Delhi

A visitor to Delhi would find this large bustling metropolis teeming with people, heavy traffic on broad roads, busy markets and shopping malls. For a complete experience, one needs to go through its many layers. Delhi is a cosmopolitan with many traditional and modern aspects coexisting without a murmur.
A sight-seeing tour of historical monuments and memorials in the city is much better than a history lesson for learning about Mughal and British architecture and prominent Indian leaders. Walk through the lanes in Old Delhi and be transported to the past with traditional whole sale markets, eateries and buildings. On the fun side there are many amusement parks with rides and multicuisine restaurants, large parks with rolling hills and beautifully landscaped gardens that make excellent picnic spots. For shopaholics there are markets in Connaught Place, Dilli Haat, Janpath and the state emporiums.
Being the national capital, Delhi enjoys the privilege of excellent connectivity by roads, railways and air to all parts of the country and cities abroad. The Delhi Metro is widely used for travel within the city and is a great choice for looking around the city while skipping road traffic and hot weather.
Travel within the city takes a lot of time, so it would be better to factor this in while planning sightseeing. Delhi is also the major base camp from where tourists usually take off for other heritage cities like Jaipur, Agra or head towards the hill stations of Simla and Nainital.
Best Time to Visit: Pleasant months for sightseeing are February, March and September through mid-December.

Languages Spoken: Hindi is the principal spoken language, though signboards would mostly be in English or Bilingual

Climate: Scorching summer, sultry monsoon months and cold foggy winters
Heritage sites and Memorials: Red Fort, Humayun’s tomb, Qutub Minar, Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Purana Qila, Tughlaqabad Fort, Raj Ghat, Shakti Sthal, Vijay Ghat
Knowledge centres: Gandhi Smriti, International Doll’s Museum, National Museum, National Science Centre, National Railway Museum, Teen Murti Bhavan, Nehru planetarium, Tibet House, National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
Fun places and Picnic spots: FunnFood Village, Splash Water park, Adventure Island, Entertainment City, Lodhi Gardens, Nehru Park, Buddha Jayanti Gardens, Dilli Haat, Swarn Jayanti park, Millenium Park
Holy Places: Lotus Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Gurudwara Sis Ganj, Jama Masjid, Chhattarpur Mandir, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Cathedral Church of Redemption, St. Peter’s Cathedral, ISKCON, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Sai Baba Temple

RSVP: The Rashtrapati Bhavan – A Mute Spectator of History

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Once the past is passed, and we come out of that state of hardship and enter into another phase of life, only then we realise what had been those pleasurable moments which we exhausted without really enjoying it, however wonderful that had been. Here, I am referring to the time I spent in Rashtrapati Bhavan by virtue of being posted there for a span of 5 years (2012-2017), co-terminus with the tenure of the then Rashtrapati Ji, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

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Delhi -> Jodhpur ->Jaisalmer -> Bikaner Road Review

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A road trip starting from Delhi to Jodhpur, then over to Jaisalmer and a return back via Bikaner is an amazing experience. It is always advisable to start the journey at the break of dawn to avoid the rush hour. We started around 3:00 AM (did I say break of dawn?) and were in Jaipur by 7.00 AM. The Delhi-Jaipur Highway (NH-8) is under construction for expansion. Be prepared to face a lot of mud & deep craters on the roads. We still managed to go maintain a speed of 60-70 Kmph and sometimes accelerated to about 110 kmph. Good facilities for breakfast and refreshments along the highway provided by Rajasthan Tourism & other privately held outlets make the journey comfortable.

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Delhi – Patna road review

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Once you are out of Agra, the road gets a little better and traffic reduces. Press the pedal and hit Firozabad. This is the first city (after Agra) where you would start to feel the Mughal Era. Some of the old buildings could be still seen, the city is known for its bangles and glass work. There are these big tempting bangles showrooms which you need to pass quickly else a female fellow traveler’s urge makes you stop.

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Humayun’s Tomb & Lotus Temple…….

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It was just another busy week at the office and after much anticipation Sunday arrived. Movie session on Saturday night did the trick and we woke up late on Sunday Morning. So we abandoned our plan to visit the Lotus Temple in the morning and  decided to go to Humayun’s Tomb first….

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Knowing Delhi – Khan-i-Khanan Tomb in Nizamuddin

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Rahim says; Do not break the thread of love between people. If the
thread breaks, it cannot be mended; even if you mend it there will
always be a knot in it. The friendship will not be same anymore.
Now, that sure brought an instant childhood connection with Rahim and a smile to the face.
Abdul Rahim Khan was the son of Bairam Khan. History is amazing – how can a son of a Mughal general infamous for atrocities could turn out to be composer and poet.

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Tohfewala Gumbad Masjid

Siri – Third City of Delhi

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Legend has it that Alauddin beheaded 8000 Mongols living in the settlement now called Mongolpuri and built the foundation of his City on these heads. Thus the first Muslim city of Delhi was built in 1303 and called Siri (‘Sir’ is Hindi for head) as a homage to all the severed heads. In fact, Khilji chased the Mongols and pushed them north of Kabul that ensured the Mongols would not attack India again for some time.

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Goaing – from Goa to Delhi

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After the mandatory getting-lost-and-going-round-in-circles-before-finding-the-destination that we seem to do in most new cities, we reach our destination after 2 solid hours of wandering the drowning streets of Ghatkopar in a downpour worthy of …. Mumbai! The thing to note is that more time was spent in negotiating the traffic (read: stuck in traffic) than driving!

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Photo courtesy – M M Philip

Delhi-Orchha-Charkhari-Khajuraho

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We stayed with a friend there in real rural settings enjoying farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.
Khajuraho is 80 km away from Charkhari and we made the trip the following day.
Stunned by the beauty unfolding before us we wandered around the temples craning our neck unable to absorb all that is in the spread – amazing architecture, heights of craftsmanship.

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घुमक्कड़ की दिल्ली : राष्ट्रीय रेल संग्रहालय (National Rail Museum, New Delhi)

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सन 1907 में निर्मित एक अनोखा मोनोरेल इंजन (Patiala State Monorail System). इस Monorail System की विशेषता है कि इसका एक पहिया पटरी पर और दूसरा (आकर में बड़ा) पहिया सड़क पर चलता है. दूर से देखने पर यह एक पहिये वाली ट्रैन दिखायी देती है.

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The Republic Day Parade Rehearsal – Rajpath, New Delhi

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A jeep came to take us to the VIP zone at Rajpath. We walked around one km from the place the jeep left us. At parade ground there were two security checks.
First came the prime-minister and then the president arrived. They were not the real president and prime-minister; they were someone else (it was a mock parade).

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