New Delhi City Guide
New Delhi is the capital of India. A large amount of the city was designed as the administrative capital of Britain’s colonial empire by Edwin Lutyens. For this reason the architecture of attractions like Connaught Place reflect the grandeur and opulence of the British Raj. New Delhi is spacious with tons of places to drink, eat or just watch as the hustle and bustle of Indian life carries on around you. Delhi tourist information will tell you that the area is reportedly one of the oldest standing cities and political hubs in the world. Empire upon empire has been destroyed and rebuilt here. However, a New Delhi city guide may neglect to tell you about its vibrant and diverse modern culture. India’s capital is bursting with life in vibrant markets like Dilli Haat, with strong performing arts and culinary scenes. You’ll find it hard to squeeze everything into one trip!
Things to do in New Delhi
For a fascinating insight into Delhi’s history, take a trip to the National Museum. The excellent permanent collections cover over 5000 years of Indian cultural heritage. One of the key things to do in New Delhi to really get a feel for its past, is a visit to Connaught Place. The massive circular street layout gives you an idea of the British Raj’s grand plans for New Delhi and is the show piece of Lutyen’s designs. Connaught Place is also a commercial centre for the current city so there will be plenty to see and do once you get there. It’s also well worth visiting Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Gandhi held in the building where he spent the last days of his life.
Things to see in New Delhi
If you want to get a feel for New Delhi’s modern culture it is well worth a look at the Lotus Temple, an astonishing monument of modern architecture. The temple’s beautiful flower-like shape and its open atmosphere as a Bahá'í House of Worship make one of the key things to see in New Delhi. For a more unusual day out, the International Dolls Museum has a very interesting (and at times a little eerie) collection of dolls from around the world, including some beautiful traditional Indian examples. If you fancy getting away from the heat of the city head to the Lodi Gardens, these luscious green gardens are home to many old and significant tombs of past rulers of Delhi.
New Delhi transport
You can fly into New Delhi via Indira Gandhi International Airport; the Delhi Airport Metro Express can then take you into the centre. The New Delhi train station is well connected to other parts of India and is very central. Once you’re in New Delhi transport around the city is an adventure. The Delhi Metro is perhaps the best way to get around as it is both fast and fairly cheap. Above ground, the streets are generally jam packed, but an auto or cycle rickshaw can be good fun for a short journey.
New Delhi Events
As the capital, New Delhi events often provide some of the grandest displays and most riotous festivities during country wide celebrations. Independence Day on 15th August is celebrated with much pageantry and the flying of kites. Diwali is a spectacular time of year in India, this religious Hindu festival of light is celebrated in the autumn between mid-October and mid-November, and you can guarantee that the city will come alive during this time. The Qutub festival is a 3 day Delhi event between November and December; it showcases traditional singing and dance.
Restaurants in New Delhi
As the capital of India, New Delhi is a food capital of the world. The area is the birthplace of Mughlai cuisine and the distinctive aroma of spices will follow you wherever you go. Search out some delicious biryani or nihari in any traditional Delhi restaurant. The fast moving capital also has an interesting range of street food. The ‘Street of Fried Bread’ in the Chandni Chowk area is well worth a visit if you’d like to taste some authentic Indian street food. There are also many high class restaurants in New Delhi, with varied cuisine from all across India.