Yeh dilli hain mere yaar bas ishq mohabbat pyaar..which translates to This is Delhi my friend, just love love love. We visited Delhi the capital of India in March this year. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, history, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and not to forget amazing street food.
Delhi or any place can be explored better with guidance from a local. They share places that are not just popular with tourists but also with the locals which gives it a unique experience.
It was an impromptu plan to visit Delhi as we had to catch a flight back home from Nainital. Though it has been on our bucket list for a long time and we had a list of places to visit especially Humayun’s Tomb as it was visited by our Grandpa in 1945.
Being two single women, it sounded scary at first to visit Delhi since it has a rather bad reputation. But we were assured by friends that it’s not all that bad and we said “Let’s do this!!”
We were not sure how to go about the trip and that’s when we contacted Traveek.
More about Traveek:
Team consists of: Bhavya, Ujjwal, Ashu and Simran and are looking to get on board more talent.
In the words of Bhavya: We are building Traveek with an aim to make it a social marketplace that offers unique local experiences to explorers and enthusiasts. We see that a lot of interesting experiences around us go undiscovered even though they are really worth it.
Our cool team shares a common vision to make travel accessible and help travelers explore in the best way ever.
So this super awesome team organized a one day tour of Delhi for us. The tour was as customized in such a way that we visited most of the places on our list. The Team was sweet enough to also recommended few restaurants where we could savor the local street food.
They organized it really well and made sure to keep in touch with us on a regular basis throughout ensuring that we were having a memorable time. We really appreciated their efforts.
Below is a little more about the places we visited:
The Qutub Minar is a minaret that forms a part of the Qutab complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of Delhi. It is a 73-metre (239.5 feet) tall tapering tower of five storeys, with a 14.3 metres (47 feet) base diameter, reducing to 2.7 metres (9 feet) at the peak. It contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps.We had seen it through pictures and movies but seeing it in person was an amazing experience.
2. Humayun’s Tomb:
Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum (also known as Haji Begum), in 1569-70, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad, Persian architects chosen by her.It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
For us this was a really special place as our Late Grandpa who was a commercial photographer had clicked it on his visit in 1945. Below is a picture clicked by him and Me (Karen). Guess not much has changed. We were happy to check this off our bucket list.
3. India Gate:
The India Gate (originally called the All India War Memorial) is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the “ceremonial axis” of New Delhi, India, formerly called Kingsway.
It is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen’s names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
We quickly stopped here to click a few pics and admired it’s architecture which we found very similar to the Gateway of India in Mumbai
4. Red Fort:
Red Fort is a historic fort in the city of Delhi in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1856. It is located in the center of Delhi and houses a number of museums. Constructed in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the palace of his fortified capital Shahjahanabad, the Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone.
Unfortunately since we visited on a Monday, it was closed. However we caught a glimpse of the fort on our way to Jama Masjid.
5. Jama Masjid:
The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā , commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India.It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees, and was inaugurated by an Imam from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates, four towers and two 40 metres high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 people . There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets.
We were awestruck by it’s beauty and couldn’t stop clicking pics.
Note: Make sure you dress appropriately and cover your head with a scarf as it’s a religious place. They have a place to keep shoes but we kept them in our bags as didn’t know if we’d get them back. A great tip by Bhavya. You will have to also pay for a dslr camera and to take video.
Lunch at Karim’s:
We stopped at Karims near Jama Masjid for lunch. It’s in a little corner , but you can ask anyone and they will guide you as it’s quite famous. There was quite a crowd and we had to wait to get a table, but the food is worth the wait. Lip smackingly good kebabs, biryani etc. On our table sat across a family from Spain and they were so excited they almost ordered everything on the menu..lol. A must visit and don’t count calories here!
6. Chandni Chowk:
The Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Square) is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, India. Chandni Chowk is located close to Old Delhi Railway Station.In the heart of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk is a busy shopping area with markets , while the narrow side streets are crowded with tiny shops selling essential oils, stationery and traditional Indian sweets.It’s also know for yummy street food.
We had to get off the cab and take a cycle rickshaw to travel through here on the way to Jama Masjid as the roads are pretty narrow and congested. This was our second time on a cycle rickshaw , first one we took in Mussoorie. It was quite an adventurous ride. You can catch a glimpse of this in our vlog at the end of this post.
7. Agrasen Ki Baoli:
Agrasen ki Baoli (also known as Agrasen ki Baodi), designated a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well on Hailey Road [ near Connaught Place, Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Although there are no known historical records to prove who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen, and rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen. It is a popular tourist destination and hangout in New Delhi.
This spot was in a lane that looked like a normal residential area and was pretty crowded as you can see from the pics below.
8 .Gurudwara Shri Bangla Sahib:
Gurudwara Bangla Sahibis one of the most prominent Sikh gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi, India and known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan, as well as the pool inside its complex, known as the “Sarovar.” It was first built as a small shrine by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783, who supervised the construction of nine Sikh shrines in Delhi in the same year, during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II. It is situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi.
This was a very peaceful place and it’s open to people of all faiths. Do make sure to cover your head and take off your footwear. You have to also wash your feet before entering the gurdwara.
9. Sacred Heart Cathedral:
The Cathedral Of The Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic cathedral belonging to the Latin Rite and one of the oldest church buildings in New Delhi, India. Together with St. Columba’s School, and the Convent of Jesus and Mary school, it occupies a total area of 14 acres near the south end of Bhai Vir Singh Marg Road in Connaught Place. Christian religious services are held throughout the year.
10. Connaught Place:
Connaught Place is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centres in New Delhi, India. It is often abbreviated as CP and houses the headquarters of several noted Indian firms. The main commercial area of the new city, New Delhi, occupies a place of pride in the city and are counted among the top heritage structures in New Delhi. A metro railway station built under it is named Rajiv Chowk (after Rajiv Gandhi).
Our hotel was located in CP and it was pretty convenient as there were many restaurants , shops and places of interest nearby.
Few places on list that we were unable to visit due to timing constraints:
- Lodhi Art District/Lodhi Colony
- Vishwa Shanti Stupa
- Jantar Mantar
We really enjoyed this trip to Delhi and already want to go back and visit the places that we couldn’t. One lesson learnt is that you shouldn’t always believe what you hear about a place, you have to experience things yourself. Sure some people have had unfortunate experiences, but if you are alert and in our case lucky to meet the right people, then you can have a good time anywhere.
Important points to note:
- Please dress appropriately for religious monuments like Jama Masjid. Avoid wearing shorts/short dresses.
- Do carry water and wear sunsreen if visiting in Summer.
- For women travellers – avoid travelling alone especially in the night. If unavoidable take a cab like Uber and make sure to go through well lit roads. No shortcuts.
Thank you for reading. If you haven’t been to Delhi, then you should definitely visit soon. Cheers and Happy Travels! 🙂
We also made a short vlog about our trip to Delhi , do check the same below.
Like it? Pin it for later:
*Some of the content has been sourced from Wikipedia