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Delhi

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South Asia : India : Plains : Delhi
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Contents

Lahore Gate at the Red Fort
Delhi is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Urdu: دلّی, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ) [1] is India's capital city and the home of executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. Delhi is known as the microcosm of India and is leading world’s top global cities with strengths in arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence.

Districts

  • South Delhi — Defence Colony, Hauz Khas, Green Park, Greater Kailash, Vasant Kunj, Lajpat Nagar, Nehru Place, Malviya Nagar and Kalkaji.
  • East Delhi — Gandhi Nagar, Preet Vihar, and Vivek Vihar.
  • North Delhi — Sadar Bazar, University Enclave (Kamla Nagar), Kotwali, and Civil Lines.
  • West Delhi — Patel Nagar, Rajouri Garden, East Sagarpur and Punjabi Bagh.
  • Central Delhi — Conaught Place, Khan Market, Chanakyapuri, Karol Bagh and Paharganj.
  • Old Delhi - Daryaganj, Kashmere Gate, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Lal Quila and Jamu Masjid.

Understand

History

Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Jerusalem 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 - Qutubuddin 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 which still remain. His descendant 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. This pillar was originally planted in Meerut by Samrat Ashok.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.
Purana Qila - ruins of Shergarh
  • 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.
  • Shahjahanabad - the next of the Mughal emperors chose to move away from Delhi and established Agra as the capital of their kingdom. Shahjahan (Humayun's great-grandson) returned to Delhi and established Shahjahanabad. 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.

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. Delhi also has a prominent South Indian Community, primarily in areas like RK Puram, Mayur Vihar and Munirka. A Bengali Settlement, the Chittaranjan Park in south Delhi is the Mini Calcutta of Delhi. Quality education also draws students from different states, making up one of the most diverse student populations in the country.

To be noted 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.

Orientation

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 southwest, 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 southwestern Delhi (nearer to New Delhi) generally somewhat wealthier.

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.

Travelling 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, travelling west from Okhla, the following colonies lie in the following order,Nehru Place, Kalkaji, GK2, GK1, CR Park, Panchsheel 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 June, temperatures are scorchingly hot (over 40°C is common) and, with every air-conditioner running at full blast, the city's creaking power and water infrastructure is strained to the breaking point and beyond. Monsoon rains deluge the city from July to September, flooding roads on a regular basis and bringing traffic to a standstill. In winter, especially December and January, temperatures can dip to near-zero which can feel a lot colder because central heating is largely unknown and homes are usually designed with a view to keep cool in the summers rather than warm in the winters. In addition the city is blanketed in thick fog, causing numerous flight cancellations and train delays. The shoulder seasons (Feb-Mar and Oct-Nov) are comparatively pleasant, with temperatures in the 20-30°C range (68-86°F), but short.

Suggested reading

  • "Delirious Delhi", Dave Prager; a recent portrait of Delhi by an expat resident. (ISBN 1611458323)
  • 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)

Get in

Map of Delhi

By plane

Indira Gandhi International Airport, (IGI, IATA: DEL) [2], located in the west of the city, is the arrival point for many visitors into Delhi. Once notoriously bad, since privatization the airport has been extensively revamped and, with the opening of Terminal 3 in 2010, has been transformed into a thoroughly modern facility equivalent to the best airports in the world.

Delhi Airport has no less than six terminals, but only two are currently operational:

  • Terminal 1D, also known as "Palam" or "Domestic", is used only by low-cost carriers IndiGo, GoAIR and SpiceJet. (Oddly, their flights arrive at neighboring Terminal 1C)
  • Terminal 3, the enormous main terminal, is used by all international flights and all full-service domestic carriers including Jet Airways, Air India, and Kingfisher.

A free shuttle bus operates between the two every 20 min. While the terminals share the same runways, connecting between the two requires a massive detour via a nearby highway, so allow plenty of time to connect.

The Delhi Airport Metro Express (DAME) is a Delhi Metro train line from New Delhi Metro Station to Dwarka Sector 21, passing through the airport. Its operating timings are from 5AM-11PM every 20 minutes (as of April 2011). In the future, the trains may run 24 hr/day. The one-way fare between the airport and New Delhi Metro Station is Rs 80. The journey time is 20 min. From the railway station, you can transfer to the Metro (it's a bit of hike though), continue by taxi, or simply walk to backpacker ghetto Paharganj.


There are also public buses to and from the city throughout the day and night. Travel time is approximately 50 minutes. There are two bus companies: Delhi Transport Corporation (green-yellow buses) and EATS (white-blue buses). The EATS (Ex Serviceman's Airlink Transport Service) Buses run to ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminal) near Kashmiri Gate, Connaught Place, Delhi Train Station and many hotels in the city centre, departing from both airport terminals every 60 minutes from 10AM-11:10PM. The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) (schedule: [3]) offers 8 bus routes to both the city center and the more outlying areas of Delhi. Tickets can be bought and a fixed seat can be booked at a desk in the Arrivals Hall. One way fare for both companies: Rs 50 per adult, Rs 25 per child below 12 years, Rs 25 for heavy luggage.

If you'd prefer to go directly to your destination and are willing to sit around in traffic, or are arriving on the many long-distance flights that land in the dead of night, take a taxi. The easiest and safest way is to arrange transport ahead of time through your hotel (some hotels provide this service for free). Alternatively, you can pay for a taxi at the prepaid taxi booths in the international terminal. Prefer the pre-paid booth run by Delhi Police. Depending on the destination, they will ask you to pay the taxi fare to them, which they later pay to the taxi driver after he shows a receipt from you proving that you were taken to your destination. The pre-paid booths are visible as soon as you exit customs. The one on the left is managed by the Delhi police. You may be approached by touts offering pre-paid taxis; just ignore them and ask someone the direction to the Delhi Police prepaid taxi kiosk or booth managed by the cops. 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 for Rs 200-300.

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 of the driver for additional payment. There is no practice of tipping taxi drivers anywhere in India. When you reach your destination, take your baggage first, then give the driver the receipt and walk away without further discussion.

There is a minor problem with this system. As there is a checkpoint manned by the traffic police just as your taxi moves away from the airport, you will have to give the receipt to the driver, who will hand it over to the police, who will record the taxi number. Make sure that you get the receipt back from the driver only after you have safely reached your destination.

When leaving Delhi from the international terminal, you should show up three hours before your flight is scheduled as security is tight. For domestic flights two hours should be enough. While sometimes time-consuming, the process is smooth, and the new terminal's shops and restaurants are sensibly 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.

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 hr+) 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. Buses to points east.
  • Bikaner House, at Pandara Road, India Gate (Central Delhi) provides hourly air-conditioned Volvo buses to cities of Rajasthan (State famous for royal fortified desert-towns) - Jaipur (State-Capital), Udaipur (Lake City), Jodhpur etc. Bus Stop is uncrowded, well-maintained and ideal for luxurious travelling.
  • Mandi House, at Barakhamba Road, near India Gate (Central Delhi) provides hourly air-conditioned Volvo buses to hill-stations of Himachal Pradesh (State famous for Himalayan panoramas) - Shimla (State-Capital), Manali (North-India's honeymoon destination), Dharamsala (Capital-in-exile of Tibetans) etc. Bus Stop is uncrowded, well-maintained and ideal for luxurious travelling.
  • Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan colony, a short rickshaw ride from Metro Vidhan Sabha. Buses to Dharamsala.

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 (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 min-1 hr 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 online through the Indian Railways booking website [5]. (Note, however, that you are required to have both an e-mail address AND a mobile phone number that is registered within India in order to access the booking area of the site.)

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 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 16. 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. Allow one hour 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 (policemen) until you find your train. However, anyone who approaches you spontaneously should be completely ignored. Use one of the porters (in orange red uniforms with metallic arms badges) to find your train and carry your luggage, in exchange for a tip.

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 on Platform No.1 (on the side away from the metro). 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 theoretically must show an official exchange certificate (from India, not valid if you changed in another country) or an ATM receipt. All ticket bookings require exact change, as like everywhere in India the office has little to no change. If you don't have exact change, it's possible after booking to go down to the food stores, buy food to get change, then return and pick up your ticket. 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. If you need a bathroom during this lengthy process, there is a relatively clean male and female toilet just outside on the verandah through the side door (the door you didn't enter through).

Do not trust strangers who appear out of the crowd to help you; ignore them. Always ask for assistance at the enquiry counter or policemen (in uniform).

New Delhi Railway Station also has a pre-paid taxi booth run by Delhi Police. If you are arriving at the station, and want to take a taxi, head to the Delhi Police pre-paid taxi booth. Unfortunately, this booth is at the extreme far north end (about 50 meters from the station main exit) of the taxi parking and you will encounter touts claiming to provide prepaid taxi; just ignore them and find the pre-paid taxi booth run by the Delhi Police which are safe and least expensive. Taxi fare from New Delhi Railway Staion to the Airport should cost you about 400 Rupees.

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, with an entrance just outside at the east end of the station and also just over the main road outside (last metro at about 23:30). If taking an Auto Rickshaw from here, the prepaid desk will often try and charge you as much as three times the actual price quoted on the official price guide displayed clearly in their window - bargaining is sadly often cheaper.

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 car. 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 m). 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 including sandwiches and samosas.

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 Terminal (code ANVT) is Delhi's newest station, located well to the east of the city near Ghaziabad - Delhi Border. 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. Anand Vihar Terminal is just opposite to Anand Vihar Interstate Bus Terminal (ISBT).

To check all connecting trains to new delhi http://trainspy.com/station/(NDLS)NEW-DELHI

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. Best way to travel is via metro, where there are separate cabins for women (that prove to be very useful during rush hour). Metro is clean, efficient, and typically ridden by relatively affluent middle-class students or commuters en route to/from work; there is almost nowhere in the city that you cannot get to by metro.

By metro

The modern Delhi Metro, a sign of India's economic development
Delhi Metro and rail network

The fast-growing Delhi Metro [6] network provides a cheap, quick, hassle-free and air-conditioned way of zipping around the city. As of February 2011, the following lines are open:

  • Red Line: Dilshad Garden - Rithala
  • Yellow Line: Jahangirpuri - HUDA City Centre, Gurgaon
  • Blue Line: Dwarka Sector 21 - Vaishali/ - Noida City Centre
  • Green Line: Inderlok - Mundka
  • Violet Line: Central Secratariat - Badarpur Border
  • Airport Express: New Delhi Railway Station - Airport - Dwarka



Fares range from Rs 8-30, 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. Special fares apply for travel on the Airport Express.

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, the backpacker ghetto of Paharganj, Hauz Khas and Qutub Minar. Line 3 is also handy for visiting Akshardham and accessing the western parts of Paharganj through RK Ashram Marg station.

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".

The head of all trains is reserved to women, so, is totally safe and confortable to travel with the metro lines also for a woman by herself.

By local 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.

Please note that the Indian Railways website does not accept most foreign credit cards, however American Express cards are accepted..

By bus

You're never alone on a bus in Delhi

All parts of Delhi are well connected by buses and with tickets ranging from Rs 5-15 they are very cheap, but they are also quite crowded most of the time. The red coloured buses are air-conditioned and the green coloured are not. As bus stops do not have bus routes written properly, 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. However, the 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 [7] buses (red and green coloured with big windows)
  • Privately run cluster buses (orange coloured)

If you have a choice, please 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. As you might expect, all these guidelines are regularly ignored when buses are very crowded.

Hop on Hop off Delhi Tourism Bus

Hop on Hop off

Delhi Tourism has a "Hop On Hop Off (HOHO)" bus service [8], (Helpline) ☎ +91 11 4094 0000. A fleet of air conditioned low floored buses follow a pre-defined set of stops around the city and passengers can hop off the bus, see the place at one's own convenience and hop on the next bus.Each bus is staffed with a knowledgeable English speaking guide. The service does not operate on Mondays. Delhi Tourism's Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing bus takes you to 20+ tourist attractions of Delhi including World Heritage Monuments, Museums and Colorful Shopping markets. The tour offers you Low Floor AC Buses with live commentary delivered by knowledgeable and entertaining guides in both English and Hindi. The Hop-On, Hop-Off facility will enable you to get on and off the bus at many places of your choice. The Tour includes two routes- Red & Green, you can choose to take 1 day or 2 day validity pass. Your sightseeing tour of Delhi offers you a choice of exploring nearby areas around the tourist spots. Like Jama masjid, Chandni Chowk, Spice market situated around Red Fort and many such popular places. Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour is a safe and relaxed way to experience this great city and it is the perfect introduction to Delhi and a fun day out for all.

By taxi

Official Taxi

A taxi or hired car (usually with driver) is required to see many of the far-flung sites within and around Delhi. However, the metro is a far cheaper and equally comfortable option.

Most Delhi taxis are old but reliable CNG-run Ambassadors or Omnis in distinctive black-and-yellow livery and a green stripe. The hired family car of choice is usually a Toyota Innova or Chevrolet Tavera. While all are equipped with meters and should cost Rs 15 for the first km Rs 8.50 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 200-500, while a trip to the airport would be higher, depending on starting location. An eight-hour charter should cost around Rs 1,500, and a tip is expected if the driver is helpful. The prices would also depends upon the vehicle size too. Note that black and yellow taxis are not air-conditioned. Even if they do have air conditioning, you will be charged extra (and the rates are up to the driver, so bargain hard).

The death knell of the Ambassador was rung in December 2006, when modern radio taxi services were launched. At Rs 20/km, they're more the list price of the competition, but they use modern vehicles with air-conditioning and GPS and can be dialed 24 hr/day. The flag fare is Rs 20, and the fare increases by Rs 5 for every 250 m after the first km. If you need an SUV, you need to inform the company in advance, but the fare remains the same. Night charges (25% extra) apply between 11pm to 5am. Book up to a few hours in advance. Many corporates rely on these cabs for their daily commute and they may be booked during office hours. Tipping is not expected. After booking, you will receive an SMS with the car license plate number, and the driver's name and mobile number. Usually the driver will call you and inform you that he's arrived. Most drivers speak English, but at a very basic level, so use short phrases.

Best Tourist Vehicle Are: Indica , Indigo, Swift Desire, Toyota Etios, Toyota Corolla and Innova

You shouldn't take non-official taxis, sometimes they take you to a wrong hotel, or to a "tourist information centre", and try to sell you overpriced things. These are generally known to fleece and rip off tourists. It is better to keep a safe distance from these guys.

Some other car rental providers like www.qcabs.com [9] provides cabs from economy class to high end executive class cars for outstation travel from Delhi, and estimates the price of your travel beforehand.

By auto rickshaws

Auto-rickshaws - no doors

Auto rickshaws (also called three-wheeled scooters, tuk-tuks 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 25 for the first two kms, Rs 8/km after), this rate is unrealistically low and they will almost always try to haggle for price. In May 2013, base rates increased from 19 to 25 Rs and from 6.5 Rs to 8 Rs/km thereafter. Many drivers have not updated their electronic meters and will use this as a way to haggle for vastly more money - "This is old rate, new rate Rs 80!" If their meter says 19 Rs when you get in, they aren't lying about not having updated, but are likely exaggerating the new rate, which should only be roughly 25% higher than the displayed rate, not double or triple as some will claim. As rules of thumb, expect even the shortest journey to cost Rs 30-40 regardless of the meter, but you should never need to pay over Rs 150 for any trip within the city. If you're overquoted, don't be afraid to walk away. It's usually easy to find another one soon, usually with a driver who won't rip you off.

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 Rs 500 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 Rs 5 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 auto driver and that's it. Nothing more to pay (despite what they may say).

By cycle rickshaws

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. Rs 20 is reasonable for most journeys of 1-2 km.

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

Gandhi's famed Salt March

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 km).
  • 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-Hauz Khas Village, then to the Hauz Khas ruined madrasa, offers a newer shopping area, an up-market arts village, old ruins, and some quality gardens.
  • There are many walks that you can do in Old and central Delhi

Talk

The native language of the Delhi area is Hindi, which also happens to be the main official language of the Union Government. However, for official purposes, English is more widely used than Hindi. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak Hindi, quite often with the Bihari and Punjabi accents. However, most educated people will also be fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers will have a functional command of English. Punjabi and Urdu are also official languages, but they are spoken much less widely. The Hindi spoken in Delhi is quite Persianized, similar to the Hindi spoken in Western UP and much less Sanskritized than the Hindi spoken in MP. Signage is usually bilingual in Hindi and English, but some road signs (especially in South and Central Delhi) are in Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu. Announcements on the metro are in Hindi (male voice) and English (female voice).

See

Delhi is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


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. ☎ +91 11 2332 0005, +91 11 2332 0008, +91 11 2332 0109, +91 11 2332 0266. 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 20-40 min 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.


Red Fort

Lahore Gate of the Red Fort
Inside the Diwan-i-Am
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 Rs 10/250 rupees for Indians/foreigners, photography free, video cameras Rs 25 extra. Open sunrise to sunset daily except Monday. Allow for 3-4 hr 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 Rs 20).

The fort has a light and sound show (Rs 50) 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 Rs 10/250, 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 do not know who is buried in this picturesque tomb made of red and grey sandstone.

Qutub complex

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

This complex in Mehrauli, 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. Now easily accessible via Qutub Minar station on the Metro Yellow Line.

  • Qutub Minar, The most famous structure on grounds, this 72.5 m 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 Rs 10 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, iIn the centre of the mosque. True to its name, this is a 7 m iron pillar erected in 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 24.5 m 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.

Museums

The Mahatma's glasses - inside Gandhi Smriti
  • Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, 145 DLF South Court Mall, Saket, ☎ +91 11 4916 0000, [10]. Established at the initiative of avid art collector Kiran Nadar, KNMA opened in January 2010, as the first private museum of Art, exhibiting Modern and Contemporary works from India and the subcontinent. The core corpus of KNMA highlights the most extraordinary works from F.N. Souza, M.F. Hussain, S.H. Raza, V.S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, A. Ramachandran, Rameshwar Broota and several others. Located in the popular tourist destination of Saket, the museum is open Tues-Sun', 10:30AM-6:30PM. Entry is free. The nearest Metro Station is Malviya Nagar.
  • Gandhi Smriti, +91 11 2301 2843. 10AM-5PM (closed Monday). This estate is the site of Mahatma Gandhi's martyrdom. Includes a museum celebrating his life and the room he lived in during his final days.
  • India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Rd, ☎ +91 11 2468 2001, [11]. 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 11 2331 6970 (thru 6974), [12]. 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. Rs 10.
  • National Museum, Janpath, [13]. The layout here 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 4,600 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 Rs 300 for foreigners (includes useful audioguide), Rs 10 Indians (optional audioguide Rs 150 extra), 1 rupees for Indian Students, plus Rs 300 if you want to use a camera. Decent restaurant on the second floor (lunch buffet Rs 200). A cloak room is free for customers. 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, [14]. ☎ +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.
  • Nehru Memorial Museum (Teen Murti Bhavan), +91 11 2301 7587. 9AM-5PM (Closed Monday). Former residence of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, now a museum of his life. Was used by the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Army before Indian Independence. Includes a Planetarium.Its entry fee is Rs.50 For adults an 25 for childrens.Here they show a small movie on Astro and Universe. Free.
  • Tibet House, 1 Institutional Area, Lodhi Rd, +91 11 2461 1515 (, fax: +91 11 2462 5536). 10AM-5:30PM. Established by HH Dalai Lama with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of Tibet. There is a museum, exhibition space and library. Rs 10.
  • National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, Pragati Maidan, Gate #5, Bhairon Road, New Delhi-110001, +91 11 2337 1887 / 2337 1641 (, fax: +91 11 2337 1515), [15]. 10AM-5PM. Also sells handicrafts. Foreign Visitors: Rs. 150, Indian Visitors: Rs. 10.

Monuments

India Gate, a Central Landmark of Delhi
  • Rajpath, This is a main parade route that leads from Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President's residence) to India Gate, with many grassy lawns along the way. Especially nice in the evenings and at night when the buildings are lit and the vendors come out to supply the many picnicking families.
  • 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.
Jantar Mantar
  • Jantar Mantar. 9AM-6PM. One of five astronomical observatories commissioned by Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur during the 18th century. The odd structures inside are actually enormous scientific instruments for measuring the movement of celestial bodies
  • Raj Ghat. 9:30AM-5:30PM. Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi at the site of his cremation. Check for closure dates/security checks around national holidays/gandhiji's death anniversary
  • Purana Qila (Old Fort), (next to the Delhi Zoo), +91 11 2435 5387. 10AM-5PM. Ruins of the 16th century city of Shergarh, this complex sits on top of what is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata epic.
  • Tughlaqabad Fort, 2604 5671. Massive fortress built by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq in the 14th century and was the third city of Delhi. The monstrous ruins of this complex are now overrun by hordes of Langur monkeys.
  • Azaad Hind Gram, (Tikri Kalam on NH-10), +91 11 2835 3102. 10AM-6PM. A tourist complex dedicated to Netaji (respected leader) Subhash Chandra Bose, a leader in the Indian independence movement.

Parks and gardens

  • Delhi, the national capital of India, has very popular gardens located in it. Few of the name are Mughal Garden [16], Garden of Five Senses [17], Kalindi Kunj [18] and many more. The Mughal Garden, that reside in President House is very popular. It only opens 30 days in a year (from February to March).
  • Lodhi Garden [19] 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 [20] is a large park in the new Delhi neighborhood of Chankayapuri, lying in the southwest.

Very cool.

Religious buildings

Lotus Temple
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Jama Masjid
Akshardham Temple
  • Bahá'í Lotus Temple [21], Kalkaji, South Delhi, [22]. 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, however there is very little to see inside. The lush park around is well landscaped but mostly off-limits. Free entry. Open Tue-Sun, 1st April to 30th September 9AM-7:PM, 1 Oct-31 Mar 9:30AM-5:30PM.
  • Chattarpur Mandir [23]. Huge & beautiful temple complex with a big surrounding campus - located near Mehrauli area of South Delhi.
  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib [24], 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) [25].
  • Gurudwara Sis Ganj [26], 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 [27], 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.
  • Cathedral Church of Redemption [28] Address: Church Lane, Near Rashtrapati Bhawan. It is the headquarters of the Church of North India, Delhi Diocese. Built by Henry Medd between 1927-1935 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 [29] (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 [30], 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 Rs 300 if you have a camera with you (this is only sold as a combined ticket and includes the Rs 100 minar climb). If you don't have a camera with you, be prepared to politely insist that you don't have to pay (you may be asked to show your pockets), as they will assume that all tourists have one. Beware of the tenacious guides who will try and convince you that a tour guide is mandatory and is included in the Rs 200 camera fee; they will give you an extremely hurried 'tour' of the mosque and then demand a further payment of Rs 200-300 for the tour. You can climb to the top of the minaret for Rs 100 (locals maybe Rs 20). 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 - about 10 rupees), and take off your shoes (expect to tip the shoe minder, 5 rupees is plenty, or carry your shoes with you in your own bag). Open from 7AM-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 [31], 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 min 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 [32], off National Highway 24 (Metro Akshardham), East Delhi, [33]. 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, Rs 75 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 Rs 125. Allow at least three-four hours to explore it all. Open Tu-Su 9AM-7PM.
  • Sai Baba Temple [34], 17,Institutional Area, Lodhi Rd, [35]. 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 12 noon. Doop Aarti evening prayer 6.30PM. Shej Aarti at 9.30PM.

Other

  • 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 of India 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. For a visit to the JNU campus, board bus # 615 from Connaught Place. The famous Qutab Minar is very close to the JNU campus.
The Parliament House
  • Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan Colony [36],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 Rs 15 from there.
  • Lodhi Estate
  • Parliament House (Sansad Bhawan).

Do

Pigeons in Connaught Place, early morning
  • Take a walk at Connaught Place (CP), the heart of New Delhi. It is now called Rajiv Chowk. 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 (Patel Chowk) station, open 10AM-4PM, Tue-Sun (free with valid Metro ticket). Quite simply the best place to hang out!
Rare white tiger of Madhya Pradesh - NZP
  • National Zoological Park (NZP), Mathura Road, +91 11 2435 8500. 9:30AM-4PM (Closed Friday). The Delhi Zoo is a very large and sprawling park dedicated to preserving the rich biodiversity of the country. This park may be the only chance of seeing a tiger or elephant for some travellers. Be prepared to do a lot of walking [37]. Foreigner: Rs 100, Indian: Rs 20.
  • Indian Food Tour in Delhi (Private Sight seeing and Indian Food Tour in Delhi), 199-A, Lane 10, East Azad Nagar (Use website http://FoodTourinDelhi.com for details), +91-9810645418, [38]. 6 am to 11:50 pm. Food Tour in Delhi offers private sight-seeing and authentic Indian food tours in Delhi region. The tours cover not only the cuisine of Delhi, but also some offbeat attractions which most people don't know about. The tours are customized according to visitor's preferences and offer unlimited food and air-conditioned transport among other facilities. Average duration of the tour is 5 hours and includes at least 15 to 20 different varieties of Indian food from different places across the Delhi. Rs 3600.

Learn

Delhi is a key centre of learning in India. The most famous universities in Delhi are JNU, DU, JMI, IGNOU, IIT and NLU, Delhi. The official website of the Delhi Government's Directorate of Education [39] is a good starting point for learning more about study opportunities in Delhi.

Apart from undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses, there are many training and diploma-level institutes and polytechnics that cater to the growing demand for skill-based and vocational education. Besides conventional educational institutes, more and more foreigners also make the effort to learn Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) and Delhi is these languages.

Work

Delhi's economy is expanding rapidly. In analogy many interesting work opportunities emerge. Monster [40] and other online job platforms are a good starting point to see what kind of jobs are on offer. Traditionally foreigners often work in the social sector or in teaching. Increasingly, however, expats work for multinational companies and even local Indian companies.

There is a great variety of employment opportunities in Delhi for foreigners, whether they would like to work in business, NGOs, educational institutes, or even government. Still, there is one caveat: the labour market in Delhi is highly competitive and so at many prestigious organisations, the number of applicants far exceeds the number of positions available, which allows employers to receive highly talented applicants for rather meagre salaries (especially when compared to other international destinations).

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 popping up across the city especially in Gurgaon, Noida and South Delhi, but don't expect a traditional or uniquely Indian shopping experience. Until a few years ago, all shops closed on Sunday. While rules have been relaxed, many districts such as Connaught Place are still mostly shuttered. Saturday is the main shopping day and hence also the most crowded.

Start your shopping tour of Delhi with a visit to Connaught Place [41], 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 [42], it's easy to get to. With all shops laid out in 2 circles, it's easy to get around and explore.

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  • Aap ki Pasand Tea Shop, Sterling House, 15 Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj (Opposite the post office, walking distance from Red Fort), ☎ +91 11 23260373, [43]. 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.

Malls

Delhi is rapidly becoming a 'mall crazy' city with a variety of large and luxury shopping malls:

  • DLF Emporio - Located in Vasant Kunj, South Delhi, Emporio is perhaps India's most luxuriant mall. You'll find 3 floors of international designer brands such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Paul Smith, Gucci, Chanel and Salvatore Ferragamo, as well as a number of Indian designers such as Tarun Tahliani, Manish Arora, Rohit Bal and Satya Paul. Emporio also houses one of New Delhi's most popular new restaurants, Set'z (formerly Zest), a chic dining experience with over seven different cuisines to choose from.

Adjacent and connected to Emporio are a further two malls;

and

  • Malls of Saket - Saket has recently become a major urban shopping hub with a vast complex comprising of several different malls. The central hub of this complex is the mall Select Citywalk consisting of international and local brands. However other malls in the complex include, MGF Metropolitan and DLF Place.

Bazaars

  • Connaught Place – The landmark and historical shopping arcade of Delhi. Many Western-style shops are here that have nice products for Indian prices.
  • Paharganj market, – Oriented toward backpackers, this strip of shops sells items such as Indian perfumes, shawls, tablas, rugs, jewelry, etc. This is right opposite New Delhi Railway
  • Kamla Nagar - Located right next to Delhi University's North campus, the affluent market provides possibly all shopping experiences right from high end brands to the street side shops and some rich palatable delights to have the perfect shopping day out.
  • Rajouri Garden Market - Excellent place to shop for wedding as well as everyday clothing.
  • 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, Fabindia and Anohki for women's clothing), housewares (Good Earth), jewelry/accessories, 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.
  • Karol Bagh, West Delhi Market known for traditional Indian Wear, sarees and shawls. Huge area and big brand showrooms.
  • 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).
  • Khari Baoli walking away from the Red Fort through Chandni Chowk will lead you here, which is the main spice market in Old Dehli where most restaurants shop from. Great place to buy individual spices (especially cardamom in bulk), masala chai mix, and various masala mixes for vegetables, meat, fish, meat, chicken, and rice. Afghan Store (lot# 6553, ☎ +91 98 73736846, +98 71232629.

Handicrafts

  • 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. Nirula Bazar is one such place that is located in Gole Market, a 15min walk West of Connaught Place. Be sure to try a number of the shops in this area as all are selling similar goods. They will try to sell you is a hand-made Kashmiri rug.
The calm of Dilli Haat
  • 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, South Delhi (INA Market stn, Metro Yellow Line). Crafts fairs happen here every week. 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.
  • Handicrafts and Natural Products Emporium [44] or R. Expo House [45], now relocated in Noida from Paharganj is one of the largest and oldest emporiums of handicrafts and herbal products in Delhi. It was founded in 1932 and provides it's visitors with a large variety of gift items from different parts of India. Textiles, handmade crafts and furniture made by artists and craftsman are sold at affordable prices. Ayurvedic and plant remedies, herbal soap, shampoos, oils and natural fragrances are also manufactured. This complex of 2 four-storeyed buildings is welcoming and a popular place for foreign visitors to Delhi.
  • Sarojini Nagar, One of the biggest and famous market in South Delhi adjacent to Central Government employees flats
  • The Crafts Museum also sells some handicrafts.
  • MESH-A Fair Trade Shop 'Maximizing Employment to Serve the Handicapped an Indian NGO, practicing Fair Trade with artisans affected by leprosy and people with disabilities. Selling their product from Two Fair Trade Shops in Delhi and Hyderabad. One can find Fair Trade products on reasonable prices at MESH shop. Located in Uday Park Shopping centre MESH has Textile, toys, fashion accessories etc. MESH can be reached at 011-26965039, 26568048 for directions.

Clothing

fab India
  • Fabindia, (in Connaught Place and Khan Market), [46]. A popular store for high quality traditional clothing that caters to foreigners with a Western style store that is inside, with fixed prices, and no haggling.
  • Anokhi [47], Women's clothing, childen's wear, men's wear, and some home goods. In Khan Market and Santushti Shopping Complex with discount store in Nizamuddin East Market (enter gate #9).
  • Ansal Plaza, 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.
  • Rajouri Garden, Famous shopping area in New Delhi. Located in the western suburbs on the metro line, Rajouri Garden houses the largest Malls complex in the city of New Delhi. It offers a variety of clothing brands both national and international such as United Colors of Benetton, Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer, Bossini, etc.
  • South Extension, 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.

Computers

The Nehru Place IT market complex is an interesting combination of modern technology products and old world marketplace sales techniques.
  • Nehru Place [48], 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.
  • Wazirpur Commercial Complex - Located in Wazirpur Industrial Area - The prices are competitive and around that prevailing in Nehru Place.
  • District Centre, 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Jacksons Books, in Paharganj. Ask to see their collection of classics and works by Indian writers - and a lot more - in their shop that is behind the front stall (about 600m down Main Bazaar Street from New Delhi station, on the left hand side).
  • 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). Narrow alleys 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, [49]. A little better organised, but otherwise very similar to Nai Sarak. Hindi Book Centre on Asaf Ali Rd is very famous and one can find practically every Hindi book there,they also have a good website.
  • Kamla Nagar, Bookshops in F-Block opposite to Birla Mills compound and on the road leading to Roop Nagar roundabout provides a range books and stationaries.

Eat

Delhi is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.

Street Food

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 1,000 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, do not eat unhygenic or open food. There are plenty of restaurants offering street food in a potentially more hygenic environment.

You can join local groups of foodies who go out regularly to sample and savor what new and old dishes the city has to offer. One of the most active groups is Food Enthusiasts of Delhi [50]. They organize regular food walks, better known as Raids to various parts and joints in the city. Its a non-commercial group, brought together by passion and love for food. If you are looking for professionally run setups, Delhi Food Adventure [51] runs commercial food walks exclusively for tourists. If walking around looking for good food is not your thing, have a look at some of the Delhi-centric food and eating out blogs, such as Dilli Daawat [52].

Budget

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).

Haldirams RajKachori.JPG


The best place to go for chaat is the Bengali Market (near Mandi House Metro Stn) 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 Rs 80-150. 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 (slipshod and aggressive), and the joint crowded and noisy. 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, [53]. 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, a mixture of different types of stuffing with sweetened yogurt and chutneys in an oversized hollow dough shell. All chaat is under Rs 50, or you can get a full daily thali for Rs 90. Choley Bhature, and the various Dosas are great options to try as well from their Southern Indian selection. Be sure to save room for dessert, as Haldiram's offers some of the best rasmalai, rasgullah, gulab jamun, and other tasty delights in India.
  • Tadka, 4986, Ram Dwara Rd, Nehru Bazar, Paharganj, (side road off of Main Bazaar). A notably clean restaurant by Paharganj standards. Serves only vegetarian food. Their tea is really good and their most popular dish is paneer masala. They have raised prices due to recommendations in travelguides! Full Thali is now around Rs. 150.
  • 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 Rs 60. 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. It has branches all over the city now, in shopping areas.
  • 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 and they will be able to tell you the direction in Paschim Vihar/Meera Vihar Outer Ring Rd.
  • Egg parantha Wala, Lajpat Nagar, (opposite to Surya hotel). This guy owns a shack and has been running the parantha business for ages.
  • Kake Di Hatti, Chandni Chowk near Old Delhi Railway Station. The most extensive varieties of naans(Indian bread) you will find in Delhi. They make the biggest and best tasting naans for your money.

Mid-range

You will find McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut scattered at various locations in malls and throughout the city. The Indian menu without beef and with lots of veggie options can be interesting even if you would otherwise steer clear. Rs 100 for a full serve.

  • Club India Cafe, 4797, 2nd floor, 6 Tooti Chowk, Paharganj, (next to vegetable market). 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. Rs 100-200.
  • Karim's, Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian, ☎ +91 11 2326 9880, [54]. 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. Get here down a little alley just South of the Jama Masjid southern entrance (past the auto supplies market). 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 for Rs 4,500, 24 hr notice and down payment is 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 Rs 200 at the original; more at the branches.
  • Moti Mahal Deluxe, #37, Central Market, Punjabi Bagh West, F-15, District Center, Janak Palace, 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. Home of where the original Dal Makhani, Butter Chicken, and many of the other dishes now highly popular in the UK were first created.
  • Nirula's, L-Block, Connaught Place, +91 11 2332 2419, [55]. 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. ☎ +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 Tues nights. The upmarket version at Sagar Ratna, Ashok Hotel, 50-B Chanakyapuri, ☎ +91 11 2611 0101, is quieter, better laid out and more expensive. Both also have many other branches.
  • Saravana Bhavan, 46 Janpath, ☎ +91 11 2331 7755, +91 11 2331 6060, [56]. 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 vegetarian food.
  • Pindi or Havemore are recommended at Pandara Park if on a tight budgets.
  • Khan Chacha, 50 Khan Market. A roomali rolls and kababs restaurant serving chicken, mutton, paneer (cottage cheese) and also rolls. Very popular with local people.

Splurge

  • 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 2 hr. Rs 2,000+.
  • Chor Bizarre, Hotel Broadway, 4/15A Asaf Ali Rd, [57]. 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. Rs 300-400 for each dish. A bit on the pricey side (relatively for India), but worth 1 splurge meal. If going by foot, look out for the Delhi Stock Exchange on same strip 0.5km from here..
  • Naivedyam, East Patel Nagar, (opposite Jaypee Siddharth Hotel), Offers quality South Indian meals and service at great prices.
  • Punjabi by Nature, Vasant Vihar Priya Complex Tele 011-46117000;41516666, Rajouri Garden, MGF City Square Mall (Lifestyle). One of Delhi's best-known Punjabi restaurants. Rs 800 or so, more if you order seafood.
  • Delhi Food Adventure, Old Delhi, [58]. 3-4 hr tour of many of the best dishes in Old Delhi, reservations required, one of Delhi's top rated tours. Rs 1500 per person.

Italian

  • T.L.R. Cafe & Kitchen, 31 Hauz Khas Village, (near Green Park and Aurobindo Place in South Delhi'). [59]. Popular among tourists, expats and locals. Continental menu featuring a variety of pastas and panini's. Kitchen open 11AM-11PM daily. Also Spanish, Moroccan and American styles, plus desserts and drinks.
  • 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,(near M2k Pitampura (North Delhi) and various other locations in Delhi) Italian style food.
  • Flavours of Italy, (near the Moolchand flyover).
  • Little Italy, Defence Colony Market.
  • Amici Cafe, Middle Lane, Khan Market , Delhi
  • The West View, Maurya Sheraton. Italian style food.
  • Olive, near the Qutub Minar. Italian style food.
  • Diva, Greater Kailash Pt.2. Italian style food.
  • San Gimignano, Imperial Hotel, Italian style food.
  • La Piazza, Hyatt Regency. Italian style restaurant.
  • Satoria, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar, South Delhi. Italian style food, great pizzas, carpaccio, pasta and wines. Mains are about Rs 500.

Barbeque/grills

  • Barbeque Nation [60], B-1 623, Opp. District Center, Janakpuri. Offers an option where customers can make their food on their personal grills, which are embedded in each table. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian BBQ starters, a main course buffet, soups, salads, desserts and a variety of liquors.
  • Pirates of Grills, C-12, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden, ('Rajouri Garden metro'). Same concept as Barbeque Nation, Janakpuri

Japanese

  • Mamagoto*, Khan Market

One of Delhi's most popular Japanese restaurants, the fun manga style interiors and great food are a great experience.

  • Enoki, The Grand, Nelson Mandela Rd, Vasant Kunj-II, [61]. Pseudo-rustic yakitori (Japanese chicken kebab) restaurant offering fairly authentic food, including a limited range of sushi and sake. Rs 1,000+.
  • Sakura, Hotel Metropolitan, Bangla Sahib Marg, [62]. Japanese style restaurant, carries the tag of being one of the most expensive restaurants in India.
  • Side Wok, Khan Market. Japanese, Chinese and other Asian food. Some choice of sushi. Beautiful decor. No alcohol. Mains about Rs 400.

Middle Eastern

  • Felafel Man, Main Bazaar, Paharganj. (About a 10 min walk down Main Bazaar from New Delhi train station). Small shop selling falafel rolls and sabeekh. Multilingualcook,, the rolls come with hummus, tahini and mineral water washed vegies. Don't forget to wash it down with the 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 Indianised.

  • EGO Thai, Friends Colony Market.
  • Culinaire, Greater Kailash 2
  • Chilli Seasons, Lodhi Colony market
  • Thai High, Mehrauli, ☎ +91 11 26644289. Should go at night for a view of the lit up Qutab Minar.
  • The Kitchen, Khan Market ☎ +91 11 4175 7960, +91 11 4175 7961
  • Turquoise Cottage, 81/3 Adhchini, Sri Aurobindo Marg, South Delhi, ☎ +91 11 2685 3896, [63]. 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. Rs 500.

Tibetan Food, (near Shivaji Stadium-which actually is a bus stand, Connaught Place). Tibetan food, run by Tibetan refugees.

Chinese

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

  • Mainland China, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden metro station. Oriental/Chinese cuisine. Other branches at Greater Kailash 2 and Saket
  • The Yum Yum Tree, ☎ +91 11 4260 2020. 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 good. The cuisine here is extremely high quality. Sectioned into separate areas. The Grill for a quick lunch, or the more formal dining area for dinner. Includes a funky bar called New Friends Colony.
  • Rice Bowl 18/31 East Patel Nagar Market, New Delhi – Chinese/Oriental food.
  • Nan King, Delhi phone number011 26138939, 011 26138938. Chinese food in a nice location at Vasant Kunj with a private lounge. Good for groups or a special occasion.

Korean

  • Gung The Palace, Ground floor. D-1B, Green Park, South Delhi. A very up-market place with good food. 1st floor features a live karaoke, but the ground floor is the place to be. Book in advance for the ground floor.

Japanese

Sushiya, yummy japanese food , DLF mall, Saket

Afghani

  • Afghan Restaurant, H-7, Krishna Market, (near Gurdwara, Lajpat Nagar I). Owned &amp: run by members of the Afghani community settled in the area. Very tasty biryani.

Iraqi

  • Iraqi Food - E-178, Lajpat Nagar-I.

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.

Coffee / tea

  • The coffee culture in Delhi consists mostly of large, heavily standardised chains. The two most common, Barista [64] and Cafe Coffee Day [65], can be found in multiple locations across the city, most notably around Connaught Place. The partly UK-based Costa Coffee [66] also has presence in the city with several outlets spread across the city. US based Starbucks Coffee has also made a recent foray into the market with few outlets in South and central Delhi but adding more and more outlets day by day.
  • Independent coffee shops are harder to find in Delhi, but they do exist, and are well worth seeking out.
  • Aap ki Pasand Tea Shop, Sterling House, 15 Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj (opposite the post office, walking distance from Red Fort), +91 11 2326 0373, [67]. . 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.

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, ☎ +91 11 4166 3522. 3 level bar-restaurant offering surprisingly good (but pricy) Middle Eastern food. 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.
  • Toast by Lazeez Affaire, Rajouri Garden, West Gate Mall (level III). Great collection of flavored tobacco sheesha, and drinks, international food, greek, french, pan European and Indian cuisines
  • Mocha, Defense Colony.
  • Ziya- The Morockin Cafe, ☎ +91 92 1263 1306/1/2. This is a chain of neuvo Middle Eastern cafes that offers a wide range of drinks and food (not to mention the flavored tobacco). Budget prices

Bars/nightclubs

  • Xes Cafe, Saket, DLF South Court Mall. Xes Café brings the quintessential Coffee Shop experience out of the 5 Stars! Honest to goodness wholesome food with an eclectic Bar Menu. It is casual but yet elegant. And Rocking Music.


  • Aqua, Poolside bar at the Park Hotel (close to Connaught Place), has a lounge atmosphere and an extensive drinks list.
  • Toast, Bar & Grill by Lazeez Affaire, Rajouri Garden, West Gate Mall (Level III). Flavored tobacco sheesha, drinks, international food, Greek, French, pan-European and Indian cuisines.
  • Aura, (at the Claridges).
  • Decibel, Chanakyapuri. One of two clubs in the Samrath Hotel next to the Ashok Hotel. Rs 500 cover charge.
  • IndoChine's Forbidden City, South Delhi (Lado Sarai, adjacent to Qutab Golf Course). Singapore chain that opened in Delhi in 2007. Madame Butterfly restaurant upstairs serves very good Chinese food. The BarSaVanh loungebar is downstairs, very cool ambience outside. Meal for two arond Rs 3,000.
  • T.L.R., 31 Hauz Khas Village www.tlrcafe.com. Delhi's cozy, arty refuge for tourists, expats and locals comes alive in the evenings. Live bands, DJ nights and pub quiz.
  • Orange, (Ashoka Hotel). Nightclub.
  • Elevate, Noida [68] (adjoining South Delhi).
  • F Bar & Lounge (by Fashion TV), Chanakyapuri. (in the Hotel Ashok). Trendy bar and night club. Claimed to be the largest bar in Delhi in 2008). Cover charge is redeemable against drinks. Fri, Sat is Rs 3,000, free on Wed before 10PM.
  • The Other Side, 81/3 Adhchini (basement of Turquoise Cottage), Sri Aurobindo Marg, ☎ +91 11 2685 396. Ssmoky brick-walled basement covered with Western memorabilia. Eclectic music with an emphasis on rock, expect anything from Beatles to AC/DC. It is a good crowd, particularly on Wednesday's media nights. Rs 500 minimum for drinks and food. Couples only.
  • Shalom, N-block market, GK-1. Cool Mediterranean-themed lounge bar/restaurant with chill-out music.
  • Urban Pind/Bar/Cafe, Greater Kailash I (GK-1), block N, number 4. Bar/lounge on 3 floors. Regular events like Salsa, open bar for Rs 720, electro night, great expat nights.
  • Manre, Bar/lounge, Saket Market, City Mall. Open bar on Thursday for Rs 800.

Gay and lesbian Delhi

  • Amigo, Bar
  • Peppers, Bar.

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 criminalise 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.

Sleep

Delhi is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Hotels Near Delhi International Airport

Ask your driver to take you to "Mahipalpur" near the international terminal (~200-300 Rs). This is a street with literally dozens of hotels, side by side, stretching as far as you can see, but not of high standards, so clean and reliable. If you don't like the first one you walk into, then just keep walking. Though cheap - but be advised that during the winter they can be a little cold and the wifi might be sketchy. At the low end, prices are maybe 1500Rs, and at the high end well the sky is the limit because there are also big luxury hotels there.

  • Mayas Nest, C2 Flat 2038 Vasant Kunj, +919811604892 (), [69]. Bed & breakfast located in a safe, green, quite, residential area. Double bed, private, A/C rooms for Rs 2,500 (including all taxes WIFI & breakfast).
  • Hotel Delhi Aerocity, 104/2/2, M. R. Complex, Rangpuri, Delhi (Close to IGI Airport, Terminal 3), +919910998498, [70]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Hotel Delhi Aerocity is a budget hotel near Indira Gandhi International (DEL) airport offering 3 star hotel facilities and services with in-house 24 hour restaurant and room service, airport pick up and drop services. Rooms are well spacious with modern interiors, free wi-fi, LCD, AC and fitted with all modern amenities. From Rs. 1800.

Budget

Delhi has a large number of hotels, many of them centred 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. 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, by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.

  • Hotel Tara Palace, Hotel TaraPalace 419, Old Cycle Market, Chandni Chowk (opposite Delhi Parade Ground), +91 11 2327 6465 (, fax: +91 11 2327 3555), [71]. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 11AM. Friendly budget hotel, free breakfast and free airport pickup. From $40.

Paharganj

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

This street, also referred to as Main Bazaar, is opposite New Delhi railway station and has many cheap hotels. It's noisy, filthy and full of touts, but it's also cheap and central and thus very popular with budget travellers. A double room with attached bathroom is Rs 200-300. 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. To do this, simply take New Delhi station exit 1, come up above ground and enter the train station. From the security check look to your right and take the stairs at the end to the overpass. This will take you over the top of all the platforms and bring you down right at the intersection of Main Bazaar Rd.

  • Karol Bagh Budget Hotels, 17 A/ 1 WEA, Channa Market, Karol Bagh (Land Mark Karol Bagh Metro Station Pillar No. 122), +91 11 2585 1290, +91 98 7353 3669, +91 96 5016 4155 (), [73]. The hotel rooms Starting Rs. 700 INR Per Rooms Night for Non A/c Standard, A/c rooms Rs. 1000 From Rs 1,000.
  • Ajay Guest House, 5084-A, Main Bazaar, Paharganj (Opposite Khanna Cinema), +91 11 4154 1226, +91 11 2358 3125 (, fax: +91 11 4154 1701), [74]. has a good restaurant and bakery (www.brownbreadbakery.com) run by a German. Single Room: NON A/C Rs. 700 WITH A/C Rs. 800 to 900 - Double Room: NON A/C Rs. 800 WITH A/C Rs. 1000 to 1200 - Triple Room: without air-con Rs. 1200 with air-con Rs. 1500 to 1800.
  • Paharganj Budget hotels, 8574, Arakashan Road, Behind Shiela Cinema, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi (Behind Sheela Cinema), +91-9910609111,reservation@chanchal-hotels.com, [75]. Hotels are excellence in dining, business facilities, interiors, and world-class, personalized service in Delhi Rs 1000.
  • Delhi Hotel, C23 Greater Kailash 2, [76]. Boutique hotel with affordable, neat, clean & hygienic rooms.
  • Ginger Delhi (Rail Yatri Nivas), IRCTC- Rail Yatri Niwas, New Delhi Railway Station, Bhav Bhutti Marg (opposite New Delhi Railway Station or take Rail Yatri Nivas exit from New Delhi Metro station), [77]. checkin: 21/05/2012; checkout: 22/05/2012. Run by Tata group, known for clean and cost effective no-frills budget hotels Rs 1,500-1,800.
  • Hare Rama Guest House, 298 Main Bazaar (Down the side road near the Khanna Cinema), +91 11 2743 3017. Popular hotel and place to book sleeper buses if you're heading to Dharamsala or Pushkar. They're very laid back staff which makes a nice change. 24 hour hot water and check in, and 24 hours stay from when you arrived. Rs 400 single, Rs 500 double for an ok Non-air-con room. Add 50% for air-con.
  • Metropolis, 1634 Bazaar Hand, +91 11 2351 8074. More expensive than the average Paharaganj hotel. It also has a good restaurant.
  • Namaskar, 917 Chandiwalan, Main Bazaar, Paharganj (located down a side alley), +91 11 2358 3456, +91 11 6526 3010 , +91 11 2358 2233 (), [78]. Only 5 min 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. Double Room: NO A/C Rs 400 WITH A/C (Only in months from April to September) Rs 650. Breakfast not included..
  • Navrang, (a bit hidden on a side street (called Temple Road by locals) off main bazaar,, at the intersection with the vegetable market), +91 11 2356-1922. Cheap and cheerful. Popular among Japanese, Japanese food in the small restaurant in front. Single Rs 300, Double 400.
  • Royal Palace, Main Bazaar (200 m down Main Bazaar from New Delhi Station before Star Palace Hotel), +91 11 2358-6176 (fax: +91 11 2753 7103). Clean and pleasant design/style.
  • Sai Palace, (Middle lane opposite railway station, Paharganj). Rs 200-300.
  • Sham Nath Villa bed and breakfast, 12, Sham Nath Marg, Civil Lines (Opposite Oberoi Maidens), +91 11 2397 6660, +91 11 2392 3925 (, fax: +91 11 2392 3925), [79]. Double rooms with air-con US$90.
  • Smyle Inn, 916, Chandiwalan,Main Bazaar, Paharganj (Take right street before Masjid coming from New Delhi station in Main Bazar), +91 11 23584076, +91 11 2358 9107 (, fax: +91 11 28542651), [80]. Breakfast and internet is included in price. Double rooms Rs 780 (non A/C) or Rs 890 (with A/C).
  • Vivek, 1534-50 Main Bazaar, Paharganj (about a ten minute walk from the railway station), +91 11 2351-2900, [81]. This has a pleasant rooftop restaurant, but rather bland food . Economy Class (INR Single: Rs 550 Double Rs 650); Standard Room (INR Single: Rs 650 Double Rs 750); Luxury Room (INR 1100 - 1200); Club Room (INR 1500 - 1600).
  • City Inn Dx., 5415-16, Ladoo Ghati, Nehru Bazaar, Paharganj (about a 10 min walk from the railway station), +91 11 2358 7706 (, fax: 91 11 2358 7343). Rooms with double bed, flat screen TV (with HBO, VH1, CNN, lots of Hindi channels), clean bathroom with Western toilets. Each bathroom has its own hot water heater. Room service, computers in the lobby for Rs 30/hr, no webcam or microphone. Very friendly staff. Located just around the corner from Hotel Relax and the vegetable market. Rs 700 double room.

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 Rs 50 (use the prepaid stand). The Vidhan Sabha metro station is also nearby and popular. From there cycle-rickshaws charge Rs 15 and take about five minutes.

Other Areas

  • New India Hotel, 172 Katra Baryan (Next to the red fort in Old Delhi), +91 11 235 117. Noisy air-con, rudimentary shower. Bollywood movies at night which can be somewhat entertaining. Rs 250 for single room, double bedroom Rs 350.

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 accommodation. These rooms range from cheap dumps to classy rooms in the best neighborhoods of Delhi. These areas are a welcome respite from the dirt and touts of the main tourist areas, and thanks to Delhi's metro system, these are still within an easy reach.

  • Hotel Aman Palace, 8A / 51, 52 W.E.A. Karol Bagh, +91 11 2572 4828, [82]. 34 rooms (luxury, executive, superior, and suites), all with A/C, cableTV, telephone, and safe. High-speed Internet available, currency exchange, laundry, and wake-up call. From Rs 1,420.
  • Delhi Home Stay, (), [83]. Bed & breakfast located in green, quite, residential area. Double bed, private, A/C rooms for Rs 3,000 (including all taxes).
  • Star Grand Villa, E - 8, East of Kailash (6 km from Nizamuddin Railway Station and 14 km from the airport. The property is also within proximate distance to business, commercial, and entertainment hubs.), +91 11 45751111, [84]. All rooms equipped with LCD TV with satellite channels, Telephone, Mini-bar, coffee/tea maker and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity. Rates start at 5500.00 INR.
  • Hotel Ananda, 8/41, WEA, Abdul Aziz Rd (Near Jessa Ram Hospital, Karol Bagh), +91 11 2875 3181, [85]. Guestrooms have a broadband Internet connection and cable tele* * vision. Travel assistance and car rentals arranged. Free pickup from the airport and railway station.</sleep>
  • A Caravan's Homestay, 1/13 Tilak Nagar, +91 99 7184 3131 (), [86]. A small and cozy homestay in Delhi that houses a friendly Indian family with well maintained, clean and affordable rooms.
  • Home@F37, F 37 East of Kailash, South Delhi, +91 11 4669 0200 (), [87]. Renovated with 32" LCD, Split A/C and a refrigerator. Single Room: 2800Rs. Double Room: 3200Rs. Breakfast included. Tax @17.42% not included..
  • Maulsari Bed & Breakfast, 142 Sunder Nagar, South Delhi (Near Humayun Tomb, India Gate), +91 9810808281 (), [88]. Maulsari is a BNB in the posh colony of Sunder Nagar. Conveniently located near heritage monuments, Delhi High Court, Supreme Court, Major markets its sure to make your comfortable and nice Rs 4,500 upwards including full breakfast..
  • Mayas Nest, C2 Flat 2038 Vasant Kunj, +919811604892 (), [89]. Bed & breakfast located in a safe, green, quite, residential area. Double bed, private, A/C rooms for Rs 3,000 (including all taxes WIFI & breakfast).
  • Ajanta Hotel, Main Bazaar, Paharganj, +91 11 23620925, +91 11 23620926, +91 11 23620927 (), [90]. Many foreigners as has been listed in popular guidebooks. Decent restaurant and nice atmosphere on rooftop bar, although rooftop seems like a construction site. Internet is available. The staff are often rude and may try to offer overpriced tour package bookings as often 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 22.5% 'tax' charge at time of payment. The hotel does not offer a luggage storage service store luggage for its patrons. Single room with fan from Rs 1,000 plus 22.5%.
  • Amar Inn, K 102, Lajpat Nagar - II, +91 98 1841 0099 (), [91]. Reasonable rooms, free internet, but bathrooms badly in need of a refurbishment. All rooms include air freshening dispenser. Double Occupancy A/C room appx US$75.
  • Ashiana Hotel, 50 Ara Kashan Rd, Ram Nagar, +91 11 2362 7617, [92]. Near the New Delhi Railway Station and within minutes of Connaught Place, the city’s main financial and commercial district.
  • Asian Guest House, 14 Scindia House, 2F with elevator, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Connaught Pl, +91 11 2331 3393 (), [93]. Clean quiet rooms, centrally located. Not recommended for families. Corridors and less expensive rooms are dirty and in need of renovation. Monkeys living outside the building and cockroaches inside are a special treat. Singles from Rs 675, doubles with A/C and cableTV Rs 1,575+12.5% tax. Book through their website and get 5% discount on room tariff.
  • BnB New Delhi Bed and Breakfast, I - 9 Maharani Bagh, Adjoining friends colony, +91 98 9909 9042 (), [94]. Cosy family atmosphere. Free wifi, tea & coffee making tray in room, DVD plaver with bollywood and hollywood movies, games, children movies. LCD satellite TV, refrigerator. All rooms have private bathroom and western toilet with shower. Breakfast is served in dining room. Library includes books on culture, city guide books and India guide books in lounge area. Rs 2,500.
  • Cabana Hotel. R23 Greater Kailash 1. [95], ☎ +91 11 4074 7474, (Fax:+91 11 4074 7475). Boutique hotel. Neat, clean & hygienic rooms.
  • Delhi Home Stay, (), [96]. Bed & breakfast located in green, quite, residential area. Double bed, private, A/C rooms for Rs 3,000 (including all taxes).
  • Hotel Durga International, 8715, D.B. Gupta Rd, +91 98 9942 3411. 20 min from the Indira Gandhi International Airport and 3 min from New Delhi Railway Station. Each room has satellite television, and a private toilet and bath. A honeymoon package is available. ~Rs1,000.
  • India Luxury Homes, S 504 Greater Kailash I, +91 99 9988 8666 (), [97]. B&B in the centre of South Delhi. Jacuzzi, mini bar and all amenities of a 4 star hotel. Rs 3,500.
  • Inn at Delhi, C-34, Anand Niketan, +91 98 6810 4893, [98]. Bed and breakfast homestay in Delhi ~Rs 4,900.
  • Justa The Residence, +91 11 4050 2121 Pansheel Pk, [99]. Several locations; Pansheel Park and Greater Kailash. Breakfast buffet, dinner service, A/C and hot water, flat-screen TV, mini-bar and good staff, wifi is available by payment. Pick-up service from airport available. ~Rs 5,000.
  • Lemontree Hotels, 201, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, +91 11 4165 0101, [100].
  • Mehar Castle, [102]. Large rooms with A/C, TV, hot shower, room service. Rs 750/night for one and Rs 1,500 for 2 persons.
  • Narula Inn, Connaught Pl, [103]. Bed and breakfast.
  • New Haven Hotel, E - 512, Greater Kailash Part-2, Main Rd, +91 99 1002 4700 (), [104]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: Noon. Boutique hotel in South Delhi. New deluxe rooms, high speed wifi, nice surroundings. Close to Lotus temple, Opposite JMD shopping mall and Mainland China restaurant From Rs 2,800.
  • Prem Sagar Guest House, P block, 1F, Connaught Pl, Outer Circle (Near Shivaji Stadium, next block to the landmark Regal Cinema and a few doors away from McDonald's Outer Circle), +91 11 2334 5263 (), [105]. Clean quiet rooms, centrally located, terrace garden. All rooms have A/C, cable TV. From Rs 1,800.
  • Shantigriha Bed and Breakfast, 12 A, Lane W-16, Sainik Farms, 91 98 1814 9019 (), [106]. Calm peaceful, near Asola wildlife sanctuary and Qutab Minar. Free wifi, private toilet.
  • Hotel SPB 87, 17A/2, W.E.A. Karol Bagh, +91 11 4500 0400, [107]. 20 min from the Indira Gandhi International Airport and 10 min from New Delhi Railway Station. Satellite TV, wifi, and a private toilet and bath. They also have a conference hall for business meetings and guests. ~Rs 2,590.
  • Hotel Sunstar Residency, 8A/50, W.E.A. Channa Market, Karol Bagh, +91 11 2585 3688, +91 11 2585 3689, +91 11 4250 3285, +91 11 4250 2767 (), [108]. Room service and a restaurant available for breakfast and dinner. Lockers available. Double rooms with A/C, TV, private bathroom from Rs 1,300..
  • Thikana, A-7 Gulmohar Pk, +91 11 4604 1569 (), [109]. 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. ~Rs 6,000.
  • Urban Ashram, D-12 Huaz Khas, South Delhi, +91 11 4615 1818 (), [110]. checkin: noon; checkout: 1 M. Warm, intimate and cosy family-operated boutique bed and breakfast. Friendly and hospitable service. Nice new rooms. Free wifi. Close to GK-1, defense colony , saket with many restaurants and bars. Rs 3,500-4,500.
  • The Beaufort Inn, 14 Jangpura Main Mathura Rd (near Nizammudin Railway Stn, in heart of South Delhi), +91 11 2437 7475 (), [111]. checkin: noon; checkout: noon. Rs 2,500-4,000.
  • Hotel Saar Inn" [112] Located in Karol Bagh, 3 metro stops from Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Pl) which offers a peaceful location slightly segregated from the hectic city center. Conveniently 5min walk from Karol Bagh metro station (best way to travel in Delhi), and in a strip that has right nearby an internet cafe, money changer, bookstore, and various shops. Clean and comfortable with breakfast included, a very friendly professional staff. 3.5star for ~$45 USD/night.
  • Hotel O Delhi[113]8/32,WEA,Near karol bagh metro station,Karol Bagh ( 6 km from Nizamuddin Railway Station and 14 km from the airport )Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, the hotel offers a superb combination of comfortable accommodation, great value rates, versatile amenities and an excellent central location. phone +91-9810068858( mail@kukrejagrouphotels.com ). Rates start at 2868.00 INR. All rooms equipped with LCD TV with satellite channels, Telephone, coffee/tea maker and Wi-Fi Internet connectivity.


  • Stallen Hospitality, (A 5-minute walk from Defence Colony Market), [114]. checkin: 12:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. A stone's throw away from the Defence Colony Market,one of the hippest markets in south Delhi, try out the variety of cuisines and catch the artistic vibe Delh has to offer. Breakfast is included. around US$81.

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 US$400 room discounted to US$200 will still cost US$50 extra.

  • Aman, [115]. Built in the 1950s. From US$700/night
  • The Grand (Formerly the Grand Hyatt), Vasant kunj - Phase II, Nelson Mandela Rd, South Delhi, +91 11 2677 1234 (), [118]. Still maintains high standards with an opulent lobby, modern rooms, pool and spa. 15 min from the airport. Is good for business, but rather awkward for tourism.
  • Hyatt Regency Delhi, Bhikaiji Cama Place, Ring Rd, +91 11 2679 1234, [119]. Huge and slightly aged, but still 5 stars, outdoor pool, small gym and spa, 3 restaurants, and all the usual amenities. Halfway between the airport and Connaught Place.
  • The Imperial, Janpath, +91 11 2334 1234 (), [120]. Built in 1931. Has 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.
  • The Lalit (previously known as Intercontinental), Barakhamba Ave, +91 11 4444 7777 (, fax: +91 11 4444 1234), [121]. Recently refurbished. Famous for excellent breakfasts.
  • The Maurya Sheraton, Sardar Patel Marg, +91 11 2611 2233, [122]. One of the best in the city. Great restaurants, including the Bukhara.
  • Leela Palace, ChanakyaPuri, +91 11 2302 6162, [123]. By far the most opulent and luxorious hotel in delhi. Jaunt for the state heads and celebrities
  • Le Meridien, Windsor Place, +91 11 2371 0101, [124]. Landmark refurbished 5 star hotel. Along with the Shangri-La is one of the best hotels in the city in terms of location.
  • Oberoi Delhi, Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, +91 11 2436 3030 (), [125]. 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.
  • Radisson, National Hwy-8, +91 11 2677 9191 (), [126]. On way to Indira Gandhi International Airport. Great Kebab Factory restaurant.
  • Hotel Samrat, Kautilya Marg, +91 11 2611 0606, [127]. Just touches the 5 star luxury hotel levels, is a twin of The Ashoka Hotel.
  • Shangri-La, 19 Ashoka Rd, +91 11 4119 1919, [128]. Part of the renowned Shangri La chain. Seafood 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.
  • Sheraton New Delhi, District Centre, Saket, +91 11 4266 1122, [129].
  • Taj Mahal, 1, Mansingh Rd, +91 11 2302 6162, [130]. In the 'Lutyen's Bungalow Zone' in central Delhi.
  • Taj Palace, Sardar Patel Marg, +91 11 2611 0202, [131]. Part of the Indian Hotels Chain. High-end luxury in the diplomatic enclave in Chanakyapuri, close to the US Embassy

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. This is partly because of Delhi's severe air pollution problem; it is advised that travelers keep informed about the daily air quality in Delhi. If you happen to be travelling 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."

Stay safe

Delhi at night

Many first time travellers 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. Do not blindly believe anything on the advice of taxi and auto drivers. They are scumbags, beware. If this is your first time to India, do not openly admit it, as this will make you more vulnerable to touts.

Delhi is also known as the rape capital of India and is an increasingly unsafe place for women. It is very common to receive lewd remarks or even physical touching and groping. If you are arriving into Delhi at night either stay in the airport lounge or well lit areas until daybreak. Women should avoid walking around alone in the night or hiring cabs alone. Radio taxis are a safer option. Dress conservatively. Don't be afraid to raise your voice or shout, if harassed.

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 notes in it in an obvious place such as your hip pocket as a decoy to Delhi's ubiquitous pickpockets.

Several tourist agencies have been known to swindle tourists, such as change their travel plans or charge them extra commissions and fees. The best way to secure train tickets is by navigating through the Indian Railways Website [132]. Also, you should book you flight tickets online as all the airlines have online booking system. Otherwise, prepare to spend a good hour sorting through the charges that the tourist agency will charge.

Delhi Police

The Delhi Police is a 70,000 strong force serving the capital region. Unfortunately, the quality of police officers varies dramatically throughout the force; some officers may be corrupt and unhelpful, while others are honest and helpful.

For police assistance during an emergency dial 100.

Police vehicles (called PCR vans) are parked on almost every major intersection.

For non-emergencies, or to report a crime, go to the police station.

Contact

Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. There are many service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are Airtel, Vodafone [133], Reliance [134], and Tata Indicom [135]. 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.

Phone numbers in Delhi begin with 11, typically followed by eight digits. To call Delhi from outside India you will need to dial the international prefix for your country, followed by India’s country code 91.

Delhi emergency numbers

Here are the Delhi emergency contact numbers

  • Police, ☎ 100
  • Fire Department, ☎ 101
  • Ambulance: ☎ 102, or dial the nearest local hospital

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.

Embassies & High Commissions

  • Ag-flag.png Algeria, E-6/5, Vasant Vihar, +91 11 614 6706, +91 11 614 7036 (, fax: +91 11 614 7033).
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, 7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 4178 2000 (, fax: +91 11 4178 2020), [138]. M-Th 8:30AM-5:30PM, F 8:30AM-1PM.
  • Ch-flag.png China, 50 D Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 688 9028, [139]. (28.5984641,77.1896625)
  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, 1-50 M, Niti Marg Chanakyapuri, +91 11 2611 4096 (, fax: +91 11 2688 5355). 9:00 AM - 16:00 PM.
  • Fi-flag.png Finland, E-3, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 4149 7500 (, fax: +91 11 4149 7555), [141]. M-F 10AM-noon.
  • Gm-flag.png Germany, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 4419 9199 (fax: +91 11 2687 3117), [143].
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, EP-32, Dr S. Radhakrishnan Marg, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 26880700-4, Emergencies: +91 96 5461 6196 (, fax: +91 11 2688 8010), [144].
  • Mk-flag.png Macedonia, Hauz Khaz Enclave K 80 A, +91 11 4614 2603 (, fax: +91 11 4614 2604), [147].
  • Mg-flag.png Mongolia, 34, Archbishop Macarios Marg, +91 11 2463 1728 (, fax: +91 11-2463 3240).
  • Np-flag.png Nepal, Bara Khamba Rd, +91 11 332 9969.
  • Pk-flag.png Pakistan, 2/50 G Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 467 6004.
  • Rw-flag.png Rwanda, 41, Paschimi Marg Vasant Vihar, +91 11 2866 1604 (, fax: +91 11 2866 1605).
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, +91 11 2419 2100, [149].

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.

  • Agra and the Taj Mahal are a 3-6 hr drive or train ride each way. Roads are not great so be prepared for a long trip, even if it is quoted as being close and quick. As of 2012 there is a new express highway connecting Delhi and Agra which shortens the trip to about 2.5 hours, but the tolls can be as high as 1600 Rs for the entire 200 Km drive. Book tickets in the train cars with seats far in advance, and look for the seats put aside especially for tourists. You can also rent a car and driver for the day and shouldn't pay more than ~Rs 5,000 roundtrip (if not less). The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.
  • Bandhavgarh National Park and the Bandhavgarh Fort, are the "Tiger Reserve" at M.P. This is a Tiger preservation project and has the highest density of Tigers in India.
  • Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama's government in exile, is 10-12 hr 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 hr in a bus. A direct flight from Delhi takes just 1 hr to reach Shimla.
  • Kathmandu, in neighbouring Nepal is a roughly 36+ hr 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 hr bus or train ride away.
  • Mussoorie, one of the original British hill stations in India; also known as The Queen of the Hills.


Jim Corbett Tiger reserve, 280 km from Delhi, has beautiful terrain, and heaves with wildlife including tiger, elephant and leopards and hornbills, eagles & owls.

  • Nainital - another beautiful hill station in the Kumaon hills with the magnificent Naini Lake.
  • Char Dham- Delhi is the starting point of the famous piligrimage centres Badrinath, the abode of Vishnu, Kedarnath, the abode of Shiva , Gangothri and Yamunothri, the origin of sacres rivers, Ganges and Yamuna respectively

Salimgarh Fort is at easy reach distance from the Tomb of Humayun.






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