If Mumbai is the place that immediately springs to mind when you think of a trip India, why not also consider going to India’s capital Delhi.
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The city is made up of the old town in the north and the new town – a cosmopolitan city with a multi-cultural society. The vibrant city of Delhi is a fascinating mix of Hindu and Islamic-influenced structures, British Colonial mansions and Western-style skyscrapers and has a rich history – home to monuments, museums, galleries, parks and Mughal Architecture.
The two areas differ in lifestyle and tradition – Old Delhi being a maze of streets – stacked full of monuments from India’s Moghul era, mosques and forts, and New Delhi a spacious and modern landscape – rich with a selection of swanky bars, cafes and shops. Now is a great time to visit, post Commonwealth Games, after the healthy investment put into the capital.
Here are some things to do in this bustling melting pot;
- Explore the narrow bazaars of Old Delhi and try the local Dilli-ki-Chaat – Delhi’s tangy local street food, such as chaat papdi (fried wafers loaded with potatoes, chickpeas, yoghurt and chilli) or golgappas (fried hollow dough filled with chickpeas and spicy potatoes)
- Visit the massive, red sandstone walls of Lal Qila (Red Fort) that dates back to the peak of the Mughal power – built in the mid-17th century, the fort was designed as a miniature city, with gardens, halls, palaces and a mosque. It is now a sandstone ruin but impressive none the less.
- Discover the district of Hauz Khas, with monuments, crumbling Mughal tombs, art galleries, antique shops and fashion boutiques
- Absorb the wealth of Indian art and culture at the National Museum, built in 1960 and home to more than 30 galleries and includes sculptures dating back to 2700 BC
- Wander around Lodhi Gardens on a Sunday afternoon and experience life as a local – a beautiful park popular with those living in the city, with huge trees and lush greenery
- Take a trip to the Imperial hotel and venture back to the days of the Raj, with polished hallways hung with chandeliers and works of art. Drink a G&T in its 1911 bar.
- Go to Jami Masjid – India’s largest mosque (constructed from 1644-1656) – this mosque can hold an amazing 25,000 people and towers over Old Delhi. This is an impressive sight – with three gateways, four towers and two minarets 40m high – built from red sandstone and white marble. You’ll need to dress conservatively for this one!
- Visit the National Ghandi Museum – a little old-fashioned museum, giving a good insight into Ghandi’s life
- Take a day trip to Agra and visit the amazing sight of the Taj Mahal
- Enjoy a spa at the NeoVeda Spa, at The Metropolitan Hotel New Delhi