Welcome to Delhi - the heart of India. Fondly pronounced as Dilli, she is a symbol of the country’s rich past and it’s thriving present. Delhi is a city where ancient and modern blend seamlessly together. It is a place that will not only touche pulse but even will fasten it to a frenetic speed. Home to millions, the city takes on an unprecedented responsibility of realizing their dreams.
Founded as Shahjahanabad in 1639, Delhi is a city that has been repeatedly ravaged and reborn, with vestiges of lost empires in almost every neighbourhood. The seat of many powerful empires in the past, its long history can be traced in its many carefully-preserved monuments, ancient forts and tombs.
Just a century ago, the British moved the seat of their empire from Kolkata to Delhi and it has been the Capital of India ever since. Now a thriving, cosmopolitan metro, the city has much to celebrate as it has already reached the milestone of completing 100 years as a Capital.
If you wish to time travel, come to Delhi. Step aboard the stylish and efficient Delhi Metro (your time machine) and travel from the past era of Old Delhi, where labourers haul sacks of spices and jewellers weigh gold on dusty scales, to the present and modern New Delhi, with its colonial-era parliament buildings and penchant for high tea. Once in present, embark on the future journey to neighbouring Gurgaon, a satellite city of sky-scraping offices and glitzy malls.
Delhi is a microcosm of India inhabiting people across all cultures and religions, which has a big impact on the lifestyle and food. From the world cuisines available in posh restaurants to the much-cherished local roadside delicacies, Delhi is a place to indulge the taste buds to its best.
The ‘happening’ aspect of Delhi comes to life when the unadventurous mass of the world has gone to sleep, and the streets are empty. The Delhi nightlife is known for one of the best party cultures in India and there are spots for photography, stargazing, ghost walks and so much more to discover!
Delhi is thus a melting pot of cultural experiences which maintains a globalized flavour with a localized secret ingredient bringing everyone together.
Top sights in Delhi:
Qutub Minar Complex - Delhi
1. Mehrauli Archaeological Park
2. Humayun’s Tomb
3. Red Fort
5. Raj Ghat
6. Qutb Minar Complex
8. Akshardham Temple
9. Rajpath & India Gate
10. Bahai House of Worship
Shopping in Delhi:
Dilli Haat - Delhi
Delhi is known for both branded shopping as well as the street market culture, selling everything from handicrafts and clothing to accessories and jewellery — along with pretty much anything else one can think of from across India's 29 states. In fact, the best markets in the city offer so many things to discover that it will takes to browse through and buy. It’s a shoppers’ paradise.
List of some of the best markets:
Getting Around in Delhi:
Delhi Tuk - tuks or Autos - Delhi
Delhi is a huge city, so it’s neither practical nor pleasant to try to walk around it on foot, although some areas such as Old Delhi can mostly be covered without transport. It is very safe to walk around the city during the day, but one should be a bit careful going out after dark alone.
Tuk-tuks or Autos and rickshaws are a fun way to see the city and get to know the locals as you go and can be picked up almost anywhere.
Taxis will mostly need to be booked in advance through the hotel or through mobile app of Uber or other radio cab companies.
The Delhi Metro is the best option, offering cheap, fast and regular service covering almost the entire city. There is also metro service that runs from Indira Gandhi Airport to New Delhi Railway Station, with several stops in between, that departs every 20 minutes. The first coach is usually reserved for women. The metro is fully air-conditioned and very safe to travel on.
Eating in Delhi:
Mughlai Food – Delhi
Delhi is considered as the food capital of India and no doubt has the best food available. Some of the best Mughalai curries, chaat (vegetarian street food), international restaurants and cuisines from all over India have made their way to Delhi over the ages. Delhi is a paradise for non-vegetarians, but vegetarians and vegans will also love Delhi food given the range of choices available.
The best ways to immerse in the culinary delights is to make some local friends and get them to take you to their favourite places, take the Delhi food walking tours or follow top food bloggers on Delhi.
Staying in Delhi:
Paharjung - Delhi
From luxurious 5-star hotels to cheap backpacker hostels, guesthouses and budget hotels, Delhi offers a place to stay to all travellers of every budget.
Delhi is both ancient and modern. The city’s an exquisite mix of cosmopolitan culture and old world Anglo Indian charms along with a vivid taste of monarchical India. It is a unique destination which unravels something new, every time it is visited. This eternal city still has many hidden treasures and places yet to be discovered.
Welcome to the heart of India.
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Antara for Stay Planet