A city of great character, of contrasts and convolutions – this is Delhi, the capital city of India. A city with antiquity dating back over 2,000 years, it is also a modern metropolis with fast cars and neon lit shopping malls. So varied are the shades of Delhi’s different faces, it is difficult to grasp it in a short span of time.
Like many cities in India, Delhi is packed to the gills with people. Delhi is unique, however, because it mixes the old with the new.
If you fly into Delhi, you will inevitably end up in New Delhi. This section of the city is very modern in relation to the rest of the country. Roads are wide and organized with something other than a chaos theme. Youll actually be able to walk without feeling like a cow in a heard, which is very unique in India. On the other hand, New Delhi just doesnt have that ancient Indian charm found in other cities. Its a good place to get a hotel room, but youll need to venture into the city proper to get a taste of India.
Old Delhi is where the action is if you really want to experience India. The streets are a chaotic mass of markets, overbuilt streets, signage that would make Las Vegas blush and monuments to the past. The best way to see Old Delhi is to catch an auto rickshaw to the Red Fort and then just start wandering around the bazaars and old markets. Hotels will try to rent you mopeds, but this isnt advisable if youre hitting Old Delhi. The chaos will overwhelm you and you definitely dont want to run into a sacred cow.
When to Go
The best time to visit Delhi is between October and March, when the weather is very pleasant. During the peak of winter in January, however, pollution causes a thick fog to envelop the city….. be prepared for flights getting delayed. Asthma patients can be affected by this heavy combination of vehicular smoke and fog. Most cultural events take place in winter and Delhi is socially very active. By February the flowers are in bloom and the city is really quite pretty then. Summers are searing hot and dry, so do come prepared for the weather.
Delhi – Sightseeing
Regardless of where you head, Delhi has a plenty of attractions to keep you busy for a few weeks. The great pacifist, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated in Delhi and you can visit the location at Birla House as well as pay your respect at his black marble tomb. To contemplate this great man, you can follow up the visit with a stroll through the Lodi Gardens, which are peacefully overgrown.
Delhi is the home to forts, mosques and palaces galore. The Qutab Minor Complex is a good place to see Mughal architecture. Safdarjangs Tomb is a poor mans Taj Mahal with the same basic structure. The Red Fort and India Gate are good places to take pictures.
When it comes to sports, India is mad about cricket. Kids can be seen playing it all over the place. If youre looking to see the professionals, try the games at Coronation Dunbar.
Delhi is undoubtedly the most comfortable of the large cities in India. This comfort, however, comes with a price. One tends to get the feeling you arent seeing the real India. Delhi is a good place to visit, but make sure you see other locations in India.