5 things to do in New Delhi
While you may not be able to see and do everything in one trip, here's a list of few sites you cannot miss...
Commemorating the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British army during World War I, the 42-meter-high India Gate stands like the ‘Arc-de-Triomphe, at the centre of New Delhi. While the Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of India Gate in 1921, it was designed by Edwin Lutyens and was dedicated to India 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. The eternal flame burns under the arch to remind us of the soldiers, who died in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
An iconic symbol of India, it is the place from where the Prime Minister of India delivers his speech and hoists the national flag, on Independence Day. The construction of the Red Fort or Lal Quila was commissioned by the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Located in the centre of Delhi, it was the residence of the Mughal emperors until 1857. As you enter, you will walk through a bazaar selling jewellery, carpets, wood items and more; in the days of the kings, it used to sell silk, jewellery and other requirements of the nobility. Some of the interesting things to see at the Red Fort are the hammams (royal baths), which used to have a fountain in the centre; the diwan-i-khas, where the king would hold meetings. It held the peacock throne, which was later taken away by the British.
Built in 1565 by Humayun’s senior widow Bega Begam, Humayun’s tomb is located near the crossing of Mathura and Lodhi roads. There are several graves of Mughal rulers and it is believed to be the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent. As history goes, Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor was captured by Lieutenant Hudson in 1857 from here. Don't forget to visit Isa Khan's tomb within the same premises, which is believed to have been built 20 years before Humayun's tomb.
Referred to as Swaminarayan Akshardham, the temple complex epitomises 10,000 years of Indian culture. Built in a period of five years, the temple was inaugurated in November 2005. A fusion of pink stone and white marble, it consists of 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities. Walk into the inner sanctum to a 11-ft-high murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. You can enjoy a boat ride, water show and visit the Hall of Values.
The Old City has some of the best places to eat, including Al Jawahar and Karim’s, which is known for Raan and Mughlai non-veg. For the best parathas, head to Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk. While you're there, you might want to try some of the famous Chandni Chowk street food. Stop at the Bengali market for sweets. At Greater Kailash (GK), Raju Chaat opposite Moti Mahal is a local favourite, but there are several other restaurants and street joints that will serve you regular chaat like kachoris, pani puri, ragda pattice etc., but the aloo chaat is really popular and the crispy spinach is another dish that you should try. Hauz Khas village has some of the best bars, pubs and gourmet restaurants like Rassta, Café Amour, Café Zero, OTB and Gunpowder and Elma's. If you’re a party hopper, you should be at Cyberhub in Gurgaon. Filled with resto-bars, you can relax with a few friends or dance the night away. Soi7 is a favourite amongst youngsters. With two sections, you can either order your drink and enjoy live retro, jazz, blues and country music inside or you and relax outdoors or dance to EDM. It also has a boxing ring outside.
And if you want to entertain yourself with some retail therapy, New Delhi is a paradise.
Whether its trendy office or party wear, Kolhapuri chappals, accessories or household items, Sarojini Nagar is your stop. With good stuff at reasonable rates and a chance to bargain, no wonder it's a shopaholics heaven. If you're looking to find everything under one roof, head to Cottage Industries Emporium at Janpath, where you can pick up cotton fabrics, furniture, bed spreads, herbal products, jewellery, woodcarvings, carpets and more. Swing by Connaught Place, which has the State Emporium, a foreign-tourist paradise with beautiful handicrafts, textiles, etc., representing all the states of India. If your are a brand freak, stop by Connaught Place. If you prefer hitting the malls, there are tons–Select City Walk complex in Saket and the Ambience complex in Vasant Kunj are a few you could check out.
Other places that you can visit include Qutub Minar, Jama masjid, Hazrat Gunj Darga, Purana Qila or Old Fort, Jantar Mantar, Safdarjung's Tomb, Lodhi Garden and Tomb, Mehrauli ruins, Jamali Kamali, the President's Palace or Rashtrapati Bhawan, Rajpath, Nizamuddin Dargah, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Seesh Ganj Gurudwara, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Bahai Temple.