Today’s post is written by amazing Renuka of the Voyager For Life. She is an Indian travel blogger who loves to travel and click photographs. She travels solo, and with anybody who’s as curious as her! She also believes more than money one needs ‘courage’ to travel, and more than destinations. She counts “experiences”, because the real meaning of travel is to discover, learn and grow.
Delhi has been my home town for a decade. I have loved it both as a laid-back inhabitant and as an inquisitive traveller. To begin with, it’s a super bustling, crazy and a hip capital of India. But, behind the façade of big shopping malls, multiplexes, rich people and their many fancies, there is a classic side of Delhi, which remains unruffled. It’s a heritage city, which has a legacy of innumerable architectural attractions, artistic and cultural delights and not to forget, an amazing variety in food. So, let’s check out the things that should introduce you to the genuine joys of Delhi – things that you can enjoy under $25 a day:
Also, know that Delhi has excellent public transportation facility – Delhi metro and DTC Buses, which are both cheap and easy travel options.
1) Begin your jaunt with the iconic heritage sites
As soon as you arrive in Delhi, your prime focus should be on its age-old heritage attractions. You can start with India Gate, which is right opposite the Presidential Residence. Take a walk around it and absorb its charismatic aura. Then you can move on to all the other great sites, such as Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Lotus Temple to name but a few.
The entry fee for each site is in the range of $2 to $5 for foreign tourists.
2) Explore the world-class art galleries and photo exhibitions
Delhi has a variety of art galleries that showcase exemplary art, paintings, sculptures and photographs. My personal favourite is the National Gallery Of Modern Art, which is also known as Jaipur House. Some of the other popular and esteemed art galleries in Delhi are Delhi Art Gallery, Art Alive Gallery, Gallery Espace, Dhoomimal Art Centre, and Indira Gandhi National Centre for The Arts.
Entry fee should be $2.5 at most places, while some of them allow free entry also.
3) Peek into the royalty at Rashtrapati Bhavan
A visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Residence) is an exclusive experience, as it allows access to the grandeur of the presidential life of India. Besides, you can enjoy a stroll in the beautiful Mughal garden and the Herbal garden. Even the surrounding vicinity of the Presidential House is easy on the eyes.
4) Jama Masjid
Rise up early and watch the first ray of sunlight fall over Jama Masjid. It’s a huge, beautifully built mosque in Old Delhi. You must pay a visit here for that authentic experience of Muslim culture and belief. Although there is no admission fee for this site, you might be charged for photography.
5) Wander the alleyways of Old Delhi
Old Delhi has a certain charisma that an inquisitive traveller must explore. Daryaganj, one of the prominent neighbourhoods of Old Delhi, is popular for ‘old books’ Sunday market and a small flower market. If you are intrigued about old poets and writers, loiter around at Ghalib ki Haveli, which was poet Mirza Ghalib’s residence, and to add a dash of spices in your food, explore Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market.
6) Savour all sorts of local cuisines at Chandini Chowk
There is no way you should leave Delhi without experiencing the bustle of Chandini Chowk, and indulging in some of the classic cuisines at some of its popular shops, such as Parathewali Gali (lane). After you have had your fill of scrumptious Indian dishes like Parathas, Dahi Bhalla, Chaat, etc, head to China Ram Sweet Shop, which is an absolute delight for your sweet tooth!
7) Check out the designer boutiques in Hauz Khas Village
Delhi loves fashion and Hauz Khas Village is definitely a place that has the best of haute couture for you. There is an array of designer boutiques in the alleys of Hauz Khas. Besides, you can also check out some interesting art galleries and upmarket restaurants along the way.
Nothing is too cheap here, but simply checking out the stores and exploring the village is an excursion of its own.
8) Loiter around at Connaught Place
Connaught Place is one of the most frequented hangout places in Delhi. There is a lot to do here – eat, drink, shop, check out some old book stores, catch a movie at one of the theatres or simply linger around.
9) Take a morning walk in Lodi Gardens
Lodi Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Delhi. Locals come here for relaxation, morning walks and exercises. However, it is not a typical park. It has many impressive ancient tombs, which give you a glimpse into the past era.
There is no entry fee for Lodi Gardens.
10) Sip coffee at Khan market
Khan Market is one of the top markets of Asia. It is upscale and sophisticated with high-end brands and designer stores, quirky cafes, confectioneries and restaurants. Café Turtle is my personal favourite, which also has a bookstore.
11) Shop from Sarojini Nagar
Sarojini Nagar is one of the best places for picking up ‘cheap’ designer clothing. You need to have tons of patience to really pick and choose from the huge bundle of clothes that are sold in the open. It’s a place for young chicks looking for trendy outfits at dirt cheap rates.
12) Savour the colours at Delhi Haat
Delhi Haat is a colourful hub for foodies and shopaholics, where you can take a quick tour of the entire India. You can buy funky jewellery pieces, traditional clothes and shoes, home décor items and so many other things. You should know the knack of haggling to be able to get good deals though. In my opinion, eating different delicacies of different regions of India is a better idea than shopping.