Delhi, India’s capital city, is a tale of two halves, split into the historic walled seventeenth century Old Delhi and New Delhi, which was built by the British colony in the twentieth century. Delhi is a glorious capital city, and a melting pot of modernity, tradition, history, culture and pulsating with life.
When you walk into a hotel in India, you may be greeted with the classic warm Indian welcome of having a tikka (red dot) being placed on your forehead, and in some cases you may also be given a garland. That is just how lovely Indian hospitality is and the tikka is placed at the centre of your forehead as this spot is considered to be associated with moving the individual’s thoughts towards spirituality.
Here are my recommendations for things to do in Delhi, based on the two days that we spent in this bustling capital.
Khan Market, which was established in 1951, is a large U-shaped upscale market named after Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and is located in the South-Central part of Delhi. Here you will find a wide variety of shops, restaurants and bars.
We popped into a restaurant and bar called ‘Out of the box,’ which is spread over two floors and has a great food and cocktail menu.
The Jama Masjid is one of the oldest and largest mosques in India depicting the classic Mughal architecture. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1658 as his main worship site.
It is located in old Delhi and inherited it’s name from the word‘ Jama’ which means Friday, the holiest day for Muslims.
When visiting you will be given robes to wear but it is advisable to bring some soft slippers with you to wear. These can also be purchased from vendors outside the mosque.
If you are planning on taking photos inside the mosque you have to purchase a ticket for Rs 200 (approximately £2) for photography.
Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk
A fantastic way to get a glimpse of daily life on the bustling streets of Old Delhi is by taking a cycle rickshaw ride. It is exhilarating and you truly experience the chaos, with your rickshaw competing for space on the alleyways amongst cows, carts, crowds, motorbikes and auto rickshaws.
You will pass lots of different stores and food carts on the way too, and it was a fantastic experience to see the true Delhi.
Khari Baoli Spice Market
A visit to Khari Baoli Spice Market,which is the largest spice market in Asia, is a must and here you will find a tantalising and aromatic selection of herbs and spices ranging from dried chillies, turmeric to garam masala, each filling large sacks.
This 42 m high India Gate, resembling an “Arc-de-Triomphe” like archway in the middle of a crossroad in the centre of New Delhi commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War.
It also bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers. At the top it has “INDIA” inscribed.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
Whilst in Delhi, a visit to the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial site as well as Lodi Gardens are also recommended.
I visited Delhi as part of the ‘Golden Triangle’ tour with Somak Holidays.
If you are inspired to to visit Incredible India after reading my experience, you can find out more about Somak’s ‘Golden Triangle’ Itinerary here:
Alternatively, they have an 11-night Classical India tour that takes you on a journey to see all the highlights of northern India, as featured in The Golden Triangle tour, as well as other fantastic destinations including Varanasi.
For more details on their itineraries or to discuss a bespoke itinerary, call Simply India Holidays by Somak on 0208 423 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be delighted to help you plan your trip to Incredible India.