On an Indian holiday, you can‚t miss out the capital city, Delhi, a potpourri of cultures, traditions, architecture, and human diversity. Located on the banks of river Yamuna, the city has been the capital of many empires, has been destroyed and rose again to prominence each time. Old Delhi got some of its landmark monuments such as Red Fort, Humayun‚s Tomb and Jama Masjid, from the Mughal rulers. Amble down the meandering lanes of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi and shop for spices, traditional apparel, colorful glass bangles, silver trinkets and intricate gold jewelry. Emerge into the leafy boulevards of central Delhi, dotted with works of Mughal and Victorian architecture, sprawling old mansions and the famous India Gate.
Shopping in Delhi is a pleasure. From trendiest designer labels, chic boutiques, world-brand products to local handicraft, accessories, garments and jewelry - Delhi houses it all. If you are looking for an ethic outfit by a popular Indian designer, head to Santushti Complex, home to a bevy of designer outlets. For a mix of branded wear and contemporary-ethnic ensemble, there are ample super malls, besides the South Extension market, Greater Kailash I and II, and Connaught Place (nullCP) among others. If you have a penchant for gems or traditional artifacts including furniture, pottery, antique silver jewelry, handwoven dresses or linen, try out Dilli Haat, where artisans from different parts of the country display their creation in an open-air setting. The state emporiums in CP and Hauz Khas
village also specialize in ethnic items such as gems, apparel, jewelry, pottery, and artwork.
Indian - Sarvana Bhawan, Coriander Leaf, Swagath and Sagar Ratna (nullfor South Indian food), North Indian & Mughlai cuisine at Punjabi by Nature, Baujee Ka Dhaba, Pind Balluchi, Bamboo Hut, Chonas, Chor Bizarre, Copper Chimney, Mezban, Pindi, Gulati, Nizam's, Laidbackwaters, Terrace in the Sky by Village Bistro, Karim's and The Clay Oven.
Chinese - Golden Dragon, Lotus Pond, 4S, Berco's, York, Aka Saka, China Garden, Ichiban, Ego Thai, House of Ming, Mainland China, Oriental Octopus and The Taste of China.
European/Continental - The Orient Express, Ruby Tuesday, The Big Chill Cafe, Al-Rancho, Cafť Turtle, Ploof, Italic, Stone Oven, Flavors, Diva, Tonino, Smoke House Grill, La Piazza, Piccadelhi, Slice of Italy and Travertino.
Regional Speciality - Delhi cuisine is a fusion of different styles and flavors. The city is known for its crispy, sweet-and-sour chaat served very well in the Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi. For some more authentic fare, try out the stuffed vegetable paranthas at Paranthe Wali Gali in the same area, and round it up with some sweetmeats like jalebi and kheer.
Humayun‚s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. Humayun‚s Tomb is often considered a precursor to the Taj Mahal owing to the stylistic similarity of its structures, although the former is built of red sandstone instead of white marble, and erected by a bereaved wife for her husband, not the other way round. Climb up the steep stone staircase to the second level, on the south side of which is the entrance to the main crypt where Humayun is buried.
Situated at the western edge of the great Gangetic Plains, Delhi is flat. The average elevation is about 239m (null ft) above Mean Sea Level (nullMSL). The first city of Delhi was established on the banks of the River Yamuna, which flows down the eastern side of the city. On the west are the crumbling Aravalli Hills. Lying almost at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Delhi succumbs to their mountainous cold.
West Delhi is the traditional city, while towards the south is the new town designed by the British, with wide, tree-lined boulevards and sprawling bungalows. Without breaking from tradition, Delhi as a city is marked by low-rise buildings and other some greater stand-alone houses. Being an earthquake prone region, the city has an aversion to tall skyscrapers, so common in Mumbai.
The climate of Delhi can only be described as extreme; it combines the unrelenting aridity of the Aravallis with the chill of the Himalayas. The months from April to October are marked with extreme heat, with temperatures well over 40įC. The city‚s power supplies are stretched at the best of times, but these high temperatures often result in extended power cuts. The denizens do get some respite in July and August, the traditional monsoon months. The annual showers can get quite heavy, but they dress the city in lush greenery and Delhiites can be seen out in droves enjoying a break from the heat.
Winter is the best time to visit Delhi when the flowers and trees are in full bloom. Starting October, the mercury starts to drop and the weather is generally pleasant till well in to March. However, December and January can get very cold, with temperatures often going below zero. The city is often plagued by thick fog at this time, which delays flights and trains.
Surface - Buses arrive into New Delhi from virtually every city in India. Admittedly not a very comfortable option, buses are the only choice for some destinations, especially those in the mountains. Delhi has a slew of inter-state bus terminals (nullISBT). The Delhi Transport Corporation is the major operator, but every state also runs its own buses and there are some private operators too.
‚ Kashmere Gate ISBT (nullaka Maharana Pratap), Metro: Kashmere Gate. This is "the" ISBT and the largest of the lot. Buses to points north, including Nepal.
‚ Sarai Kale Khan ISBT (nullaka Vir Hakikat Rai), next to Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. Buses to points south.
‚ Anand Vihar ISBT (nullaka Swami Vivekanand), on the east bank of Yamuna. Buses to points east.
Train - Trains to the city arrive at one of three main stations: Delhi Junction, also called Old Delhi or Purani Dilli, the second at New Delhi which lies in Central Delhi, and one at Hazrat Nizamuddin a few kilometers to the south. Delhi Junction and New Delhi Railway Station are now connected by Metro Line 2, and are not just a few minutes ride apart. Getting to the airport from any of the three stations may take between 40 minutes to an hour if traveling by car, depending on the traffic situation. There is always a great rush on the railways, so it is advisable to book your tickets in advance. Though a ticket office near the New Delhi station is open to all, it is easier to book online through the Indian Railways booking website.
Air - Indira Gandhi International Airport is the arrival point for a lot of visitors into Delhi. Most terminals have basic facilities like money changing and restaurants, but overcrowding still remains a major problem during the peak hours (nullmiddle of the night for international flights and early morning for domestic), at such times it can be hard to find even a place to sit. The airport is undergoing a major repair, to be ready in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the city. Despite the continuing work, passengers are helped along with prominent signs and staff support. The airport is split into four terminals, with the domestic terminals 1A, 1C and 1D commonly known as Palam Airport.
‚ Terminal 1A (nullDomestic): Air India flights with IC numbers (nullflights formerly operated by Indian) and GoAir.
‚ Terminal 1D (nullDomestic): All other domestic flights (nullexcept Indian, Kingfisher and GoAir).
‚ Terminal 2 (nullInternational): All international flights and Air India domestic flights with AI numbers.
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