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8 Top Things To Do In Delhi
Delhi is the confluence of the ancient and the modern, of centuries-old heritage and modern glitz. Hence the things to do in Delhi are plentiful and varied. We have drawn up a pretty exhaustive list of 8 top, exciting things to do in Delhi. From the mesmerising tours of Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Hazrat Nizamuddin to foodgasm in Chandni Chowk, there is so much Delhi has to offer.
Experience An Off-Beat Historical Tour
Delhi is a city that has been a witness to several ages of history and is a treasure trove for history buffs. The most popular attractions are quite obviously the Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, and Old Fort. But there also lies an equally fascinating off-beat heritage trail in this grand old city. Adjacent to the Qutab complex, lies the Mehrauli Archaelogical Park spread over 200 acres and consisting of over 100 historically significant monuments. The heritage walks conducted by INTACH is a wonderful opportunity to discover lesser known historical facts.
A Spiritual Experience At The Dargah Of Nizamuddin
Hazrat Nizamuddin was famous Sufi saint. His mausoleum, the Nizamuddin Dargah is one of the most revered shrines of Islam. One of its chief attractions is the special ‘qawwali’ program organised every Thursday evening, which makes for a truly unforgettable experience. A newly launched walking tour aptly named ‘The Trail of Nizam Piya’ offers more insight into the life of this great Sufi mystic.
Relish Delhi’s Mouth-Watering Street Food
No visit to Delhi is complete without sampling the astonishing variety of street food on offer. Delicacies like ‘gol-gappa’, ‘papri-chaat’, ‘raj kachori’, ‘bhel-Puri’ etc. are now, probably, famous all over the world! Drop into the popular haunts like the Paranthewali Gali, Karim’s, Khan Gali, Bengali market and, of course, Chandni Chowk to realize why Delhi is called a foodie’s paradise! Head to the Khan market to taste the delicious array of kebabs. There are quite a few food-related walking tours that give travellers a fascinating inside view of this culinary phenomenon. A couple of notable ones are the ‘Old Delhi Bazaar & Food Walk’ and the ‘Crazy Food Walk - Chandni Chowk’.
Take A Tour Of Delhi’s Urbanised ‘Villages’
The Hauz Khas Village is a unique specimen. This village with its medieval roots is now a bustling tourist cum commercial area with numerous art galleries, upscale boutiques and restaurants. Commercial ventures aside, Hauz Khas is also host to eco-tourism initiatives like the Deer Park (a beautifully landscaped park, home to several species like the spotted deer, peacock etc.) and the Eco Night Bazaar (selling place of organic farm produce). Cultural activities like open-air theatre, folk-dance, and heritage walks are immensely popular among locals and visitors alike. ShahpurJat and Lado Sarai are also interesting examples of such modernised ‘villages’.
Visit Delhi’s Folk Artists
This holds a special place in the list of things to do in Delhi. The ‘Art of Hope Tour’ introduces the traveller to the Kathputli (Puppet) Colony in West Delhi, which is the home of India's famous puppeteers, folk dancers and magicians. Visitors are entertained with fascinating performances of folk dance, mime, juggling and even fire shows. However, this tour also reveals the tragic side of these performers’ lives - their passion for their craft in the face of great poverty is truly inspirational and leaves a lasting impression!
Get A Glimpse Of Delhi’s Street Life
This, too, is a unique walking tour. Guided by youngsters who were once living and working on the streets themselves, it gives a glimpse into the dark, brutal underbelly of the city through their eyes. The tour, through the streets of the inner city of Paharganj and the surroundings of the New Delhi railway station, is organized by a charitable institution that provides shelter, food, and support to the city's homeless street children. The tour is a true eye-opener – it is heart breaking and poignant, but also a testament to the undying human spirit.
See The Changing Of Guard
Every Saturday morning, the forecourt of the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan (the presidential residence) sees the grand Changing of Guard ceremony. The start time varies depending on the season. It starts at 8 a.m. from March 15 to August 14, 9 a.m. from August 15 to November 14, and 10 a.m. from November 15 to March 14. Since access to Rashtrapati Bhavan is usually restricted for the general public, this ceremony provides a golden opportunity to savour the magnificent architecture of this grand landmark of Delhi.
Shop Till You Drop
This is a ‘must-do’ in the list of things to do in Delhi. Quaint or modern, crowded or quiet, off-beat or mainstream – the city with its numerous and varied options will fascinate all kinds of shoppers. Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Janpath are the top choices for those who are looking to buy branded merchandise at reasonable prices. The underground Palika Bazar is another popular haunt. Then there is the famous Khan Market, ranked in 2010 as the 21st most expensive retail high street in the world. Located at the heart of the city, close to India Gate, it has an incredible variety of stores housing a wide assortment of goods.