If traveling is your passion and passion for a city is what you want to experience, you have not yet seen anything, till you have finally been to the chaotic yet exotic city of Delhi. Just 4 hours by air from Bangkok, the fervent and hospitable city is one that encompasses deep-rooted culture, unique tradition, and an everlasting history through a clearly distinguishable multidimensional metropolis divided between the vastly distinct areas of what is known as New Delhi and its counterpart the mysterious and picturesque Old City.
Colorful and alluring, gateway to India, Delhi is located in the northern part of India, confidently standing on the west bank of the Yamuna River which is bounded by Uttar Pradesh on the north and west and south by the city of Haryana. With an incredible population of 35 million inhabitants spread out over an area of 1483 square kilometers, the effervescent city offers a range of attractions for anyone and everyone, making a visit to Delhi an unforgettable journey.
Delhi is a city that may be hard to digest at first glance with its chaotic lifestyle reflected in the somewhat outrageous traffic circulation, its extensively crowded areas and the mixture of distinct aromas and sounds that cloud over the buzzing streets. Delhi is filled with people whichever way you turn and wherever you go, a clear reflection of the capital city of India being one of the most populous cities of the country. Its long historic association as the capital gives Delhi a peculiar culture which is exemplified in the roughly 1200 heritage buildings and as many as 175 important monuments declared national heritage sites that can be found around the city. The city is known to be a melting pot of culture and religion, all of which is reflected in its infrastructure, its people and many of its outstanding architectural creations. Some of the national heritage sites with diverse and special architectural significance include India’s largest mosque, the Jama Masjid, the India Gate, the 18th century astronomical observatory known as the Jantar Mantar, the Lotus Temple built in a notable flower-like shape which has won several architectural awards and a marvelous 15th century fortress named Purana Qila.
Just a few of the “must see” sights include the many beautiful Hindu temples spread out around Delhi. The Akshardham complex is a Hindu temple and a spiritual-cultural campus. The complex displays a millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture. The temple attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi. Other sights to see include the extensive Parliament of India, some incredible palatial residences known to locals as havelis and memorials of Mahatma Gandhi, Indhira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. These 3 are some of India’s greatest and most impactful leaders. Memorial’s to other notable Indian personalities can be found at the Raj Ghat. Most of the historical sights are in the Old City area of the Capital. In New Delhi, one can observe a significant number of government buildings and official residences that are prevalently inspired on regal British Colonial architecture.
For those who wish to dive into Indian culture, Chandni Chowk is a must visit. This 17th century market is one of the most frequented for the specific purpose of buying jewelry and the traditional attire for Indian women, the sari. This bazaar area is filled with the buzzing vibrancy of Indian locals and the curious aromas that linger in the air. In this market one can discover India’s richness in fabrics and design as well as observe Delhi’s unique and majestic arts and crafts. Zardozi for instance is the art of embroidering with a gold or metallic colored thread as well as studded pearls and precious stones, a type of clothing embellishment that used to be used on the attire of the Rajas and Maharanis of India. Meenakari too is another craft which consists of the art of enameling, coloring and ornamenting the surface of metals, a beautiful process which the results of can be enjoyed at metal shops selling varied metal ornaments decorated in this crafty style.
Chandni Chowk is a fascinating place which also boasts of one of the most popular streets for amazing Indian food eateries known as the Gali Paranthe Wali which can be translated to the street of flat bread, a street which has been there since the 1970s, offering customers Indian fast food sold by street vendors or small local dining places known as dhabas. Street vendors sell their vegetables by simply laying them on large cloths on the floor and the hustle and bustle of buyers around, as well as the rickshaw drivers, create a constant traffic chaos that is a unique and unforgettable experience.
Food is most definitely one of the important components to look forward to obsessing over, after a memorable trip to Delhi. Delhi cuisine is something which you can never get enough of and which you will seek to find in your home country and may even succeed. However, the authenticity of the spices, the way and the order in which the different tastes melt in your mouth within the confines of a friendly Indian joint will never be replaceable. Delhi’s classic dishes include the famous butter chicken, a curry blended with butter and spices that has an incredibly fluffy texture and his combined perfectly with large juicy chunks of chicken. Delhi also offers the perfect snacks such as the Aloo Samosa which is like a Spanish empanadilla with spice rich potatoes on its inside or the typical street food; aloo chat, a combination of potatoes, beans and spices served in little plates and mixed with a blend of masalas and a special yoghurt chutney or sauce. This snack, light meal or side dish is the perfect blend of flavors in one sole dish.
And if rich in spices and potent tastes is not part of your jam, Delhi’s sweets will never disappoint. For instance, the traditional sweet lassi is a drink made from a mix of sweetened yoghurt and water in which you can also add a fruit. Popular versions of lassi that exist are banana lassi, mango lassi, or plain sweet lassi with no fruit. The sweet lassi is most definitely the perfect cool drink to accompany a meal or to end it on a sweet note and at the same time beat the harsh Delhi heat.
Getting around Delhi can be quite challenging as the city is so vast and street names are not necessarily as available to the naked eye as one would like. So, although India has an extensive metro system and one can chose to ride on the rickshaws driven by locals for short distance journeys, we recommend Uber and Grab Taxi as the best way to get around Delhi as one can enjoy the services of English speaking drivers who are well familiarized with the trending places and the touristic spots in the city that you mustn’t leave without visiting.
Delhi’s majestic buildings, the artistic décor of adorned walls and ceilings, its inexplicable attractive pandemonium of cars, bikes, rickshaws, people, and animals make it a once in a lifetime trip to a city that is unlike any in the world.