India’s one of the most populated city and capital has a reputation for overwhelming first time tourists with its tidal wave of people, restless traffic, uncomfortable heat, relentless energy and vast sprawl. But beyond the cacophony of car horns, pockets of peace can be found if you know where to look – not to mention delicious street food, fascinating museums, beautiful historical sites and friendly locals. If learning to go with the flow is a life lesson you’re seeking, then the streets, temples and bazaars of Delhi will rewards seekers with ample lessons delivered with a side serve of masala tea.
1. Try Delhi’s street food
Tangy delights such as chaatpapdi (fried wafers loaded with potatoes, chickpeas, yoghurt and chilli) or golgappas (fried hollow dough filled with chickpeas and spicy potatoes), are famous in Old Delhi. so are stuffed parathas (fried breads with potato fillings), sizzling kababs, and treacle-dripping jalebis.
Humayun’s TombPersian designed, the tomb was built in the mid 1500’s to house the Islamic Mughal emperor known as Humayun. Along with Humayun, there are quite a few other Mughal rulers whose graves are also within the building.You can walk around the surrounding gardens and then proceed to climb a flight of stairs to the main deck. Then you can walk around the inside of the building and see the many marble tombstones. Also, located at the entrance of the attraction is a small museum showcasing some old photographs including explanations of the tomb and its history.
Opening Hours: 6 am – 6 pm daily, all daylight hours
Price: 250 INR
3.The Lotus Temple (Bahá’í House of Worship)
Among the numerous recognizable landmarks which are scattered all around Delhi is the remarkable Lotus Temple. Designed in the shape of a sacred lotus flower, there are 27 flower petals which are constructed of marble and make up the structure.
Though it’s dedicated to the Bahá’í faith, it’s a religious worshipping grounds for people of all religions (as such is the philosophy of the Bahá’í faith). As you approach the temple, you’ll walk through some nicely manicured gardens and then have an opportunity to place your shoes in the free and secure shoe deposit room. You’ll then be given a 2 minute briefing by a volunteer, mainly about turning off your cell phone and keeping silent, and then you’ll be free to enter the sanctuary and sit in pure silence for as long as you’d like.
Website: http://www.bahaihouseofworship.in/ Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 9 am – 7 pm,
Closed on Mondays
4. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (Sikh Temple)
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple is about the friendliest, most inviting, and comfortable temple you’ll ever visit. Nobody will ask you for money, a donation, or anything. You leave your shoes in the deposit room and walk around the temple.
There’s a huge pool of water outdoors on one side, a dining facility where many people share a meal together each day, and even a medical facility. Go inside the temple and you can sit and enjoy the Sikh band playing drums and singing as you sit there in peace. It’s a really great experience, and We would recommend it as a must visit when you’re in Delhi.
How to get there:
Hours: Daytime hours Price: Free
5. Qutub Minar
Among all the historical things to do in Delhi, the Qutub Minar is what I enjoyed most. Along with a bunch of crumblings structures is the incredible 72.5 meter minaret that sort of looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The minaret is the tallest in all of India, and it was originally built nearly 1,000 years ago.
Constructed from red sandstone, there are detailed carvings and inscriptions throughout the tower. Though you can’t go inside, it’s really awe-inspiring to see from a distance and up close. Qutub Minar is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a proud icon of Delhi, India.
. Address: Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030, India Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily Price: 250 Rupees
6. National Museum of New Delhi
This, I’ll tell you straight up, is the only attraction on this list that I personally didn’t visit. But then again, the entire city of Delhi is like a hands-on entertaining museum, but if you’re really interested in art and history, you should definitely visit the National Museum. You’ll find an impressive quantity of over 200,000 individual pieces of art!
Address: Janpath Road,Rajghat, New Delhi 110002, India Website: http://www.nationalmuseumindia.gov.in/ Hours: 10 am – 5 pm on Tuesday – Sunday, closed on Monday Price: 300 INR (which includes audio tour)
7. Raj Ghat – Gandhi Memorial
Mahatma Gandhi is likely the most famous person associated with India, he’s on the front of all Rupee notes; He was the founding father of modern independent India and he’s known throughout the world for his philosophy of nonviolence and his attitude of helping and caring for others. Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, and it’s located in the place where he was cremated.
The entire area is a park, and there happened to be a lot of students running around the day I went. When you enter the memorial, you leave your shoes at the counter (for a small tip), and then walk into the central courtyard where you can walk around the black marble memorial of Gandhi.
Hours: 5:30 am – 7 pm daily Price: Free
8.Chandni Chowk & Chawri Bazar
Due to my passion for street food, I was like a kid in a candy store when walking around Chandni Chowk and Chowri Bazar in Old Delhi. This area is a dense chaotic center of trade, business, food, spices, and overall life. You’ll find some of the most interesting people and businesses in all of Delhi in this compact district. You can walk through the narrow ancient lanes, stop in at the inviting Sikh temple, and visit both the Jama Masjid and Red Fort which are both in the area. There are also a number of hotels and places to stay located in Chandni Chowk.
Don’t miss the Paranthe Wali Gali or a chaat from Natraj!
Hours: Day and night,
9. Spice Market (Khari Baoli in Old Delhi)
To the west side of Chandni Chowk, starting along Church Road, but really along Khari Baoli, you’ll find the Old Delhi spice market. It’s apparently the largest spice market in Asia, and you’ll be immersed in a colorful array of all things spices, dried fruits, nuts, and an army of rickshaw transporters and men just lying around on top of gunny sacks taking naps.
10. Take a cooking class with a local family
An intimate cooking class held in the home of a local cook. To aid in the creation of delicious regional delicacies. You’ll learn about the different spices used in north Indian cooking, be immersed in Indian cultural traditions and find out more about what life is like for families in New Delhi. If you’ve ever wondered how to eat with your hands without making a supreme mess – this is the place to do it!