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'''Buses''' arrive from [[Kathmandu]] and [[Chitwan]] in [[Nepal]] (36+ hours) and virtually every city in India
. They mostly arrive at the central bus terminal called '''I.S.B.T''' in East Delhi. |+|
'''Buses''' arrive from [[Kathmandu]] and [[Chitwan]] in [[Nepal]] (36+ hours) and virtually every city in India.
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Revision as of 21:04, 25 March 2006
New Delhi (Hindi: Naï Dillî) is the capital of India. It includes the area known as "Old Delhi" or just "Delhi" and the names are often used interchangeably.
The Indira Gandhi International airport is the arrival point for many visitors into India. The airport has all the basic airport facilities such as money changing, which is open 24 hours.
If you want a taxi from the airport, make sure to get a prepaid taxi before exiting the airport, otherwise you will be accosted by hordes of taxi drivers trying to fleece you. The prepaid rates are set based on destination and are bona fide. It is also possible to take a city bus during the day, or a private one run 24 hours a day.
Domestic flights land at Palam airport, which is a little closer to the city than the international terminal. 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. Take a pre-paid taxi from the Delhi tourism prepaid taxi booth. Watch out for the taxi touts!
Buses arrive from Kathmandu and Chitwan in Nepal (36+ hours) and virtually every city in India.
Trains arrive at one of three main stations-- Delhi Junction, also called Old Delhi or Purani Dilli, the second at New Delhi which lies in Central Delhi, and one at Hazrat Nizamuddin a few kilometers to the south. Delhi Junction and New Delhi Railway Station are now conveniently connected by Metro Line 2, just minutes apart. It will also take around 40 minutes to an hour to travel from the New Delhi Railway Station to the airports by car, depending on the traffic. A tourist ticket office is open during office hours, upstairs of the main New Delhi railway station for foreign tourists, bring your passport, and money change / cash advance receipts; a ticket office open to all is on the road to Connaught Place with longer hours and often has waiting times not much longer than at the tourist booking office.
Three lines of the new Delhi Metro are now open and provide a hassle-free way of zipping around the city. Line 2, in particular, is useful for getting to the Old Delhi and New Delhi railway stations as well as the ISBT bus terminal. Fares range from Rs. 6 to 14.
Taxis or hired car (usually with driver) are required to see many of the far-flung sites around and just outside Delhi. To get a taxi or a hired car, you have to go to a taxi stand; they are not usually flagged from the street. There is also a service called dial-a-cab. The number is 1090. 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.
Autorickshaws (also called 3 wheeled Scooters or 3 wheelers) are good for shorter trips. Autorickshaws are three-wheeled partially enclosed contraptions(they don't have any doors) that can seat three people in the back and usually run on CNG, petrol or diesel, mostly CNG in Delhi. Although by law the rickshaw driver have to charge by the electronic meter in their vehicles, they will almost always try to haggle for price. If using a rickshaw, make sure you settle on either (a) paying by meter or (b) a fixed price in advance, or there will be no end of trouble. In general, they are much cheaper than taxis and can be hailed from the street.
If you have any trouble with them, go to the numerous tourist police in the city centre and they will give you a complaint slip which will result in a 500 rupee fine for the auto driver.
Cyclerickshaws are three-wheeled mechanical cycles or bikes with seats in the back to seat Passengers and a driver in the front who cycles the passenger. They are good for short distances or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/autorickshaw. Cyclerickshaws don't use meters, so payment is done on established practices.
The staff at the Delhi tourist office are very helpful and have lots of free information: The Government of India Tourist Office 88 Janpath , Connaught Place. Tel:332 0005, 3320008, 3320109, 3320266.
- Majnu ka Teela Tibetan Colony. 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 Teela Gurudwara. Go mad with local Delhi University students eating chilli beef and momos.
- Appu Ghar - Amusement Park
- International trade fair exhibition centre
- Connaught Circus/Place - Central Business District and retail shopping center that resides in a double circular road.
- Rajpath. A main parade route that leads to the President's residence (Rashtrapati Bhavan). Wide avenue, the splendid India Gate, and 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.
- Humayun's Tomb.  The splendid tomb of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun.
- Red Fort. A brilliant red sandstone fort built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. See: Wikipedia: Delhi Fort.
- Rajghat Memorial of Mahatma Gandhi
- Lodi Estate
- Qutab Minar. A tall tower built in the early middle ages by Quli Qutub Shah, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Nehru House 'Teen Murti Bhavan'. The house of the first Prime Minister of India. Only for people interested in politics. Free entrance.
- India Gate
- Parliament House
Parks and Gardens
- Lodhi Garden
- Nehru Park - a large park in the South Delhi neighbourhood of Chanakyapuri.
- Deer Park - this park is next to the Safdarjung Development Area and Hauz Khas neighbourhoods, and is the site for a bathing tank built during the Delhi Sultanate period. It makes a great picnic spot. The park also features a jogging track, a deer enclosure, and some medeival tombs.
- Garden of Five Senses
- International Doll's Museum, Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. +91 11 2331 6970, +91 11 2331 6971, +91 11 2331 6972, +91 11 2331 6973, +91 11 2331 6974.  Tue-Sun 10-6. 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 craftsmanship. Rs. 10.00.
- India Habitat Center, Lodhi Road. +91 11 2468 2001—2468 2009 (all inclusive).  Most noted for its ever-changing art exhibits, Plays and film shows, as well as an international selection of food items in its food court.
- Tibet House, 1 Institutional Area, Lodhi Road. Tel:4611 515. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org - established by HH Dalai Lama with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of Tibet. There is a museum, exhibition space and library.
- Lakshmi Narayan Temple
- Bahá'í Lotus Temple], located in Kalkaji in the south of Delhi.
- Chhattar Pur Mandir. Biggest & Beautiful temple and surrounding campus of Delhi.
- ISKCON (Hare Krishna) temple, at Kalkaji
- Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Off National Highway 24 In East Delhi.
- Jama Masjid
- Take a walk at Connaught Place, the heart of New Delhi.
- Do a heritage walk in Chandni Chowk. Start at the beginning of the road near Red Fort and meander through Lala Lajpat Rai market, rows of camera repair shops, Gurdwara Sisganj, the fountain, the old movie halls, all the way to Fatehpuri mosque. Take detours into Nai Sarak and Chawri bazaar, or stop by at the Parathewali Gali, the jalebiwallah at Dariba Kalan, Annapurna (on the crossroads), or Ghantewallah. Might be a bit heavy on the senses, but a walk you will not forget
Handicrafts and Folk Art
- 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, all the sales people will know English, and the quality of items is quite good. You can pay with credit cards.
- The state emporia are the state equivalents of 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 on price 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 keep happening 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.
- Nehru Place, located in South Delhi is a commercial hub with clean and wide roads. It is further down from the Palika Bazaar and has 3 theaters, many restaurants and bookshops, McDonalds and it's neighbour Sarvana Bhavan, a respectable South Indian eatery.
- Janpath is a bargain-hunter's dream. At 2 minutes walking from Connaught place. Think of it as a vast fleamarket, 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.
- Palika Bazaar is a large underground market in the center of Connaught Place. This is a great place to hunt for DVD's, VCD's and Audio CD's of Hindi, English and a few regional and foreign language films and PC based games. Vendors stock both legal & pirated wares (quite easily distinguishable).
A few things you have to note: ** Purchase inside the enclosure. Shops outside the enclosures are mostly wholesalers who are less interested in bargaining with you. Drive a hard-bargain only for pirated wares.
- If you are buying DVD's ensure that you buy at a place, which has a DVD player, so you can check the quality. If you can't play a Non-English and Non-Indian DVD, it can either be defective or have a different regional encoding. You may be able to play it on your PC.
- If you are in your twenties and or with a girl/foreigner, you are assumed to have a huge libido and likely to be asked if you are interested in porn videos.
- Dilli Haat is a great place to get samplers of cuisine from all over the country.
- Sagar Shop No 24, Defence Colony Market, Defence Colony, New Delhi - 110024 +91 11 2433 3815, +91 11 2155 1097 Considered by many (mostly rigthfully) the best place for authentic South Indian food, Sagar does justice to the reputation.You're sure to get the best dosas, idlis, vadas, uttapams, rasam (drink), buttermilk (watered-down yogurt) and thalis (or meals that include helpings of rice, sambar, lentils, vegetables, Indian bread, rasam and dessert). Service is very quick and prices are as good as you can get for an air-conditioned place with such quality food- basically pretty darned cheap! There's likely to be a queue for seats during peak hours and definitely on Tuesday nights (the day many North Indians are vegetarian. If you're trying South Indian food in Delhi, do it here.
- The upmarket version (quieter, better laid out and more expensive) is at Sagar Ratna, Ashok Hotel, 50-B Chanakyapuri +91 11 2611 0101
- Saravana Bhavan, 46 Janpath, +91 11 2331 7755 +91 11 2331 6060  is 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. Recommended to eat are the various dosa's, the thalis (meals) and the sweet dishes.
- Andhra Pradesh Bhavan Canteen, on Ashok Road near Man Singh Road. Open for lunch and dinner the Andhra Pradesh Canteen 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 50RS/100RS. 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.
- Naivedhyam, in Hauz Khas Village, offers quality meals and service, at slightly higher prices.
Dhabas (roadside stalls)
If you want to eat chaat, the North Indian streetside snack food, Delhi is the place to be. Chaat is hard to describe, really consisting of a number of different kinds of food, all spicy, and vegetarian, and all things that you will be hard pressed to find in Indian restaurants in other parts of the world.
Some typical chaat items are paapdi chaat (a mix of small round fried crispy things with yoghurt 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 of high quality, the food is great, and there are ATMs there as well. One of the best known restaurants there is Nathu's.
Caveat: You should, if you are indiscriminately gobbling chaat sold by a man with a cart along Ridge Rd, be aware that the chaat might not have been prepared with bottled water.
The other place to get really good chaat that is also prepared fairly hygienically is at any one of the Haldiram's stores. Particularly recommended is the Raj Kachori - it is a mixture of different types of stuffing with sweetened yogurt and chutneys in a little basket made from fried potato-slivers.
But for the really good chaat you have to make your way to Old Delhi, and particularly to Ashok's near Chawri Bazaar.
This street, named main bazar, opposite New Delhi railway station has many cheap hotels and is very popular with travelers, with a double room with attached bathroom costing between 200-300Rs, or less. Below is a list of a few of the more popular places:
- Hotel Namaska, 917 Chandiwalan, Main Bazaar, is located down a side alley Tel:7521234, 7522233
- Hotel Navrang, on a side street off main bazar at the intersection with the vegtable market, Tel: 7531922
- Ajay Guest House Tel:2522369, 23543125
- Metropolis, 1634, Bazaar Hand, Tel:23518074 - good restaurant - little more expensive than average Paharaganj hotel.
- Hare Rama Guest House, 298 Main Bazaar, down the side road near the Khanna Cinema. Tel:27433017
- Vivek, 1534-50 Main Bazaar, about a ten-minute walk from the railway station. Tel:23512900,
- New India Hotel; 250 Rupees for single-bed and 350 for double-bed-room, noisy a/c, rudimentary shower, they watch bollywood-movies at night which can be somewhat embarrassing. It's is next to the red fort in Old Delhi
- Asian Guest House, 14 Scindia House, 2nd. Floor, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110001 - Phones: 91-11-23313393 / 23314658 / 23310229 / 23313663. Tariff range From: Single Occupancy non air-conditioned room for INR 400 [USD 9 - AUD 12 - EURO 7.5 - AED 32.5] to Double Occupancy air-conditioned room with cable TV for INR 800* [USD 18 - AUD 24 - EURO 15 - AED 65]. The place to stay while visiting Delhi/ New Delhi in nice clean rooms with homely atmosphere and a helpful staff, besides it being so very centrally located.
- Mehar Castle; 750 Rupees/night for one and 1500 for two persons, large rooms with a/c, tv, hot shower, room service, www.meharcastle.com
- Bajaj Indian Homestay ( A Unique Concept) which is 10 room hotel that is excellent with each room having a theme.Extremely popular with Foreign Tourists, Neat & Clean,Excellent Value for Money.Very Safe espacially for ladies.Website-->www.bajajindianhomestay.com
as well as www.indianhomestay.com".
There are many top-end hotels in Delhi like:-
- Hotel Imperial in Janpath near Connaught Place 5*d
- Hotel Hyatt Regency in Bhikhaji Cama Place 5*d
- Hotel Maurya Sheraton in Chanakyapuri 5*d
- Hotel Taj Palace in Chanakyapuri 5*d
- Hotel Park Royal Intercontinental in Nehru Place 5*d
- Hotel Ashoka in Chanakyapuri 5*d
- Hotel Trident Hilton in Gurgaon 5*d
- Hotel Radisson on way to the Intl. Airport 5*d
- Hotel Claridges, near Pandara Road
If you are in this budget range, consider the Ashoka first.
A notice posted at the New Delhi train station:
ATTENTION OF FOREIGN TOURISTS
Beware of Touts. Do not listen to those who attempt to tell you the tickets office for International Tourists is closed. Please proceed to the International Tourist Bureau on the first floor at New Delhi Railway station Buildings and ignore those who attempt to lead you to a booking office elsewhere.
Many first time travelers to India find themselves falling victim to scams and touts. Be on guard for anybody trying to help you by giving you directions or travel advice. If this is your first time to India do not admit it, as this will make you a mark for the scam artists.
Yes, many people will be lying to you! Despite what everybody you meet has to say, you can indeed buy train tickets at the train station! In fact going to the International Tourist Bureau on the first floor (first floor above ground level) of the New Delhi railway station is the only advice you need about purchasing train tickets. This office will provide you the most accurate information about seat availability and the best ticket prices.
The easiest way however to buy train tickets however is through the Indian Railways Booking website at http://www.irctc.com/
Advice for women:
If you are coming into delhi at night, stay in the airport lounge, or well lit areas until daybreak. Also avoid walking around alone or hiring cabs alone. Dress conservatively. Delhi is increasingly unsafe for women. Police vehicles (called PCR vans) are parked almost on every major intersection. Dial 100 in case of emergencies. Also learn to shout.
Also, try to carry mace/pepper spray in your bag/purse.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!