa is a dream, offering you Ayurvedic treatments along with other treatments that are more common. The fitness center is well equipped, and the room service is on point. There is also a sauna, laundry, parking, Wi-Fi, and a bar.
The rooms are very large, numbering about 235 of them, with heritage features such as very high ceilings. The beds are king-sized, and there are pillow menus, and the air-conditioning is oh-so-quiet, everything you would expect in a five-star hotel.
The Imperial has 4 restaurants: 1911 offers 24-hour dining, catering to all palates, with a huge breakfast buffet and some made-to-order dishes. Daniell’s Tavern is the place to go for pan-Indian cuisine, while at San Gimignano you can get good Italian cuisine. The best of these may be The Spice Route, which serves a wide range of Indian fare as well as Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Sri Lankan cuisine. In the evening, go to 1911 to enjoy some evening drinks in a comfy quilted chair in the colonnaded veranda.
There is just one room that is wheelchair accessible, and children are welcome. At The Imperial, the prices of rooms are based on the best available rate, and not the seasons. So you can get a double room at about INR 20,919, and this includes tax, free Wi-Fi, and breakfast. The Imperial is one of the best places to stay in New Delhi if you are on your honeymoon.
Festivals in New Delhi
Raahgiri Day started in Gurgaon in 2013 on November 17th. Raahgiri is a movement that closes streets to cars so as to promote sustainable and active transportation, and it has been trademarked and registered with the Raahgiri Foundation and is made up of people that are part of the EMBARQ India organization, the I Am Gurgaon organization, Pedalyatri, Heritage School Gurgaon, and Duplays Gurgaon.
Raahgiri Day came to New Delhi in 2014 on July 13th, and here, the NDMC in conjunction with the New Delhi Police Department worked to host Raahgiri on Sundays, making the inner circle of Connaught Place a car-free zone every Sunday. Raahgiri Day spread from Connaught Place in New Delhi to other parts of Delhi, including Dwarka, Rohini, and East Delhi, and the movement is still growing. The aim of hosting car-free days is so as to reduce air pollution and promote public health, moving the whole of India towards being a nation that is a model of sustainable urban development for other nations.
Raahgiri celebrated its one year anniversary in New Delhi on the 13th of July in 2015, and it is possible that another Raahgiri movement may kick of soon. So if you are visiting New Delhi and notice that on one day of the week, you can’t see any cars or buses or trains, then it is Raahgiri Day.
Delhi Republic Day Celebration
One of the best times to visit New Delhi is during the Delhi Republic Day parade, which takes place every year on the 26th of January. The parade is one of the main tourist attractions in New Delhi, and the celebrations last for 3 days. The Delhi Republic Day is a celebration of India’s cultural heritage, social heritage, defense capabilities, and historical heritage. The parade usually takes place at Rajpath in New Delhi. On the 23rd of January, there is a full dress rehearsal for the parade on the 26th.
Before the parade begins, the Prime Minister of India places a floral wreath at the memorial to the soldiers who died in war, which is the India Gate. After the wreath is placed, there is a solemn observance of a two-minute silence in honor of the fallen soldiers. The parade begins from the Raisina Hill, which is the location of Rashtrapati Bhavan, or the Presidential Palace, and goes along Rajpath, passing India Gate on the way.
The President of India raises the national flag, and the anthem is played, after which a 21-gun salute is performed while the Presidential Body Guard take the national pledge. After this, the President presents awards to deserving persons, including people from the Armed Forces, civilians, and children. Up to 12 different regiments of the Indian Army marches past with their bands and decorations, while the President takes the salute, as he or she is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. More contingents of different paramilitary Indian forces are also part of the parade. The Border Security Force contingent is the only camel-mounted military force in the entire world, and they take part in the parade. NCC cadets are also selected to take part in the parade, and they put a lot of effort into practicing for the event. About 30 floats showcasing the different cultures in India, as well as floats that represent state enterprises and union ministers take part in the parade, and school children, about 1200 of them, perform cultural dances in the parade. The parade concludes with some daredevil motorcycling performed by the motorcycle unit of the Indian Armed Forces and civil security services, and there is a flypast by the Air Force jets, with helicopters flying the national flag and the three flags of the various services.
Tickets for the Republic Day parade are on sale from 7th January to 25th January, so if you plan on attending, you will need to be in New Delhi early enough to get your tickets at the Departmental Sales Counters In Pragati Maidan, Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, and a couple of other locations. Just go to one of these locations and get your tickets at the Departmental Sales counter. The counters stay open from 10 am to 12:30 pm, then reopen at 2 pm and close for the day at 4:30 pm. Due to the dress rehearsal on the 23rd of January, the ticket counters will be closed on that day. You must have some form of ID to get tickets. Because of the Republic Day parade, one of the best times to visit New Delhi is in January.
Beating the Retreat Ceremony
On the evening of the 29th of January, the Beating Retreat is done, signaling the end of the Republic Day parade. The bands of the three arms of the Indian military perform, that is, the bands of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The Beating Retreat ceremony is held at Raisina Hill, and in Vijay Chowk, which is a square adjacent to Raisina Hill.
The President arrives at the venue with the Presidential Body Guard. On the President’s arrival, the commander of the Presidential Body Guard gives the command for the National Salute to be played, after which the National Anthem, called Jana Gana Mana, is played by the various military bands. Other regiments play songs like Abide with Me, which was Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymn, and Saare Jahan Se Achcha is played at the end of the Beating Retreat ceremony.
The Navratri festival is a major celebration in India. The festival lasts for 9 days, and it is a holy festival for the Hindus, dedicated to the Goddess Shakti, who is also called the Divine Mother. Shakti has three forms, which are Durga, the goddess of destruction; Lakshmi, the goddess of protection; and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. The 9-day celebrations are divided into three days for each form of the goddess Shakti, which means that the first three days are dedicated to Durga, the second three days are dedicated to Lakshmi, and the last three days are dedicated to Saraswati.
The festival is about purification, cleansing, and gaining new knowledge on how to live good lives. In the first three days, Durga destroys all the evil that is in the Hindus, purging them of all bad thoughts and leaving them cleansed. In the next three days, Lakshmi puts in new, pure thoughts in her devotees. Lastly, Saraswati gives new knowledge to the people. The nine days of the festival are observed with fasting, and there are dance festivals, usually at night, called Dandiya. Navratri festival is held twice a year: in March to April – called the month of Chaitra, and in September to October – during the Aswayuja. The dates are set based on the lunar calendar, so the festival could fall anywhere from March to April, and any day from September to October, which makes these times the best times to visit New Delhi.
The Dandiya night parties are held during the festival of Navratri, and if you are visiting New Delhi during this festive period, you wouldn’t want to miss the Dandiya nights. In New Delhi, the parties are held in several locations that you can go to each night to take part in the festivities, as well as make it your tour of New Delhi at night.
The Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon is already a great place to go to for entertainment, but this will be bigger and grander during the Dandiya nights.
Adventure Island is one of the best places to go to for Dandiya night celebrations during Navratri. There is a lot of music and dancing, and there are a lot of sweet and savory things to eat while you are there.
Dilli Haat offers great entertainment and stalls full of traditional crafts that you can buy a lot of for less money.
Zorba – The Buddha is already known as the place to go to for the most unique and spectacular events in New Delhi, which means Dandiya in Zorba will be something to see.
PSOI Club has consistently organized some of the best Dandiya celebrations in New Delhi, and every year they outdo themselves. At PSOI Club you will get to watch some freestyle Dandiya dancing to folk music, look at some great exhibits, and eat tasty food available at the food counters.
The Emerald is an indoor banquet hall that puts on one of the best indoor Dandiya celebrations. Dandiya dances will go on without interruption, and there is always enough food and drink to keep you satisfied.
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson has grand suites and lovely guest rooms that ensure you are well rested, with a breakfast buffet that makes sure you eat to your fill and prepare for the spectacular Dandiya nights that the resort hosts in the evening.
The Navratri celebrations in New Delhi have another major feature, and that is the Ramlila performances. These plays happen every day of Navratri in the evenings, and they are the re-enactment of scenes from The Ramayana. The Ramayana plays tell the story of the life of Lord Rama, with a grand finale of the defeat of Ravan, a demon. The Ramlila shows are five in number and are performed in the Red Fort area.
The first and oldest of the Ramlila performances is the one hosted by the Shri Ram Lila Committee. Started about 180 years ago by Bahadur Shah Zafar, it is the most traditional of the Ramlila plays in Delhi. Before the show begins, costumed performers do a parade in the lanes of Old Delhi, starting in Chandni Chowk and ending at the Ramlila Maidan. The parade starts at 6 pm and ends around 8 pm, which is when the show begins.
The Shri Dharmic Leela Committee hosts Ramlila performances in Madhavas Park, and it is very popular because of the food stalls they have there, or chaat bazaar, which offer street food prepared some of the top chefs in New Delhi. The Shri Dharmic Leela Committee hosts foreign dignitaries as well as Indian politicians, even hosting the President and Prime Minister of India. The Ramlila plays are done with actors from Uttar Pradesh, who are all traditional actors, keeping the classical spirit of the performances alive. The food stalls stay open from 8 pm till midnight, which means there is food even after the show is over.
Nav Shri Dharmik Leela Committee uses technology in its Ramlila performances to appeal to the youth. This means their Ramlila plays make use of sound systems, hydraulic lifts, LED screens, and hi-tech equipment, combining traditional with modern to appeal to a much younger audience. Nav Shri Dharmik Leela’s effigy of the demon Ravan is the tallest one in Delhi, which means there is a huge bonfire when it is burned. They also include plays from The Ramayana which are not included in many Ramlila performances. There is plenty food and carnival rides that kids will love.
Lav Kush Ram Lila Committee uses Bollywood celebrities in their Ramlila performances, something that sets them apart from other Ramlila performances in New Delhi. Politicians also take part in the plays, and you will see Hanuman actually flying, with Ram and Ravan locked in battle mid-air! A cultural show takes place after the performance.
Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra is a cultural institution that runs a piece of renowned music, dance, and performing arts school in India. Since 1957 they have put on a Sampoorna Ramlila performance, a dance-drama, and every year they change choreographers to keep the folk and classical Indian dance styles fresh and entertaining. The show actually runs for an entire month, with the Ramlila celebrations falling within the month: the show starts on the first day of Navratri and ends on the first day of Diwali. Shows start from 6:30 pm and end at 9 pm, and you need tickets to attend this show, and they cost from INR 200 to INR 3000: you can book your tickets online.
Dussehra is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. On this day, huge effigies of the demon Ravan, his brother Kumbhakaran, and Ravan’s son Meghnad are burned all over New Delhi, and there are large celebrations with dance, food, and plays. When you visit New Delhi in October, make it a plan to attend a Dussehra celebration near you. Dussehra is also called Dasha-hara, Dassera, Durgostav, and is also celebrated as the National Labour Day of India, Vishwakarma. You will get to watch performances and plays that display Indian traditions and religious beliefs, and even meet with other tourists who have come just to be part of the Dussehra festivities. Watch as Lord Rama fights with and defeats the demon Ravan with the help of his brother Lakshmana, with help from Lord Hanuman and an army of monkeys. After this battle, colossal effigies of Ravan are lit up and burned to loud cheering and celebration, while the people chant ‘Jay Sree Ram’, cheering the triumph of good over evil.
Dussehra is celebrated at the end of Ramlila, and the legend behind it is found in the Hindu epic of Ramayana. According to the story, Ravan, or Ravana, had a sister, Shoorpnakha, who fell in love with Lord Rama and his younger brother Lakshmana. She longed to marry either one of them, but the brothers refused her. Enraged, Shoorpnakha threatened to kill Sita, Lord Rama’s wife. Lakshmana got annoyed and cut of Shoorpnakha’s ears and nose, thus making Ravan angry. Ravan’s revenge was to kidnap Sita, which started a battle between the demon Ravan, Lord Rama, and Lakshmana, which Lord Rama and Lakshmana won, taking Sita away with them.
Diwali, also known as Deepawali or Deepavali, is the grandest Hindu festival of all Hindu festivals. Diwali is the festival of lights, as evidenced by its other names: ‘deep’ means ‘light’, while ‘awali’ means ‘a row’. So Deepawali literally means ‘a row of lights’. Diwali is celebrated for four days, and the entire country is lit up with lights and joyful celebration. Diwali is celebrated in Late October to early November: it is supposed to fall in the Hindu month of Kartik on the 15th day, so the date usually varies on the Gregorian calendar. If you want to be part of the Diwali celebrations, you can always time your visit to New Delhi to fall in late October.
Historically, Diwali was celebrated in ancient India, but there are many stories that exist to explain the exact origins of the festival. Some people think it most likely started as a harvest festival that evolved into an important Hindu celebration. Others believe that Diwali celebrates the marriage of Lord Vishnu to Lakshmi the goddess of wealth. There are still others that say Diwali is the celebration of Lakshmi’s birthday: she is said to have been born in the month of Kartik. In some parts of India, Diwali is a festival dedicated to Kali, the goddess of strength; for others it is elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, the symbol of auspiciousness; and for others yet, it celebrates the day Lord Mahavira attained nirvana. Diwali also celebrates Lord Rama’s return from his 14-year exile and his defeat of the demon Ravan.
Before the Diwali festival begins, there is a festival called Dhanteras, which celebrates wealth and prosperity and takes place two days before Diwali. Some people say Dhanteras is part of the Diwali festival, thus making Diwali a five-day festival. Dhanteras is made up of ‘dhan’, which means wealth, and ‘teras’, which means 13th, a lucky number. Dhanteras is a gambling festival, and it is said that the goddess Parvati played dice with Lord Shiva, her husband, and declared that anyone who gambled on Diwali night will be prosperous in the following year.
The first day of Diwali, called Naraka Chaturdasi, celebrates the defeat of the demon Naraka at the hand of Lord Krishna with his wife Satyabhama.
The second day of Diwali, called Amavasya, is dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi in her most benevolent form, and it also tells of Lord Vishnu who vanquished Bali in his dwarf form.
The third day of Diwali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, is the day that Bali is allowed to step out of hell and light millions of lamps, dispel darkness and ignorance, and spread love and wisdom.
The fourth day of Diwali, Yama Dvitiya or Bhai Dooj is the day that sisters invite brothers into their homes. There are lights and firecrackers going off throughout the festival, and there are certain customs that are upheld during every Diwali festival, which are: give and forgive; rise and shine; unite and unify; prosper and progress; and illuminating your inner self. In 2019, Diwali starts on the 25th of October.
The Holi festival is a Hindu festival that celebrates the defeat of a demoness called Holika, through stout devotion to Lord Vishnu, the god of preservation. The Holi festival is called the Festival of Colours because Lord Krishna, as Lord Vishnu, used to play pranks of the girls in the villages by pouring water and colours on them. The Holi festival also celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring and harvest.
On the day before Holi, large bonfires are built and lit to symbolize the burning of Holika. This day is called Holika Dahan. In Narada Purana, the Hindu text, it is said that Holika’s demon brother, King Hiranyakashyap, told her to burn Prahlad, his son because Prahlad worshipped Lord Vishnu instead of his demon father. Holika took Prahlad and sat with him in the fire because the fire couldn’t burn her but would burn him, but because Prahlad was devoted to Lord Vishnu, he was protected, and Holika instead was burned to a crisp.
Holi is celebrated in March, the day after the full moon, and it is celebrated in many locations throughout India, though the dates may vary. In 2019, the Holi festival will be on March the 21st, so if you are visiting New Delhi for the festival, you will need to be there early in March, as many people from all over the world will be attending the Holi festival. The biggest Holi celebrations are four hours away from Delhi in Vrindavan and Mathura, and those locations are among the best places to visit near Delhi by bike, but it would be safer to go as a group because men tend to get rowdy at the celebrations.
Holi is celebrated mainly by pouring colored water and each other, as well as smearing or throwing colored powder on each other. There are parties and dances under water sprinklers or fountains, and bhang, a paste made from the cannabis plant, is eaten during these festivities. If you don’t mind getting dirty and very wet, Holi is a festival you must attend. Wear old clothes because some of the color thrown on you will not wash out, and a good tip is to rub coconut oil or any hair oil on your hair and skin so that the colors don’t get absorbed into them.
If you are a single woman and you want to be part of the Holi festival, make sure you go out early in the morning and return your room by noon. There are also hotels that hold Holi celebrations for their guests, so you could book a room in one of those and not bother going out.
Let’s Go Eat!
Paranthe Wali Gali
Paranthe Wali Gali is a tapered street in Chandni Chowk that is lined with rows of shops famous for their ‘paratha’, a traditional Indian bread that is thin and unleavened. Paranthe Wali Gali is a vegetarian food hub, and it is the best place for vegetarian tourists to visit. Here, you are sure to get new recipes or try out different meat-free and dairy-free options that are exquisite and delicious. Food sold in Paranthe Wali Gali is totally vegetarian, and it is sold in the traditional style, which is retro and very simple: no onions or garlic is added to the food sold here.
Paranthe Wali Gali is open all days of the week, from 9 am to 11 pm, and you don’t really need a fee to enter Paranthe Wali Gali. Your fee is what you pay for the food you buy, and the cost of buying food for 2 people in Paranthe Wali Gali could be about INR 150. You must try the specials that are sold in Paranthe Wali Gali: Mirch Parantha, Karela Parantha, and Mixed Veg Paranthe. The food choices in Paranthe Wali Gali are influenced by the people who live in the area. A series of shops in Paranthe Wali Gali is owned by a Brahmin, and there is Jain population in the area as well. The best time to visit this street is early in the mornings, and you can get your parantha with potato curry sautéed with some spicy pumpkin, mint, or sweet tamarind chutney. Paranthe Wali Gali is one of the best places to go out in New Delhi.
Hard Rock Cafe
Opened by DLF Place Saket, Hard Rock Cafe is the fourth restaurant ever opened in New Delhi. This restaurant is perfectly placed between luxurious hotels and the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, and it is a place tourists wouldn’t want to miss eating at. It is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi near the airport. Hard Rock Cafe is a popular watering hole for tourists and natives alike, and it is open every day from noon to 1 am. A typical meal with drinks may cost up to INR 2500, and while you are there, make it a point of duty to try out Hard Rock Cafe’s Famous Fajitas, Fish O’Fillet, and Hard Rock Nachos. Come along with your children or your friends, because it is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi for hangouts, and even if you are on a honeymoon, the Hard Rock Cafe is a great restaurant to wine and dine in.
Hauz Khas Social
When you get to the Hauz Khas Village, make sure to stop for a bite in the Hauz Khas Social. Hauz Khas Social is one of the best places to chill after a day at the office, or, in the case of tourists, after a day touring New Delhi. Hauz Khas Social is an efficient blend of bar and cafe, and lots of people stop there to chill and catch up after a hectic day at the office. Hauz Khas Social is serene and peaceful, one of the best places to go for dinner in New Delhi, for couples tired on their feet or kids who just want to sit down and eat. Hauz Khas Social is an all-day cafe and bar, and while you are there, make sure you try their Continental cuisine, Asian cuisine, North Indian and American cuisine, and their awesome salads. Hauz Khas Social is the perfect place to bring a friend or a couple of friends, or your partner, if you want a less intimate, yet tranquil and fun vibe. Hauz Khas Social is open every day from 11 in the morning to 1 in the morning, and there is no entry fee, except for the food you are buying. It is among the best places to go in New Delhi with your girlfriend, and the cost of a meal for two people is about INR 1300.
Located in Gali Kababian, near Jama Masjid, Karim’s is an old, retro restaurant that was built in 1913. Karim’s is literally a landmark in Gal Kababian, the area’s most identifiable feature, and it is one of New Delhi’s most popular food joints, for locals and for tourists. Karim’s is a historically relevant culinary spot, and it is one of the best places to take your kids if they are history buffs or to take your friends or your spouse if you are on your honeymoon. Karim’s serves a couple of meals you can’t pass up, and you must try them. The cost for a meal for two people is about INR 800, and Karim’s is open twice a day: from 11 am to 4 pm, then from 8 pm to 11:30 pm. Main courses include Kabab and Rice & Pulao, and for dessert, you can order some delicious Kheer Benazir. Other meals you have to try are the Mutton Qorma, Brain Curry, and Chicken Jahangiri.
Rose Cafe is a restaurant that is open all day in New Delhi and serves food all day. This exquisitely elegant establishment serves a host of dishes, including Lebanese, Continental, and the Mediterranean. If you are Italian and on a tour of New Delhi, you will find something at Rose Cafe that will make you feel right at home. Rose Cafe is beautifully designed and has a wonderful ambiance, serving up traditional and contemporary dishes for you to enjoy, and there are a lot of options to choose from their menus, including carefully prepared meals for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Open at noon and closed at 9 pm, Rose Cafe is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi to eat. There is no entry fee, and meals for two people cost about INR 1000. If you are not sure of what to order when you visit Rose Cafe, you won’t go wrong with their Spaghetti Aglio Olio, after which you can try some delicious Espresso Cake with Kaffir Lime Leaves.
Kunzum Travel Cafe
Kunzum Travel Cafe is the ultimate traveler’s paradise. Stocked with travel reading material and travel pictures, Kunzum Travel Cafe is the best place for travelers to get together and exchange travel stories and experiences. If you are on tour in New Delhi, you count as a traveler, and you wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to visit Kunzum Travel Cafe. You will meet different people from different places and different walks of life at the Kunzum Travel Cafe, and this will be an exciting and educating experience.
Kunzum Travel Cafe is in Hauz Khas Village, a place that is already a tourist hot spot. There is free WiFi at the cafe, and you can upload your pictures on the cafe’s website, kunzum.com. Open every day except on Mondays, you can go there as early as 11 am and stay as late as 7:30 pm. There is no entry fee, and you mustn’t buy anything if you don’t want to. This makes Kunzum Travel Cafe very different from other cafes, and what sets it even further apart is their coffee policy: you can pay anything you want for a cup of good coffee. Kunzum Travel Cafe is all for the spirit of camaraderie among people of different backgrounds, and you are sure to hear some great stories when you go to the cafe. Come with family and friends and mingle with natives and foreigners alike, and sip on some good coffee while sharing tales of your travels. It goes without saying that travelers will feel right at home at Kunzum Travel Cafe. It is one of the best places to visit in Delhi to hang out.
Khan Chacha is a popular restaurant that has very humble beginnings. Haji Banda Hassan started this eatery in the 1970s, a small shop in Khan Market that grew to become a tourist delight in New Delhi. Khan Chacha is one of the best places to eat in New Delhi, and tourists can never go wrong ordering food from this place that is so popular with the locals. Khan Chacha is open from 11 in the morning to 11 in the night, and you can order fully-satisfying food for two people at about INR 650. Khan Chacha is still in Khan Market, and finding it is very easy: just go shopping 50 on the 1st floor in Khan Market. Make sure you try their signature Mutton Seekh and Chicken Tikka Roll, and you can order food to go if you would rather dine in your hotel room.
Barbeque Nation is one of the best places to visit in New Delhi with your family. Meals are served there buffet-style, and the meat is prepared perfectly that any taste or texture you are looking for, you will find. Succulent pieces of meat paired with delicious meals will leave you full and satisfied after a long day of touring. Barbeque Nation is popular with everyone, both foreigners and natives alike, so you may want to go there early enough to secure some good seats and a table. Recommended dishes at the Barbeque Nation include Spanish Valencia Prawn and Paneer Chicken Tikka Masala. A meal for two may cost about INR1600, and Barbeque Nation is open at noon and closed at 3 pm, then reopened at 6:30 pm and closed at 11 pm.
Murthal is one of the most popular restaurants in New Delhi, and a must visit when you are visiting New Delhi. Open all day every day, Murthal serves great meals such as Paneer Parantha, Pav Bhaji, Sweet Lassi, and Chai. A meal for two may cost about INR400, and entry is free. It is one of the best places to take your entire family, and it is also one of the best places to go in New Delhi with your partner if you are on your honeymoon.
Located on Feroz Shah Kotla road, Andhra Bhavan is a place that serves great food and is most famous for its Andhra Biryani. When you visit New Delhi, you would want to visit Andhra Bhavan just to get a taste of their Biryani. Andhra Bhavan is an eatery that is loud and quite noisy, with no finesse whatsoever in their chairs, tables, and overall setting and atmosphere; but the food is great. As such, the place is always packed, and that is how you know that there is good food there. Another thing is, Andhra Bhavan only serves biryani on Sundays at lunch time, so to get yours, you will need to be there as early as 12 noon and not later than 3 pm, which is when lunch time is over, and the biryani is finished.
You can order Chicken Biryani, which is their most popular dish, for Rs.200, and this will be enough food for 2 people. Their Chicken Biryani is a delectable dish of rice, chicken, and boiled eggs served with mirchi ka salan and raita. The Chicken Fry at Andhra Bhavan is also a dish you must try, a very spicy chicken dish that is best for those who enjoy hot and spicy food. Andhra Bhavan is also a great joint for vegetarians, as there are a host of meals that are strictly vegetarian served there, such as vegetarian thali is made of poori, rice, sambhar, papad, and served with rasam and ghee. Bring your family along or some friends, and get some food to go or eat it there. Either way, Andhra Bhavan is a restaurant you should visit when in New Delhi.
Hotel Saravana Bhavan
Saravana Bhavan has over 33 locations in India alone, and 47 chains spread across continents, including Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and Australia. This makes Saravana Bhavan the largest South Indian vegetarian restaurant chain in the entire world, and there is a branch right here in New Delhi! In New Delhi, Saravana Bhavan is located on Janpath Road in Connaught Place.
Saravana Bhavan has very humble beginnings, starting out as a grocery shop in Chennai, which was called Madras then, in 1968. In 1992 the owner, Rajagopal, went to Singapore on a visit, and he studied the operations of the multi-national fast food restaurants that were there, such as MacDonald’s. He took his observations and applied them to his shop, and in the mod-1990s Saravana Bhavan became a vegetarian food chain that had spread in all the Chennai neighborhoods. In 2000, the chain opened its first restaurant outside India, in Dubai, and then moved on to Paris in France, Frankfurt in Germany, London in the United Kingdom, New York City in America, and Toronto in Canada. Their main target is South Indians in the diaspora, but non-Indians also love their food, as you are sure to love it when you go there.
Saravana Bhavan serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and late-night meals, and their cuisine is mainly Indian, Asian, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. You don’t need to book seats before you go there, and the restaurant is open every day of the week from 8 am to 10:30 pm. Saravana Bhavan is the best place to go to for families with kids, or for a large group of friends, and you can get your meals delivered to your hotel room or order for takeout.