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Delhi
From top clockwise: Lotus Temple, Humayun's Tomb, Connaught Place, Akshardham Temple, and India Gate
Delhi
Location of Delhi in India
Coordinates 28°36′36″N 77°13′48″E / 28.61°N 77.23°E / 28.61; 77.23
Country  India
Territory Delhi
Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit
Mayor Kanwar Sain
Legislature (seats) Unicameral (70)
Population
Density
Metro
13782976[1] (2nd) (2001)
11,463 /km2 (29,689 /sq mi)
15.9 million[2] (2007)
Official languages English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
1484 km2 (573 sq mi)
239 m (784 ft)[3]
Website delhigovt.nic.in
Seal of Delhi

Delhi, known locally as Dilli (Hindi: दिल्ली dillī, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ, Urdu: دِہلی dihlī), and by the official name National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest metropolis by population in India. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with more than 12.25 million inhabitants in the territory and with over 15.9 million residents in the National Capital Region area (which also includes Noida, Gurgaon, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad).[2] The name Delhi is often also used to include some urban areas near the NCT, as well as to refer to New Delhi, the capital of India, which lies within the metropolis. The NCT is a federally administered union territory.

Located on the banks of the River Yamuna, Delhi has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BCE.[4] After the rise of the Delhi Sultanate, Delhi emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial city along the trade routes between northwest India and the Indo-Gangetic plains.[5][6] It is the site of many ancient and medieval monuments, archaeological sites and remains. In 1639, Mughal emperor Shahjahan built a new walled city in Delhi which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857.[7][8]

After the British East India Company had gained control of much of India during the 18th and 19th centuries, Calcutta became the capital both under Company rule and under the British Raj, until George V announced in 1911 that it was to move back to Delhi. A new capital city, New Delhi, was built to the south of the old city during the 1920s.[9] When India gained independence from British rule in 1947, New Delhi was declared its capital and seat of government. As such, New Delhi houses important offices of the federal government, including the Parliament of India, as well as numerous national museums, monuments, and art galleries.

Owing to the migration of people from across the country, Delhi has grown to be a multicultural, cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Delhi.[10] Today, Delhi is a major cultural, political, and commercial center of India.

Contents

Etymology

The etymology of "Delhi" is uncertain, but many possibilities exist. The most common view is that its eponym is Dhillu or Dilu, a king of the Mauryan dynasty, who built the city in 50 BCE and named it after himself.[11][12][13] The Hindi/Prakrit word dhili ("loose") was used by the Tuar Rajputs to refer to the city because the Iron Pillar built by Raja Dhava had a weak foundation and was replaced.[13] The coins in circulation in the region under the Rajputs were called dehliwal.[14] Some other historians believe that the name is derived from Dilli, a corruption of dehleez or dehali—Hindi for 'threshold'—and symbolic of city as a gateway to the Indo-Gangetic Plains.[15] Another theory suggests that the city's original name was Dhillika.[16]

History

At 72.5 m (238 ft), the Qutub Minar is the world's tallest free-standing brick minaret.[17]
Built in 1560, Humayun's Tomb is the first example of Mughal tomb complexes.[18]
Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the location from which the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on Independence Day

Human habitation was probably present in and around Delhi during the second millennium BCE and before,[19] and continuous inhabitation has been evidenced since at least the 6th century BCE.[4] The city is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, legendary capital of the Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata.[12] Settlements grew from the time of the Mauryan Empire (c. 300 BCE).[19] Remains of seven major cities have been discovered in Delhi. The Tomara dynasty founded the city of Lal Kot in 736 CE. The Chauhan Rajputs of Ajmer conquered Lal Kot in 1180 CE and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora. The Chauhan king Prithviraj III was defeated in 1192 by the Afghan Muhammad Ghori.[12] In 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty established the Delhi Sultanate. Qutb-ud-din started the construction the Qutub Minar and Quwwat-al-Islam (might of Islam), the earliest extant mosque in India.[12][20] After the fall of the Slave dynasty, a succession of Turkic and Afghan dynasties, the Khilji dynasty, the Tughluq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty and the Lodhi dynasty held power in the late medieval period, and built a sequence of forts and townships that are part of the seven cities of Delhi.[21] In 1398, Timur Lenk invaded India on the pretext that the Muslim sultans of Delhi were too lenient towards their Hindu subjects. Timur entered Delhi and the city was sacked, destroyed, and left in ruins.[22] Delhi was a major centre of Sufism during the Sultanate period.[23] In 1526, Zahiruddin Babur defeated the last Lodhi sultan in the First Battle of Panipat and founded the Mughal Empire that ruled from Delhi, Agra and Lahore.[12]

The Mughal Empire ruled northern India for more than three centuries, with a sixteen-year hiatus during the reign of Sher Shah Suri, from 1540 to 1556.[24] During 1553–1556, Hemu Vikramaditya acceded to the throne of Delhi by defeating forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar at Agra and Delhi. However, the Mughals reestablished their rule after Akbar's army defeated Hemu during the Second Battle of Panipat.[25][26][27] Shah Jahan built the seventh city of Delhi that bears his name (Shahjahanabad), and is more commonly known as the "Old City" or "Old Delhi". The old city served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1638. After 1680, the Mughal Empire's influence declined rapidly as the Hindu Marathas rose to prominence.[28] A weakened Mughal Empire lost the Battle of Karnal following which the victorious forces of Nader Shah invaded and looted Delhi, carrying away many treasures, including the Peacock Throne.[29] A treaty signed in 1752 made Marathas the protector of the Mughal throne at Delhi.[30] In 1761, after the Marathas lost the third battle of Panipat, Delhi was raided by Ahmed Shah Abdali. In 1803, the forces of British East India Company overran the Maratha forces near Delhi and ended the Mughal rule over the city.[31]

After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Delhi came under direct rule of the British crown and was made a district province of the Punjab.[12] In 1911, the capital of British India was transferred from Calcutta to Delhi, following which a team of British architects led by Edwin Lutyens designed a new political and administrative area, known as New Delhi, to house the government buildings. New Delhi, also known as Lutyens' Delhi, was officially declared as the capital of the Union of India after the country gained independence on 15 August 1947.

During the partition of India, thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees from West Punjab and Sindh fled to Delhi, while many Muslim residents of the city migrated to Pakistan. Starting on October 31, 1984, approximately three thousand Sikhs were killed during the four-day long anti-Sikh riots after the Sikh body guards of then-Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, assassinated her. Migration to Delhi from the rest of India continues, contributing more to the rise of Delhi's population than the birth rate, which is declining.[32]

The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi.[33] The Act gave Delhi its own legislative assembly, though with limited powers.[33] In December 2001, the Parliament of India building in New Delhi was attacked by armed militants resulting in the death of six security personnel.[34] India suspected the hand of Pakistan-based militant groups in the attacks resulting in a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.[35] Delhi again witnessed terrorist attacks in October 2005 and September 2008 resulting in the deaths of 62[36] and 30[37] civilians respectively.

Geography

River Yamuna near Delhi
Lightning strikes near India Gate, New Delhi. Delhi receives much of its rainfall during the monsoon season which lasts from July to August

The National Capital Territory of Delhi is spread over an area of 1,484 km2 (573 sq mi) , of which 783 km2 (302 sq mi) is designated rural, and 700 km2 (270 sq mi) urban. Delhi has a maximum length of 51.9 km (32 mi) and the maximum width of 48.48 km (30 mi). There are three local bodies (statutory towns) namely, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (area is 1,397.3 km2 or 540 sq mi), New Delhi Municipal Committee (42.7 km2 or 16 sq mi) and Delhi Cantonment Board (43 km2 or 17 sq mi).[38]

Delhi is an expansive area, in its extremity it spans from Narela in the north to Badarpur in the south. Najafgarh is the furthest point west, and Seemapuri is its eastern extremity. Places like Shahdara and Bhajanpura are its eastern ends and are one of major shopping centres in Delhi. The NCR encompasses points south and east of the said border, namely Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon.

Oddly, the main expanse of Delhi does not follow a specific geographical features (for example, converse to London, which centered on the Thames, has its northern limit at its first Hill, Hampstead Heath, and its southern limit at the river, similarly its western limit is the bottom of a basin – Paddington) The main city area of Delhi does not end until Saket in the South, whilst the northern limit is easily Jahangirpuri, and the western limit is easily Janakpuri-Dwarka. The terrain of Delhi is widely erratic. It changes from plain agricultural fields in the north to dry, arid hills (an offshoot of the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan) in the south. There used to be large natural lakes in the southern part of the city, but most of them have dried up due to mining. The city is bordered by river Yamuna, that separates the, although there is a good connectivity between them, with a number of bridges and the Metro subway, areas east of the river. The majority of the city, including New Delhi, lies west of the river.

Delhi is located at 28°37′N 77°14′E / 28.61°N 77.23°E / 28.61; 77.23, 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. Two prominent features of the geography of Delhi are the Yamuna flood plain and the Delhi ridge. The low-lying Yamuna flood plains provide fertile alluvial soil suitable for agriculture. However, these plains are prone to recurrent floods. Reaching up to a height of 318 m (1,043 ft),[39] the ridge forms the most dominating feature in this region. It originates from the Aravalli Range in the south and encircles the west, northeast and northwest parts of the city. Yamuna, a sacred river in Hinduism, is the only major river flowing through Delhi. Another river called the Hindon River separates Ghaziabad from the eastern part of Delhi. Delhi falls under seismic zone-IV, making it vulnerable to major earthquakes],although earthquakes are not so common in Delhi.[40] Delhi has the third highest tree-cover among cities in India.[41]

Climate

Delhi features an atypical version of a humid subtropical climate, with long very hot summers and brief mild winters. Summers are long and extremely hot, from early April to mid-October, with the monsoon season in between. Beginning of March sees a reversal in the direction of wind, from the north-western direction, to the south-western. These bring the hot waves from Rajasthan, carrying sand and are a characteristic of the Delhi summer. These are called loo. The months of March to May see a time of hot prickling heat. Monsoon arrives at the end of June, bringing some respite from the heat, but increasing humidity at the same time. Winter starts in late November and peaks in January and is notorious for its heavy fog.[42] Extreme temperatures range from −0.6 °C (30.9 °F) to 44.5 °C (112.1 °F).[43] The annual mean temperature is 25 °C (77 °F); monthly mean temperatures range from 13 °C to 32 °C (56 °F to 90 °F).[44] The average annual rainfall is approximately 714 mm (28.1 inches), most of which is during the [monsoons in July and August.[12] The average date of the advent of monsoon winds in Delhi is 29 June.[45]

Civic administration

As of July 2007, the National Capital Territory of Delhi comprises nine districts, 27 tehsils, 59 census towns, 165 villages and three statutory towns – the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD); the New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC); and the Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB).[47]

Map showing the nine districts of Delhi

The Delhi metropolitan area lies within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). The NCT has three local municipal corporations: Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment Board. MCD is one of the largest municipal corporations in the world providing civic amenities to an estimated 13.78 million people.[48] The capital of India, New Delhi, falls under the administration of NDMC. The chairperson of the NDMC is appointed by the Government of India in consultation with the Chief Minister of Delhi.[citation needed]

Delhi has four major satellite cities, which lie outside the National Capital Territory of Delhi. These are Gurgaon and Faridabad (in Haryana), and New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) and Ghaziabad, in Uttar Pradesh. Delhi is divided into nine districts. Each district (division) is headed by a Deputy Commissioner and has three subdivisions. A Subdivision Magistrate heads each subdivision. All Deputy Commissioners report to the Divisional Commissioner. The District Administration of Delhi is the enforcing department for all kinds of State and Central Government policies and exercises supervisory powers over numerous other functionaries of the Government.[citation needed]

The Delhi High Court has jurisdiction over Delhi. Delhi also has lower courts: the Small Causes Court for civil cases, and the Sessions Court for criminal cases. The Delhi Police, headed by the Police Commissioner, is one of the largest metropolitan police forces in the world.[49] Delhi is administratively divided into nine police-zones, which are further subdivided into 95 local police stations.[50]

Government and politics

The North Block, built in 1931 during the British Raj, houses key government offices

Earlier known as a special union territory, the National Capital Territory of Delhi has its own Legislative Assembly, Lieutenant Governor, Council of Ministers and Chief Minister. The legislative assembly seats are filled by direct election from territorial constituencies in the NCT. However, the Union Government of India and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi jointly administer New Delhi. New Delhi, a city in Delhi, is the seat of both the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Government of India.[citation needed]

While services like transport and others are taken care of by the Delhi government, services such as the police are directly under the control of the Central Government.[51] The legislative assembly was re-established in 1993 for the first time since 1956, with direct federal rule in the span. In addition, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) handles civic administration for the city as part of the Panchayati Raj act. New Delhi, an urban area in Delhi, is the seat of both the State Government of Delhi and the Government of India. The Parliament of India, the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace) and the Supreme Court of India are located in New Delhi. There are 70 assembly constituencies and seven Lok Sabha (Indian parliament's lower house) constituencies in Delhi.[52][53]

Delhi was a traditional stronghold of the Indian National Congress, also known as the Congress Party. In the 1990s, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Madan Lal Khurana came into power; however in 1998, Congress regained power under Sheila Dixit, the incumbent Chief Minister. The Congress retained power in the Legislative Assembly in the 2003 and 2008 elections.[citation needed]

Economy

Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place, an important economic and cultural center. Delhi registered an economic growth rate of 16% in 2006–07[54]

With an estimated net State Domestic Product (FY 2007) of Rs. 1,182 billion (US$24.5 billion) in nominal terms and Rs. 3,364 billion (US$69.8 billion) in PPP terms,[54][55] Delhi is the largest commercial center in northern India.[56] In 2007, Delhi had a per capita income of Rs. 66,728 (US$1,450) at current prices, the third highest in India after Chandigarh and Goa as of 2006-07.[57] The tertiary sector contributes 70.95% of Delhi's gross SDP followed by secondary and primary sectors with 25.2% and 3.85% contribution respectively.[55] Delhi's workforce constitutes 32.82% of the population showing an increase of 52.52% between 1991 and 2001.[58] Delhi's unemployment rate decreased from 12.57% in 1999–2000 to 4.63% in 2003.[58] In December 2004, 636,000 people were registered with various employment exchange programmes in Delhi.[58]

Gurgaon is an important economic hub in the National Capital Region.

In 2001 the total workforce in all government (union and state) and quasi-government sector was 620,000. In comparison, the organised private sector employed 219,000.[58] Key service industries include information technology, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media and tourism.[59] Delhi's manufacturing industry has also grown considerably as many consumer goods industries have established manufacturing units and headquarters in and around Delhi. Delhi's large consumer market, coupled with the easy availability of skilled labour, has attracted foreign investment in Delhi. In 2001, the manufacturing sector employed 1,440,000 workers while the number of industrial units was 129,000.[60] Construction, power, telecommunications, health and community services, and real estate form integral parts of Delhi's economy. Delhi has India's largest and one of the fastest growing retail industries.[61] As a result, land prices are booming and Delhi is currently ranked the 7th most expensive office hotspot in the world, with prices at $145.16 per square foot.[62] As in the rest of India, the fast growth of retail is expected to affect the traditional unorganized retail trading system.[63]

Utility services

The headquarters of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). On the foreground is Jantar Mantar.

The water supply in Delhi is managed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). As of 2006, it supplied 650 MGD (million gallons per day) of water, while the water demand for 2005–06 was estimated to be 963 MGD.[64] The rest of the demand is met by private and public tube wells and hand pumps. At 240 MGD, the Bhakra storage is the largest water source for DJB, followed by river Yamuna and Ganges.[64] With falling groundwater level and rising population density, Delhi faces severely acute water shortage. Delhi daily produces 8000 tonnes of solid wastes which is dumped at three landfill sites by MCD.[65] The daily domestic waste water production is 470 MGD and industrial waste water is 70 MGD.[66] A large portion of the sewerage flows untreated into the river Yamuna.[66]

The city's per capita electricity consumption is about 1,265 kWh but actual demand is much more.[67] In 1997, Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) replaced Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking which was managed by the MCD. The DVB itself cannot generate adequate power to meet the city's demand and borrows power from India's Northern Region Grid. As a result, Delhi faces a power shortage resulting in frequent blackouts and brownouts, especially during the summer season when energy demand is at its peak. Several industrial units in Delhi rely on their own electrical generators to meet their electric demand and for back up during Delhi's frequent and disruptive power cuts. A few years ago, the power sector in Delhi was handed over to private companies. The distribution of electricity is carried out by companies run by Tata Power and Reliance Energy. The Delhi Fire Service runs 43 fire stations that attend about 15,000 fire and rescue calls per year.[68]

State-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and private enterprises like Vodafone Essar, Airtel, Idea cellular, Reliance Infocomm, and Tata Indicom provide telephone and cell phone service to the city. In May 2008, Airtel alone had approximately 4 million cellular subscribers in Delhi.[69] Cellular coverage is extensive, and both GSM and CDMA (from Reliance and Tata Indicom) services are available. Affordable broadband internet penetration is increasing in the city.[70]

Transport

The Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the busiest airports in South Asia.[71] Shown here is Terminal 1D of the airport.
The Delhi Metro has an average ridership of 900,000 commuters per day and runs at an operational profit.[72]
The DTC operates the world's largest fleet of CNG buses.[73]

Public transport in Delhi is provided by buses, auto rickshaws and a metro rail system.

Buses are the most popular means of transport catering to about 60% of the total demand.[74] The state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is a major bus service provider for the city. The DTC operates the world's largest fleet of environment-friendly CNG buses.[75] A Bus rapid transit network runs between Ambedkar Nagar and Delhi Gate.

The Delhi Metro, a mass rapid transit system built and operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), serves many parts of Delhi as well as the satellite city of Noida in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. As of 2009, the metro consists of three lines with a total length of 90 km (56 mi) and 78 stations while several other lines are under construction.[76] Line 1 runs between Rithala and Shahdara, Line 2 runs between Jahangirpuri and the Central Secretariat and Line 3 runs between Dwarka Sector 9 and Noida City Centre. Phase-II of the network is under construction and will have a total length of 128 km. It is expected to be completed by 2010.[77] The Phase-I was built at a cost of US$2.3 billion and the Phase-II will cost an additional US$4.3 billion.[78] Phase-III and IV will be completed by 2015 and 2020 respectively, creating a network spanning 413.8 km, longer than that of the London Underground.[79]

Auto rickshaws are a popular means of public transportation in Delhi, as they charge a lower fare than taxis. Most run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and are yellow and green in colour. Taxis are not an integral part of Delhi public transport, though they are easily available. Private operators operate most taxis, and most neighborhoods have a taxi stand from which taxis can be ordered or picked up. In addition, air-conditioned radio taxis, which can be ordered by calling a central number, have become increasingly popular, charging a flat rate of Rs. 15 per kilometre.

Delhi is a major junction in the rail map of India and is the headquarters of the Northern Railway. The five main railway stations are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi, Nizamuddin Railway Station, Anand Vihar Railway Terminal and Sarai Rohilla.[74] Delhi is connected to other cities through many highways and expressways. Delhi currently has three expressways and three are under construction to connect it with its prosperous and commercial suburbs. The Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway connects Delhi with Gurgaon and the international airport. The DND Flyway and Noida-Greater Noida Expressway connect Delhi with two prosperous suburbs. Greater Noida is to have the new airport while Noida is to have the Indian Grand Prix.

Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) is situated in the western corner of Delhi and serves as the main gateway for the city's domestic and international civilian air traffic. In 2006–07, the airport recorded a traffic of more than 23 million passengers,[80][81] making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. A new US$1.93 billion Terminal 3 is currently under construction and will handle an additional 34 million passengers annually by 2010.[82] Further expansion programs will allow the airport to handle more than 100 million passengers per annum by 2020.[80] Safdarjung Airport is the other airfield in Delhi used for general aviation purpose.[83]

Private vehicles account for 30% of the total demand for transport.[74] At 1922.32 km of road length per 100 km², Delhi has one of the highest road densities in India.[74] Delhi is well connected to other parts of India by five National Highways: NH 1, 2, 8, 10 and 24. Roads in Delhi are maintained by MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board, Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Development Authority.[84]

Delhi's high population growth rate, coupled with high economic growth rate has resulted in an ever increasing demand for transport creating excessive pressure on the city's existent transport infrastructure. As of 2008. Also, the number of vehicles in the metropolitan region, i.e., Delhi NCR is 112 lakhs (11.2 million).[85] In 2008, there were 85 cars in Delhi for every 1,000 of its residents.[86] In order to meet the transport demand in Delhi, the State and Union government started the construction of a mass rapid transit system, including the Delhi Metro.[74] In 1998, the Supreme Court of India ordered all public transport vehicles to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel instead of diesel and other hydro-carbons.[87]

Demographics

Hindu's make up 82% of Delhi's population. Shown here is Akshardham Temple, the largest Hindu temple in the world.[88]

Many ethnic groups and cultures are represented in Delhi, making it a cosmopolitan city. Being the political and economic hub of northern India, the city attracts workers – both blue collar and white collar – from all parts of India, further enhancing its diverse character. A diplomatic hub, home to the embassies of 160 countries, Delhi has a large expatriate population as well.[citation needed]

According to the 2001 Census of India, the population of Delhi that year was 13,782,976.[1] The corresponding population density was 9,294 persons per km², with a sex ratio of 821 women per 1000 men, and a literacy rate of 81.82%. By 2004, the estimated population had increased to 15,279,000. That year, the birth rate, death rate and infant mortality rate (per 1000 population) were 20.03, 5.59 and 13.08, respectively.[89] As of 2007, the National Capital Territory of Delhi had an estimated population of 21.5 million people, making it the second largest metropolitan area in India after Mumbai.[90] According a 1999–2000 estimate, the total number of people living below the poverty line, defined as living on $11 or less per month, in Delhi was 1,149,000 (which was 8.23% of the total population, compared to 27.5% of India as a whole).[91] In 2001, the population of Delhi increased by 285,000 as a result of migration and by an additional 215,000 as a result of natural population growth[89] – this made Delhi one of the fastest growing cities in the world. By 2015, Delhi is expected to be the third largest agglomeration in the world after Tokyo and Mumbai.[92] Dwarka, Asia's largest planned residential colony, is located within the National Capital Territory of Delhi.[93]

Muslims form 12% of Delhi's population. Shown here is Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India.

Hinduism is the religion of 82% of Delhi's population. There are also large communities of Muslims (11.7%), Sikhs (4.0%), Jains (1.1%) and Christians (0.9%) in the city.[94] Other minorities include Parsis, Anglo-Indians, Buddhists and Jews.[95]

Hindustani language is the principal spoken language while English is the principal written language of the city. Other languages commonly spoken in the city are dialects of Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. The linguistic groups from all over India are well represented in the city; among them are Punjabi, Haryanvi, UP, Bihari, Bengali, Sindhi, Tamil, Rajasthani, Garhwali ,Telugu, North-East, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati roughly in same order.[citation needed]

In 2005, Delhi accounted for the highest percentage (16.2%) of the crimes reported in the 35 cities in India with populations of one million or more.[96] The city also has the highest rate of crime against women (27.6 compared to national average rate of 14.1 per 100,000) and against children (6.5 compared to national average of 1.4 per 100,000) in the country.[97]

Culture

Traditional pottery on display in Dilli Haat
Rice and Kadhai Chicken from Delhi

Delhi's culture has been influenced by its lengthy history and historic association as the capital of India. This is exemplified by the many monuments of significance found in the city; the Archaeological Survey of India recognises 1200 heritage buildings[98] and 175 monuments in Delhi as national heritage sites.[99] 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)[100] and Red Fort. Three World Heritage Sites—the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun's Tomb—are located in Delhi.[101] Other monuments include the India Gate, the Jantar Mantar (an 18th century astronomical observatory) and the Purana Qila (a 16th century fortress). The Laxminarayan Temple, Akshardham and the Bahá'í Lotus Temple are examples of modern architecture. 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. Safdarjung's Tomb is an example of the Mughal gardens style.[citation needed]

Delhi's association and geographic proximity to the capital, New Delhi, has amplified the importance of national events and holidays. National events like Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi's birthday) are celebrated with great enthusiasm in Delhi. On India's Independence Day (15 August) the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort. Most Delhiites celebrate the day by flying kites, which are considered a symbol of freedom.[102] The Republic Day Parade is a large cultural and military parade showcasing India's cultural diversity and military might.[103][104] Over the centuries Delhi is known for its composite culture, and a festival that symbolizes it truly is the Phool Walon Ki Sair, which takes place each year in September, and where flowers and fans embroidered with flowers, pankha are offered to the shrine of 13th century Sufi saint, Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki, along with the Yogmaya Temple also situated in Mehrauli.[105]

Religious festivals include Diwali (the festival of lights), Mahavir Jayanti, Guru Nanak's Birthday, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Maha Shivaratri, Eid ul-Fitr and Buddha Jayanti.[104] The Qutub Festival is a cultural event during which performances of musicians and dancers from all over India are showcased at night, with the Qutub Minar as the chosen backdrop of the event.[106] Other events such as Kite Flying Festival, International Mango Festival and Vasant Panchami (the Spring Festival) are held every year in Delhi. The Auto Expo, Asia's largest auto show,[107] is held in Delhi biennially. The World Book Fair, held biannually at the Pragati Maidan, is the second largest exhibition of books in the world with as many as 23 nations participating in the event.[108] Delhi is often regarded as the "Book Capital" of India because of high readership.[109]

The Auto Expo is held annually at Pragati Maidan and showcases the technological prowess of the Indian automobile industry

Punjabi and Mughlai delicacies like kababs and biryanis are popular in Delhi.[110][111] Due to Delhi's large cosmopolitan and migrant population, cuisines from every part of India, including Gujarati Rajasthani, Maharashtrian, Bengali, Hyderabadi cuisines, and South Indian food items like idli, sambar and dosa are widely available. Local delicacies include Chaat and Dahi-Papri. There are several food outlets in Delhi serving international cuisine, including Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. Within the last decade western fast food has become more popular as well.

Historically, Delhi has always remained an important trading centre in northern India. Old Delhi still contains legacies of its rich Mughal past, which can be found among the old city's tangle of snaking lanes and teeming bazaars.[112] The dingy markets of the Old City have an eclectic product range, from oil-swamped mango, lime and eggplant pickles, candy-colored herbal potions to silver jewelry, bridal attire, uncut material and linen, spices, sweets.[112] Some of old regal havelis (palatial residences) are still there in the Old City.[113] Chandni Chowk, a three-century-old shopping area, is one of the most popular shopping areas in Delhi for jewellery and Zari saris.[114] Notable among Delhi's arts and crafts are the Zardozi (an embroidery done with gold thread) and Meenakari (the art of enameling). Dilli Haat, Hauz Khas, Pragati Maidan offer a variety of Indian handicrafts and handlooms. Over time Delhi has absorbed a multitude of humanity from across the country and has morphed into an amorphous pool of cultural styles.[10][115]

Delhi has the following sister cities:[116]

Delhi is also twinned with the following region:

Education

Consistently ranked as India's top medical college,[117] All India Institute of Medical Sciences is a global leader in medical research and treatment[118]

Schools and higher educational institutions in Delhi are administered either by the Directorate of Education, the NCT government, or private organizations. In 2004–05, there were 2,515 primary, 635 middle, 504 secondary and 1,208 senior secondary schools in Delhi. That year, the higher education institutions in the city included 165 colleges, among them five medical colleges and eight engineering colleges,[119] six universities (Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), National Law University, Delhi (Official Website), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Jamia Hamdard), and nine deemed universities.[119] GGSIPU and National Law University, Delhi are the only state universities; IGNOU is for open/distance learning; the rest are all central universities.

Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi is ranked as Asia's fourth-best institute in science and technology in year 1999.[120]

Private schools in Delhi—which employ either English or Hindi as the language of instruction—are affiliated to one of two administering bodies: the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). In 2004–05, approximately 15.29 lakh (1.529 million) students were enrolled in primary schools, 8.22 lakh (0.822 million) in middle schools and 6.69 lakh (0.669 million) in secondary schools across Delhi.[119] Female students represented 49% of the total enrollment. The same year, the Delhi government spent between 1.58% and 1.95% of its gross state domestic product on education.[119]

After completing the ten-year secondary phase of their education under the 10+2+3 plan, students typically spend the next two years either in junior colleges or in schools with senior secondary facilities, during which their studies become more focused. They select a stream of study—liberal arts, commerce, science, or, less commonly, vocational. Upon completion, those who choose to continue, either study for a three-year undergraduate degree at a college, or a professional degree in law, engineering, or medicine. Notable higher education or research institutes in Delhi include All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr.Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital & PGIMER, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi Technological University, Indian Law Institute, Delhi School of Economics,Jamia Millia Islamia and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. As of 2008, about 16% of all Delhi residents possessed at least a college graduate degree.[121]

Media

Pitampura TV Tower broadcasts programming to Delhi

As the capital of India, New Delhi is the focus of political reportage, including regular television broadcasts of Parliament sessions. Many country-wide media agencies, among them the state-owned Press Trust of India and Doordarshan, are based in the city. Television programming in the city includes two free terrestrial television channels offered by Doordarshan, and several Hindi, English and regional-languages cable channels offered by multi system operators. Satellite television, in contrast, has yet to gain large-scale subscribership in the city.[122]

Print journalism remains a popular news medium in Delhi. During 2004–05, 1029 newspapers in thirteen languages were published from the city. Of these, 492 were Hindi language newspapers, including Navbharat Times, Hindustan Dainik, Punjab Kesari, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Desbandhu. Amongst the English language newspapers, The Hindustan Times, with over a million copies in circulation, was the single largest daily. Other major English newspapers include Times of India, The Hindu, Indian Express, Business Standard, The Pioneer and Asian Age in regional dailies include Malayala Manorama. Radio is a less popular mass medium in Delhi, although FM radio has been gaining ground[123] since the inauguration of several new FM channels in 2006.[124] A number of state-owned and private radio stations broadcast from Delhi, including All India Radio (AIR), one of the world's largest radio service providers, which offers six radio channels in ten languages. Other city-based radio stations include "Aaj Tak", "Radio City(91.1 MHz)", "Big FM(92.7 MHz)", "Red FM(93.5MHz)", "Radio One(94.3 MHz)", "Hit FM(95 MHz)", "Apna Radio", "Radio Mirchi(98.3 MHz)", "FM Rainbow(102.4 MHz)", "Fever FM(104 MHz)", "Meow FM(104.8 MHz)", "FM Gold(106.4 MHz)".

Various news and general interest magazines are also published from Delhi like India Today, Outlook, COVERT and many more.

Sports

Cricket is the most popular sport in Delhi.[125] There are several cricket grounds (or maidans) located across the city. The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium is one of the oldest cricket grounds in India and is a venue for international cricket matches. The Delhi cricket team represents the city in the Ranji Trophy, a domestic first-class cricket championship.[126] The city is also home to the IPL team Delhi Daredevils, and ICL team Delhi Giants (earlier named Delhi Jets). Other sports such as field hockey, football (soccer), basketball, tennis, golf, badminton, swimming, kart racing, weightlifting and table tennis are also popular in the city.[citation needed]

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium are other stadiums in Delhi. In the past, Delhi has hosted several domestic and international sporting events, such as the First and the Ninth Asian Games.[127] Delhi is preparing itself to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, projected to be the largest multi-sport event ever held in the city. Delhi lost bidding for the 2014 Asian Games,[128] and considered making a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.[129] However, sports minister Manohar Singh Gill later stated that funding infrastructure would come before a 2020 bid.[130]

See also

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Further reading

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : India : Plains : Delhi

Discussion on defining district borders for Delhi is in progress. If you know the city pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.

Lahore Gate at the Red Fort
Lahore Gate at the Red Fort
For other places with the same name, see Delhi (disambiguation).

Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Urdu: دلّی, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ) [1] is northern India's largest city. One part of it, known as New Delhi (Hindi: नई दिल्ली Naï Dillî), is officially designated the capital of India, but the names are often used interchangeably.

Understand

History

Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Damascus and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times. The oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha. The earliest historically recognized version of the city is

  • Qila Rai Pithora – This dates back to the 10th century A.D. as per available historical records. Also known as Rai Pithora, this city was the capital during the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan, the local hero famous for his first defeating, before finally losing to, the marauding invaders from central Asia (Muhammad Ghori in particular). Chauhan's ancestors are said to have captured the city from the Tomar Rajputs who were credited with founding Delhi. Anangpal, a Tomar ruler possibly created the first known regular fort here called 'Lal Kot', which was taken over by Prithviraj and the city extended. Some of the ruins of the fort ramparts are still visible around Qutab Minar and Mehrauli
India Gate,a Central Landmark of Delhi
India Gate,a Central Landmark of Delhi
The Parliament House, Sansad Bhawan ,New Delhi
The Parliament House, Sansad Bhawan ,New Delhi
  • Mehrauli – Muhammad Ghori managed to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan in battle in 1192. Ghori left his slave Qutub-ud-din Aibak as his viceroy, who in turn captured Delhi the subsequent year. After Ghori's death in 1206, Aibak proclaimed himself the ruler of Delhi and founded the slave dynasty. Qutb-ud-din contributed significantly in terms of architecture by getting Mehrauli built. His most prominent contribution is the starting of Qutab Minar. This 72.5 m tall tower was built across three generations and finally completed in 1220AD. A visitor to the Qutab Minar could also see the mausoleum of Kaki, Shamsi Talao and some other mosques. The Slave dynasty ruled until 1290, among them was Razia Sultan who ruled for just three years, but became a historic figure for being the first empress in India.
  • Siri - Qutuddin Aibaq's 'Slave Dynasty' was followed by the line of Khilji (or Khalji) rulers. The most prominent among the six rulers was Allauddin who extended the kingdom to the south of Narmada and also established the city of 'Siri'. Among some of the remaining ruins, is part of the Siri Fort in the greater Hauz Khas area. The madrasa at Hauz Khas was constructed during Allauddin's reign and bears the stamp of West Asian architecture. Hauz Khas is more often visited today for the chic botiques and restaurants.
  • Tughlakabad - Exactly as it happens during the fall of a lineage of kings, after the Khilji's there was administrative chaos for sometime as the last Khilji ruler was slain by Nasruddin Mohammed. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (a Turk governor) invaded Delhi in the 1320s, started the Tughlaq dynasty, and founded the city of Tughlakabad. The ruins of the large fort still remain. His descendent Muhammad Bin Tughlaq raised the fort walls, created another city called Jahapanah (which enclosed the area between Siri and Qila Rai Pithora). Tughlakabad continued, however, to be the main capital city.

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq is also known as the mad king for wanting to move the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad (now near Aurangabad in Maharashtra) and making the entire population travel, only to return in a few years because of water shortage in the new town.

  • Firozabad - Muhammad Bin Tughlaq's son, Firoze created the next city which was called Firozabad or Firoze Shah Kotla. There still are some ruins which are visible around the cricket stadium by the same name. The city was a enclosed a large area, and contained many palaces, mosques, pillared halls, and multi-floored water tank. Firoze Shah also planted a 1500 year old Ashokan Pillar on top of the palace.

Feroze Shah, also repaired many of the older construction in Delhi including Ghori's tomb, Qutub Minar,Suraj Kund and Hauz Khas. He, himself, was buried inside a lofty tomb in Hauz Khas. Quite like earlier, after Feroze Shah's death, the sultnate became unstable and weak, and was invaded by Taimur the Lame (from Samarkhand) who created havoc in the city by looting, killing, raping and plundering. The Sayyids and Lodhis who ruled Delhi after the Tughlaq's paid more attention to re-establishing miltiary and political stability to the kingdom. The only relevant architecture visible from this period are the tombs at Lodhi Gardens. The last of the Lodhi's was defeated by Babur in the first battle of Panipat. Babur then proceeded to establish the Mughal dynasty.

  • Shergarh - Babur's son Humayun ruled the kingdom for a few years only to be defeated by Sher Shah Suri (1540), who established the new city Shergarh (on the ruins of Dinpanah, built by Humayun) towards the north and near the river. Shergarh is what you see at Purana Qila today, near the Delhi zoo. After Humayun came back to power, he completed the construction and proceeded to rule from Shergarh.
  • Shahjehabanad - the next of the Mughal emperors chose to move away from Delhi and established Agra as the capital of their kingdom. Shahjehan (Humayun's great-grandson) returned to Delhi and established Shahjehanabad. This included the Jama Masjid, the Red Fort and all that in enclosed within the walls of Old Delhi. This wall is still around in many parts and three of the six gates (Delhi gate, Lahori Gate, Turkman Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Mori Gate)to Delhi still exist. Kashmiri Gate was reconstructed and widened by the British after the 1857 revolt.
  • Lutyen's New Delhi - The final city as you see today expanded from what Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Inspite of its rich historical heritage represented by the numerous monuments, Delhi's population is hardly aware of it and has little pride or feeling for the city's history. This is due to the simple reason that few Delhi residents actually belong to Delhi. The population of Delhi is a heterogeneous mix of people originally belonging to different parts of North India and beyond. Among the prominent North Indian communities are the Punjabis, who are the descendants of the refugees of the Indian Partition. They are easily the most affluent community. However, their dominance in recent years has been challenged by the increasing affluence of other North Indian communities. Delhi has a prominent South Indian Community, primarily in areas like RK Puram and Munirka. A Bengali Settlement, the Chittaranjan Park in south east Delhi is the Mini Calcutta of Delhi.

And the biggest irony is the fact that the descendants of the builders of Delhi's many Muslim monuments no longer stay in Delhi. Most of them migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, with only a small, ever-diminishing community in Old Delhi keeping old courtly traditions alive.

Districts of Delhi
Districts of Delhi

Like the rest of the Gangetic Plains, Delhi is as flat as a pancake. The only geographical features of any significance are the river Yamuna, which flows down the eastern side of the city, and the Aravalli Hills, which form a wide but low arc across the west. On the west bank is the crowded and congested Old (Central) Delhi and, to the south, the broad, tree-lined avenues of New Delhi, built by the British to rule their empire. The rest is an endless low-rise sprawl of suburbia and slums, with southern Delhi (nearer to New Delhi) generally somewhat wealthier and the western reaches rather poorer.

South Delhi

Indeed, on a broad scale Delhi is not difficult to navigate. The Outer Ring Road, and Ring Road, offer simple connections between districts. In South Delhi, most of the major districts lie on either the inner or outer ring roads.

Traveling west on the Ring Road from Nizammudin, the following colonies lie in the following order, Friends Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Defence Colony, South Extention, INA, Safdarjung, Bikhaji Kama Place, RK Puram, Chankyapuri, Dhaula Kuan.

And on the outer Ring Road, traveling west from Okhla, the following colonies lie in the following order,Nehru Place, Kalkaji, GK2, GK1, CR Park, PanchShil Park, Hauz Khas Enclave, Safdarjung Enclave, Munirka, Vasant Vihar.

The only major areas that lie in between the Ring Roads as opposed to adjacent to them are are Anand Niketan, Hauz Khas Village, Green Park. However, these areas are easily accessible from Shanti Path, Aurobindo Marg, and Khel Gaon Marg respectively.

Inside the colonies it is another issue, often akin to mazes, finding your way around the inside of any colony other than Vasant Vihar or Chanakyapuri is not for the faint hearted.

Climate

Delhi's climate is, sad to say, infamously bad, combining the scorching aridity of Rajasthan's deserts with the frigid cold of the Himalayas. From April to October, temperatures are scorchingly hot (over 40°C is common), and the monsoon rains deluge the city in July and August. With every air-conditioner running at full blast, the city has a developing infrastructure and has been under tremendous development, power and water outages were common but have drastically improved in last few years. In winter, especially December and January, temperatures can dip to near-zero and the city is blanketed in thick fog, causing numerous flight cancellations. The shoulder seasons (Feb-Apr and Sep-Nov) are comparatively pleasant, with temperatures in the 20-30°C range, but short.

  • The City of Djinns, William Dalrymple; another travelogue and well-written.(ISBN 0142001007)
  • "The Last Mughal", William Dalrymple; well documented chronological events of the fall of Mughal Enpire. [ISBN 1400043107]
Map of Delhi
Map of Delhi

By plane

Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI, IATA: DEL) [2] is the arrival point for many visitors into Delhi. Once one of the worst airports on the planet, the airport has been taken over by an international consortium, which has completed a first round of refurbishing that has already improved things greatly. Most terminals have basic facilities like money changing and restaurants, and even the toilets are now usable without gasmasks and hazmat suits, but the major problem remains overcrowding — during the peak hours (middle of the night for international flights and early morning for domestic), it can be hard to find even a place to sit.

The airport is split into three terminals, with the domestic terminals commonly known as Palam Airport.

  • Terminal 1A (Domestic): Air India ("IC" flight numbers), Go Air, MDLR, Jagson
  • Terminal 1D (Domestic): All other domestic flights
  • Terminal 2 (International): All international flights and Air India domestic "AI" flights

The domestic terminals are near each other, but both are a long way from Terminal 2 and you should reserve at least three hours to connect. If you are making connections, it can take between 15 and 30 minutes once you exit one terminal to get to the other one by car (depending on time of day and traffic). There is a free shuttle bus between T1 and T2, but it runs only once per hour. (On the upside, it crosses through the airport and can be much faster than detouring on the congested roads outside like taxis do.)

When leaving Delhi from international terminal, security at the airport is tight, so you should show up two hours before your flight is scheduled. For domestic flights 1h 15mins should be enough. The process is smoother than it used to be: X-raying bags before entry is no longer necessary, and shops and restaurants are now located at the gate area, not before security. However, if you wish to change Rupees back into foreign currency, you must do this before clearing security. Gate area shops accept rupees only from Indian nationals.

The easiest and safest way to get from the airport to the city is to arrange transport ahead of time through your hotel (some hotels provide this service for free). You could also try a private taxi firm like Meru Cabs [3] which has online booking but you need an indian mobile phone number in order to book. They will wait in the VIP car park (directly opposite arrivals) - should cost no more than Rs.550 to the most distant hotels north of Connaught Place. Alternatively, you can pay for a taxi at the prepaid taxi booths in the international terminal (it is advised that you check your change). The pre-paid booths are visible as soon as you exit customs. The one on the left is managed by the Delhi police. To the right of the exit door are private taxi operators. They are more expensive but the cars are air-conditioned.The number of the taxi assigned to you will be on the receipt. Then, go straight through the airport and turn right immediately outside the front doors and someone will help you find your taxi. There are several options, but the booth operated by the "Delhi Police" is considered the best, with non-A/C taxis to most points in the city Rs.200-300. Keep an eye on your change though and try to avoid paying with large bills.

Do not give the receipt to the driver until you get to the destination as this is what they are paid on. Also, ignore the explanation the driver will invariably offer at the destination as to why he requires additional payment. There is no practice of tipping taxi drivers anywhere in India. Take your baggage first, then give the driver the receipt and walk away without further discussion. There is a problem with this as there is a checkpoint manned by the traffic police just as your taxi moves away, you will have to give the receipt to the driver who will hand it over to the police who will record the number. Try getting the receipt back from the driver!

It is also possible to take a city bus during the day or a private one that runs 24 hours a day. As everywhere in India, ignore taxi touts!

During the winter (Dec-Jan), Delhi often experiences dense fog and visibility is reduced considerably, making it difficult for flights to land and take off. Both international and domestic flights are often diverted or cancelled, so plan accordingly and allow for one or two days for possible delays.

By bus

Buses arrive from Kathmandu and Chitwan in Nepal (36+ hours) and virtually every city in India. Although not as comfortable as the trains, buses are the only choice for some destinations, mainly those in the mountains.

Delhi has a confusing slew of inter-state bus termini (ISBT), which all have two names. The Delhi Transport Corporation [4] is the major operator, but every state also runs its own buses and there are some private operators too.

  • Kashmere Gate ISBT (aka Maharana Pratap), Metro Kashmere Gate, Line 1/2. This is "the" ISBT and the largest of the lot. Buses to points north, including Nepal.
  • Sarai Kale Khan ISBT (aka Vir Hakikat Rai), next to Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. Buses to points south.
  • Anand Vihar ISBT (aka Swami Vivekanand), on the east bank of Yamuna, Metro: Anand Vihar, Line 3 (end 2009). Buses to points east.
  • Bikaner House bus stop. Buses, including air-conditioned Volvo buses from Jaipur arrive at this place. For travel between Jaipur and Delhi, this bus stop is very clean, less crowded than ISBT, and easy to reach.

By train

Trains arrive at one of four main stations: Delhi Junction, also called Old Delhi or Purani Dilli; the second at New Delhi which lies in Central Delhi; Hazrat Nizamuddin a few kilometers to the south; and the upcoming Anand Vihar station to the east. (A very few trains use Delhi Sarai Rohilla or Delhi Cantt stations.) Delhi Junction and New Delhi Railway Station are now conveniently connected by Metro Line 2, just minutes apart, while Anand Vihar is served by Line 3. It will take about 40 minutes to an hour to travel from the New Delhi Railway Station to the airport by car, depending on traffic.

A ticket office open to all is on the road to Connaught Place with longer hours. It often has waiting times not much longer than at the tourist booking office. You will need to know the number or name of the train you want to take. Easiest of all, though, is to book on-line through the Indian Railways booking website [5] or at the Cleartrip [6] website. Cleartrip charges a fee to use their service as it is third party but the advantage is that the website is much more user friendly where the Indian Railways site is a little difficult to navigate

Once you have purchased a ticket either at the ticket office or online prior to the trip, all you need to do is go to the rail car labeled with your class of service purchased. You can either just get on and sit in the first available seat or often times for higher classes of service, they will post a passenger list on the car when it stops. Look for your name and go to the assigned car, cabin and seat. There is never a need to get a boarding pass so if anyone comes out of the crowd to tell you that, don't listen to them. It is a scam. If you're brave, you can simply purchase a general 2nd class ticket and then get on any car where there is availability. The conductor will come by and check your tickets after the train starts moving. If you are in a higher fare class than you are ticketed for, all you have to do is simply pay the difference in fare to the conductor. The only risk here is that the train could be full and you could be stuck in the lowest fare class which can be very crowded with little room to sit.

New Delhi Railway Station

The main entrance to New Delhi Railway Station (code NDLS) is located just outside of Paharganj, also known as the backpacker ghetto. The Delhi Metro now connects directly here, but the metro exits are at the Ajmeri Gate (second entrance) side near platform 12. You can also take prepaid rickshaws and taxis from the plaza outside the main entrance.

The station is large, crowded, confusing and packed with touts, so allow one hour (yes, really) to find your train the first time you visit. Don't trust the electronic display boards, which often show incorrect information. Instead listen to the announcements and ask multiple people in uniform until you find your train. However, anyone, in uniform or not, who approaches you spontaneously should be ignored. Use one of the porters (in orange) who will find your train easily — in exchange for a tip, of course.

A tourist ticket office called the International Tourist Bureau is open during office hours upstairs of but still within the main New Delhi railway station. Ignore touts who will try to convince you that it has moved or is closed. Note that it is only for foreign tourists, so you must have a tourist visa (i.e. student and working visas are not acceptable). Non-resident Indians can also book their tickets through this office. Bring your passport and cash or traveller's cheques in U.S. dollars, British Pounds or Euros. If you wish to pay in Indian rupees you must show an official exchange certificate (from India, not valid if you changed in another country) or an ATM receipt. To get a ticket, first get a form from the centre of the room, and fill it out. Then go to the information desk near the entrance. There, have the clerk check the availability of the train(s) you desire, and fill out your form accordingly. Then line up at one of the two u-shaped lines of chairs for the reservation desks.

There are lots of tricks and scams in operation at NDRS. It is a baffling place, especially if you just arrived in India. Basically do not believe anybody who approaches you to volunteer information, even if they show you an official ID from the railway authority. Stuff like 'oh that train goes from another station' or 'no you need to go to this office in a different part of town to get your boarding pass' or offers of assistance with bags or help taking you to where you want to go. It's a con. If you need help, YOU choose who you want to help you, don't trust strangers who appear out of the crowd.

Delhi Railway Station

Formally Delhi Junction (code DLI), but best referred to as "Old" Delhi Station for clarity. Like New Delhi RS, this station is huge and confusing. The platforms are not in linear order, with some hidden in the west and east wings of the stations. The railway station is served by Metro Line 2 Chandni Chowk station.

Hazrat Nizamuddin

Hazrat Nizamuddin (code NZM) is the departure point of many trains heading south. Practically speaking, the only way to get here is by taxi or auto. The budget alternative is to take a bus to the Sarai Kale Khan Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) on the ring road and then walk over to the station (400 meters). It's the least chaotic of the Big Three, but still pretty big and poorly signposted — listen to the announcements to figure out your train. The station has a pretty good food court that sells inexpensive, hygienic takeaway snacks (sandwiches, samosas, etc).

If you have some time to kill, pay a visit to Humayun's Tomb, which is so close to the station that you can hear the announcements from inside — although it's a long, circuitous walk from the station to the entrance.

Anand Vihar

Anand Vihar (code ANVR) is Delhi's newest station, located well to the east of the city near Noida. Repeatedly delayed, the station finally opened in December 2009 and will gradually take over all east-bound services. The station can be reached by Delhi Metro Line 3.

Get around

Getting around Delhi is always an adventure. Traffic is, by and large, horribly congested and many drivers will think nothing of quoting ten times the going price to a tourist. Use the prices below as broad guidelines, agree on prices before setting off, and don't get too hot under the collar over a rupee or two — they mean a lot more to the cycle rickshaw-wallah earning Rs. 50 on a good day than they do to you.

Delhi Metro and rail network
Delhi Metro and rail network

Three lines of the new Delhi Metro [7] are now open and provide a cheap, quick, hassle-free and air-conditioned way of zipping around the city. As of 2009, the following lines are open:

  • Line 1 (Red Line): Dilshad Garden-Kashmere Gate-Rithala
  • Line 2 (Yellow Line): Jahangirpuri-Kashmere Gate-Connaught Place-Central Secretariat
  • Line 3 (Blue Line): Noida-Connaught Place-Dwarka Sector 9

Fares range from Rs. 8 to 30, just buy a token, change lines as necessary, and deposit the token in the slot as you exit. Tokens can be used only from the station they are bought, so you can't buy two and use the second to return home. If you're planning on sticking around for a while, you can buy a "Smart Card" for Rs. 100, which is worth Rs. 50 and includes a Rs. 50 deposit; using this saves 10% and, more importantly, lets you avoid the queues. There is also a "Tourist Card" allowing unlimited use for Rs.100 (1 day) or Rs.250 (3 days), but it's highly unlikely that you'll travel enough to make this pay off.

Line 2, in particular, is useful for getting to the Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid) and New Delhi railway stations, the ISBT bus terminal and the backpacker ghetto of Paharganj. Line 3 is also handy for visiting Akshardham and accessing the western parts of Paharganj through RK Ashram Marg station. The network is still growing at warp speed, and in 2010, a new dedicated Airport Link and an extension to Gurgaon are scheduled to open.

Beware: Metro stations all use the new, official, Indianized names, so Connaught Place is "Rajiv Chowk", Old Delhi Railway Station is "Chandni Chowk" and ISBT is "Kashmere Gate".

By train

There are limited commuter services on Delhi's railways, but the facilities are a far cry from the user-friendly Metro and stations. For the most part, train stations are inconveniently located. There is no passenger service on the Delhi Ring Railroad outside rush hour.

You're never alone on a bus in Delhi
You're never alone on a bus in Delhi

All parts of Delhi are well connected by buses and with tickets ranging from 5-15 Rupees they're very cheap, but they're also the least comfortable means of transport and the hardest to use. Delhi's buses are quite crowded, rarely air-conditioned and drivers often drive rashly. Bus routes are often written only in Hindi and bus stops don't have any route lists, so it can be difficult to find your way. Asking other people at the bus stop is often the best way to find out about bus routes to your destination. Buses are pretty frequent, running every 15-20 min or so on most routes. There are two kinds of buses in Delhi:

  • Government run DTC [8] buses
  • Privately run Blue-Line buses

If you have a choice, go for a DTC bus. They will stop less frequently and will generally be less crowded too. Note that many buses, DTC ones too, will stop pretty much anywhere if there are enough people getting on or off.

Board buses at the back and pay the ticket seller sitting right next to the door. Be sure to hang onto your tickets, as ticket checks are fairly frequent. Some seats on the left side of the bus may be reserved for women and the handicapped. When it's time to disembark, move to the front of the bus and hop out from the door near the driver. As you might expect, all these guidelines are regularly ignored when buses are very crowded.

By taxi

A taxi or hired car (usually with driver) is required to see many of the far-flung sites within and around Delhi. To get a taxi or a hired car for Delhi Darshan or Delhi sight Seeing Log on www.tricabs.com or call 01126211290.They charge Rs. 950/- for indica a/c for full day sight seeing or you have to go to a taxi stand. They are not usually flagged from the street. Alternatively, you can call for a cab at 1090.

Most Delhi taxis are old but reliable Ambassadors in distinctive black-and-yellow livery. While all are equipped with meters and should cost Rs. 6 to start plus Rs. 7 per km, the meters are often rigged and it's better to agree on the price in advance. Most trips around the city should be Rs. 50-100, while a trip to the airport would be Rs. 200. An eight-hour charter should cost around Rs. 500, and a tip is expected if the driver is helpful. Note that most Ambassadors are not air-conditioned.

The death knell of the Ambassador was rung in December 2006, when modern radio taxi services were launched. At Rs.15/km, they're twice the list price of the competition, but they use modern vehicles with air-conditioning and can be dialed up 24 hours/day. Operators include Delhi Cab, tel. 44333222, Metro Cab, tel. 1923, Easy Cab, tel. 43434343 and Quick Cab, tel. 45333333.

You shouldn't take non-official taxis, sometimes they take you to a wrong hotel, or to a "tourist information center", and try to sell you overpriced things.

By auto rickshaws

Auto rickshaws (also called three-wheeled scooters or simply autos) are good for shorter trips. Always in a distinctive yellow-and-green livery, auto rickshaws are three-wheeled partially enclosed contraptions (no doors!) that run on CNG and can seat three people in the back. In general, they are much cheaper than taxis and can be hailed from the street. Although by law the rickshaw drivers should charge according to the meter in their vehicle (Rs. 10 for the first km, 4.50 rupees per km after), this rate is unrealistically low and they will almost always try to haggle for price; some locals go so far as to say that you should not use the meter, because it means that either the meter is rigged, or the driver will take you the long way around! As rules of thumb, even the shortest journey costs Rs. 20, but you should not need to pay over Rs. 100 for any trip within the city.

If you have any trouble with them, go to any of the numerous tourist police stations in the city center and they will give you a complaint slip which will result in a 500 rupee fine for the auto driver. There should also be a telephone number written on the vehicle to call in case of any complaint.

There are a number of "PRE PAID" Auto stands run by the Police. Tell them where you want to go and pay them upfront. The charge will include 5 rupees for the service. You then take the coupon and stand outside where a policeman will direct you to the next available Auto. When your journey is completed you hand the coupon to the wallah and that's it. Nothing more to pay (despite what they may say).

Cycling in Old Delhi's Chawri Bazaar, facing Jama Masjid
Cycling in Old Delhi's Chawri Bazaar, facing Jama Masjid

Cycle rickshaws are three-wheeled, pedal-powered rickshaws with seats in the back to seat passengers and a driver in the front. They are good for short distances, or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/auto rickshaw. Cycle rickshaws don't use meters, so establish a price before getting on. Twenty rupees is reasonable for most journeys of a kilometer or two, although many Delhiites will haggle if the driver dares to suggest 10 rupees.

Cycle rickshaws are best to use in Old Delhi to visit the intricate galis (walkways) and to enjoy the smells and sounds of the city.

On foot

Much of Delhi is quite pedestrian-hostile. Distances are long, road signage is poor, and in the more tourist oriented areas, you'll be constantly accosted by beggars and touts. Crossing roads often involves wading across multiple lanes of heavy traffic. Try your best to move in a predictable straight line, so vehicles can weave around you. (Better yet, latch onto a group of locals and cross in their shadow.) If you really want to walk around, these places would be good:

  • Walk from Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's house) to India Gate on the Rajpath (a walk of close to 3-4 kms).
  • Walk from Jama Masjid to Red Fort in the Chandni Chowk area.
  • Far South Delhi go walk about in the forest. Try starting from south of Indian Institute of Technology through Sanjay Van to Qtub Minar. Note however that Sanjay Van is not always safe, and it is advisable to go there in a group, preferably during daylight hours.
  • South Delhi- Green Park to Hauz Khas Village, then to the Hauz Khas ruined madrasa, offers a newer shopping area, a posh arts village, old ruins, and some quality greener.

Talk

The native language of Delhi residents is Hindi, which also happens to be the national language of India. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak fluent Hindi. However, most educated people will also be fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers will have a functional command of English. Punjabi is also an official language, but it's spoken much less widely.

See

The staff at the Delhi tourist office is very helpful, and the office has a lot of free information: The Government of India Tourist Office 88 Janpath, Connaught Place. Tel: 23320005, 23320008, 23320109, 23320266. The Government of India Tourist Office offers daily tours, covering all of the major Delhi sites. If you should choose to go with the government-sanctioned day tour, be aware that due to the heavy agenda, you will need to have a quick foot, only 20 to 40 minutes are given for each sight, which is next to no time. Consider this day tour as a sampler. If there is a sight of particular interest, bookmark it and return at a later date.

Beware: there are various private "tourist information" offices around Connaught Place openly claiming to be the official government tourist office. They're actually just travel agents that have nothing to do with The Government of India, and since they prey on tourists, anything you buy from them will be grossly overpriced compared to doing it yourself.

Lahore Gate of the Red Fort
Lahore Gate of the Red Fort
Inside the Diwan-i-Am
Inside the Diwan-i-Am
Diwan-i-Khas
Diwan-i-Khas

The Red Fort (Lal Qila) is one of Delhi's top tourist sights. A brilliant red sandstone fort built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (who also built Agra's Taj Mahal) as his ruling palace. Completed in 1648, the years since have not treated the buildings kindly: the rooms have long since been stripped of all objects, the marble inlays are long gone and quite a few buildings are off limits. Still, the scale remains imposing and the gardens are kept lush and green even in midwinter. Major buildings within include:

  • Chatta Chowk (Covered Bazaar) – True to the name, this is a covered bazaar between the gate and the fort itself, now filled with souvenir hawkers.
  • Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) – This building separates the outer court from the inner court, and has a marble platform for the emperor's throne.
  • Hayat Baksh Bagh (Life-Bestowing Gardens) – Once a grand garden of full of fountains and streams, now sadly all dry — only dry channels and acres of green grass remain.
  • Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) – Built completely of marble, this is where the emperor received special visitors.
  • Khas Mahal (Private Palace) – The Emperor's main residence. The octagonal Mussaman Burj tower looks out toward the Yamuna River, and is where the Emperor used to appear before the public for each morning.
  • Rang Mahal (Colour Palace) – The residence of the Sultan's main wife.
  • Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel Palace) – Contained six apartments for the Sultan's harem. Now used as a museum of court textiles, carpets, weapons, etc (free).
  • Daawat Khana. A minor palace at the northmost end of the Fort, this was originally the residence of a prince, but it was converted into a tea house by the British, a function it continues today. Basic meals go for around 60 rupees, drinks 10-20 rupees, and it also has the cleanest toilets around.
  • Swatantra Sangrama Sangrahalaya (Museum of the Independence Movement) – To the left after the Chatta Chowk, this is a reasonably well-presented museum on the history of independence activism in India, starting from the Mutiny of 1857 all the way to Gandhi.

The only open entrance is Lahore Gate, on the west side. Security in and around the Fort is very heavy, as it was the scene of a terrorist attack in 2000 that killed three people. Bags are allowed, but they'll be X-rayed and you'll be patted down. Tickets cost 10/250 rupees for Indians/foreigners, photography free, video cameras 25 rupees extra. Open sunrise to sunset daily except Monday. Allow for three to four hours in your schedule in case of long weekends and national holidays as lot of tourists flock around then. The most scenic way of reaching the fort is to take the Metro to Chawri Bazaar and then a cycle-rickshaw through the incredibly packed bazaar to the Fort (price negotiable, aim for 20 rupees).

The fort has a light and sound show (50 rupees) in the evenings from 7:30PM-9PM, depending on the season.

Be careful buying tickets at the booth, as the ticket sellers will attempt to shortchange you. Try to have a small bill. Due to enhanced security the parking can be a bit tricky as the walk from the now distanced away parking at nearby alternative slots is quite a bit. The congested traffic makes crossing the road even trickier.

Humayun's Tomb
Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb in south Delhi, near Hazrat Nizamuddin station, is one of Delhi's three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, entry is 10/250 rupees Indians/foreigners.

The tomb is in large, immaculately maintained gardens in the Persian Char Bagh (four corners) style that were thoroughly renovated in 2003 with the Aga Khan's help and are consequently probably the best in Delhi. As you enter the complex, the first major structure on your right is the bulbous, octagonal tomb of Iza Khan, a court noble who built it in his own lifetime, some 20 years before Humayun's tomb. As you pass through the first gate, you will glimpse the dome of the tomb and enter a floral path leading to the second (West) gate, which now acts as the entrance to the giant central garden.

The centerpiece is the eponymous tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor. Built starting in 1562, it was the first major Mughal structure in the city and has been described as a predecessor or prototype of Agra's Taj Mahal. The structures are, indeed, stylistically similar, although Humayun's Tomb is built from red sandstone, not white marble, and was built by a wife grieving for her husband, not the other way around. You can climb up to the second level (the stairs on the west side are very steep, those on the south side less so), and on the south side you will find the entrance into the main crypt where Humayun is buried.

Before you leave, be sure to visit the South Gate, the original royal entrance, from where you can get picture-postcard views without too many tourists in the way. In the southeast corner is the Barber's Tomb, also built in the same style. Historians believe that the emperor's favorite barber is buried in this picturesque tomb made of red and grey sandstone.

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar
Ala-i-Darwaza (left), Imam Zamin's tomb (right) and Qutb Minar in the background
Ala-i-Darwaza (left), Imam Zamin's tomb (right) and Qutb Minar in the background
Intricately carved alcove, Tomb of Iltutmish
Intricately carved alcove, Tomb of Iltutmish
Calligraphy, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
Calligraphy, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

This complex in Mehrauli, south Delhi, houses structures dating from the Slave Dynasty (1206-1290) and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gardens are kept in excellent shape, making this a popular relaxation and picnic spot. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, entry is 20/250 rupees Indians/foreigners. Light-and-sound show held most nights after sunset.

  • Qutub Minar – The most famous structure on grounds, this 72.5m minaret was the tallest "skyscraper" in the world when built (1193-1368) - it was constructed on the orders of Qutb-ud-din Aybak. Delicately carved, it has been astonishingly well-preserved and is still an awe-inspiring sight today. It's often visible from air when flying into IGI airport! (Sticklers for archaeological truth will, however, note that the top of the tower has twice been rebuilt after an earthquake, and the base has been restored more recently.) While entry into the tower itself is no longer permitted, for 10 rupees per 5 min you can view the scenery via a little webcam on top.
  • Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. Delhi's first and grandest mosque, now mostly in ruins, but many parts of the complex are still standing and the sandstone decorations are still impressive. Check out the extraordinarily ornate carvings near the tomb of Iltutmish on the west side of the complex.
  • Iron Pillar is in the center of the mosque. True to its name, this is a 7-meter iron pillar erected c. 400 AD by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, also known as "he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed" according to the inscription carved on the base. Alas, Chandragupta II's perfume has long since faded, but to the amazement of metallurgists everywhere, his pillar is still going strong, after 1,600 years.
  • Ala-i-Minar – Ala-ud-din-Khilji set out to build a tower twice as high as the Qutub Minar, but died after a mere 24.5m was complete. The first story stands to this day.
  • Ala-i-Darwaza – This square, domed building once acted as the entrance to the mosque, but is now tucked away behind the minar. Inlaid marble decorations and latticed stone screens.
  • Tomb of Imam Zamin – Outside the main complex, next to the Ala-i-Darzawa, this octagonal tomb commemorates a Turkestani iman who was based in the mosque during the reign of Sikandar Lodi.
India Gate
India Gate
  • Rajpath – This is a main parade route that leads to the President's residence (Rashtrapati Bhavan). Don't miss the splendid India Gate, and the many grassy lawns. Especially nice in the evenings and at night when the buildings are lit and the vendors come out to supply the many picnicking families.
  • Rajghat Memorial of Mahatma Gandhi [9] - check for closure dates/security checks around national holidays/gandhiji's death anniversary (30th Jan).
  • Lodhi Estate
  • Nehru House 'Teen Murti Bhavan'. This is the house of the first Prime Minister of India. Remarkably well preserved with most of paraphernalia intact. Was used by the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Army before Indian Independence. Free entrance.
  • India Gate. This monument has been built as a memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in World War I. There is also a fire ("eternal flame") burning for all fallen Indian soldiers.
  • Parliament House
  • Lodhi Garden is a peaceful park in the heart of New Delhi. Lodhi garden is ideal for morning walks in the hot season and for afternoon strolls and picnics during the cooler months
  • Nehru Park is a large park in the South Delhi neighborhood of Chankayapuri
  • India Habitat Center, Lodhi Road, +91 (0) 11 2468 2001 (thru 2009), [10]. This center though not a museum in the strictest sense of the word, is most noted for its ever-changing art exhibits, plays and films, as well as an international selection of food items in its food court.Only members can avail of the dining facilities at its following two restaurants-Dilli-O-Dilli & the Oriental octopus wheras he eatopia and the American Diner are accessible to all.
  • International Doll's Museum, Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. +91 (0) 11 2331 6970 (thru 6974), [11]. T-S 10AM-6PM. A museum of dolls from all over the country. You get to see the costumes and art from all over India, as well as some nice crafts. 10 rupees.
  • National Museum, Janpath, [12]. The here layout is a labyrinthine and the presentation won't win any awards, but the collection is unparalleled and contains some true masterpieces. The section on the Indus Valley Culture and the one on Buddhist Heritage is most informative. The museum also showcases the arts and handicrafts from different regions of India. Keep an eye out for the 4600-year-old Harappan temple dancer, the Gandhara-era standing Buddha with Greek hair and a Roman toga, the stunning miniature painting gallery, and the giant temple chariot parked outside.

An informative place for all interested in knowing more about Indian culture and history.

Entry 300 rupees for foreigners (includes useful audioguide), 10 rupees Indians (optional audioguide Rs.150 extra), 1 rupees for Indian Students, plus 300 rupees if you want to use a camera. Decent restaurant on the second floor (lunch buffet 100 rupee). Open Tu-Su 10AM-5PM.

National Science Centre – Gate No. 1, Pragati Maidan. Although the name is too grand, the museum is definitely a must see for science enthusiasts, especially those who are young. A good place to refresh your basics, particularly in Physics. Has a recently built section on DNA Science and also a section on Dinosaurs. A section on ancient Indian Science and Technology, including Vedic Mathematics & Ayurveda. The "Energy Ball" display near the entrance is interesting and perhaps the most captivating of all. A section on Electronic Technologies sponsored by Samsung is also a must see.

  • National Railway Museum, Chanakyapuri, [13] +91 11 2688 1816 houses a collection of Indian trains from the past to the present - a worthwhile look into India's proud railway heritage. The collection includes carriages belonging to Indian potentates and British viceroys. Children can ride the small train that circumnavigates the museum. There is a small cafe on the premises. Open 9:30AM-7:30PM (Apr - Sept) and 9:30AM-5:30PM (Oct-Mar). Closed Mondays and national holidays.
  • Teen Murti Bhavan former residence of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, now a museum of his life. Includes a Planetarium.
  • Tibet House, 1 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, +91 (0) 11 4611 515. thouse@nde.vsnl.net.in. Established by HH Dalai Lama with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of Tibet. There is a museum, exhibition space and library.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Akshardham Temple
Akshardham Temple
Lotus Temple
Lotus Temple
Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid
  • Bahá'í Lotus Temple, Kalkaji, South Delhi, [14]. Shaped like a lotus bud with 27 petals, this stunning temple suspended above milky-blue ponds is surely one of the most magnificent monuments ever made from concrete -- but there is very little to see inside. The lush park around is well landscaped but mostly off-limits. Free entry. Open Tue-Sun 9 AM-7 PM summer, 9 AM-5:30 PM winter.
  • Chhattarpur Mandir Huge & beautiful temple complex with a big surrounding campus - located near Mehrauli area of South Delhi.
  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib[15], just off Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place, is the main gurudwara for the many Sikhs of Delhi. You will need to cover your head (scarves provided for free) and stash your shoes in the shoe storage run by volunteers (also free).
  • Gurudwara Sis Ganj, Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi). An important Sikh place of worship. Built on the spot where their ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded on the orders of the mughal emperor Aurangzeb, it is an oasis of calm in the chaos of Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk. You will need to cover your head (scarves provided for free) and stash your shoes in the shoe storage run by volunteers (also free).
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral, 1 Ashok Place, off Baba Kharak singh Marg and Bhai Veer Singh Marg near Connaught Place near to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. It is the biggest church in terms of structure and also the headquarters of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. A must visit to enjoy the beutiful architecture and pristine beuty.
  • Cathdral Church of Redemption Address: Church Lane, Near Rashtrapati Bhawan. It is the headquarters of the Church of North India, Delhi Diocese. Built by Henry Medd between 1927 and 1935 it is a fine example of Colonial architecture.
  • St. Peter's Cathedral Bhai Veer Singh Marg, near St Columbas' school the headquarters of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox church in Delhi. It is known as the Antioch of the East and is a fine example of Oriental architecture blended with modernity.
  • ISKCON (Hare Krishna) temple, at East of Kailash – Centre for Krishna Consciousness, it has robotic shows and multimedia presentations, apart from the traditional temple complex. Lively atmosphere and excellent tasting sweets - and the delicious Govinda's restaurant is on site.
  • Jama Masjid, opposite the Red fort, next to Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi (Metro: Chawri Bazaar) – The largest mosque in India and a must-see while in Delhi. Entry is free, although you'll be charged 200 rupees if you have a camera with you. You can climb to the top of the minaret for 20 rupees. The climb is steep, dark and somewhat claustrophobic, but you'll get great views over the complex and the city. You'll need to cover up your shoulders and legs (scarves and lungis available for rental), and take off your shoes (expect to tip the shoe minder, 5 rupees is plenty). Open from 7AM to sunset, but note that tourists are not allowed in from 12:15PM-1:45PM or in the half-hour before sunset. Pictures should not be taken during prayer hours. If you're going to sit down don't look too comfortable. Certainly don't eat or become too engrossed in any reading material you may be carrying - the rule is that non-Muslims must make their visits brief and guards will usher along visitors who linger.
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple or popularly known as Birla Mandir, this temple is located next to Connaught Place. It is a big impressive Hindu temple complex. Closest Metro - Rajiv Chowk (Yellow Line). It will take you 45 minutes to visit, and you will not be able to take pictures from inside the Temple. With a great park behind it, it is an oasis of calm from Delhi. Its multiple shrines and paintings (often) have English explanations. Take your shoes off at the entrance.
  • Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, off National Highway 24 (Metro Akshardham), East Delhi, [16]. Completed in 2005 by the socio-spiritual organization BAPS, no expense has been spared in decorating this large and elaborate temple carved of red sandstone. The central monument, built without any steel, houses an 11-ft golden statue of the founder of the Swaminarayan faith, Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The Premvati food court on the grounds serve up fast, cheap, huge but mediocre portions of vegetarian food, 75 rupees for a thali. There is a strict ban on all electronic items, cameras, tobacco and pretty much everything except the clothes on your back. You can leave your worldly belongings in the cloakroom outside. Free entry, guide booklet is 5 rupees, access to multimedia exhibitions 125 rupees. Allow at least three-four hours to explore it all. Open Tu-Su 9AM-7PM.
  • Sai Baba Temple, 17,Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, [17]. Although there are many Shirdi Sai Baba Temples in and around Delhi, the one located at Lodhi Road is the oldest. Temple Opens at 5AM. Kakad Aarti 5.15AM. Mangal SNAN 6AM. Noon Aarti at 12noon. Doop Aarti Evening Prayer 6.30PM. Shej Aarti at Night 9.30PM.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University,(JNU) Campus – Not usually considered a"place of interest"for tourists , this one-of-a-kind campus of the premier National University remains a hidden gem of the city. The campus is hilly and rocky and some areas look more like a jungle with peacocks. The hostels represent the geographical vastness of India as they are named after Indian Rivers. For instance Godavari and Ganga. Specific areas of the campus are named after a particular geographical region in India. For instance Uttarakhand and Dakshinapuram. Some of the non-scholarly attractions of India's best University include 24x7, an eating joint which is open, as its name suggests, is open round the clock. Mamu Ka Dhaba, an eating joint owned and operated by a Phd. alumnus of the University! The uniqueness of this dhaba doesn't end here. It serves traditional food originating from the state of Bihar, including Chokhas, jhalmuri, and Ghugni (practically impossible to find anywhere else).

For a visit to the campus, board bus # 615 from Connaught Place.

  • Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan Colony – This is one of the more accessible Tibetan resettlement areas in India, and certainly a nice piece of variety for Delhi. To get there head north along Ring Road just past Majnu ka Tilla Gurudwara, or take the Metro to Vidhan Sabha station, and a cycle-rickshaw is 15 rupees from there.
Tourists in Connaught Place
Tourists in Connaught Place
Pigeons in Connaught Place, early morning
Pigeons in Connaught Place, early morning
  • Take the Footloose in Old Delhi half day walking tour around Old Delhi.
  • Take a walk at Connaught Place, the heart of New Delhi. The British-designed colonial equivalent of a shopping mall, it's laid out in two concentric rings divided into blocks, all bursting with shops and lots of pampered pigeons waddling about. Long neglected, the area received a major shot in the arm after the opening of the major Metro junction of Rajiv Chowk under it, and it's going more upmarket by the day. At the centre is a small but pleasant park, while on one edge is the notorious Palika Bazaar, an underground den of cheap wares, many pirated or smuggled from overseas. The area is surrounded by tall office buildings on nearly all sides. Train fans will want to check out the Metro Museum inside the station, open 10 AM-4 PM Tue-Sun (free with valid Metro ticket). Quite simply the best place to hang out!
  • Visit the International trade fair exhibition centre at Pragati Maidan.

Buy

Delhi is a shopper's heaven, but only if you're not afraid to haggle and bump elbows in bazaars. Western-style malls and shopping emporiums are creeping in on the outskirts (esp. Gurgaon, Noida), but there's little Indian about these sanitized shopping experiences, or the goods in them. Until a few years ago, all shops closed on Sunday. While rules have been relaxed, many districts (eg. Connaught Place) are still mostly shuttered. Saturday is the the main shopping day and hence also the most crowded.

Start your shopping tour of Delhi with a visit to Connaught Place [18], a rather unique cross between a European shopping arcade, an Indian bazaar and an upmarket shopping mall. At the intersection of the Yellow and Blue Lines of the Delhi Metro[19], it's easy to get to. With all shops laid out in two circles, it's easy to get around and explore.

  • Aap ki Pasand Tea Shop, Sterling House, 15 Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj (Opposite the post office, walking distance from Red Fort), ☎ +91 11 23260373, [20]. A great place to sample Indian chai and the exotic Darjeeling and Assam teas and buy tea in handcrafted fabric bags. Located in an old colonial era building, its teas have been savored by Bill Clinton, Gorbachov, Koizumi and are taken as official state gifts of India.

Shopping Malls in Capital region

Delhi and capital region (Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad) has recently witnessed the opening of lot of shopping Malls, which can be compared to any good malls in the world. Most of these Malls have food court and Multiplexes. You can find Multiplexes at every 5 square meter. Some of these malls include:

TDI Mall, Lajpat Nagar DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj DLF Place, Saket City Walk, Saket Pacific Mall, Anand Vihar bus terminous with IMAX theatre Shipra Mall, Ghaziabad Centerstage Mall, Noida Great India Place, Noida Galaxy, Ghaziabad Fun Republic, Motinagar V3S Mall, Vikas Marg Carnival Country Mall, Ghaziabad Sahara Mall, Gurgaon City Centre, Gurgaon MGF Metropolitan, Gurgaon DLF Ambience, Gurgaon Ansal Plaza, Khelgaon Marg Ansal Plaza, Ghaziabad Ansal Plaza, South Extension Part 2 (August Kranti Marg) East Delhi Mall, Ghaziabad East End Mall, Ghaziabad TDI mall, Rajouri Garden

Many more malls are under construction and will be completed soon.

  • Connaught Place – Many Western-style shops are here that have nice products for Indian prices. Check out "The Bookworm" and "Will's clothing".
  • Paharganj market, – Oriented toward backpackers, this strip of shops sells items such as shawls, tablas, rugs, jewelry, etc. This is right opposite New Delhi Railway Station.
  • Central Market, Lajpat Nagar – Middle-class Indians do their shopping here. Great deals for apparel, whether ethnic Indian or otherwise.
  • Sarojini Nagar market is great for export surplus garments, and green grocery.
  • Khan Market is where the foreign diplomats and Tibetan lama's go for lunch and to shop for dog supplies, groceries (great choice of vegetables), clothes (upper class Indian style, not expensive) and books (many bookshops).
  • Janpath is a bargain-hunter's dream and just a two minute walk from Connaught place. Think of it as a vast flea market, where you can get all kinds of knick-knacks and clothes. Janpath is not a place for those unwilling or unable to bargain ruthlessly. Also, as in any flea market, quality will vary greatly. There are also some bookshops.
  • Palika Bazaar, Connaught Place – This is a large underground market in the center of Connaught Place. The air here is bad and the quality of products low. One can hunt for DVDs, VCDs and Audio CDs of Hindi, English and a few regional and foreign language films and PC-based games.
  • Chandni Chowk, Metro Yellow Line. The heart of Old Delhi, this is the place to go for the full-on Indian experience of crowded, twisting alleys and tiny shops. The Fountain serves as a useful orientation point, and there are great Delhi-style snacks to be found in the vicinity too (see Eat).
  • Cottage Emporium, located near Connaught Place, is the main government-run location for selling handicrafts from all over the country. The prices are a little more than what you'd find if you went bargain hunting, but you can shop in air-conditioned comfort and all of the sales people speak English. The quality of items is quite good. You can pay with credit cards.
  • The state emporium is the state's equivalent of a Cottage. They are all located on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, one of the radial streets coming off of Connaught Place, and each state specializes in certain kinds of crafts. Some are better priced than others, and you can bargain a little. Many of them will take credit cards.
  • Dilli Haat, located in South Delhi near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), is a place where crafts fairs happen every few weeks. It is a wonderful place to get crafts from all over the country. What is distinctive here is that the artists themselves come to sell their goods, so your money goes directly to them, rather than to middlemen. Some bargaining may be necessary if you want the best price. Prices are higher than elsewhere, but the modest entry fee keeps out beggars, ripoff artists, and most touts. Many visitors find the mellow atmosphere worth the extra cost of shopping here. It also has a section called Foods of India. This has a huge number of restaurants, each showcasing the food of a particular state of India. (Most of them give a mix of Chinese and Indian food, but state delicacies are also included). This section is a must-go for the foodie cum tourist.
  • Ansal Plaza is a mall and a favorite shopping haunt for the local middle/upper class and it is in South Delhi. This is a great place to get bargains on international brand clothing and jeans (as these tend to be 30-50% cheaper than in the West depending on the brand and time of year). The mall also houses many Indian and Western eateries (including McDonald's). International brands like Guess, Marks & Spencer, United Colors of Benetton, Lacoste and Apple have retail outlets here.
  • South Extension is another shopping mecca in South Delhi but it is not a single mall. It is spread out over a large area and many international brands have stores here. International brands include the likes of Mango, Nautica, United Colors of Benetton, Levis, etc.
  • Karol Bagh reputed to be the largest shopping area in Asia with 20,000 shops and traders. There are many tailors experienced in western styles (suits etc). There is also a growing number of hotels here.
  • Sarojini Nagar Market reputed to be the largest outdoor, pedestrianized shopping area in Delhi. Huge bargains on all sorts of western and Indian wear. It is known by expatriate teens as THE shopping area for affordable current hip fashion trends. If you are lucky you can also get many reputed western brands here (export surplus) Also a great market for fresh fruits, vegetables and household goods!
  • Select City Walk is the largest mall in New Delhi. Located in Saket (South Delhi), it houses many top-end international retailers. While expensive, you can still find better bargains for higher end retail products here than in the west, as prices tend to be slightly cheaper.

Books

The Indian book industry is huge, producing annually about 15,000 books in English, and obviously far more in Hindi and other native languages. Delhi is hub of this industry, so small, specialist bookstores abound. Locally produced books can be very inexpensive and many popular Western titles are published and available here for a fraction of their original cost.

  • Khan Market – This is a shopping area for local diplomats. There are many book shops here that have a wide selection at reasonable prices.
  • Oxford Bookstore, First floor, Statesman House, Barakhamba Road (near Connaught Place), [21]. One of Delhi's largest and most modern bookstores. It has an emphasis on art and culture. The great Cha Bar allows you to read any book from the shelves and relax with a cup of tea. Available in several dozen varieties from 30 rupees up. Priced at regular prices. Open daily.
  • Mid Land Bookshop, South Extension and Aurbindo Place. Very similar to bookshops in Khan Market, but at better prices.
  • Galgotia and Sons, Cannaught Place. A more disorganized bookstore, but with an excellent variety of books available at excellent prices.
  • The Bookworm, Connaught Place – If you are more adventurous and want a 'localized' experience with the best books published in India you can go to:
  • Nai Sarak (near Chawari Bazaar) (use Chawari Bazaar or Chandani Chowk metro stations on yellow line) has narrow gullies where most publishers are based. This is very popular with students, particularly college students as course books are available here. They carry books in nearly all major languages spoken in India. Don't expect bargaining to work here as shopkeepers are too busy to argue. (The shopkeepers do more business than any proper branded shop, selling at least 5,000 books daily.) There are also many whole sellers. Very few books will be on display and you need to ask for a particular type of book as the variety of books sold is huge. Most books are original and the shopkeepers get very irritated if you question the book's genuineness. You can either take a rickshaw or walk. One of Delhi's oldest shopping complexes, you can find any book there after a day of searching. Also good areas for sightseeing.
  • Daryaganj and Asaf Ali Road – A little better organized, but otherwise very similar to Nai Sarak. Hindi Book Centre on Asaf Ali road is very famous and one can find practically every Hindi book there and they also have a very good website : [22]
  • Nehru Place, [23]. An IT hardware market complex and a perfect place for finding gadgets at very cheap rates. It is also a huge marketplace for both pirated and original software. Any computer-related accessory can be found here, but parking is a monumental problem. Beware of congestion and pickpockets. Open Mon-Sat.
  • District Center, Janak Puri (Janak Puri West Metro Station). Also known as mini Nehru Place. You will get computer goods quite close to the prices available in Nehru Place. Parking is not big a problem. Generally, open seven days a week.

Eat

Delhiites complain about many things in their city, but the food will satisfy even the most demanding gourmet. Not only can you find some of the best Indian food on the subcontinent, there is also an increasing number of excellent (if often pricey) international restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. When ordering, do remember that Delhi is about 1000 km from the nearest ocean, so vegetarian, chicken and mutton dishes are the way to go.

Delhi has arguably the best street food in India. However, if you're not local (and even if you are), it's not uncommon to get diarrhea or worse. Meat can be particularly risky, especially in summer.

Chaat

If you want to eat chaat, the North Indian street side snack food, Delhi is the place to be. Like Spanish tapas or Greek mezze, chaat can cover a vast variety of things, but Delhi style tends to mean a deep-fried pastry shell, stuffed after cooking with potatoes, lentils or almost anything else. They're then topped with yogurt, chutneys and chaat masala spice mix and eaten fresh.

Some typical chaat items are paapdi chaat (a mix of small round fried crispy things with yogurt and other sauces), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked in a tandoor with spices), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy sweet blend of sauces).

The best place to go for chaat is the Bengali Market near Connaught Place in the center of town. The restaurants are high quality and the food is great. There are ATMs as well. One of the best known restaurants there is Nathu's. But for the really good chaat you have to make your way to Old Delhi, and particularly to Ashok's near Chawri Bazaar. While connoisseurs insist that the best chaat is prepared on the street, most travellers try to find a comfortable middle ground between hygiene and authenticity.

  • Andhra Pradesh Bhavan Canteen, Ashok Road (near Man Singh Road). Open for lunch and dinner this is a favorite of local Delhi foodies who are looking for an authentic Andhra meal. They serve all you can eat veg/non-veg thalis for 60-120 rupees. For carnivores, you have a variety of non-veg options (chicken/fish/mutton) but the mutton fry is recommended. The service is quick and efficient. Another favorite is the Karnataka Bhavan canteen beside Ansal Plaza near Mool Chand offering all possible South India food.
  • Haldiram's, 1454/2 Chandni Chowk (just west of the Fountain) and other outlets around town, [24]. This is a famous manufacturer of Indian snacks and sweets that has now gone global. This always-packed, two-story outlet in the heart of Chandni Chowk was its first in Delhi and dates back to 1924. The ground floor houses a vast array of sweet and sticky Indian confections, while the first floor has a popular vegetarian restaurant. This is a great place to try authentic and hygienic Delhi chaat and other Indian snack foods. Try the Raj Kachori (pictured left), a mixture of different types of stuffing with sweetened yogurt and chutneys in an oversized hollow dough shell. All chaat is under 50 rupees, or you can get a full daily thali for 90 rupees.
  • Tadka, 4986, Ram Dwara Road (side road off of Main Bazaar), Nehru Bazar, Paharganj. A notably clean restaurant by Paharganj standards. Serves only vegetarian food, a full thali for 60 rupees. Their tea is really good and their most popular dish is Paneer B. Masala.
  • Nangarg, Rajgur Marg Road (side road off of Main Bazaar), Paharganj. A really good hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for about 60 rupees. The workers there are genuinely good people, which can be hard to find in this area. You'll have more luck finding a sign that says "Veg-Nonveg" than their actual restaurant sign.
  • Bitto Tikki Wala (Also known as BTW), Netaji Subhash Place, Pitampura. The best aloo tikki (potato and vegetable burger)available in town. It has a branch in Sarita Vihar, Near Apollo Hospital and Badarpur border.
  • Amritsari Kulcha Wala, Paschim Vihar Red Light, Near Jwala Heri Market. If you are into amritsari kulcha, you probably can't miss this. People on dieting beware: the amount of butter that the vendor puts in is huge. However, without it you will not enjoy the Amritsari Kulcha so much. It is kind of a road side dhaba or shack. Rs.60 for two kulchas is what he charges. It is actually on Outer Ring Road, Adjoining to a park wall. You can ask anybody about the Kulcha wala & they will be able to tell you the direction in Paschim Vihar / Meera Vihar Outer Ring Road.
  • Egg parantha Wala, Opposite to Surya hotel, Lajpat Nagar. This guy owns a shack and is running the parantha business for ages.

Mid-range

You will find McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut scattered at various locations (in malls and otherwise) throughout the city. The Indian menus (no beef, lots of veggie options) can be interesting even if you would otherwise steer clear. 100 rupees for a full serve.

  • Club India Cafe, 4797, Second Floor, 6 Tooti Chowk (next to vegetable market), Paharganj. Don't be put off by the cramped stairway up. This is a clean and bright little haven of peace with birds-eye views of the chaos below. The menu spans the gamut but the thing to try is the Japanese food, prepared under the watchful eye of the Japanese owner. 100-200 rupees.
  • Karim's, Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, tel. +91-11-23269880, [25]. As you'd expect from a restaurant on Kebab Lane, the name of the game here is Mughal-style meat (mutton and chicken), served up since 1913 and still going strong. Favorites include Badam Pasanda (boneless mutton cooked with yogurt, almonds and spices) and Chicken Noor Jahan, but if you're really hungry, try Tandoori Bakra — an entire stuffed goat (4,500 rupees, 24 hours notice and down payment required). And a style tip: some of the dishes have huge puddles of oil on top, which you're supposed to drain off before eating. Under 200 rupees at the original; more at the branches.
  • Moti Mahal Deluxe, M-30, Greater Kailash Part I, tel # 6412467 (and other outlets). Famous for their tandoori chicken and North Indian food. Their family-sized naan is delicious and the size of a 4 year old child.
  • Nirula's, L-Block, Connaught Place, +91-11-23322419, [26]. India's answer to McDonald's, this serves both Indian and Western fare. Has many other branches throughout the country.
  • Sagar Ratna Shop No 24, Defence Colony Market, Defence Colony, New Delhi - 110024 +91 11 2433 3815, +91 11 2155 1097 – Considered by many to be the best place for authentic South Indian food, Sagar does justice to the reputation. The menu features dosas, idlis, vadas, uttapams, rasam and thalis. A/C. There's likely to be a queue for seats during peak hours and definitely on Tuesday nights. The upmarket version (quieter, better laid out and more expensive) is at Sagar Ratna, Ashok Hotel, 50-B Chanakyapuri +91 11 2611 0101 . Both also have many other branches.
  • Saravana Bhavan, 46 Janpath, +91 11 2331 7755 +91 11 2331 6060, [27]. A good South Indian joint located in Janpath very close to Connaught Place. They are a Chennai chain operating in Delhi. If you go at lunch time, prepare to wait a while. The various dosas are recommended, as well as the thalis (meals) and the sweet dishes.
  • Sri Balaji Restaurant, 17A/41, W.E.A. Gurudwara Road, Karol Bagh, serves North and South Indian food for good prices, but offers only veg food.
  • On tighter budgets, the Pindi or Havemore are recommended at Pandara Park.
  • Khan Chacha, 75, Middle lane, Khan Market – A Roomali Rolls and Kabab stand serving chicken, mutton and paneer (cottage cheese) kebab rolls. Very popular with Delhites
  • Bukhara, Maurya Sheraton – Regularly tops the charts as India's best restaurant (and certainly among the priciest), the roast lamb and the Bukhara Dal here are legendary. Always make reservations or be ready to stand in a queue (similar to queues at an airport) for about two hours. 2000+ rupees.
  • Chor Bizarre, Hotel Broadway, 4/15A Asaf Ali Rd, [28]. Now franchised worldwide, the original restaurant serves Kashmiri food in an eclectic surrounding like a chor bazaar (thieves market). The buffet is laid out inside an old car! 300 rupees for a full meal.
  • Naivedhyam, Hauz Khas Village. Offers quality South Indian meals and service at slightly higher prices.
  • Punjabi by Nature, 11 Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, tel. 011-5151-6665. One of Delhi's best-known Punjabi restaurants. 500 rupees or so, more if you order seafood.

Italian

  • T.L.R. Cafe & Kitchen, 31 Hauz Khas Village, near Green Park and Aurobindo Place in South Delhi. Popular among tourists, expats and locals alike. Continental menu featuring a variety of pastas and panini's. Kitchen open 11a.m. to 11p.m. daily. Also on menu, Spanish, Moroccan and American cuisines, plus desserts, drinks and more. www.tlrcafe.com
  • The Big Chill, Khan Market and East of Kailash, is popular with a young crowd for great smoothies, ice creams, cheesecakes and Italian food. Expect a waiting line during lunch at Saturdays.
  • Slice of Italy, affordable authentic Italian food, a connoisseur's delight. Located near M2k Pitampura (North Delhi) and various other locations in Delhi.
  • Flavours of Italy is located near the Moolchand Flyover.
  • Little Italy is in the Defence Colony Market.
  • The West View at Maurya Sheraton. Italian food.
  • Olive features Italian food and is near the Qutub Minar.
  • Diva, at Greater Kailash Pt.2, features Italian food.
  • San Gimignano, at Imperial Hotel, features Italian food.
  • La Piazza is an Italian restaurant at the Hyatt Regency. Italian food.
  • Satoria Very authentic Italian food, great pizzas, carpaccio, pasta and wines. Mains are about 500 INR. Located in Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar in south of Delhi.

Japanese

  • Enoki, The Grand, Nelson Mandela Rd, Vasant Kunj-II, [29]. Pseudo-rustic yakitori (Japanese chicken kebab) restaurant offering fairly authentic food, including a limited range of sushi and sake. 1000+ rupees.
  • Sakura, Hotel Metropolitan, Bangla Sahib Marg, [30]. Ranked as the finest Japanese restaurant in India, this restaurant is very well known for its excellent food. But it also carries the tag of being one of the most expensive restaurants in India, according to many THE most expensive.
  • Side Wok, Khan Market, good-value japanese, chinese and other asiatic food. Some choice of Sushi. Beautiful decor. No alcohol. Mains about 400 INR.
  • Tamura, D Block Market, Vasant Vihar. Less glamorous than the five star Japanese Restaurants in Delhi, Tamura offers authentic, unpretentious Japanese cuisine at affordable prices. With its traditional seating style, rice paper and bamboo decor, and a shelf filled with Japanese books and comics available for patrons to peruse while waiting, Tamura has a distinctive ex-patriot feel to it. Indeed, Tamura is a favorite for Japanese ex-patriots living in Delhi as well as for visiting tourists. The menu offers many of the tried and tested favorites including various Tempura and Udon dishes as well as a limited range of Sushi, however it also offers fare that generally does not travel outside Japan, such as the Hamburg Steak. Average meal for one will range from Rs 500-800.

Middle Eastern

  • Felafel Man, Main Bazaar, Paharganj. About a 10 minunite walk down Main Bazaar from New Delhi train station, this little shop sells excellent falafel rolls and Sabeekh. Made with love and patience by the multilingual Shimon, the rolls come with superb hummus, tahini and mineral water washed vegies. Don't forget to wash it down with the very filling (almost a meal in itself) seasonal fruit lassi, so thick it takes some effort to suck it up the straws.

Thai

Delhiites have eagerly adopted Thai food into their culinary pantheon, although the recipes and ingredients are often rather Indianized.

  • EGO Thai, Friends Colony Market.
  • Culinaire, Greater Kailash 2
  • Chilli Seasons, Lodhi Colony market
  • Ban Thai, Oberoi.
  • Thai Wok, Mehrauli, tel:26644289. Should go at night for a view of the lit up Qutab Minar.
  • The Kitchen, Khan Market tel: 011 4175 7960/7961
  • Turquoise Cottage, 81/3 Adhchini, Sri Aurobindo Marg, South Delhi, tel. 011-2685-3896, [31]. True to the name, the decor is turquoise and stylishly rustic, but the food is Thai-Chinese and, while somewhat adapted to Indian tastes, quite tasty. Also check out the popular The Other Side bar downstairs. Reservations recommended. 500 rupees.

Tibetan Food – Delicious,finger lickin' good Tibetan food is available at The Tibetan Kitchen, near Shivaji Stadium (which actually is a Bus Stand!) Connaught Place. The joint is run by Tibetan refugees.

Chinese

After Indian Cuisine, Chinese is Delhi's second most popular fare. For a long time, only Indianized Chinese was available, but extremely high-quality options are available today.

The Yum Yum Tree – As much as a fantasy-land as an eatery, it's easily one of the largest Chinese restaurants in the city. The influence here is from Singapore, and the Dim Sum Menu is second to none. The cuisine here is extremely high quality, and the prices more or less affordable. Sectioned into separate areas, pick the Grill for a quick lunch, splurge at the Formal Dining Area for dinner, or hang out at the funky Bar on a weekend. New Friends Colony, 011-42602020.

Nan King – Chinese food which is suprisingly different from the West but very good. Nan King is a good spot and offers a private lounge. Good for a party or to wind up a holiday.

Drink

Delhi's nightlife scene has undergone a total transformation in the last decade. There are plenty of modern, cosmopolitan joints out to separate you from your rupees. In a desperate attempt to keep the sex ratio vaguely equitable, many lounges and clubs have couples only policies (that is, no single men or men-only groups), enforced with varying degrees of strictness. While everything is theoretically to shut down by 1AM things can keep going much longer.

  • The coffee culture in Delhi consists mostly of large, heavily standardised chains. The two most common, Barista [32] and Cafe Coffee Day [33], can be found in multiple locations across the city, most notably around Connaught Place. The partly UK-based Costa Coffee [34] has also made a recent foray into the market.
  • Independent coffee shops are harder to find in Delhi, but they do exist, and are well worth seeking out. The Open Hand Cafe in Paharganj, one hundred metres west of the Metropolis Hotel in Main Bazaar, is a great example: in addition to excellent coffee that eclipses that available from the chains, they offer tasty breakfasts and snacks, and free, fast Wi-Fi (ask at the counter for a password).
  • Aap ki Pasand Tea Shop, Sterling House, 15 Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj (Opposite the post office, walking distance from Red Fort), +91 11 23260373, [35]. . A great place to sample Indian chai and the exotic Darjeeling and Assam teas and purchase the same. Located in an old colonial era building, its teas have been savored by Bill Clinton, Gorbachov, Koizumi and are taken as official state gifts of India. The best tea experience you might have!  edit

Hookah/Sheesha

Indian bar food, hookah and an amazing lounge experience. The crowd that frequents these two places is young, hip and trendy.

  • Hookah, Basant Lok (in Priya Cinema complex), Vasant Vihar, tel. +91-11-41663522. Three-level bar-restaurant offering surprisingly good (if pricy) Middle Eastern fare. They offer a wide range of drinks and an even wider range of flavored water pipes. There is no outdoor seating, nor do they offer hot drinks.
  • Mocha, Defense Colony.
  • Ziya- The Morockin Cafe, Ph: +91-9212631306/1/2 – This is a chain of neuvo Middle Eastern cafes that offers a wide range of drinks and food (not to mention the flavored tobacco). The place is really cost effective, at half the cost of the above mentioned.
  • Aqua - This poolside bar at the Park Hotel (close to Connaught Place) has a lounge atmosphere and has an extensive drinks list.
  • Aura - At the Claridges
  • Decibel One of two clubs in the Samrath Hotel next to the Ashok Hotel.500 INR cover charge.Chanakyapuri.
  • IndoChine's Forbidden City - Singapore chain that opened in Delhi in 2007. Restaurant (Madame Butterfly) upstairs serves very good Chinese food. The lounge/bar (BarSaVanh) is downstairs, very cool ambience outside. Located in South Delhi (Lado Sarai, adjacent to Qutab Golf Course. Meal for two arond Rs 3,000.
  • T.L.R., 31 Hauz Khas Village. Delhi's cozy, arty refuge for tourists, expats and locals alike comes alive in the evenings for live gigs, DJ nights, pub quiz, and more. www.tlrcafe.com.
  • Orange - This is a nightclub at the Ashoka Hotel.
  • Elevate - Located in Noida adjoining south delhi. Voted number 35 worldwide by top international Dj's - http://elevateindia.com/ , information by - http://www.qacampus.com
  • F Bar & Lounge (by Fashion TV) – This trendy bar and night club is in the Hotel Ashok in Chanakyapuri. Claimed to be the largest bar in Delhi (per Time Out article October 2008). Cover charge (redeemable against drinks) Wed, Fri, Sat is Rs. 2000, other days Rs. 1000.
  • The Other Side, 81/3 Adhchini (basement of Turquoise Cottage), Sri Aurobindo Marg, tel. 011-2685-396. This smoky brick-walled basement is covered with Western memorabilia. Eclectic music with an emphasis on rock (expect anything from Beatles to AC/DC). It's a good crowd, particularly on Wednesday's media nights. 500 rupees minimum for drinks and food. Couples only.
  • Shalom Cool Mediterranean-themed lounge bar/restaurant with chill-out music. In N-block market, GK-1.
  • Urban Pind/Bar/Cafe Bar/lounge on three floors. Regular events like Salsa, open bar for 720 INR, electro night, great expat nights.Greater Kailash I (GK-1), block N, number 4.
  • Manre Bar/lounge, at Saket Market, City Mall, open bar on Thursday for 800 INR.

LGBT Options

As of July 2009, Chapter XVI, Section 377, of the Indian Penal Code (a piece of legislation in India introduced during British rule of India, used to criminalize homosexual activity) has been declared unconstitutional. At this juncture, it remains to be seen how this will impact what the ruling will have on the smattering of late night watering holes, which crop up. Due to the underground and fluid nature of these gathering places, it is not possible to list these places.

If meeting same gender loving, or gender variant souls is a must, your best bet is to do your homework, via the internet, before arriving, as LGBT gathering spaces are not published on local media.

Delhi offers only a few public spaces, where same gender loving men can hook up. If you choose to engage in these types of encounters, use extreme caution - robberies, hustlers, and even reports of police entrapment and bribery are not unheard of.

Sleep

Budget

Delhi has a large number of hostels, many of them centered around the tourist/backpacker hubs.

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk originally meaning moonlit square or market, is one of the oldest and busiest markets in central north Delhi, India.Chandni Chowk is the major street in the walled city of Old Delhi, which was originally called Shah Jahanabad. The walled city which includes the Lal Qilla Red Fort of Delhi was established in 1650 AD, by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.

Paharganj

Everything a backpacker needs and then some, Main Bazaar
Everything a backpacker needs and then some, Main Bazaar
Picturesque Paharganj
Picturesque Paharganj

This street, also referred to as Main Bazaar, is opposite New Delhi railway station and has many cheap hotels. It's very popular with travelers. A double room with attached bathroom is 200-300 rupees (or less). Note that the Delhi Metro exits are on the Ajmeri Gate side of the New Delhi Railway station, so you'll need to cross over the railway station (Platform Ticket is not needed for entering the station, see the above article on train station cons) to go to Paharganj. Main road is very noisy during day time. Below is a list of a few of the more popular places:

  • Ajay Guest House, 5084-A, Main Bazaar, Paharganj, New Delhi 110055 (Opposite Khanna Cinema), :+91(11) 41541226, +91(11) 23583125 (, fax: +91(11) 41541701), [36]. Double rooms cost 250-300Rs (no A/C) or 450-500Rs (with A/C). (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Sham Nath Villa bed and breakfast delhi, 12, Sham Nath Marg, Civil Lines (Opposite Oberoi Maidens), (, fax: +91-11-23923925), [37]. Double rooms cost 90$(A/C). (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Chanchal Deluxe, Aakarshan Road, Behind Sheela Cinema, Paharganj, Delhi. This little more expensive than the average Paharganj hotel. 700 rupees. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Sai Palace, (Middle lane opposite railway station, Paharganj, Delhi). Rs.200/300. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Hare Rama Guest House, 298 Main Bazaar (Down the side road near the Khanna Cinema.), 2743-3017. This is a really popular hotel and also a popular place to book nice sleeper buses if you're heading to Dharamsala or Pushkar. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Metropolis, 1634 Bazaar Hand, 2351-8074. This hotel is a little more expensive than the average Paharaganj hotel. It also has a good restaurant. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Namaskar, 917 Chandiwalan, Main Bazaar, Paharganj, New Delhi 110055 (located down a side alley), +91(11) 23583456, +91(11) 65263010 , +91(11) 23582233 (), [38]. Only five minutes from the train station. Be prepared for a somewhat gloomy hotel, with possibly cock roaches in the rooms. No sheets or towels. Primary school right next to the hotel makes sleeping past 8AM nearly impossible. 250Rs for a double room. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Navrang, (on a side street off main bazaar at the intersection with the vegetable market), +91(11)2356-1922. Cheap and cheerful. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Royal Palace, Main Bazaar (200 meters down Main Bazaar from New Delhi Station before Star Palace Hotel), +91(11) 2358-6176 (fax: +91(11) 27537103). Clean and pleasant design/style. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Vivek, 1534-50 Main Bazaar, Paharganj, New Delhi 110055 (about a ten minute walk from the railway station), 2351-2900, [39]. This has a pleasant rooftop restaurant, but rather bland food . 300 rupees for a double room up to 1,200 rupees for deluxe.. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Delhi Hotel - It's a new boutique hotel in posh colony of New Delhi. An beautifully designed hotel with affordable, neat, clean & hygienic rooms. Address C23 Greater Kailash 2, New Delhi 110048, India. [40]
  • Hotel Aman and Hotel Anand On Rajguru Road are known to overcharge foreign tourist.

Majnu ka Tilla

Majnu ka Tilla is a compact Tibetan settlement and the place of departure and arrival for buses to/from Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Dalai Lama. Stay here if you have an interest in Tibetan culture, politics and religion, or if you need something quieter (and just slightly more expensive) than Paharganj.

An auto-rickshaw from New Delhi train station should cost around 50 rupees (use the prepaid stand). The Vidhan Sabha metro station is also nearby and popular. From there cycle-rickshaws charge 15 rupees and take about five minutes.

  • New Peace House. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Peace House, 2393-9415. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Lhasa House, 2393-9888. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Ida Guest House, +91-22-2222-1234. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • GaKhyil House, +91-11-238-111-47. (latitude,longitude) edit

Other Areas

  • Hotel Tara Palace, Hotel TaraPalace 419, Old Cycle Market, Chandni Chowk (Opposite Delhi Parade Ground), +91-11-23276465 (, fax: +91-11-23273555), [41]. checkin: 1200 Hrs; checkout: 1100 Hrs. Hotel Tara Palace is a friendly budget hotel in New Delhi which provides free breakfast and free airport pickup. From $35.  edit
  • New India Hotel, 172 Katra Baryan (Next to the red fort in Old Delhi), +91 (0)11 235 117. Noisy a/c, rudimentary shower. Bollywood movies at night which can be somewhat entertaining. 250 rupees for single room and 350 rupees for double bedroom. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Sunrise Villa, K Block, Kalkaji, New Delhi – 1600 rupees + tax for single room. Free Wi-fi. The food is also some what OK.
  • Hotel silver Arc, Behind Karol Bagh Metro Station, [[Centrally Located in the heart of the City, 3 Kms form New Delhi Railway Station, 14 Kms from International Airport and 12 Kms From Domestice Airport.

]] For Booking Call 09873533669 Tariff Starts Rs. 2299/- or 46 $ A/c Room

Mid-range

Delhi's chronic lack of quality hotels has led to a mushrooming of guest houses of widely varying quality and price. The new official 'Delhi Bed and Breakfast scheme' has also contributed a range of private rooms available for bed & breakfast lets. See the official site of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation at [42] for detailed information. These rooms range from cheap dumps to classy rooms in the best neighborhoods of Delhi. A welcome addition to the accommodation situation in Delhi!

  • Caravan Homestay - +91-9971843131 (). Web: http://delhicaravan.com It is a little Delhi Homestay that houses a friendly Indian family welcoming you to their little pad. A beautifully maintained homestay with affordable and clean rooms along with excellent company. You don't just get a room, you get an experience. A family that is culturally rooted with the city for the last six decades, we know it better than most of the people out there and we want to share it with you. We welcome you to enjoy our true Delhi hospitality and the marvelous city and you’ll surely be addicted. Address: 1/13 Single Storey, Tilak Nagar, New Delhi, India., +91 9213455982 (). [43]
  • Cabana Hotel - It's a new boutique property in posh colony of New Delhi. An beautifully designed hotel with affordable, neat, clean & hygienic rooms. Address R23 Greater Kailash 1, New Delhi 110048, India. Tel.: +91 11 40747474. Fax: +91 11 40747475 [45]
  • Alpine Park - Bed and Breakfast, Sunder Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi 110087, India, +91-9868482798, [46]. Alpine Park - Bed and Breakfast in New Delhi, India is located near Punjabi Bagh - one of the posh localities in West Delhi. Affordable, convenient and with all the modern amenities will make you come to this place again and again 1500 onwards.  edit
  • Hotel Ashiana, 50 Ara Kashan Road, Ram Nagar, New Delhi 110055, India, +91-11-23627617, [47]. Hotel Ashiana in New Delhi, India is located near the New Delhi Railway Station. A member of Kukreja Group Hotels, this New Delhi hotel proves that great service and convenience need not be expensive. Its strategic location even places you within minutes of Connaught Place, the city’s main financial and commercial district.  edit
  • Asian Guest House, 14 Scindia House, second floor with elevator, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place, +91 (0)11 23313393 (), [48]. Clean quiet rooms, centrally located. Not recommended for families. Corridors and less expensive rooms are dirty and desperately in need of renovation. monkeys living outside the building, and cockroaches inside, are a combined special treat! Singles from 675 rupees, doubles with a/c and cable TV for 1575 rupees + 12.5% tax. Book through their website and get 5% discount on room tariff. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • India Luxury Homes, S 504 Greater Kailash I New Delhi 110048 India, +91-9999 888666 (), [49]. India Luxury Homes is a one of its kind Luxury BnB in the heart of South Delhi. With jacuzzi, Mini Bar and all amenities of a 4 star hotel and the comfort of home. You can contact the owner of the property Rajesh any time at +91 9999 888666. 3500 INR.  edit
  • Lemontree Hotels, 201, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III (New Delhi 110020), 11-41650101, [50].  edit
  • Prem Sagar Guest House, P block, First Floor, Connaught Place Outer Circle (Near Shivaji Stadium, next block to the landmark Regal Cinema and a few doors away from McDonald's Outer Circle), +91 (0)11 23345263 (), [51]. Clean quiet rooms, centrally located, terrace garden. All rooms A/C, cable TV. From Rs.1800.  edit
  • BNB New Delhi, I - 9 Maharani Bagh, 00919899099042 (), [52]. Bed and breakfast delhi 2800 INR. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Hotel Marina Connaught Place – High mid-range.
  • Delhi Homestay, (20 mins from Airport), (), [53]. Air-conditioned room with private attached bathroom with hot/cold showers. Breakfast is complimentary! Located in a quiet, green section of Delhi. Pickup to and from airport can be arranged. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Bajaj Indian Homestay, [54]. Includes ten themed hotel rooms. hotel (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Bed and Breakfast New Delhi, I-9 Maharani Bagh, +919899099042 (), [55]. Three-room bed and breakfast. Private bathrooms. Free Wifi. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • New Haven Hotel, E - 512, Greater Kailash Part-2,Main Road New Delhi-110048, +91-9910024700 (), [56]. checkin: 14:00 hrs; checkout: 12 Noon. Great boutique hotel located in South Delhi. Nice new deluxe rooms, high speed Wifi internet, nice surrounding and an amazing location. Close to Lotus temple, Opposite JMD shopping mall and Mainland China restaurant. GK-2 M block market with many restaurants and bars like Ruby Tuesday, Nudeli, Diva, Smoke House Grill and many more. GK-1 M block market is in proximity to shopping and the Saket City Select Mall. INR 2800 / $69 onwards.  edit
  • Mehar Castle, [57]. Large rooms with a/c, tv, hot shower, room service. 750 Rupees/night for one and 1500 for two persons. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Narula Inn, [58]. Bed and breakfast in the heart of New Delhi, Connaught Place. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Hotel Ajanta, Main Bazaar, Paharganj, New Delhi 11055, +91-11-23620925/26/27 (), [59]. Supposedly recommended by Lonely Planet and others, therefore populated by foreigners only. Decent restaurant and nice atmosphere on rooftop bar, although rooftop seems like a construction site. Internet is available. The staff is often rude and may try to offer overpriced tour package bookings as ofen as they can. The rooms are small and many do not have windows. Bath/shower facilities are archaic. Be warned that any quoted prices will incur a whopping 22.5% 'tax' charge at time of payment. The hotel is also unwilling to store luggage for its patrons. Single room with fan from Rs1000 plus 22.5%. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Hotel Sunstar Residency, 8A/50, W.E.A. Channa Market, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 110 005, 25853688, 89, 42503285, 42502767 (), [60]. Room service and a restaurant available for breakfast and dinner. Lockers available. Double rooms with A/C, TV, private bathroom from 1300 rupees.. (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Shantigriha Bed and Breakfast, 12 A, Lane W - 16, Sainik Farms, New Delhi, 91-9818149019 (), [61]. Calm Peaceful, near Asola wildlife sanctuary and Qutab Minar. Free wifi,private loo's (latitude,longitude) edit
  • Magical Bed and Breakfast, D-393,Defence Colony,New Delhi-110024 INDIA, 91-9311955119 (), [62]. Best & Affordable Bed and Breakfast In New Delhi - India (latitude,longitude) edit*
  • Amar Inn, K 102, Lajpat Nagar - II, New Delhi, 91-9818410099 (), [63]. Reasonable rooms, free internet, but bathrooms badly in need of remodel. All rooms include air freshening dispenser. Double Occupancy A/c Room appx $75 USD.  edit
  • Inn at Delhi, C-34, Anand Niketan (+91 98 6810 4893), [64]. Bed and breakfast homestay in Delhi ~4900 INR.  edit
  • Thikana, A-7 Gulmohar Park, +91 11 4604 1569 (), [65]. Great little family-operated boutique hotel in south Delhi. Very friendly and hospitable service. Nice new rooms. Free internet. Close to GK-1, defense colony with many restaurants and bars. ~4500 INR.  edit
  • Urban Ashram, D-12 Huaz Khas, +91 11 4615 1818 (), [66]. checkin: noon; checkout: 1 M. Warm, intimate and cosy family-operated boutique bed and breakfast in south Delhi. Friendly and hospitable service. Nice new rooms. Free internet and secure Wi-Fii rooms. Close to GK-1, defense colony , saket with many restaurants and bars. Rs 3,500-4,500.  edit
  • Alpine Park, Sunder Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, +91 98 6848 2798, [67]. Alpine Park - a serviced apartment - is located near Punjabi Bagh, one of the posher localities in West Delhi. Affordable, convenient and with all the modern amenities will make you come to this place again and again. ~1800 INR.  edit
  • Hotel SPB 87, 17A/2, W.E.A. Karol Bagh, +91 11 4500 0400, [68]. 20 minutes from the Indira Gandhi International Airport and 10 minutes from New Delhi Railway Station; each room features satellite television, Wi-Fi Internet access, and a private toilet and bath. They also have a conference hall for business meetings and guests. ~2590 INR.  edit

Splurge

At the high end of the scale, demand far outstrips supply and it's not unusual to be asked US$400 for a very ordinary room. Getting a room at any of the hotels listed below for under US$200 will require good luck or timing. Beware that by law taxes for high-end Delhi hotels are still charged on the rack rate, so 12.5% on a $400 room discounted to $200 will still cost $50 extra!

  • The Grand, Vasant kunj - Phase II, Nelson Mandela Rd, +91 11 2677 1234 (), [71]. Formerly the Grand Hyatt, the hotel still maintains high standards with an opulent lobby, modern rooms, pool and spa. The South Delhi location 15 min from the airport is good for business, but rather awkward for tourism.  edit
  • Oberoi Delhi, Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, +91 11 2436 3030 (), [72]. Mostly a high-end 'business' hotel. 5 stars. Expensive. Delhi's rich can be seen at the shopping complex which houses top brands like Louis Vuitton , Gucci etc and also at the lavish brunch on a Sunday afternoon.  edit
  • Hyatt Regency Delhi, Bhikaiji Cama Place, Ring Road, +91 11 2679 1234, [73]. Huge and slightly aged, but still five stars, featuring an outdoor pool, small gym and spa, three restaurants, and all the usual amenities. Well-located halfway between the airport and Connaught Place.  edit
  • The Imperial, Janpath, +91 11 2334 1234 (), [74]. Houses the only Chanel store in India as well as a priceless art collection, 'British Art on India.' It also has the largest collection of land war gallantry awards from India and neighbouring countries. Very classy, best value for least money in first class range. Good food and excellent service in restaurants.  edit
  • The Maurya Sheraton, Sardar Patel Marg, +91 11 2611 2233, [75]. One of the best in the city. Great restaurants, including the above mentioned Bukhara.  edit
  • Park Royal Intercontinental, Nehru Place, +91 11 4122 3344, [76].  edit
  • The Lalit, Barakhamba Ave, +91 11 4444 7777 (, fax: +91 11 4444 1234), [77]. Earlier known as Intercontinental; located very centrally and was recently refurbished. Famous for excellent breakfasts!  edit
  • Radisson, National Highway-8, +91 11 2677 9191 (), [78]. On way to Indira Gandhi International Airport; has the famous Great Kebab Factory restaurant  edit
  • Sheraton New Delhi, District Centre, Saket, +91 11 4266 1122, [79].  edit
  • Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, +91 11 2611 0202, [80]. Part of the Indian Hotels Chain. High-end luxury in the diplomatic enclave in Chanakyapuri (close to the US Embassy.) One of the best in terms of food, hospitality and leisure.  edit
  • Taj Mahal, 1, Mansingh Road, +91 11 2302 6162, [81]. In the 'Lutyen's Bungalow Zone' in central Delhi.  edit
  • Shangri La, 19 Ashoka Rd, +91 11 4119 1919, [82]. Part of the renowned Shangri La chain. The Delhi hotel has splendid sea-food buffets, an extensive breakfast buffet, and a good Asian restaurant on 1st floor with a Thai, Chinese and Japanese menu. 5-star service and good security. Only a 15 min walk from Connaught Place.  edit
  • Le Meridian, Windsor Place, +91 11 2371 0101, [83]. A landmark 5-star hotel that just underwent a major renovation. It is, along with the Shangri-La, one of the best hotels in the city in terms of location.  edit
  • Hotel Samrat, Kautilya Marg, +91 11 2611 0606, [84]. Just touches the 5-star luxury hotel levels, is a twin of The Ashoka Hotel.  edit
  • Peacock Suites, multiple locations around Delhi, 1-202-552-1606 (USA), [85]. Full serviced apartments in Defense Colony, New Friends, Greater Kailash. All come with cooks and drivers; many have 3 or 4 bedrooms. 4 bedrooms 1200 sq feet around $350 USD.  edit

Stay healthy

Delhi is a hot, dusty city and the combination of the two may reduce visibility in the summer. In April through June, temperatures regularly top 40°C, meaning that proper hydration is of the utmost importance. In winter there can be seasonal fog; on particularly foggy days, it can be difficult to see across the street. If you happen to be traveling in or out of Delhi during the winters, be aware of fog-related flight delays.

Drink only bottled water so you may avoid any water-related illness. Keep yourself covered in summers to avoid a heat stroke. Drink a lot of water - 3 litres a day - particularly in the summer. Sticking to freshly, well-cooked vegetarian food will lessen your chances on acquiring the "Delhi belly."

Delhi at night
Delhi at night

Many first time travelers to India find themselves falling victim to scams and touts, and unfortunately Delhi has a lot of both. Be on guard for anybody trying to help you by giving you unsolicited directions or travel advice. Take any advice from taxi and auto drivers with a grain of salt, particularly if they tell you the place you want to go to is closed, dangerous, etc. If this is your first time to India, do not openly admit it as this will make you a mark for scam artists.

Delhi is an increasingly unsafe place for women. It is not uncommon to receive lewd remarks or even physical touching. If you are arriving into Delhi at night either stay in the airport lounge or well lit areas until daybreak. Try to avoid walking around alone or hiring cabs alone. Dress conservatively (preferably in Indian clothing so as to blend in). Learn to shout and consider carrying mace/pepper spray. Police vehicles (called PCR vans) are parked on almost every major intersection. Dial 100 in case of emergencies.

Carry your cash, passport, and cards in a secure money belt, with only enough cash for a few hours at a time in your wallet or other accessible place. Some travelers recommend carrying an expendable wallet with a few ten rupee bills in it in an obvious place such as your hip pocket as a decoy to Delhi's ubiquitous pickpockets.

As a general rule, expect anyone handling your cash in Delhi to attempt to short-change you. You may be favorably surprised once or twice during your visit. Learn the currency, count out your payment and change carefully, and be insistent in any dispute.

Several tourist agencies have been known to swindle tourists, such as change their travel plans or charge them extra commissions and fees. If you do use the services of a travel agency, try to book train or airline tickets. Do not take a personal touring car as the agency will most likely charge you ridiculous prices, for example, 7 rupees/km of the trip. The driver will most likely take you to sites that you did not request to see in order to pull more money out of your pockets. The best way to secure train tickets is by navigating through the India Rail website. Otherwise, prepare to spend a good hour sorting through the charges that the tourist agency will rack up, most likely several hundred dollars in convenience charges or unspecified taxes.

Cope

Power outages and water shortages are common Delhi, often occurring multiple times a day with summers being particularly bad. Better accommodations have water tanks and generators to alleviate the inconvenience, but keep a flashlight handy at night and do your part by not wasting too much water.

  • Laundry service is offered in most hotels, even in budget accommodations. If you would rather save the money and do it yourself, buckets are found in almost all bathrooms - but perhaps wash it out well first.
  • Exercising outdoors is not recommended due to the level of pollution and swimming in rivers is also not recommended. Instead, look for a hotel with a gym or a pool since many offer day passes. You can always try a morning or evening walk in the parks.
  • Embassy of the Republic of Angola, 5 / 50 F, Nyaya Marg Chanakya Puri, +91 11 26882680 or +91 11 26110701 (, fax: +91 11 26113512), [86].  edit
  • British High Commission, Shantipath , Chanakyapuri, +91 11 687 2161, [88].  edit
  • Canadian High Commission, 7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi 110 021, India, 91 (11) 4178-2000 (, fax: 91 (11) 4178-2020), [89]. Monday - Thursday 08:30 - 17:30 Friday 08:30 - 13:00.  edit
  • Chinese Embassy, 50 D Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 688 9028, [90].  edit
  • German Embassy, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 44199 199 (fax: +91 11 2687 31 17), [91].  edit
  • Embassy of Italy, 50E, Chandra Gupta Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, +91 11 26114355, [92]. Mon to Thu 9am-1pm, 2pm-6pm; Fri 9am-1pm.  edit
  • Nepalese Embassy, Bara Khamba Road, +91 11 332 9969.  edit
  • Pakistan Embassy, 2/50 G Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 467 6004.  edit
  • Rwandan Embassy, 41, Paschimi Marg Vasant Vihar, +91 11-2866 1604 (, fax: +91 11-2866 1605).  edit
  • Embassy of Mongolia, 34, Archbishop Macarios Marg, +91 11-2463 1728 (, fax: +91 11-2463 3240).  edit

Contact

Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. There are many service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are Vodafone [95], Reliance [96], and Tata Indicom [97]. It might be a good idea to buy a cell phone and use one of those prepaid plans to get yourself connected while you are in the city.

Get out

Delhi is a major international transit hub for trains, planes and buses as well as a great connection point for domestic destinations within India. It's also a great base for exploration of the famous Hill Stations built during the

  • Agra and the Taj Mahal are a 3-4 hour drive or train ride.
  • Dharamsala - the seat of the Dalai Lama's government in exile, is 10-12 hours to the north. Tickets can be purchased from Main Bazaar Tourist offices, Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan Settlement or the I.S.B.T.
  • Shimla - the summer capital of British India and the queen of all hill stations in India. It has many scenic and historic locations and is about an 8 hr drive or 10 hrs in a bus. A direct flight from Delhi takes just 1 hr to reach Shimla.
  • Jaipur and Rajasthan are reachable by plane or overnight train.
  • Kathmandu in neighboring Nepal is a roughly 36+ hrs by coach, or longer (but more comfortably) on a combination of train and coach.
  • The holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas, are a 5-6 hour bus or train ride away.
  • Mussoorie - one of the original British hill stations in India; also known as The Queen of the Hills.
  • Nainital - another beautiful hill station in the Kumaon hills with the magnificent Naini Lake.
This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

1911 encyclopedia

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Delhi

Plural
-

Delhi

  1. National capital territory and old city in northern India in which the country’s capital New Delhi is located.

Derived terms

Translations


Bosnian

Proper noun

Delhi m.

  1. Delhi

Serbian

Proper noun

Delhi m.

  1. Delhi

Cyrillic spelling








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