The capital city of Delhi is rightly known as the microcosm of India, with the old and the new parts of the city co-existing and intermingling. New Delhi with its tree-lined avenues, political establishments and swanky eateries is a marked contrast to the Old Delhi of bustling street bazaars and Mughal-era relics – yet both parts of the city are equally interesting. The city is geographically divided and each area has its own charm and quirks. Depending on your tastes, venture into one or more of these parts that make up Delhi. The well-laid out metro makes it very easy to get around the city quickly.
At the heart of the city lies Connaught Place, the colonial shopping arcade filled with shops, restaurants and pubs. Laid out in two concentric circles, it is divided into blocks and there is everything from high street brands to bazaar-style shops – a veritable shopper’s delight. A 2-minute walk from Connaught Place is Janpath – a street flea market where you can find some great bargains on clothes and curios. Nearby, Karol Bagh houses a busy cloth market. For some excellent Delhi food, like the famous chaat, head to Bengali Market. Other places of interest close by include Birla Mandir and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. New Delhi Railway Station is just 2 kilometres from Connaught Place and the metro station here is called Rajiv Chowk.
The posh residential areas of South Delhi include areas such as Defence Colony, Vasant Kunj, Kalkaji and Sarita Vihar. One of the attractions here is Hauz Khas, the medieval part of the city, today home to chic boutiques, popular restaurants, an arts village, gardens and the ruins of an ancient madrassa along with the large water tank from which the area derives its name. The shopping haven of Greater Kailash is close by as is the open-air market Dilli Haat. Other attractions include the Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and the Lotus Temple.
North Delhi includes Sadar Bazaar, Kotwali and Civil Lines area. This area is also known as Old Delhi and the famous Red Fort and Jama Masjid are located here. Chandni Chowk, near Old Delhi Railway Station is a major attraction for its markets, cheap shopping and excellent street food. It is regarded as one of the oldest markets in Delhi. Other landmarks in this area are Ashoka’s Pillar and Shahjahanabad Gardens.
The major areas in East Delhi are Gandhi Nagar, Preet Vihar and Vivek Vihar. One of the biggest attractions in this part of Delhi is the imposing Akshardham Temple. The elaborately sculpted and carved red sandstone temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. Entry is free and you’ll need at least a couple of hours to explore the temple premises. Other visitor attractions include Sanjay Lake, the Shiv Mandir at Preet Vihar and the Yamuna Sports Complex. The markets of Gandhi Nagar and Laxmi Nagar are also worth a visit.
West Delhi is divided into Patel Nagar, Rajouri Garden, East Sagarpur and Punjabi Bagh. Dwarka is the hub of West Delhi, a short distance from the commercial suburb of Gurgaon and about 10 kilometres from the airport. If you’re in Delhi on a business trip, this is the area to stay in. It’s well-connected to the rest of the city.
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