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The other side of Delhi

When you visit Delhi / New Delhi from abroad or a distant place within India, you are likely to visit at least one of the ‘must see’ tourist spots including many world-class monuments, shopping complexes, gardens, etc.

I am listing here the unusual visiting places for a different type of experience. The local tour operators and city tours are not going to take you to these places and, even if they take you there, to give you enough time to savor the special experience.

[For those not familiar with the names, Delhi is loosely synonymous with New Delhi, the capital of India. Technically, Delhi is the province and New Delhi is a part of it. For more details, please see Delhi vs New Delhi, here.]

1. Visit Old Delhi for experiencing busy, traditional-style markets. The most popular Old Delhi entry is Chandni Chowk, the sprawling market opposite the Red Fort. It is a mix of old and the new, but when you enter its lanes, you will find busy whole-sale markets doing roaring business. Sprinked along with the main shops are eateries selling traditional snacks. The Paranthe Wali Gali is famous for numerous types of paranthas [stuffed home-made bread] that are served by the many restaurants lining the lane.

2. Visit Dilli Haat, a small exhibition complex, for a peep into culture of and artefacts from different parts of the country.

3. Have lunch at Andhra Bhawan. There are many eateries of all types in Delhi but this one is worth enjoying. Always busy, this place sells very spicy South Indian food – both veg and non-veg. The food is hygienic.

4. For non-vegetarians, kebabs and biryani sold at Jama Masjid are a treat.

5. If you have time in the evening, do not miss performances at Mandi House. There are a number of theatres in this area and one or the other play / dance / music programme takes place here throughout the year.

6. Mehrauli Archeological Park is not to be missed by those interested in monumental history. This archeological heritage is preserved at Mahrauli, a sprawling habitat during many rulers, behind Qutub Minar.

7. Near Qutub Minar, a new park, called the Garden of Five Senses, has been created. It tries to give a soothing experience to sight, smell, sound, taste and touch with its garden, rocks, sculptures, fragrant plants, musical chimes and so on. It holds many cultural activities regularly.

8. There are very rich museums in Delhi, including the National Museum and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art [IGNCA]. One or the other exhibition is also routine there. In addition, Delhi has International Doll Museum and International Toilet Museum. The India Habitat Centre also holds many cultural-social events regularly and has a number of eateries within the building complex.

9. If you want to see a beautiful exhibition on the Indian way of life in ancient times, and India’s rich spiritual heritage, do visit the Akshardham Temple complex, with half a day free for seeing the exhibits at leisure.

10. For quality mementoes, visit the government showrooms at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place. They sell all types of mementoes from different parts of the country. The items range from inexpensive to very expensive, and are genuine.

11. INTACH regularly organizes heritage walks around monuments across the city. These walks weave history, sculpture, architecture and folklore into one enjoyable experience about the place.

I have marked these places in the map below. You can enlarge the map to see all the spots.

View delhi3 in a larger map


Terrans said...

This is great article. I was quite surprised to read an international toilet museum and an international doll museum exists and quite curious to visit them some day.


India Travel Advice said...

Thanks. I'll visit your sites.

Travel India said...

Delhi has always had a mysterious eternity, the city having witnessed empires rise to glory and fall to ashes. The contemporary Delhi is a culmination of seven cities built by different emperors. Ruins of this ancient city are found even today and now these are converted to some major tourist attractions.