Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Delhi Bazzars - Shopping Zones

There are countless bazaars in Delhi. But for sheer ambiance, few can compare with the ancient bazaars around Jama Masjid & Chandni chowk – each a world in itself – like the romantic old souks of Baghdad & Damascus. The best place exploring these bazaars would be Jama masjid. Built on a rocky outcrop, Jama masjid gives a kaleidoscopic view of the old city. The flight of steps on the eastern end of Jama masjid facing Lal Quila leads to meena bazaar. This bazaar was built in late 1970s to cater to the needs of pilgrims and tourists. It has rows of small shops selling readymade garments,local cosmetics, embroidered caps in silk, cotton and nylon.Thee are also many dhabas, makeshift stalls where you can get a piping hot meal of meat curry and rotis for just a few rupees,or biryani, a fragrant, spicy Muslim rice specialty. The lane going through the left flank of the bazaar, behind Jama masjid ,will take you to the cotton market which specializes in making and selling quilts, pillows and mattresses .Beyond it is the busy cycle market which has the best range of bicycles ad tricycles as well as accessories. You can also go down the right flank of the meena bazaar and head for kasturba hospital marg. Before doing so pause for a while at Urdu Park. Here you can sit under the soft shade of the age-old trees, have your ears cleaned or get a body or head massage. At the far end of Urdu park you can see the akharas where wrestling bouts are held every Sunday evening from 4pm onwards.

It may be worthwhile to hire a cycle rickshaw at Kasturba Hospital Marg to negotiate the labyrinthine lanes and bylanes of these old bazaars. The perpetual crowd of pedestrians, handcarts, rickshaws and stray buffaloes might intimidate you. The lanes are narrow and winding and in no way conducive to a leisurely stroll. They are a pot pourri of shops, godowns, eating places, residential quarters, temples and mosques. The rickshawalas are careful navigators who will point out the landmarks to you as they manoeuvre their way. Climb carefully on to a rickshaw and wedge yourself firmly on the narrow seat. Use your feet to push against the foot rest and hold on to the side. A little way down Kasturba Hospital Marg is the meat market. The shops display rows of goats heads, piles of trotters, chicken in crowded coops waiting to be is not a pleasing sight and certainly no place for the faint of heart. The fish market across the street is probably more interesting because it is visually vibrant though wet and messy and not as starkly carnal as the meat shops. On the left, the meat shops give way to the motor parts market.Motoring aficionados claim that this is one of largest second hand spare parts market in the world, with over thousand shops packed into a square kilometer behind Jama masjid. Exactly half way down the length of the west wall of Jama Masjid, is a road leading to the heart of specialised wholesale market. Chawri bazaar, paper products market is where one could buy paper by the ream, wedding cards and wallpaper in exquisite shades. The melee is maddening ,as cars and rickshaws vie for passage with pedestrians and coolies who rush around with huge bales on their back.

If you want a breather, ask the rickshawala to take you down Churiwali gali. Once upon a time bangles were manufactured here. There were countless, colourful bangle shops. Today, only about a dozen shops remain and the bangles are brought from faraway manufacturing centers. Turn back now and go to Nai Sarak which specializes in school and college textbooks. At the end of the lane,turn left for khari baoli, Asias largest spice market. The pungent aroma of spices will hit you as the shops display mounds of turmeric, red chillies, cardamom cloves and nutmeg. There are raisins from California, Sultanas from Afghanistan, walnuts from Kashmir and much else. Shopkeepers here claim that this I also the biggest market in Asia for edible oils and dry fruits. It is time to return to Chandni Chowk. The historical accounts of this market are legion, of times when merchants came from Turkey,China,Holland and other distant lands, with weapons, exotic birds, pearls and tapestry. There was nothing that was not available here. An Amir’s son could squander away a ransom during a stroll without affecting the supply of goods! Travellers wrote of tall trees and a canal running down the centre of the street. Sadly the trees have long gone and the canal has given way to an unaesthetic road divider painted a bilious yellow. But there is no denying that the charm remains.

The katras or wholesale markets are sandwiched between the shops, offices, churches, mosques, temples and gurudwaras. One of the most popular is katra neel which deals with fabric and there is nothing in textiles that you cannot find here. Silks, cotton, voiles, muslins, brocades from Benaras and much, much more. It is fascinating maze of shops, most of which are no more than two feet by five feet. A little ahead is Bhagirath palace, Asia’s largest market for electrical goods. Old and new, outdated or imported, it is all available here. And what is not available can be specially fabricated for you. Cross the main street and go down to Kinari bazaar. You will be overwhelmed by an outburst of dense colours. Everything needed for an Indian wedding is available here, garlands of fresh paper currency decorated lavishly with gold and silver tinsel, garments, jewellery even paper plates and glasses! And if you are in a rush to tie the knot, you can hire clothes and accessories for the occasion. Vishal Chitrashala Dresswala for example, rents out splendid gold brocade achkan, salwar and turban for the groom and lehnga with zardozi work veil for the bride for anything between Rs300 and Rs 1000.Many shops also sell and rent out theatre costumes. If there is a festival in the offing, people come here from all over the city to make their purchases-gulal or coloured powder if it is Holi, rakhis if it is Rakshabandhan or extra heads of Ravan if it is Dussehra.

The lane ends at driba kalan which is still known as the jewellers street. There was a time when it used to be lined with gold and silversmiths, but over time most of them have moved away. Those that remain deal largely in silver. It is an interesting place to buy silver jewellery, old or new. But be sure that you have ample time in hand, for it is not possible to rush things here. While in Dariba,look out for Gulab Singh Johrimal,a perfume and attar shop that has been doing business since 1816. Turn towards Lal Qila and stroll through the flower market. The sharp fragrance of flowers will envelop you as deft fingers weave garlands of roses, jasmine and marigolds. The fragrance stays with you long after you have left the flower market behind. Across the street in Lal Qila beyond the high arches of Lahore Gate is Chhatta Chowk Bazaar. Its long and chequered history gose back to the 17th century, to the days of Shahjahan, when caravan traders displayed their exotic wares for the ladies of the royal household-silks, pearls, precious stones, perfumes, brocades, carpets. Since the ladies were in purdha, the traders would lay out their wares and move away to allow the ladies to come out and make their choices and so it was till the British came and turned the fort into a garrison for its troops. Today Chhatta Chowk bazaar has abput forty glass-fronted shops dealing in artificial and semi-precious jewellery, embroidered bags, hand-painted wall hangings and fake ‘antiques’ from India and Nepal.

With sunset the ambience of Shahjahanbad changes, As lights are switched on temple bells announce the evening art and muezzins call the faithful to prayer. Shutters are pulled down and the hectic crowd disappears,as if by magic. Gradually all activity shifts to the eating places, especially in and around Matia Mahal Bazaar near Jama Masid, The lanes are hilled with aroma of fire and food and the sound of Hindi flim music.It is time to celebrate the flavours of traditional Muslim food as people from all over Delhi find their way to their favourite restaurant.

The act of collective cooking and eating acquires a special meaning in this cobweb of lanes.Huge pots simmer on slow fires, infusing flavours and needing to be stirred frequently with large ladles,often with both hands. Meat is not only fried, roasted and cooked in front or you, but outside many restaurants you may actually see live goats waiting their turn.

Traditionally, most villages in India have a haat or weekly bazaar where villagers sell grains, vegetables, tools, handicrafts and cattle. With urbanization most villages in and around Delhi have disappeared but the haats remain, so much so that even an urban jungle like Delhi has about 50 of them.These sprawling bazaars cater to diverse needs, miracle oils and exotic herbs and spices. Many locations in Delhi have their own weekly haats. The biggest is probably the one held in Ajmal Khan road in Karol Bagh on Mondays. On Tuesday there is one in Govindpuri,Wednesday in Bhogal, and so on. If you are not particularly keen on quality you can pick up attractive bargains at these weekly haats. An interesting book bazaar is held on the pavements of Daryaganj every Sunday which is certainly worth a visit. If you are lucky you may even spot a rare book among the piles of secondhand books, old magazines and periodicals. The Sunday bazaar below the eastern ramparts of Lal Qila on the Ring Road is variously known as Chor bazaar, Kabadi bazaar and Lal Qila bazaar. This is Delhi’s own fle market. Here you can get almost anything, antiques, alarm clocks, beautiful bottles, box cameras, typewriters, army shoes and overcoats, brass lamps, used bullets, and even carpets and crockery. As with flea markets anywhere, you must have an eye for the unusual. You could very well walk away with a crystal decanter, an old prayer rug, or a priceless first edition.

The tradition of the delhi school of miniature painting has continued from the time of emperor Jehangir, father of Shahjahan. The Delhi school is an offshoot of the Mughal painting tradition.Mansoor, a painter in Jehangir’s court was apprenticed to the Iranian miniature painters, Mir Ali and Abdul Samer during the 16th century.The Delhi school was distinguished for its dynamism and naturalism in treatment, contrast of colours and strong urban influence.The preferred base for the painting was ivory, but today special handmade paper is used.In the Zakir Nagar house of Firozbhai, Faridbhai and Akhtarbhai, direct descendants of Mansoor, the ambience is that of a medival studio. They prepare their own brushes with squirrel hair inserted into quills with specification for fine single hair lines or thicker strokes. Only herbal and mineral colours are used. The gold-leaf work is the last to be applied before burnishing with agate stones. These shy artists are willing to arrange a demonstration of their art by previous appointment.

Ivory was in Mughal India a symbol of aristocracy. African ivory was coveted as a material for its close grain, though Indian ivory was extensively used. Furniture, screens, lamps, platters and decorative items were inlaid with gold, silver, precious stones and miniature paintings. The carving was delicate, as can be seen in the Red Fort archaeological museum. Delhi ivory place,a 300 years-old-shop at the northern gate Jama Masjid, attracted the best craftsman who lived in Sahahjahanabad. It has, in its collection an old set of furniture carved by three generation of craftsmen which was intendad as a gift forQueen Victioria. Because of the ban on ivory use craftsmen now work on bone for small items such as pendants and earrungss and on sandalwood.

Dariba Kalan near Chandni Chowk known as the jeweller’s street,is famous for Meenakari or the art of enamelling on silver and gold. Setting in gold of navaratan,is a traditional skill of muslim craftsmen called saadegars who settled in Delhi during Sahajahan’s time Dariba also has Hindu craftsmen from Punjab and Bengal who specialized in gold and silver works. The sarafs,sellers of jewellery, are mostly Hindus and have been around for more than two centuries. Over the years, a lot of work has shifted from gold to silver and gold-plated silver ornaments. Exquisite handcrafted silver ornaments are also available in Dariba Kalan.

Uttam Nagar and Bandipur in west delhi are where most potters in the city live. Most of them are originally from Rajasthan and Haryana. A neatly laid-out settlement in Uttam Nagar called Kumhar colony was built in the 1970s to suit their specific needs. This is a unique case of group migration and solidarity. Most kumhars fan out to various parts of the city and establish pavement stalls from where they sell their wares. The crafting of objects of everyday use like clay pitchers, cooking pots and small oil lamps continues. Modern adaptations include flower pots and exotic display pots and planters. Quality earthenware is available at the crafts Museum in Pragati Maidan, Dilli Haat, Lajpat Nagar and along major roads and at the annual Surajkund Crafts Mela.

Opposite to shadipur bus depot in west delhi,one dips under the flyover and turns left into a deceptively innocuous street marked by a small stall of dholak sellers. This is asettlement of rajasthani puppeteers, street performers and craftspeople who migrated to Delhi decades ago.Puppets, large and small are made here as well as big, dramatics sculptures. Families of the bhopa community who live here are traditionally storytellers. Their women sing out the stories which are, in turn, painted on horizontal scrolls. The paintings are folk versions of the rajasthani school of miniature painting. The paintings are adapted to surfaces such as wood and clay,on furniture and decorative pots. The densely packed images are lyrical tales of local heroes. Women & children of the puppeteer Bhat community make papier mache wall decorations, stuffed toys and lamps. The itinerant Gilahre community make folk instruments like dug-dugi and seetis. The bhat women & children are seen in most delhi markets selling stuffed animals-large and small horses, camels and elephants made of black cloth and decorated with bright gold braids.

There are a few old shops dealing in musical instruments, most of which are brought to Delhi from various parts of India.Here, assemblage work is done , such as fitting of hide membranes of tables, dholaks and other drums. Harmoniums are set. String instruments such as diluba, israj and sarod are fitted and the single-stringed ektara is made. One of the oldest shops dealing in musical instruments in Bina Musical Stores in Nai Sarak. Rishi ram at Connaught Circus is known for its sitars. Others shops of repute are delhi musical stores at jama masjid and Lahore music house at daryaganj. Harshvardhan (house 1799 ram gali, malkaganj 3263595), an independent craftsman, specializes in making flutes. A variety of paper crafts are prevalent, of which tazia making is the most spectacular. Tazias are commemorative paper structures, intricately cut and pasted on a bamboo frame. Fantastic, colourful images of paper are taken in a procession during the muslim festival of Muharram. The making of paper kites caters to the famous kite flying mania of dilliwalas which reaches its heights during the monsoons, especially on 15 August, India’s independence day & during the spring festival of Basant Panchmi. The patanga or kite market in lal kuan bazaar in shahjahanabad is then a riot of colours. Kites come in all sizes, ranging from 36 inches to their miniature versions ,which are available at the crafts museum, Dilli Haat & Central Cottage Industries Emporium. However, the two standard sizes are 12 inches & 15 inches. Kites made of plastic sheets are also available.

Also popular are paper toys that do magical tricks, move like snakes & tortoises & quickly disintegrate to be replaced with newer ones. The toy makers do not have a stable market because mainline showrooms prefer expensive western-style toys.A few are stocked at Crafts Museum, Dilli Haat & Central Cottage Industries Emporium.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Delhi Welcomes You !


India's capital and an important gateway into the country, Delhi is a bustling metropolis and an interesting blend of fast paced modernisation and carefully preserved antiquity. For tourists, Delhi's strategic location allows easy access to the rest of the country by road, rail and air. This is also one of the prime reasons for which, since the 11th century, its fortunes have fluctuated in concert with those who have ruled over the north Indian plains. Its peak came with the advent of Mughals in the mid 17th century, a time when India was shining as a golden bird, an eye of beauty which led to the construction of some of the finest buildings in the world. It was later the heart of the British raj, an empire which endowed it with yet more architectural masterpieces, a colonial flavour in red sandstone. Delhi continues to stride on its ambitious path of redevelopmentment - there are spanking new flyovers everywhere, the Metro is set to redefine the transport scene, the land pulsating with new multiplexes and malls, the coffee culture has come to town, monuments are being restored, gardens beautified..All in time for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, to be held here in 2010. Despite that, if you have a sense of adventure and an interest in history, scratch the veiled peel of its outlook, and you will be greeted with a fascinating history, a place where centuries-old traditions are virtually unchanged, a haven that characterises the stark contrasts that epitomise India, where the 20th century clashes head-on with the 17th century, or even earlier periods.

Quick Facts about the City
Location: Once a part of the Aravalies, today Delhi has only the Ridge area to tell the story of the greenery this place once had. Delhi is actually a land locked area with the Himalayas to the North, Haryana on two sides and to the east, across the river Yamuna lies Uttar Pradesh. The river Yamuna runs through the centre of Delhi

STD Code: 91 (country dialing code), and 011 (city code).

New Delhi

Area:1,483 sq km

Population(Census 2001): 13.7 million

Major cities linked:- Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Channi, Portblair, Thiruvanathapuram, Vadodara, Pune

Domestic airport:- Palam airport

International airport:- Indira Gandhi International airport

New Delhi, the capital of India, became a state in 1992 under the national capital territory Act. Under this system of diarchy, the elected Government is given wide powers; except law and order that remain with the central Government. New Delhi is the preferred starting point for the popular Golden Triangle tour that comprises of New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

General Info & History
General Information:
New Delhi, the capital of India, is a bustling metropolis that has an amazing mix of modernisation and carefully preserved antiquity. Sprawled over the west bank of the river Yamuna, it is one of the fastest growing cities in India. New Delhi was built by a British architect Edward Lutyens in 1912 as the new capital of the British Raj. The Victorian architecture now intermingles with the city's high rise buildings. Concrete flyovers built to ease the growing traffic are interspersed with well laid gardens, Mughal tombs, forts and monuments. The city traces its history to Mahabharata, the great epic tale of wars fought between estranged cousins, the Kauravas and the Pandavas for the city of Indraprastha. Historically, the city has long since been the foremost in political importance with successive dynasties choosing it as their seat of power, between the 13th and the 17th centuries. Old Delhi was founded by Mughal rulers who ruled the city in succession starting from Qutab-ub-din to Khiljis, Tughlaqs each, under a different name given to the city. this fast developing region. Delhi was made the capital of Independent India in 1950 and it was declared a state in 1992. Gurgaon, 8 kms from Indira Gandhi International Airport is the modern suburb of Delhi. Multinational investors have built swanky office blocks, malls, multiplexes, hotels and amusement parks in this fast developing region.

History Of Delhi:
Delhi, where a empire rose and fell before the dawn of history; where citadels of emperors appeared and disappeared; a city of mysterious eternity whose old ruins proclaim a majestic and imperial past and whose present pulsates vibrantly with the ever flowing life of India. The eternal Jamuna bears witness to the glorious and tumultuous 5,000 year old history of Delhi. A history which begins with the creation of Indraprastha by the Pandavas and the transformation of this barren gift of the Kauravas into an idyllic haven. A history which encompasses all the various kings and emperors who fixed their royal citadels here-- Indraprastha, Lal Kot, Quila Rai Pithora, Siri, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad, Ferozabad, Dinpanah, Delhi Sher Shahi or then Shahjahanabad. but, combined and integrated into one, these 'new cities' have always been called Delhi and howsoever many names it may have acquired, Delhi has always been intrinsically identified with power and imperial sway. There have been at least eight cities around modern Delhi, and the old saying that whoever founds a new city at Delhi will lose it has come true every time -- most recently for the British who founded New Delhi in 1911.

The historic Purana Qila, which has stood witness to Delhi's rejuvenation, periods of anarchy, and the rise & fall of empires, brings alive history of the capital. Amidst the tranquility of the splendidly panoramic environs of Purana Qila, Delhi's historic and legendary past come to life. After Shah Jahan built Red Fort the attention of administration shifted to gorgeous palaces of the fort. Today the fort is open for the public but only limited area can be accessed. More than half of the fort area has been taken over by the Army. But even what is open to visit reminds one of the splendour and lavish life style which our rulers lived. Delhi has seen the death of many empires and resisted bloody attempts to eliminate her. Nadir Shah had ordered his soldiers to plunder and massacre Delhi. It is said that he got so much wealth from Delhi that he was not able to carry in home. Abdali and Taimur Lane were no different they had tried their best to demolish the city of Delhi but it was some kind of a boon which helped it to regain its lost glory each time Delhi was plundered.

Delhi was the focal point for the first war of independence in 1857. Though the revolt did not reach its desired conclusion, Delhi became a thorn in the eyes of the British. Not only in ancient times or the mediaeval period, Delhi has been the center of any activity at all times. As the Britishers shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi, all the activities during the freedom struggle were directed towards Delhi. Thus, Delhi also bears the marks of the freedom struggle. The ultimate goal of the Azad Hind Fauz during the freedom struggle was to capture Delhi and established Swaraj. The slogan 'Dilli Chalo' is still used by leaders and political parties when they oraganise any rally or demonstration. It was the hosting of the tricolour at Red Fort in Delhi which marked a chapter in the history of India

Ancient Name : Indraprastha
First City : Lal Kot
Famous Rulers : Shah Jahan, Anang Pal, Qutab-ud-din Aibak
Major Attractions : Imperial forts, Heritage monuments

Best Season to Visit
Being a land locked space and its distance from the sea the temperatures here are rather extremes. The summers in Delhi are very hot and winters very cold. The temperature range varies from 45 degrees in summers to 1 degree in winters, yes it is very cold. Summer in Delhi, from April to July, is merciless and exhausts one with its dry heat. November to March is lovely with the added splendour of the festivals, starting with Diwali and ending with Holi.
The best season to visit Delhi is During the spring seasons of February to April and August to November. The bloom season of February and March make Delhi colourful. This time of the year brings greenery on the face of Delhi.

The city has an extreme climate. December and January are chilly with night times lows of 4 °C. The city has spring months in February and March. The summer months of May & June are scorchingly hot with mercury soaring to a high of 46 °C. The city does not have much of rainy season. The monsoon lasts from July to September.

Monsoon- The magical wand of the weather God
The monsoon arrives towards the end of June. Delhi has a rainy season in winter also. It is important for the farmers of the village of the union territory because the Rabi crops benefits by it. Weather is generally dry except for 2-3 months of humidity.

Summer - Max.45°C, Min.27°C
Winter - Max.25.5°C, Min.4°C
Monsoon - Max 35°C, Min 25°C

The Geographical location
The geographical location of Delhi reveals that this ancient city is located at the west banks of Yamuna river in India . It was once a part of the Aravalies but today Delhi has only the out-skirts to tell the story of the greenery this place, once had. Himalayas are in the North of Delhi.A major proportion of the area of Delhi is plain and on this are located Delhi, New Delhi and Delhi cantonment along with a vast stretch of numerous villages. The land of the plain is mostly fertile.

Local Language
Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by most of the people. Punjabi and Urdu are also commonly spoken.

Cue Words
Just remember the golden words refer to yourself as hum and address people with a ji after their names, that should get you by most problems, but otherwise Hindi and Punjabi are the most widely spoken languages, and English is well understood. Car and auto drivers can normally speak in broken English, but speak to them in hindi and you will get a better rate.

Some helpful words to know:
Hello - Namaste
Yes - Haan
No - Nahin
Thank you - Shukriya
You are welcome - Aapka swagat hai
What is your name - Aapka naam kya hai
I do not understand - Mujhe samajh nahin aaya
Nice to meet you - Aapse milke khushi hui
How are you - Aap kaise hain?
What is the price - Kya daam hai?

How to get there
Air - Delhi has an extensive network of international and domestic flights. All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Domestic air links cover Delhi from all the major cities in the country.

Train - The Indian Railway with their modern and organized network connects Delhi to major and minor destination in India. There are three important railway stations in Delhi to all major and minor destinations in India, namely New Delhi Rly. Station, Old Delhi Rly. Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Rly. Station. Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.

Bus - Delhi is well connected by road to all major destinations in North India. The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) is located at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan and Anand Vihar. Delhi Transport Corporation and Road Transport Corporations of the neighboring States provide frequent bus services through Air Conditioned, Deluxe and Ordinary Coaches. Buses from all the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi. During summer months, air-conditioned coaches are recommended.

Airports - Delhi has two airports. Indira Gandhi International Airport, is 20km away towards city in the same area. Palam is city bound Internal Terminal Airport. Between the two shuttle coach service is in operation. SBI is the banker of both the terminals, for hotel's booking ITDC and serving the tourists with information is Tourist Booth with round the clock service, besides there are other arrangements. Indira Gandhi links Delhi with the whole world. Flights of almost all Airways of the World come to Delhi besides Air India. IAC, Alliance Air, Vayudoot and such other Airlines serve from Palam to all parts of the country. They have Airbuses, Boeings, Dornier and other planes. From both the terminals, Ex-Servicemen Air Link Transport Service (EATS) brings passengers to city at cheap rate. On the way they stop on request. Delhi Transport Corporation's buses also bring Air passengers to New Delhi, Delhi Jn and Kashmiri Gate bus std. Passenger bus (780) runs from outside the Airport, Taxis (prepaid) is available.

City (From Delhi To) Distance
Mumbai 02 hrs
Kolkata 01hr 30min.
Thiruvananthapuram 4 hrs
Bangalore 3hr 30 min.
Hyderabad 02hr
Chennai 03hr 30 min.
Goa 02 hrs 30 min
Ahmedabad 02 hr
Aurangabad 03 hr
Pune 02hr 30 min
Bhubaneshwar 01hr 30min

City Distance in Rail Time
Mumbai 17 hrs
Agra 2.5 hrs
Jaipur 3 hrs
Amritsar 5hrs 45 mins
Dehradun 5hrs 45 mins
Lucknow 6 hrs 40 mins
Kolkata 17hrs
Patna 12hrs 40 mins
Bangalore 34 hrs
Chennai 28 hrs

By Road In Kms Drive
Gurgaon 30 45mins
Agra 203 4 hrs
Jaipur 258 41/2 hrs
Dehradun 235 41/2 hrs
Chandigarh 238 41/2 hrs
Lucknow 497 9 hrs
Bharatpur 190 km 31/2 hrs
Corbett National Park 270 km 5 hrs
Jammu 586 km 12 hrs

Local Transport
Taxi and coach transfer is available from both International and Domestic Arrivals. Pre-paid Taxi (a service with journey fare paid at the booking counter), air-conditioned and non- air-conditioned coach counters are located immediately outside the customs Hall in International Terminal and outside Baggage Claim area in Domestic Arrivals. Airport Coach (non-airconditioned) is operated by Delhi Transport Corporation (via Connaught Place and Railway Stations) to Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Kashmiri Gate and by Ex- Servicemen's Airlink Transport Service to Connaught Place. The coach covers all major hotels enroute. Fleets of metered taxis and auto-rickshaws clog the streets of Delhi providing transport for locals and visitors. Rates fluctuate, but drivers should have rate charts available and tourists should ensure the meter is reset or a price negotiated before departure.A ring railway starts and ends at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station with trains running in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions around the city.Delhi Transport Corporation runs a large fleet of buses covering the entire city, but these are always overcrowded. The frequency of buses drops during the off-peak time between 1pm and 2.30pm. There are night service buses on selected routes and from the three main railway stations between 11pm and 5am. The city also has pollution-free battery operated buses between Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk and aIong Chandni Chowk. Cycle rickshaws and tongas are available in the old city. Metro trains cover 14 miles (22kms) from Shahdara to Rithala, Central secretariat to the University and Barakhamba road to Dwaraka.

Few of the accommodations in delhi are:

Delhi is one of the greenest capitals in the world, with a long tradition of laying out of gardens, which dot the city. It is this tradition that Delhi Tourism keeps alive by holding the Garden Tourism Festival at the end of February which is generally spread over three days and generates much enthusiasm amongst the gardening fratenity. This is not only a visual feast since Delhi is ablaze with flowers at this time, but also a useful meeting ground for gardening enthusiasts, as well as fun and frolic for children of all ages. The seat of empire for centuries, royal patronage ensured that Delhi remained the cultural epicentre of the country, attracting the best of painters, musicians and dancers. Delhi Tourism puts on display this rich and diverse cultural heritage by holding a series of festivals during the year. Traditionally, Delhi Tourism holds the Qutub Festival of classical music and dance around Sharad Purnima in the month of October at the Qutub Minar Complex. The Qutub and its surrounding monuments, bathed in the silver radiance of the full moon provide a perfect backdrop.

Graceful dances performed by leading exponents of dance. The scattered citadels of erstwhile dynasties which co-exist with high rise residential localities and crowded commercial complexes, form the picturesque backdrop for the haunting melodies and graceful dances rendered by leading artistes during the festival organised by Delhi Tourism, some popular ones are the Roshnara and Shalimar Bagh Festivals. These festivals mirror the multiplicity of cultures and reflect the fusion of regional diversities which constitutes modern day Delhi, where the ancient and the modern blend most harmoniously into a whole. To celebrate the advent of the king of fruits, Delhi Tourism holds the Mango Festival in the month of July. Mentioned in the Vedas and Upanishads the mango is considered auspicious and a symbol of life and joy forever. The largest producer of mangoes, India grows more than eleven hundred varieties of mangoes in different parts of the country. The Mango Festival is the place to discover the magic of mangoes in all their immense variety.

Religious Places
Temples of Delhi
Famous Temples : Chattarpur Mandir, ISKCON Temple, Sai Baba Mandir
Hindu Shrines : Birla Mandir, Kalkaji Temple, Hanuman Mandir
Major Jain Temple : Digambara Jain Lal Mandir Ji
Architectural Wonders : Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple

Lotus temple
This is one sight you may see from the window of some high rise building. It is a pleasure to watch it from the distance. And close up holds you spell bound. The spectacular and colourful sight, its no wonder that 4 million people come here annually, which incidentally is more visitors than the Taj Mahal gets. It is the main temple of the Bahai's in Delhi, located in Kalkaji south Delhi. Shaped like a half opened lotus flower, this temple is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. People of all faiths are welcome here as the founding principle of the Bahai faith is the unity of mankind. This temple is interesting from an architectural point of view as it brings together ancient Indian construction methods with the most advanced Western engineering principles and design. Do walk into the meditation space in this temple. Experience peace profound wash over you. The temple is open 9.00 am-7 pm, all days.

Birla Mandir
Also known as Laxminarayana Temple, it is dedicated to Lord Narayan (Vishnu) and his consort Lakshmi. There are other small shrines dedicated to Shiva, Ganesha and Hanuman. Beautifully detailed relief carvings are the high point of this temple for which 101 skilled artisans from Benares were commissioned. It is open all days.

Built under the anchor of the Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), it is a modern-day marvel that stands testimony to India�s unique religious and cultural beliefs. A 100-acre complex on the banks of the Yamuna, there is a stunning array of 20,000 statues, floral motifs, arches and beautifully carved pillars. It is believed that the construction of the temple cost a whopping Rs. 2 billion. It is open till 8 pm all days, except Mondays.

Delhi is one city that can amuse you with its unique attractions. It offers number of interesting places like mosques, religious and historical sites, that add spice on your Delhi tour. Every monument, museum, gardens and amusement park holds important relevance in the Delhi history.

The major attractions of Delhi are its gardens, museums, monuments and holy places. Gardens like Mughal and Lodhi quite popular amongst tourists. And places like India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Qutub Minar, Red Fort are must on Delhi itinerary. Being a spacious city, Delhi encompasses some of the phenomenal architecture of the past .

Humayun's Tomb
A hot favourite for most tourists, and locals, is this tomb, built by emperor Humayun's wife. It is regarded as an example of the early Mughal architecture and took eight years to complete. Check the location out, the tomb has been placed bang in the centre of a well planned garden, a combination of high arched entrances topped by a bulbous dome in white marble and red sandstone brings out the beauty in this structure against the setting sun. For those of you who cannot visit the Taj Mahal, check this tomb out in details, it is believed to be the prototype of the famed Taj Mahal of Agra. Begai Begum, The emperor's wife, has been buried here. Visiting hours are 10 am-5 pm, Mondays closed.

Jama Masjid
This is one structure that will take you to Old Delhi, where the aromas of the glorious Muslim food will prevent you from concentrating on anything else, but this architectural masterpiece deserves more than just a view. It's believed as many as 25,000 people can fit into its courtyard! Three great gateways, four towers and two minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble are important parts of the mosque. Come Friday and the place takes on a new charm with thousands of Muslims offering prayers here. Another charm of this masjid is that you can climb all the way to the top of the towers. Do that, and take a peek at Delhi, the street life down below and the awesome metal works you can buy around the masjid.It lies just opposite the Red Fort make sure you check that out too.

Red Fort
If you've heard of the red fort, you have to have heard of the meena bazzar that lies just outside the red fort. It's hard to decide which ones better known than the other! One of the impressive sights in Delhi, this Mughal construction in red (its called the red fort remember) sandstone is located along the river Yamuna, its shape an irregular octagon. The heart of the Fort, Naubhat Khana was where musicians and dancers entertained the emperor. Huge halls, palatial apartments and luxuriously designed gardens form parts of this wonderful structure. Can you picture it, wouldn't it be quite a spectacle. The main entrance is the Lahori Gate, a former royal market. There are a lot of interesting buildings inside the Fort too like the Rang Mahal (the water cooled apartments for the royal ladies (or the Diwan-E-Aam for public audiences. There is also a Red Fort Museum.Just outside the fort is the famous Meena Bazaar where exotic arts, artifacts, jewellery and carpets are sold. The fort is open 10.00 am-5 pm; closed on mondays

Old Fort
Popularly known as the Purana Quila, this wondrous structure owes its existence to two emperors: Sher Shah Suri and Humayun. Its ramparts cover a perimeter of nearly 2 km and there are three main gates, on the north, south and west, the last one functioning as the present entrance. The fort is open 10 am-5 pm; Mondays closed.

Jantar Mantar
This is probably the most often photographed spot in Delhi, what with its reddish-pink buildings that were constructed way back in 1725 by Jaipur Maharaja Jai Singh II's, these were used as observatories. An interesting part is the huge sundial known as the Prince of Dials. Various other instruments plot the course of heavenly bodies and predict eclipses. A fun place to visit, and a must for kids to know about.It is open 10 am-5 pm, Mondays closed.

Qutub Minar
It is better known as the most celebrated examples of Islamic architecture in India, but we suggest you go here as it is known as the seventh wonder of Hindustan. The 234-foot-high tower, with 376 steps, is the tallest stone tower in India, and would you believe it right through this length it has intricate carvings, verses and beautiful calligraphy work inscribed over it, with six lines in Sanskrit! Its believed that Qutb-u'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation and raised the first storey of the Qutab Minar in AD 1199, to this were then added three (some say four) more storeys with terracotta balconies by his successor and son-in-law Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish. Unfortunately, climbing up the tower is now no longer possible, but a visit here is a must. According to legend, if you stand with your back to the pillar and can reach around and touch your fingers, any wish you make will come true! But the catch is well, it is not possible! The complex is open 6 am to 6 pm, all days except Mondays. There is a special night-view for an hour from 7 pm on all working days.

India Gate
The best part about going to India gate, is the drive through the l-a-r-g-e six lane, bump-less, pothole-less roads. Keep driving straight from Rashtrapati Bhavan and you will reach India Gate. A war memorial in honour of the soldiers who died during the World War-I, this magnificent 42 metre high structure has been designed by Lutyens. The eternal flame (amar jawan jyoti) is placed here. Should you want to a break in your sight seeing tour, this is a good place to do it as you will see from the lawns that are dotted with families picnicking. India Gate is a place to simply have fun.

Rashtrapati Bhavan
The ultimate in architectural splendour and landscaped beauty is this imposing structure with all its pillars and porticos. This is the official residence of the president of India. Designed by Sir Edwin L. Lutyens and completed in 1929, this palatial building on Raisina Hill was formerly the Viceroy's House. Built on 330 acres of land, it comprises 340 rooms, no it does not translate to an acre a room, a lot of the space is used up by gardens like the mughal garden. This and the changing of the guard are the high points of a visit to Rashtrapathi Bhavan, you do need permission to enter parts of the complex though.Parts of the building are open 9.30 am to 2.30 pm on all days except Mondays.

Museums and Memorials
Most Indian's would have seen this awesome ghat on television during national day parades and during Beating the Retreat, but nothing comes close to experiencing it in person. This is where India's greatest conscience-keeper, Mahatma Gandhi was laid to rest. The memorial stone of Gandhi is a square black stone, with his last words"Hey Ram"inscribed on it. The rest is for you to see and experience.The memorial is open 10 am-5 pm; Mondays are holidays. Right next to it is the Shanti Van, Jawaharlal Nehru's memorial.

Nehru Memorial Museum and Planetarium (Teen Murti House)
This much documented structure, was India's First PM, Jawaharlal Nehru's home that has now been converted into a museum. The place is perfect for one who wants to know about India's freedom struggle what with exhibited photographs and newspaper clippings taking you through the struggle for independence. There's also a planetarium in the museum grounds. Both the museum and the planetarium are open 10 am to 5 pm, all days except Mondays

National Museum
Over 20,000 pieces of rare and beautiful works of art and artifacts that tell the story of 5,000 years of Indian culture are housed in the Museum. Not to be missed are the stone and bronze sculptures and the paintings and manuscripts. The museum also has an extensive library and conducts shot and long term courses in art appreciation, conservation and history.The museum timings are 10 am-5 pm; Mondays closed.

Doll’s Museum
There are a lot of doll-houses all over India, but frankly speaking this is one of the best designed place with a great collection. It can have you spell bound for a few hours, amongst its large collection are dolls from Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Norway and the African and Middle Eastern countries. One must give their kudos to well-known cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai for this museum. The museum is open 10 am-5 pm; Mondays are holidays.

Gandhi Smriti Museum
History lives here, for this is where Gandhi spent the last few months of his life. Rare photographs, articles used by him during his lifetime and even the room he lived in have been maintained in the same way since. Musuem timings are 10 am-5 pm, all days except Mondays.

Shop at some of the best places in Delhi. Some of the best regions to shop in Delhi are Cannaught place, South Ex, Sarojini Nagar, Lajapat Nagar. To purchase cheap yet funky /fashionable products, pay a visit to Janpath that is full of colored materials.

Hauz Khas is one of the many villages subsumed by the southward growth of Delhi. In the early 1980s, it began its transformation into a chic shopping area when socialite and designer Bina Ramani opened her boutique here. Several other designer outlets followed suit, and today, Hauz Khas is a patchwork of traditional Indian homes, glass showrooms and polished display windows. New Delhi's glitterati come here to buy clothes and object d'art and to eat at one of the many gourmet restaurants that have come up here, it’s a must visit.

Lajpat Nagar market is another must have to go too place for real cheap but good clothes. It has a magnetic pull on you making you want to go back here for more. The place literally grows on you, once you get used to the crowd. It’s a favourite haunt of college students looking for fashionable clothes at cheap prices. It's a good idea to browse through the shops and enquire about prices before you actually purchase anything. Chances are the same article you have chosen is selling for even less just a few yards away. The Sarojini Nagar market is close by and the stock is largely similar. While Lajpat Nagar has a lot of ethnic wear, the market at Sarojini Nagar deals only in western clothes. Sizes are no problem since the export-surplus stock consists mostly of larger sizes.

Santushi shopping complex, run by the Air Force Wives Welfare Association is a must go, It is located off the Race Course Road roundabout. Like any other Forces complex, its neat, clean, greens, with handsome men in uniform going about their duties, tipping their cap in a sign of respect, its one place to go too for feel good feeling. But coming back to the shopers paradise here, it�s got pebbled paths that lead up to about 30-odd stores, beautifully laid out on a rolling garden. A number of the city's top designers have an outlet here. The Anokhi - selling Rajasthani fabrics, dresses, crockery, home linen and lengths of saris - will be of interest to foreign tourists. The hugely-popular Basil &Thyme restaurant is also located here.

If you are in Delhi and have not visited Chandni Chowk, you’ve not seen Delhi; at least that’s what every one will be told. Travelling here can be an exhausting experience. The lanes are almost too narrow for comfort and are lined with stalls that sell everything under the sun! and that’s no understatement. You can buy shawls, silks, perfumes, brassware, colored glass, furniture, beads and bangles. The Kinari Bazaar nearby specializes in the rich silver and gold embroidery work known as zardosi. The richly-embroidered fabrics can be used to make gowns, skirts, blouses, bags and even shoes. And you can get the palm of your hands beautiful done up with the mehendi walli’s that sit around the chowk. If you want a tattoo done, so make sure you bargain well.

And then there is Khan market one of the more upmarket and expensive places to shop in Delhi. It is located in the city center, surrounded by residential complexes and the greenery of Lodhi Gardens. The market here is very popular with the diplomatic community, yes the prices are also those that cater to these guys, but it of course has the best tailors Delhi can offer. Several shops have a range of excellent materials and will have a tailor on hand to make a suit, dress or shirt, usually within a period of one week. As one would expect this place is dotted with Barista’s, café’s, cake shops, quick bite places and more.

For arts and artifacts, it’s got to be Dilli Haat, spread over a 6-acre area, this is the first permanent fairground in the country showcasing the arts, crafts, handlooms and food of different states. Usually, visits here last from anything two hours to the whole day, its an experience, complete with dining from all states of India. Note of caution though, most places here do not accept credit cards, it is after all an upgraded variance of India's traditional haat (marketplace), beautifully laid out and well maintained. The stalls are let out to for a maximum of 15 days only, allowing variety to the goods you can get here. A suggestion, if you se something you like buy it, do not wait for the next time. Vegetable dyed, block-printed and tie-and-dyed fabrics, folk art wall hangings, pottery, imitation jewelry, bamboo work, brassware, furniture and durries (lightweight carpets) are just some of the things you'll get here at any time.

Another good place to shop is the Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place. The street is lined with emporiums run by state governments. Be prepared to set aside at least a day for exploring the choice of handicrafts offered by each of them. Recommended buys are blankets and shawls from Himachal Pradesh emporium; Tamil Nadu emporium for sandalwood and stone scupltures; Uttar Pradesh for stone-inlay as well as copper/brass work and leather goods; Orissa for Ikat fabrics and traditional paintings; Rajasthan and Gujarat for textiles, pottery and embroideries. Emporiums are open 10 am-6 pm, with a lunch break from 1 pm-2 pm. If short on time, then the Central Cottage Industries (Jawahar Vyapar Bhavan, Janpath) is a one-stop shop that sells the best of things from every corner of India.

For bargain buying, the Tibetan Market on Janpath is stuffed with antiques and silver jewellery. The famed Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh sells everything, from clothes to mobile phones, electronic goods to crockery, but buy your stuff here after having thoroughly checked it out, they might also go to the extent of showing you one piece and packing in another, this is experience talking, so take care.

Activity for Kids
Charity Birds Hospital inside the Digambara Jain Temple compound is where birds are treated for free from everything from pigeon pox to the common cold. One thing is for sure this is the only hospital of its kind where patients never admit themselves! It’s situated just opposite the Red Fort and is three-storey tall. A building that treats nearly 30,000 birds each year. The birds are first held in the intensive care unit and eventually transferred to the general ward, where they regain wing power and eventually take flight. Fed a vegetarian diet of bread and cheese, treatments are free of cost and funded by Jain donations. You must read this out; this hospital separates its vegetarian patients from their non-vegetarian counterparts! Carnivorous predators such as eagles, hawks and falcons are housed exclusively on the first floor.

Appu Ghar
It has the distinction of being the first amusement park of India. The most popular rides are the Toofan roller coaster, Big Splash, Dodgem Cars, Eerie Tunnel, Giant Wheel and Columbus Jhoola. Timings are 10.30 am-6 pm, all days.

Oyster’s Water Park
This one if for those who love the water, just a stones throw away from appu ghar is Oyster’s. They offer a full day’s access to water slides, wave pools and other water-based activities. Bathing suits, towels and lockers are available for rent. But make sure you get here only when and if you have an entire day to spare, pulling the kids out of the place is simply impossible. The park is open 10.30 am-6 pm, all days.

Rail Museum
You may be left wondering why we included this in the kidding around categories, most often it is the grown up child in every one, who wants to come here and play with the real-size engines, wagons, and coaches that display the glory of the bygone era, the kids become just an excuse! But yes this one is for the kids only, the toy train that will take them for a joyride. The museum is open 9.30 am to 7.30 pm, all days except Mondays.

Garden of Five Senses
Stretching over 20 acres of land, it makes for a refreshing change from the usual do not touchs dictum that children face everywhere; let your kids touch the plants, rocks and displays. The fragrant flowers, the sheer beauty of the landscaped gardens, the ceramic bells and the cascading waterfalls soothe all the five senses. It is a must visit for the experience and ambience.The park is open 10 am to 8 pm.

Delhi Zoo
Next to the Purana Qila, Delhi Zoo is recognised as one of the better zoos in Asia. It is open 9 am-5 pm, all days except Fridays. No eatables are allowed inside.

For Adventure Freaks
There’s a lot you can freak out on, if you are an adventure buff. From bungy jumping to water sports to parasailing, to what-ever-else. Delhi Tourism’s Adventure Tourism Division organises plenty of activities. There is water sports (boating, kayaking, canoeing) in and around Delhi. Parasailing opportunities are available at Kanwar Shikha near Sohna in Haryana, about 60 km from Delhi. You can also avail the services of professional instructors. For details, call Delhi Tourism on 23363607. Try flying in a hot air balloon for an aerial view of Delhi, though it is restricted only to the winter months. For details, contact Ballooning Club of India 8 B, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg Tel: 23317977

This one is one of the favourites being suspended mid air, on nothing but a giant rubberband! Bungee jumping is offered by Wanderlust Travels that has set up a mobile crane for bungee jumping at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Make sure you get your act together before you climb up, it could be quiet an embarrassment otherwise. This is one sport that’s a complete no-no for people with hypertension or heart ailments. For info, contact Wanderlust Travels Pvt. Ltd on 51639347, 51636757, 9212020822 or Email:

Important Getaways
Agra: Agra was once the capital of the Mughal empire and even today it seems to linger in the past . Not surprising , for the Mughal emperors with their passion for building, endowed the city with some of the finest structures in the world . It is very easy to slip away here through the centuries into the grandeur and intrigues of the Mughal court.

Jaipur: Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.

Bharatpur: The legends say that the place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur rulers, Laxman's name is engraved onthe state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Surajmal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city

Mathura: widely known as birth place of lord Krishna is located on the western bank of river Yamuna at latitude 27degree 41 Minute N and 77Degree and 41 Minuet E. It is 145 Km south-east of Delhi and 58 Km north west of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh. For about 3000 Year it was the hub of culture and civilization.

Yes! Delhi indeed boast spectacular nightlife that can fill your nights with fun and frolic. It has some exotic pubs and discotheques which are worth trying.
Although clubs and bars are multiplying in Delhi, but still, it is safer to head back home before it gets too late. Whenever you feel like dancing, the best option probably is to go to one of the big hotels. It is quite likely that you end up watching a Hindi film or a traditional dance performance, finished off with a beer or lassi and an early night of sleep so be ready for that option too.

For catching the latest blockbusters, head to the many multiplexes and stand-alone theatres. Be warned that tickets on weekends cost over Rs. 150. Check the local dailies for show details.

The culture hub of Delhi is the Mandi House circle. Most music, dance and theatre shows are held in the auditoriums here. Sample the best of music and dance by checking out Sangeet Natak Academy (Tel: 23387246).

Another good venue is Triveni Kala Sangam (Tel: 23718833), which is devoted to the fine arts and is equipped with a fine open air theatre. Its art galleries have the best shows and the canteen serves simple yet lip smacking lunches.

Olive Bar & Kitchen
Haveli N 6-8 One Style Mile, Kalka Dass Marg, Mehrauli, Phone: 309 77701/02/03
Huge haveli turned restaurant with a buzz, has beautiful ambience in three different fine dining options.

Shalom med Lounge Bar
N-18, N Block Market, Greater Kailash - I, Contact: 9810048084, 9810148084
Mediterranean launge bar with Lebanese, Mediterranean, Spanish and Indian menu. Scintillating music keeps the mood through the evening.

QBA, restaurant and Bar
E-42/43, Connaught place, 51512888
The city's favoured party zone has a split level restaurant with a comfortable lounge and plenty of dark corners for privacy.
Lunch: 12 noon to 3.00 pm, Dinner: 7.00 pm to midnight, Lounge: open 12 noon to midnight.

TGI Friday's, Thank goodness its Friday's, America's first casual dining chain has its outlets in Vasant Vihar, Connaught Place, and Gurgaon.
Serves over 80 food items from Far East to all American with chicken and chicken, seafood specialities. Friday's bar menu includes frozen drinks, ice cream drinks and variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic Smoothies and Flings.
Open: 12 noon and 11:00 p.m.

Travel Tips
First time travellers, especially women, should opt for the yellow signed 'Pre-Paid Taxi' at the airport and stations. The counter is run by Delhi police who take down your name and destination before you pay. Prices are fixed on the basis of distance and amount of luggage.Delhi is unsafe for women to venture out after 8 pm.
  • Apply several months in advance , for a new passport as it may take up to six weeks to receive it(though expedited services are available in emergencies).
  • Your current passport must have been issued within the last 12 years and you must have been at least 16 years old when passport was issued.
  • Before booking that “best fare”, read the fine print (if you can find it!). Look for “terms and conditions”, frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) or “customer service”. What may appear to be the “lowest fare” could cost you in the long run.
  • Most tickets cannot be cancelled, are non-refundable and non-changeable, which means if you make a mistake entering your dates or destination, get stuck in traffic, have a medical illness, or simply over sleep, you forfeit your ticket. Purchasing a new ticket at the last minute can triple the cost of your original fare.
  • Note your credit card number and customer service phone number in a separate location in case you lose your card and need to cancel it.
  • Inform your credit card customer service department in advance of your trip. Advise them as to when you will be traveling and in which countries so that they don't freeze your account as a security measure against theft when their computer notes several transactions in various countries.

Dining Out
Bread And More
Bread & More is the hippest eatery of the South Delhi. It serves exotic varieties of cakes, cookies and pastries, burgers, pizzas, hot dogs, sandwiches, chilled fresh-cream pastries, mousses and more.. Try it! you would love to visit this place once again.
N-17 Greater Kailash Market - I
New Delhi - 110 048
Tel:+(91)-(11)-26416301, 26430575

Gourmet Shop
The best pastry shop in Vasant Kunj area is the Gourmet Shop. Here you will find cakes, pastries, pies, biscuits, puddings, fresh bakeries. The Gourmet Shop also offers an array of delicious creamy chocolates and oven-fresh breads.
Vasant kunj - Phase II, Nelson Mandela Road
New Delhi - 110 070

This is a landmark pastry shop opened in the year 1926, located in Connaught Place, Central Delhi. Wenger's offers delightful range of confectionaries with extensive variety of cakes and breads and much more.
A-16, Inner Circle, Connaught Place
New Delhi - 110 001

The Ano Tai provides some popular and some new dishes like Cantonese and Schezwan cuisine to lovers of Chinese food. Don't forget to try specialty items like Prawn Garlic, Dim Sum, Beijing Duck and Stir Fried Vegetables.
Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar
New Delhi - 110 057

China Town
Same as New York' most popular China Town this place in Hotel Ashok, too, has its distinguished identity and renowned for its great offering of authentic Chinese, Hunan, Szechwan and Cantonese dishes.
Diplomatic Enclave, 50-B Chanakayapuri
New Delhi - 110 021
Tel:+(91)-(11)-26110101, 26116161

Empress of China
The Hotel Park Royal InterContinental boasts some finest restaurants like Empress of China, which provide an incredible dining experience. It serves delicious Chinese cuisine, prepared by master chef Thomas Xing.
Intercontinental Eros, Nehru Place
New Delhi - 110 019

Fortune Cookie
Fortune Cookie located in The Centrestage Mall, Noida, the place is perfect for a good Chinese meal. It has become popular due to tasty food at reasonable prices.
P 18, Sector 18,
Noida - 201301

Jade is a popular chinese restaurant in the Claridges Hotel which serves Far Eastern cuisine, specializing in Thai and the foods from the Schezuan province of China. This contemporary Chinese restaurant is an exclusive experience in fine dining.
12 Aurangzeb Road
New Delhi - 110 011

Larry's China
Larry's China, the exotic restaurant of Taj Ambassador hotel located near the city's business and shopping districts.Here you can enjoy mouth-watering and exotic Chinese, Cantonese and Sichuan delicacies. You will find a good and charming selection of Chinese cuisine. So don't miss it.
Sujan Singh Park Cornwallis Road
New Delhi - 110 003
Fax:+(91)-(11)-24632252, 24697232

Lotus Garden
Lotus Garden is a cool chill out place which is located in Chanakyapuri. This place is perfect for a good Chinese meal and a reasonably-priced Chinese joint. Average meal for two person is Rs 600.
48/10 Shopping Centre, Malcha Marg, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110021

Sampan is Delhi's premier Chinese restaurant with exquisite Chinese artefacts and décor. This roof-top celebration restaurant offers a fantastic view of the city. A live band-Black Slade plays everyday. It serves Cantonese and Szechwan platters for lunch and dinner.
New Friends Colony
New Delhi - 110 065

Shaolin is a Chinese restaurant which servers the Shanghai Shrimp Salad, Mushroom and Bamboo Shoots and Shark Fin's Soup. This is the perfect place for chinese food lovers. You can also enjoy here a melodious music.
Hotel Centaur, Near IGI Airport
New Delhi - 110 037
Tel:+(91)-(11)-25652223, 25696660
Fax:+(91)-(11)-25652256, 25652239

Oberoi hotel houses some of finest award-winning restaurants, which provide an incredible dining experience. One of them is Taipan, an exclusive Chinese restaurant where you can have almost all the Chinese delicacies in the purest forms.
Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg,
New Delhi - 110 003
Tel:+(91)-(11)-2436 3030

Tea House of the August Moon
A Chinese restaurant and Dim Sum teahouse, set in an exotic lobby near pond with a beautiful bridge where you can savour mouth-watering chinese delicacies with tasty wines. This restaurant of bamboo grove will definitely become a favourite place after your first visit.
Sardar Patel Marg Diplomatic Enclave
New Delhi - 110 021

Woks is a speciality restaurant, serving delicious Malay-Chinese cuisine in a very exotic ambience and decor. Here you can have authentic Dim Sums and other Chinese dishes, which will leave an unforgettable experience on your palates.
Barakhamba Avenue Connaught Place
New Delhi - 110 001

Kent's Fast Food
Delhi's one of the most popular fast food restaurant is Kent's Fast Food which is located in Kalkaji Main Market. Try its food once a time, definitely you would come to again.
F-11, Kalkaji Main Market Road,
New Delhi - 110 0019

Top Of The Village
Top Of The Village is an open sky restaurant at the rooftop in Haus Khas Area. From the Top of the Village restaurant, you can enjoy the magnificent view of Shah Feroz's tomb. The glowing lights on the tomb adds flavor to the delicacies during night and makes a memorable horizon to dinner.
The Village Bistro Restaurant Complex, 12 Hauz Khas Village
New Delhi - 110016

La Piazza
There are many restaurant in the Hotel Regency but La Piazza is a most popular restaurant serving authentic Italian cuisine and the best pizzas. Its rustic surroundings are reminiscent of the sidewalk restaurants and meeting squares of Italy.

San Gimignano
In a quiet corner of The Imperial Hotel, Delhi, stands San Gimignano, a new 28-cover restaurant that offers Italian food in elegant surroundings. The restaurant leads into a terrace courtyard called Paradiso DiVino.

The Imperial Janpath
New Delhi - 110001
Tel:+(91)-(11)-23341234 / 4150 1234

Launched in association with hotel hassler in Rome, Travertino provides a fine dining experience with classical italian cuisine. It also serves an extensive Italian wine selection from the Enoteca wine cellar.
Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg,
New Delhi - 110003

Located on Nelson Mandela Road, Enoki is a country style Japanese restaurant where you can relish on genuine Yakitori recipes. A good varieties of Sake, Japanese rice wines are also available at Enoki. Average meal for two: Rs 2000.
Vasant kunj - Phase II, Nelson Mandela Road
New Delhi - 110070

If you want Japanese cuisine, choose the Sakura restaurant. It is India's best award winning Japanese Restaurant. Try the Sushi Platter or the raw sliced fish Sashmi and veggies can try Veg Tempura.
Bangla Sahib Road
New Delhi - 110001

Teppanyaki Kitchens, or better known as simply TK, has seven grills behind a transparent screen through which you can have visual experience of culinary delights and haute cuisines. Besides the best Teppanyaki grills, you can have Chinese, Mongolian, Korean and Thai food.
Bhikaiji Cama Place, Ring Road
New Delhi

Curzon Room
The Curzon Room restaurant named after the British Lord Curzon which serves an excellent buffet at lunch and dinner. It offers a mouth-watering variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian northern Indian dishes.
Oberoi Maidens, 7 Shyam Nath Marg
New Delhi

The first & the authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex restaurant in Delhi, Rodeo Chefs perfect in their culinary skills give you a taste of Texas & Mexico.
A-12, Inner Circle, Connaught Place
New Delhi - 110001

Multi Cuisine
Art Junction
Art Junction, as the name suggests, is a 30-seater restaurant for light meals and snacks. This artistically decorated cafeteria near the swimming pool is the best & cool place to enjoy a refreshing breakfast and to start your day in good mood.
Barakhamba Avenue Connaught Place
New Delhi - 110001

Chef & I
At 'Chef & I', you can have a wonderful interactive experience while savouring delightful Pan-Asian food and wine. There are no waiters or back kitchens in this restaurants. The Chef directly interacts with you to take the order and explains what goes into the making of a dish.
National Highway 8, Near IGI airport
New Delhi - 110037
Tel:+(91)-(11)-25061515, 4151 1515
Fax:+(91)-(11)- 25061516, 4151 1516

The restro-bar at the Taj Hotel, known as H2O+ is most popular for its underwater décor and innovative cuisine. Must try Falafal, Kaju sprinkled vegetables and grilled prawns.
Sujan Singh Park Cornwallis Road
New Delhi - 110003
Fax:+(91)-(11)-24632252, 24697232

1911 Restaurant
The traditional Indian restaurant at the hotel Imperial is built in 1911. The hotel is really quite modern with all the latest facilities. Really very beautiful, service is excellent and the restaurant overlooks a well manicured lawn, which is refreshing after the concrete streets of Delhi.
The Imperial Janpath
New Delhi - 110001
Tel:+(91)-(11)-23341234, 41501234

Sports & Recreation

Connaught Place
Adventure Tourism Division
If you are an adventure buff, Delhi Tourism’s Adventure Tourism Division organizes plenty of activities. Adventure Tourism Division is situated on the 10 th Floor of Mayur Bhavan.
Mayur Bhavan , Connaught Place
New Delhi - 110001
Tel:+(91)-(11) - 2341 4011, 2341 3256
Fax:+(91)-(11) - 2341 1246

Delhi Golf Club
Located close to Oberoi Hotel, Delhi Golf Club also called "Lodhi Golf Course", is renovated in 1977 by Peter Thompson. It has 18 holes, Length Championship tees: 6779 m, Men's tees: 6367 m & Ladies' tees: 5948 m, Par 72. Closed on Mondays.
Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, Near Oberoi Hotel
New Delhi - 110003
Tel:+(91)-(11) - 24362235, 24361236
Fax:+(91)-(11) - 24365104

The Ballooning Club of India
The Ballooning Club of India adventure sport is quite new, started in 20th century. A premiere organization of The Balloon Club of India was established in 1970 in New Delhi. It organizes a 'Balloon Mela' in November, when a large number of competitions and events are held.
8-B, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi - 110001
Tel:+(91)-(11) - 23317977

Army Golf Club
Army Golf Club is located near Delhi Cantt area. A lush green course is managed by the Army. It is closed on Tuesday.
Dhaula Kuan
New Delhi 110010
Tel:+(91)-(11) - 2569 3830
Fax:+(91)-(11) - 2569 1972

Important Landmarks
India Gate
Is a memorial built in 1931 to commemorate the death of 70,000 India soldiers during World War I. India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the same person who designed New Delhi. It is located on Rajpath, the road that leads to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the gate is 160 feet high with an arch of 138 feet. Built from sandstone, the arch also houses the Eternal Flame, a gesture in memory of the Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan.

Raj Ghat
The mortal remains of mahatma Gandhi were cremated on this spot on the west bank of the river Yamuna on the evening of January 31, 1948. A simple open platform inscribed with the Mahatma's last words, 'Hey Ram' (Oh God) is set in a garden with fountains and a variety of exotic trees.

Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this elegant temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India.

Ashoka Pillar
Rani Jhansi Road
Near Delhi University in North Delhi
Emperor Feroz Shah Tuglaq erected an Ashoka Pillar in 1365. It was broken into five pieces in an explosion around 1713. The pieces were given to the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the piece with the inscription was sent to Calcutta. It was returned to Delhi and the whole column re-erected on its present platform in 1867. It is one of the original columns of emperor Ashoka but it is not in as good condition as the one in Feroz Shah Kotla.

Ahinsa Sthal
Mehrauli Road
South Delhi/South-East Delhi
On one side of the Mehrauli road, on top of a small hill is Ahinsa Sthal. It is a large statue of Mahavir, which was put up in the 1980s on what used to be a a small lighthouse in the 19th century. The area around the statue has been made into a beautiful park called the Ahinsa Sthal or the area of peace. It is also considered to be a Jain place of worship. The best times to visit are early evenings; the place is surrounded by flower vendors and buzzing with visitors.

Khuni Darwaza
Bhahadur Shah Zafar Marg
Central Delhi
Khuni Darwaza (a gate soaked in blood) is the imposing gateway, which is located opposite the Maulana Azad Medical College. It is believed to have been the northern gateway of emperor Sher Shah's capital, Shergarh. You can reach up to the third storey of the gateway by using a staircase within the walls. It is believed that Dara Shikoh's head was displayed here after he was beheaded by his brother, emperor Arungzeb, in their battle for the throne of Delhi. It was also here that the two sons and a grandson of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, were shot by the British in 1857, and their bodies were displayed to public viewing. Local folklore has seen blood dripping from the ceiling of the gateway. The story is amusing because in the monsoon season, rainwater collects the rust from the iron joints resulting in a reddish dribble.

Ugrasen ki Baoli
Near Kasturba Gandhi Marg,Connaught Place, Central Delhi
This baoli (step well) is a small structure built of rubble and dressed stone. Shaded by a massive neem tree, it has no roof. Step wells of this kind were once the lifeline of settlements. They not only provided water but also served as points and centers of community activity; places where people gathered to cool off and socialize. The well has five levels where each level has an arched area, which was used as a resting place. The center of the well has water and the water is linked to a well dug in a covered platform. Today, it stands quietly and ignored amidst the corporate buildings of Connaught Place. If you look over the highest wall of the baoli, you will see a surrounding ring of imposing high rises. It's quite a view.

Lahore Gate
Red Fort, Old Delhi
Lahore Gate is one of the main entrance into the historical Red Fort. It is named so because it faces Lahore, now a city in Pakistan. As you cross the gate, you step into an arcade called the Chatta Chowk (Covered Bazaar). This marketplace once used to cater to royal needs - for silver, textiles, gold, silks etc. But today you'll find the usual items for tourists. It also had a popular mini-market called the Meena bazaar, where ladies of the court shopped on Thursdays. And it was forbidden for any male to enter the area that day.

Emergency Contact No
All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Tel: 6561123 6864851

Apollo Hospital
692585824-Hour Chemists

The chemists in most hospitals, like AIIMS, Apollo, Gangaram and Spring Meadows are open day and night.
Tourist Office

N-36, Middle Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi
3315322 3314229
There are counters in Dilli Haat and the numerous Coffee Homes run by the tourism department.

International Airport Flight Information, Tel.: 5652011.

Domestic Airport Flight Information, Tel.: 3295433, 3295621
Railway Enquiries (centralised for all stations), Tel.: 131, 3313535, 3717171; train arrivals and departures.
Inter State Bus Terminus, (ISBT) General Enquiry, Tel.: 2519083