The main reasons to visit Delhi
There are multiple reasons to visit Delhi, India’s second largest city.
Delhi is made of 11 districts and New Delhi is one of the Delhi’s 11 districts and the capital city of India. Delhi was the capital of seven empires and today is one of the longest serving capital cities and top historical destinations in the world.
Since the 12th century Delhi was a powerful Sultanate ruled by The Mamluk Dynasty. In the end of the 14th century Delhi Sultanate was invaded and ruined by Turco-Mongols. In the 16th century Delhi became a part of the Mughal dynasty, during which most of the greatest architectural monuments were built.
In the 18th century Delhi was invaded by the Afghan Empire, then passed into the control of Maratha forces, which were defeated by British East India Company. In 1857 Delhi was passed into the control of British Government and became a part of British India. After the partition of British India into two independent unions India and Pakistan, New Delhi became the capital of the Union of India in 1949.
Various styles of architecture used during different periods of history make Delhi’s architecture rich and unique. Multiple historical places of interest are one of the main reasons to visit Delhi.
Below is a short list of only several must-visit attractions in Delhi:
- The Qutab Minar – the world’s tallest brick minaret, a part of The Qutb complex, built during the times of the Delhi Sultanate.
- The Red Fort – a former residence of the Mughal emperor.
- Jama Masjid – one of the largest mosques in the country.
- The India Gate – a recognisable monument in the centre of New Delhi, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
- The Rajpath – the ceremonial boulevard of the city, inspired by the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
- Akshardham Temple – the world’s third largest Hindu temple built in 2005.
- Chandni Chowk – the main street of the old Delhi, a chaotic and crowded market, one of the oldest in India.
Delhi has many modern air-conditioned shopping malls, which have a wide selection of both local and foreign brands, restaurants and coffee shops.
The city is also known for its best street markets in India. Indian markets are full of people, smells, colours and sounds and are definitely an experience not to be missed. The prices can be very low as soon as you learn how to bargain.
Apart from traditional clothes or food markets, Delhi has some unique markets like:
- Khari Baoli – Asia’s biggest spice market.
- Dilli Haat – a traditional weekly village handicrafts market.
- Sundar Nagar – a market which has some great antique shops and traditional tea houses.
Indian food is one of the most delicious in the world and should be definitely one of the reasons to visit Delhi.
Delhi has a huge selection of perfect restaurants along with endless street food stalls and eateries. Khan market is probably the best place to try various Indian dishes in Delhi.
One of the most famous food destinations in Delhi is Karim’s restaurant. It was established in 1913 by one of the sons of a former cook who was working in the royal court of the last Mughal emperor. The restaurant became extremely popular for making food cooked according to royal recipes available to ordinary people.
You can’t leave India without trying:
- Biryani – a famous Indian rice dish.
- Samosas – deep fried potato-staffed pastries.
- Daal – a spicy Indian soup.
- Kebabs – slices of grilled meat often cooked on a skewer.
- Chicken Tikka Masala – slices of grilled chicken in masala (a spice mix) served with rise on the side.
- Chaat – a piece of fried dough with various ingredients on top. The most traditional chaat is made of potatoes, chickpeas, ginger, tamarind, coriander and yogurt.
Peaceful green areas
Despite being a noisy and polluted city, Delhi has some beautiful green areas to hide from crowds and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere.
Below some of the most popular parks are listed:
- Buddha Jayanti Park – the largest city park with large green areas perfect for picnicking and relaxing.
- Lodi Gardens – known for the ancient tomb of the 15th century’s rulers.
- The Japanese Park – apart from nice picnic spots and walking areas offers boat rides on the lakes and great playgrounds for kids.
- National Rose Garden – is located in the very centre of New Delhi and boasts beautiful fields of roses.
- Deer Park – has some ancient Mughal monuments and is home to ducks, rabbits and deer.
Festivals and events
To attract tourists the city organised a number of international fairs and holds lively and joyful festivals throughout the year. For millions of people cultural activities and events become the main reasons to visit Delhi.
Every year the city holds World Book Fair, Flower Show, International Trade Fair and many other cultural and business events.
Below we also list some of the major festivals widely celebrated in Delhi:
- Lohri festival – resembles the beginning of summer and is celebrated in January after the winter solstice. During the day children go from house to house and sing songs to get some sweets or money. At sunset the bonfire is lit and people dance, sing or pray around the fire.
- Diwali – the happiest Hindu festival. It is also called the festival of lights, which signifies the victory of good over evil and is widely celebrated by Indians in all over the world for 5 days in October-November.
- Holi – the festival of colors, which is typically celebrated in March and resembles the beginning of spring. People throw colored powder and spray colored water at friends and strangers.
India’s Golden Triangle
Delhi is the part of the India’s golden triangle, a tourist route which also includes the cities of Agra and Jaipur. The whole triangle is about 720 km by road, the cities are located within 4-6 hours drive from each other.
Agra was the capital of the Mughal empire. Today it is mostly known by beautiful Taj Mahal palace, a true masterpiece of architecture, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his favorite third wife in the 17th century.
Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan, the largest Indian state. It is often called the Pink City because of the color of most of the buildings. The city is packed with palaces, forts and bazaars and is a must-visit historical and cultural destination.
India’s golden triangle is definitely one of the main reasons to visit Delhi.
Perfect air connectivity with Europe
New Delhi is well-connected with Europe by air and is often used as a convenient layover when flying from Europe to other Indian destinations.
Multiple airlines operate direct scheduled flights from Europe to New Delhi at affordable prices Finnair and Alitalia often offer cheap flights to New Delhi during both high and low seasons. Check our latest deals on flights from Europe to India’s capital.
The real chaos
Yes, the chaos is also the reason to visit Delhi. Delhi is unlike any other world’s city. It has an extremely high population, half of which lives in slum areas.
Most of the first-time visitors experience cultural shock upon arrival. A very high pollution, noise, poor people living on the streets, cows walking freely, crazy and never-ending traffic and crowds make it seem impossible to navigate. There is even a joke that if you can drive in Delhi you can drive in any corner of the world.
However, if you manage to accept it you will get a very unique and memorable experience.