Binny’s India Diaries: Delhi

Binny’s India Diaries: Delhi

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.

Things to do in Delhi

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

Things to do in Delhi

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.

AddressShop No-5, 1st floor, Khan Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India

Jama Masjid

Things to do in Delhi

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

Things to do in Delhi

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.

Things to do in 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.

Things to do in DelhiThings to do in Delhi

A great place to stock up on any spices and just marvel at the sheer variety on offer here!

Just outside the market, as we sheltered from a slight drizzle, this lady and her flower stall, selling flowers for both the mosque and temple, located in close proximity to each other, really struck me.

Things to do in Delhi

Marigold wreaths are popular flowers offered at temples due to their colour, as the yellow and orange marigolds symbolise the sun and light, as well as because they keep insects away, especially from any nearby food left as an offering.

                                                              Gurudwara Bangla SahibThings to do in DelhiThings to do in DelhiThings to do in Delhi

Visiting Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, one of Delhi’s most prominent Sikh Gurudwara, was quite possibly the highlight of my trip to Delhi. Here we visited the kitchen which prepares Langar, for people of all castes and backgrounds, to eat for free in the Langar hall. Here they feed approximately 25,000-30,000 people on weekdays and up to an incredible 45,000 on weekends.
Things to do in Delhi
Every day around 700 kilos of daal, 250-300 kilos of rice, 1,000 kilos of vegetables and up to 100,000 rotis are prepared by volunteers in massive cooking vessels to feed people from all races, religions and backgrounds. Everyone is welcome and everyone is equal here when sat together to eat.
It was just such an incredible act of kindness to witness and see and I highly recommend visiting.
Things to do in Delhi
As you walk around the Gurudwara, you will come across a pool of holy water called Sarovar, which is thought to possess healing properties and so you may see some people collecting the water.

 India Gate

Things to do in Delhi

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.

Additional suggestions

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.

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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:

The Golden Triangle

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.

Classical India Tour

For more details on their itineraries or to discuss a bespoke itinerary, call Simply India Holidays by Somak on 0208 423 3000 or email india@somak.co.uk and they will be delighted to help you plan your trip to Incredible India.

https://www.somak.com/

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Binita Shah-Patel

Hi, I’m Binny – a writer, dreamer, serial wanderluster and travel addict. I am originally from Kenya but now live in London. I set up this blog to share my experiences eating out as well as travelling.

I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way.

It’s my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

8 Comments

  1. October 13, 2018 / 7:56 am

    Delhi is such a cacophony of experiences. I loved your trip to the Guradwara. My last trip was a bery long tome ago.

  2. October 13, 2018 / 8:29 am

    Wow what an experience of such a colourful city! I’ll be using this as my guide when I make it out there. Loved all the cultural experiences as well as the markets.

  3. October 15, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    What a magical trip, it must have been so special to visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, cant believe the size of the wok!

  4. October 17, 2018 / 9:09 am

    What wonderfully diverse experiences! What a fascinating place!

  5. October 24, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    What an amazing experience! I didn’t get to visit Bangla Sahib and wish I had…but I totally loved my time in the bustle of Chandni Chowk, that was very special!

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