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Delhi, the National Capital Territory of India is a union territory and is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, the legendary capital city of the Pandavas. Being home to several kingdoms and dynasties over the ancient and medieval periods and a recent colonial past, Delhi is a story of their unique legacies in architecture, religion, customs and cuisine and their beautiful amalgamation.
A treasure trove of history and yet overflowing with 21st-century lifestyle, this colourful city pulsates with the ever going buzz of different rhythms of its vast and multicultural humanity.
Tip: The metro is the best way to get around the city.
How to get there
The Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the busiest airport in passenger and cargo traffic and has the world’s 8th largest passenger terminal. Located in Palam, it’s about 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) from the city centre. With a good frequency of daily and weekly London to Delhi flights, the two cities are well connected and are serviced by major airlines like Air India, British Airways, Air France, Emirates and other top airlines. There are about 35 Direct flights to Delhi and the average travel time from London is about 9 to 10 hours.
Tip: Book early return flights to save on higher fares and inconvenience at last moments.
The Sights, Sounds and Flavours of the City
This extraordinary city of a multi-sensory experience is known for an eclectic mixture of different cultures and there are many ways to experience it.
Take a tour of Hauz Khas to see the ruins of a fort defiantly standing adjacent to some of hippest bars in the Hauz Khas village. Visit the Qutub Minar, a legacy of the founding father of Delhi Sultanate and a UNESCO heritage site.. A walk through the lush Lodi gardens housing royal tombs, Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the Haunting Feroz Shah Kotla Fort serves us in educating the history of Delhi.
Marvel at the Persian elegance of Hamayun’s Tomb and the symmetrical Mughal gardens around it. Explore the sandstone edifice of the Red Fort, a graceful Islamic structure which represents the summit of Mughal Era Architecture. The Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India was one of the last structures built by the ambitious Shah Jahan.
Take a tour of the Colonial past of Delhi which is in display in the form of imposing structure of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the 400 room Presidential Palace complex. The Sansad Bhavan and the North and South Block Buildings are the seat of the government and form the power corridor extending till the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the Raisina hills. This ceremonial axis is called the Rajpath and is the main venue for the yearly Republic day Gala.
Tip: Partaking in a Langar at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is a humbling culinary experience.
Shopping, Food and Stay in Delhi
To experience the colourful and myriad side of shopping in Delhi, head to the several Government emporiums, temples to Indian craftsmanship which are located near Connaught place, Hit the flea markets in Janpath and Sarojini Nagar or visit the Dilli Hatt for shopping crafts from all around India.
Immerse yourself with the aroma of choicest spices at Sadar Bazaar which along with the Spice Market is one of the biggest commodity wholesale markets in Asia. The upwardly Kham Market in central Delhi is another shopping and dining destination.
The Delhi shopping trip cannot be complete without a visit to Chandni Chowk, India’s oldest market selling silver jewellery, traditional perfumes and fabrics of all kinds.
The Delectable Delhi Street fare of Chaats, Parathas, and Kebabs can be savoured in the narrow by-lanes of Chandani Chowk in Old Delhi. The upwardly Khan Market in Central Delhi is another shopping and dining destination of choice.
Tip: The areas, around Connaught Place, Chandani Chowk, Karol Bagh, Paharganj and Mehrauli provide convenient places to stay and have hostels, dorm accommodations, budget hotels and lavish five stars as well.
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