Delhi is the present day version of Indraprastha, the legendary capital of Pandavas, and has in-between been seen various rulers on its throne, the longest being Mughals. No wonder Delhi has charmed writers, Sufi saints and travellers alike. The present Delhi is one of the most developed Indian as well as global cities albeit with its glorious past lurking across the city. The head of Indian government sits in Delhi in the Parliament in central Delhi, surrounded by forts and monuments of his ancestors, both autocratic and monarchs. These are places like Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Jantar Mantar et al. Then there are imperial architectures around Lutyen's Delhi including Connaught Place, in heart of city and the closest Delhi can get to London's Trafalgar Square.


Sight seeing
The bustling streets, salad-bowl of people from various cultures, the keen cabbies and coolies in airports and railway stations, the cajoling & innovative beggars in CP, a working populace of all age groups in Gurgaon, carefree students in university campus of North & South Delhi, vertical townships in Noida and hazaar shopping and eating avenues are some options not written in any city guide. In every auto rickshaw or cab ride, under every subway, in each mall and tourist spot, you will witness a new aspect of the city.

Begin with Red Fort, a magnificent palace which gets its name from the red stone it's made with. It was in Red Fort that Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first PM announced its independence at the stroke of midnight. Next stoppage is Qutub Minar with shrouded origins. At 238 feet, Qutub Minar is one of the tallest brick minarets of the world. Humayun's Tomb, next in the list, is a UNESCO world heritage site with a bloddy history.

Other historically significant architectural marvels include Jantar Mantar(near Connaught Place) , Jama Masjid, Safdarjung's Tomb, Purana Quila (near Humayun's Tomb) from Mughal era and Rajghat, Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Lotus Temple, India Gate and a magnanimous Akshardham Temple from the recent past and modern era.

After these short stoppages, a must visit place is Chandni Chowk. A part of Old Delhi's walled city, Chandni Chowk is today known for its rich culture, exhaustive market and delectable food. It has a Temple, a Church, a Gurudwara and a mosque, all with rich and fascinating histories. About food, Ghantewala Halwai (1970), Natraj's Dahi Bhalle (1940), famous Chaatwallah (1923), Chainaram sweet shop (1948) and Paranthe wali gali are a small part of the food options available at Chandni Chowk.

With all its architectural glory and legendary tales, a sightseeing tour of Delhi will definitely leave you mesmerised. However, the true characteristics of a city are revealed in the day-to-day actions of its residents. Thus, to experience the true nature of Delhi, you need to indulge in common day activities and practices that reveal the existing and authentic nature of the city. Delhi city offers the most joyous experiences, one of which is cycle-rickshaw riding through the labyrinth that is Chandni Chowk. Take the metro to the heart of the area and then hop onto a rickshaw that will take you across the length and breadth of the market, into its tiny allies leading to a variety of shops. If you want to experience the world class quality of Delhi city and feel proud to be part of the infrastructure boom, a ride on the metro is an absolute must.

Simply put, Delhi city is a shopper's paradise with trendy boutiques, flea markets, swanky malls, tiny kiosks, upscale shopping areas, pavement shops, modern art galleries, Tibetan markets, centuries old bazaars and second hand street markets.
For a fun filled shopping trip visit Dilli Haat, preferably in the evening. It's an open air complex housing artisans who sell their indigenous wares. Expect a riot of colours from kitsch to ethnic fabrics, shoes, trinkets and furnishings. Top it up with a meal from one of the various restaurants offering indigenous cuisine from each state of India.
For real time handicrafts and prices to match them, visit one of the many emporia lining Janpath, especially the Cottage Industries Emporium, the ones on Baba Kharag Singh Marg and the Hauz Khas Village. Indo-Western outfits and fabrics in beautiful colours and also some stunning furnishings are available at Anokhi and Fabindia outlets in central and southern areas of New Delhi.

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