Delhi is the capital of India and the third largest city of India. The vast urban sprawl of contemporary Delhi is, in fact, a conglomeration of several distinct enclaves, chief among which are Old Delhi, with its 16th and 17th century Mughal-built monuments and congested souk-like bazaars; and New Delhi with its wide avenues, grand vistas and colonial mansions, built by the British in the 1930s as their imperial capital. New Delhi has government buildings and also houses the Diplomatic Enclave where all the embassies are located.
Delhi Quick facts
Delhi Geography and Climate
Geography : Delhi is located at 28°61′N, 77°23′E, and lies in northern India. It borders the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh on East and Haryana on West, North and South. Delhi lies almost entirely in the Gangetic plains. Climate : Climate in Delhi is very much extreme in nature with weather being too chilly during winters and too hot during summers. During winters, Delhi experiences cold wave due to the influence of disturbances from hilly states like Uttranchal and Himachal Pradesh. A typical winter morning is very foggy with thick layer of smog all around.
Best time to visit Delhi
The spring season is one of the best time to visit Delhi. The spring period of February to March and September to November is the perfect time to visit Delhi. Where to stay: Some of the five star hotels located in Delhi are Ashok Hotel (Tel: +91-11-600121, Fax: 6873216), Hotel Oberoi (Tel: 4363030, Fax: 4360484),Connaught Place Hotel (Tel: 3344225, Fax: 3310757)and Taj Mahal Hotel (Tel: 3016162, Fax: 3017299).
Survey of India recognises 175 monuments in Delhi as national heritage sites. The Old City is the site where the Mughals and the Turkic rulers constructed several architectural marvels like the Jama Masjid (India's largest mosque) and Red Fort. Three World Heritage Sites?the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun's Tomb?are located in Delhi. Other monuments include the India Gate, the Jantar Mantar (an 18th century astronomical observatory) and the Purana Qila (a 16th century fortress). Raj Ghat and associated memorials houses memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and other notable personalities. New Delhi houses several government buildings and official residences reminiscent of the British colonial architecture. Important structures include the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Secretariat, Rajpath, the Parliament of India and Vijay Chowk.
Delhi Near Getaways
Haider Quli Khan's Gateway : Location: Near the Fatehpuri Masjid in one of the alleys of the main Chandni Chowk Road. Haider Quli Khan built this imposing entrance gateway along with his sprawling palace in Chandni Chowk. The gateway made up of sandstone led to his large beautiful palace and garden, which was destroyed in the coming years. At present, there is no sign of the palace in the area and the gateway too is in a very dilapidated condition. The ruins of Haider Quli Khan's Gateway can be found just near the Fatehpuri Masjid in one of the alleys of the main Chandni Chowk Road.
Located on the banks of river Yamuna, Delhi consists of New Delhi (the national capital) and Old Delhi. Delhi has nine revenue districts, namely New Delhi, Old Delhi, Central Delhi, South Delhi, South West Delhi, North Delhi, East Delhi, West Delhi, North West Delhi. It is home to over 15 million of people and India third largest city after Kolkata and Mumbai.
How to reach Delhi by Road
Buses are operated by state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)runs regularly to various cities that connect to Delhi.
How to reach Delhi by Rail
Trains arrive at one of three main stations: Delhi Junction, also called Old Delhi or Purani Dilli, the second at New Delhi which lies in Central Delhi, and one at Hazrat Nizamuddin a few kilometers to the south. Rail based transport in the city has started to gain-popularity with the introduction of Delhi Metro. Ring-Railway, which runs parallel to the Ring-Road system is another rail-based intra-city transport facility in Delhi.
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How to reach Delhi by Air
Delhi and Mumbai are the main cities used for international travel. The nearest Domestic Airport is Chandigarh and the nearest International Airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Chandigarh is a 50 minutes flight from Delhi.
Delhi Festivals and culture
Throughout the year Delhi remains alive with cheerful celebrations. Delhi is home to almost the same fairs and festivals, which are celebrated in other parts of the country. Lohri: (January) Lohri is a winter festival which marks the peak of winter and celebrated with burning bonfires, singing and dancing. Dussehra: This festival is associated with the vanquishing of the demon Ravana by Rama. It is a ten day long festival, usually celebrated in the months of September/October. Dussehra celebrations include performances of the Ram Lila (life of Rama). Apart from religous festivals, national festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day etc,. are celebrated in Delhi at Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan etc,. with military parade and flag hoisting.
People from different corners of the country have come and made Delhi their home. The culture of Delhi, thus, is liberal and tolerable. Delhi has this uncanny habit of blending itself with different cultures without losing its own color. Makar Sakranti is a major harvest festival of India. This festival is not only celebrated in Delhi, but in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and AndhraPradesh also. Apart from this Christmas, Ramzan, etc, are also celebrated, which marks the city famous for different religions with different cultural background. National Festivals at Delhi celebrated with in a full swing mood: Republic Day, a week of celebration kicks off on 26 January, with a military parade along Rajpath. A guard of honor stands to attention at Raj Ghat on Martyr's Day, 30 January, to commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
Delhi Religious Places
Jami Masjid : This Grand Mosque, with three imposing black and white marble domes,and twin minarets framing its great central arch, was built in 1656 by the Emperor Shah Jahan, on a natural mound. It took six years and 5,000 workers to construct, at a cost of nearly a million rupees. A magnificent flight of sandstone steps leads to the great arched entrances. In Aurangzeb's time, the area attracted horse sellers adn jugglers; today, shoe minders and beggars mill around. The huge 28-m (92-ft) square courtyard can accomodate up to 20,000 people at Friday prayer sessions and at Id, when it looks like a sea of worshippers. Lakshmi Narayan Mandir : It is located at Mandir Marg, New Delhi. Best Time To Visit : Janamashtami, Deepawali. Built in 1938 by the industrialist BD Birla, this was one of the earliest Indian temples without caste restrictions, and Mahatma Gandhi attended its first puja. A fairly typical example of modern Indian temple architecture, with its marble entrance and ochre and maroon shikharas(spires), the Birla Mandir, as it is popularly known, has images of Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi in its main shrine.
Jantar Manter : It is situated at Parliament Street, very close to Connaught Place. Jantar Mantar is also called Delhi Observatory. It is maintained by the Jaipur government because it was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1710 A.D. It is a remarkable structure which consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extraterrestrial altitude. All these devices are fixed structures and point to a specific direction. The largest device or instrument is the Samrat Jantar which is 90 feet high and its shadow is plotted in such a manner so that it shows the exact time of the day. Any weather change or the onset of monsoons can be ascertained by the Hindu Chhatri, which is a small domed structure. Humayun's tomb : Humayun's tomb was added to Unesco's World Heritage List in 1993. Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, is buried in this tomb, the first great example of a Mughal garden tomb, and inspiration for several later monuments, such as the incomparable Taj Mahal. Built in 1565 by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, it was commissioned by Humayun's senior widow, Haji Begum. Often called "a dormitory of the House of Timur", the graves in its chambers include Humayun's wives and Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan's scholarly son. Also in the complex are the octagonal tomb and mosque of Isa Khan, a 16th century nobleman, and the tomb of Humayun's favourite barber. The Arab ki Saraj was a rest house for the Persian masons who built the tomb.
Delhi Entertainment and Night Life
Damdama Lake 42 Kms from Delhi. Water banks is an island in the Damdama Lake, 42 kms from Delhi. The resort has 15 ethnically village style independent cottages with modern luxuries all facing the beautiful environs of Damdama Lake. Only reached by boats. Here, there are number of activities, some of which include rowing/boating, fishing, nature walks in the nearby Aravali mountain ranges, indoor/outdoor games like golf putting/volley ball, table tennis, Burma bridge, Tarzans swing, Spider?s web, ditch, barrel crossing, rock climbing & a fun obstacle course.
When compared to Bangalore and Mumbai, Nightlife in Delhi is not that much exiciting as attaining alcohol license is a little tough. A few popular bars of Delhi are Rodeo bar and Pegasus bar at Connaught Place. This place is quite popular hangout place for party lovers.
Kidding around Delhi
Children's Park: Located near India Gate, this park has swings, slides and an aquarium. India Gate Lawns: Beautiful green lawns over a large area, a popular evening location this park is good for picnic. Ice cream and other snacks available from mobile vendors.
The historical Chandni Chowk attracts a large number of traders and businessmen. The varieties of goods including garments, motor parts, jewelleries, books and stationeries, and a large number of other goods tempts the tourists who can spend the whole day in shopping.
Famous To Eat at Delhi
New Delhi restaurants serve a wide variety of cuisines ranging from Indian to Chinese to Mughlai to Thai to Continental. A tour to Old Delhi cannot be complete without a lunch at the Karim's restaurant. Taste the delicious food enjoyed by the Mughal Rulers. Chandini Chowk is still revered as the best place to sample foods from the Mughlai cuisine. Take back salty snacks or namkeens from places like Haldiram?s or Bikaner?s in Chandini Chowk.
Delhi Museum and Hill Stations
There are many museums in Delhi city to which you can go to experience the culture of Delhi for yourself. Some of the museums, which are definitely worth paying a visit to, are Crafts Museum, National Museum, and Nehru Museum. The National Rail Museum : This museum encapsulates the history of Indian railways. Steam locomotive enthusiasts will appreciate the collection that traces the development of the Indian railways from 1853, when the first 34 km (21 miles) of railway between Bombay (now Mumbai) and Thane was laid. The wealth of memorabilia on display includes the skull of an elephant that collided with a mail train at Golkara in 1894, and a realistic model of an 1868 first-class passenger coach with separate compartments for accompanying servants. A "toy train" offers rides around the compound, and the shop sells a range of model locomotives. The Crafts Museum : It is situated at Pragati Maidan area of New Delhi. Established in 1956 with an aim to showcase and promote the works of native artisans, it had over 20,000 objects on display by early 1980s. The museum has been subdivided into several specialized galleries, including the Tribal and Rural Craft Gallery, Gallery of Courtly Crafts, Textile Gallery and Gallery of Popular Culture. National Museum : Located at New Delhi, near India Gate. This museum was the brainchild of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. He himself laid the foundation stone of this museum in the year 1955 but sadly, passed away before it was opened for the public in the year 1965. Five Millennia of Indian History can be explored at the National Museum, with its collection of nearly 200,000 pieces of Indian art. The museum's collection of Harappan (Indus Valley) relics and Central Asian treasures from the Silk Route is considered among the finest in the world.
Gardens and Parks at Delhi
Lodi Gardens : Lodi Gardens is one of Delhi's most favourite haunt of joggers, yoga enthusiasts, political bigwigs accompanied by their bodyguards, and families who come to picnic on weekends. The park acts as a "green lung" for the people of Delhi. This garden is known for its fountains, ponds, flowering trees, blossoming shrubs and artificial streams. In these well-maintained gardens are the domed tombs of Sayyid and Lodi rulers. In the middle of the garden is Bara Gumbad (Big Dome), a mosque built in 1494 and a guest house. The garden has Sheesh Gumbad (Glass Dome), Mohammad Shah's Tomb and Sikander Lodi's tomb.
Lake at Delhi
There are no sea beaches in Delhi city. But, there are several lakes in Delhi where you can relax. Surajkund Lake: This lake is actually a reservoir that was used to store water during the reign of Tomar Rajputs. The lake remains dry during summers but is filled with water in monsoons. This lake is very popular among tourists because of the crafts fair that takes place on its banks in the month of February, every year. Bhalswa Lake: It is situated in the northeast of Delhi city. This lake has a sports and leisure complex situated in it. You can take a ride in pedal boats, kayaks, speed boats here. You can also indulge in a little fishing. Hovercraft and water scooters can also be rented at this lake.
Delhi Travel Tips
ATM networks of major banks can be found at any location within Delhi. So, it better Debit or Credit cards instead of carrying cash all the time. It is advisable to keep all your valuables like jewelry and passport in a safe place of your hotel room. Never follow the advice of taxi or cab drivers regarding your stay and travel in the city. Always take assistance from "May I Help You" counter and other assistance cell of the government like Delhi Tourism, DTC, etc. Avoid mixing with unknown person and don't have faith in what they tell or inform you. In case of any assistance, you must visit the Delhi Police PCR Vans, which can be found at any corner of the city. Also, you can dial 100 from anywhere in Delhi in order to register complaints.
Delhi Tourist Offices
The Government of India Tourist Office 88, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110 001, India Phone : +(91)-(11)-332 0005 New Delhi Railway Station: Tel :- 011-23732374 (7 am to 9 pm) Old Delhi Railway Station: Tel :- 011-23961083 (7 am to 9 pm) Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal-II Tel :- 25691213, 25652021 Extn. 2136 Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport, Terminal I: Tel :- 011-25665609, 25665126 Extn.2297 Connaught Place: N-36,Middle Circle, New Delhi-110 001 Tel. : 011-23315322, 23314229, 23730416 Fax : 011-23313637 Open : Everyday, 7 am to 9 pm.
Some of the ICICI ATM CENTERS at Delhi: Apollo Hospital, Sarita Vihar, Delhi-Mathura Road, New Delhi NEW DELHI , 110044 1486, Chandni Chowk, Near Moti Cinema, Delhi NEW DELHI , 110006 ICICI Bank Ltd., Delhi University Campus, (North Campus), Registrar Office, Mall Road, New Delhi NEW DELHI , 141001
Must do at Delhi
New Delhi is the home of many governmental buildings including the Parliamnet House, the Supreme Court and the famous Rashtrapati Bhawan. Besides, there are a large number of consulates and embassies of different countries. The famous India Gate built to honour the martyrs of the Afghan War is a great attraction that is a must see for the tourists.