Dilwalon Ki Dilli (Delhi)

Dilwalon Ki Dilli

There’s no doubt that Delhi is one of the most beautiful cities in India; it is also the hub of political force. Today I will tell you my experiences, and we will leave you with memories. I alone explored the city, I’ve experienced all sides of the city, and you should definitely visit the capital once in a lifetime. 

Feeling excited about my trip, I turned to my guidebooks in a flurry of last-minute reading. Still, they didn’t set my heart at peace-filled, with crucial instructions for avoiding Delhi’s scams and tricksters.  

Like many, I was nervous about visiting New Delhi for the second time; the last time I visited Delhi was around 15 long years back. Finally, I landed at Delhi Airport (Indira Gandhi Airport).

Finally, I was guided through the winding lanes of Old Delhi to the fragrant and colorful spice market towards the famous Jameh Masjid mosque. My eyes gawked at the mass of hanging power cables on the polls and narrow streets where cycle rickshaws passed furiously.

However, I also noticed the cold and prying eyes of Old Delhi – the cold, constant stares that were not like the friendly stares one can find in other places in India.

Why Should you Visit Delhi?

Despite its less than outstanding reputation as a travel destination, to miss out on visiting the capital during a trip to India would be a bit of a sin. There are various reasons to give the capital a chance and opportunity, from its food to its lush green parks in the south of the city, to its mixed cultures and vibrant languages that represent the culture of India.

Delhi summarizes everything India has – from a modern metro to its crumbling Havelis (historic kingdom), from its dusty spice markets to its eye-catching shopping malls.

The other reason that gives us the reason to visit Delhi is the old Mughal empire, monuments, and the famous street food.

A walk through Delhi can take you thousands of years past monuments from the late 1000s to the present year, in a city heavily influenced by the Mughals, the British, and many others.

Important Travel Tips

The capital is the entry point to India for so many visitors, yet despite its charms, it is one of the most important places to arrive in India. Touts and con artists are used to tourists who’ve just come to the city – it’s not something to worry about, but kindly read till the end to understand what to do and what not to do in Delhi. Also, your own research is equally important.

Here are some of our reliable, tried, and tested travel tips for visitors.

  • If you’re staying in an upscale hotel, arrange an airport pickup directly with them for a smooth landing.
  • If you have a long flight, then rest in the restroom within the airport. 
  • Organize a tour for your first day in Delhi – Helps you get your bearings and ease into the space of Delhi with the comfort of someone showing you around. See our recommendations below.
  • Ignore offers of “free” tuk-tuk rides. Anything that is “free” will invariably take you to several shops, where the driver will earn his commission for taking you there. It’s a waste of time of money.
  • Just after Diwali, don’t travel to Delhi because the entire city is covered with smog and pollution. 
  • Keep your head up high, walk like you know everything, and be confident where you are going. This will help you, and people will leave you alone.

Arriving at Delhi

Many of us arrive in Delhi under cover of darkness – that is to say that many Asian flights arrive in the small hours of the morning. Fortunately, the immigration process seems much quicker than it used to be – if you have an E-visa, head straight towards the quicker processing. However, the arrivals hall is where the fun begins.

Tips for Avoiding the Airport Scams

I personally do not recommend taking a regular pre-paid taxi (and ignore anyone who approaches you offering a cab.

The “your hotel is closed / Delhi is closed due to smog” (yes, really) scam is still going strong. It revolves around taking unwitting travelers to a remote location in the middle of the night, claiming not to be able to find the hotel, and taking you to some other place where he gets a commission on every customer.

Safe Transport Options from the Airport

One of the best options for a safe transfer from the Delhi airport is to call the hotel you booked and tell them to arrange a vehicle for you. If you’re a woman traveling alone, then Sakha cabs could be the option for you because the drivers are women who will land you safely to your destination.

I have used Ola cabs from New Delhi Airport while traveling alone in Delhi, if that fails. They’re a little more costly than other cabs, but I reached safely.

South Delhi

On my third trip to Delhi, I was pointed in the direction of South Delhi –the most beautiful and leafy green part of Delhi. Just like Bandra in Mumbai. A posh and exotic location. 

I loved the experience of staying in south Delhi, waking up to the musical calls of the local vegetable sellers outside. Overall I felt safe, and I was calm.

If you’re ready to base yourself outside of Delhi itself but want to be nearby, then Casa Delhi in nearby Noida (and also connected by metro) is an eco-retreat, and farm stay is a truly unique opportunity to experience organic farm culture – with a focus on yoga, and meditation. 

Things to do in Dilli

There are various things to do in Delhi; the people you will find here are mainly from UP, Punjab, Haryana, and Bihar. You should explore the city’s tombs and Mughal architecture, the bungalows of Lutyens to explore bazaars, and the sipping of world-class cocktails in bars.

Meri Delhi “Must Sees”

Old Delhi. 

You should visit the historic heart, winding lanes, and Jameh Masjid. 

I recommend having a local guide to take you to the Chandni Chowk, Mosque, the Spice Market, and Red Fort. If it’s your first day, you might go to the world-famous street food.

Red Fort. 

Although it is a mirror of the Fort at Agra, it is well worth visiting, and the Delhi version receives respectable visitors. There are also some great views over to the Fort from the Jameh Masjid mosque. 

Humayan’s Tomb. 

Tomb to the Mughal Emperor of Delhi, Humayun, this tomb is a beautiful UNESCO heritage site and one of the best examples of Persian-influenced architecture in the capital. 

India Gate & Rajpath. 

For Lutyens Delhi, at its most pleasing and a sense of history, visit the India Gate and gaze down the Rajpath towards the Government of India. 

Qutub Minar. 

Qutub Minar is one of the oldest monuments to consider, with a beautiful red sandstone tower around 73m+ high.

If you have a little extra time in Delhi, we suggest exploring the Lodhi gardens – filled with tombs.

Last but not least, 

Relax and enjoy the scene.

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