City of Gardens & Stately Buildings
New is a bit of a misnomer as you will discover as you explore this ancient Mughal city and its rich arboreal heritage on foot. Take a guided walk through the city before browsing the warren like evening market...
New Delhi resonates with its older sister always aware of the history of conquests and the phoenix like nature of the place. India Gate, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Purana Qila, Hauz Khaz and Jantar Mantar are all places of immense history and intrigue.
The National Gallery of Modern Art, National Museum, Gandhi House, Raj Ghat, Teen Murti Bhavan all offer ample sightseeing and some of the best trees. ‘Trees of Delhi’, a surprise best-seller has lovingly captured the history of the trees in both words and images and is a good read for more details. Amble about the lush Lodhi Garden, or the Garden of Five Senses and the numerous sprawling parks are ideal for jogging or cycling. Spring in Delhi sets all the trees on Shanthi Path to bloom, the round-abouts are full of flowers and the famous Mughal Gardens in the President's estate thrown open to the public.
Explore Lutyens' Delhi, designed by Edwin Lutyens with sandstones from Rajasthan, domes inspired by the Mughals, tiles from every state and columns like in the West. The harmonious architecture of the stately Rashtrapati Bhavan, the North and South Blocks, Parliament and the Judiciary is a revalation. It is not hard to understand why the trappings of power in the rows of charming white bungalows housing the elected representatives are often the bone of contention among political squabbles.
New Delhi has quite a few temples, Gurudwaras and mosques like the Hazrat Nizamuddin with its impressive weekly Qawwalis, Sufi style devotional music performed with much fervour. Visit the Lotus Temple, Birla Mandir and Akshardham Temple known for their architecture and light and sound shows to learn more about the Hindu way of life.
Shop in Khan Market for high-end clothes and expect to bump into authors like Arundhati Roy or Vikram Seth or even Bollywood celebrities. Connaught Place has more shopping and is the nerve centre for the Delhi Metro rail service, which is the quickest way to get around especially during peak hours.
New Delhi is always full of events, festivals and art and craft shows and the best of all India can be bought in the state emporiums on Barakhamba Road.
A trip to Dilli Haat takes you straight to the stalls of artisans with food stalls from almost all states adding to the whole India experience.
A short way off near the Qutub Minar is Olive Bar and Kitchen in Mehrauli which serves up Mediterranean food in Mughal mansion turned into a bistro with an open courtyard festooned with bougainvillea flowers and the canopy of huge Banyan tree.