3 Unique Things to do in Delhi, India
Bustling and busy Delhi can be overwhelming for the novice traveller; I know it was for me. But after a while, I started to understand how the city worked and realised it has so much to offer! Delhi is the second biggest city in India, and as many people live here as the whole of Chile. To find your groove and start to see Delhi for the awesome city it is, definitely try out these three unique experiences while you are there.
1. Take a rickshaw to see all the sights
Don’t bother cramming yourself in like a sardine on the metro. Don’t take a boring old taxi. You’re in India! Take a noisy, open-air, buzzing rickshaw and have the most Indian India experience ever. Taking a rickshaw to all of the major sights in one afternoon was easily the highlight of my time in crazy, colourful Delhi. And it’s seriously cheap too! We hired a rickshaw and driver for three hours and it only cost 150 rupees ($2.50 USD). You driver will weave you in and out of traffic between each site and wait for you while you go in. It’s the perfect Indian tour!
Some of the easiest and most central attractions to visit on your rickshaw tour would be The India Gate, The Red Fort and Ashoka Road. The India Gate is a huge war memorial dedicated to soldiers who fell in the First World War. The Red Fort is a beautiful, brightly coloured building that was the main residence of the Mughal dynasty for almost 200 years. Posh Ashoka Road hosts all the five-star grand hotels like The Royal Plaza Delhi. The buildings on this street combine impressive European style architecture with a traditional Indian feel.
2. Visit the Lotus Temple
The Lotus Temple is unlike any other. It’s flower-shaped and built completely of white marble. It serves as the Mother Temple for the whole Indian subcontinent and cost $10 million to build. The temple opens its doors to literally anyone of any background or religion, for free. This does mean that lines can get incredibly long, but they do move fast.
To get to the Lotus Temple, jump on the Violet Line or Central Secretariat to ‘Kalkaji Mandir’ station. The temple is a short walk from here. Outside the gates, you can find tea and street foods stalls as well as buy souvenirs and trinkets.
3. Wander around one of the huge bazaars
There are loads of great markets in Delhi, and if you haven’t been already, I implore you to try one! Markets are what India is all about. Busy, manic, colourful and exciting. I love spending my time wandering around and taking photos of all the vibrant stalls. Below are three of the best Delhi bazaars for you to explore.
Chandni Chowk Markets, next to the Red Fort in New Delhi, are probably Delhi’s most famous market. Chandni Chowk is a definite must-see while in Delhi! They are a huge, bustling Indian market that combines all the colours, sounds, smells and sights of exciting India in one place. Here you can buy almost anything and it takes hours just to see a small chunk.
For electrical products head to the Ghaffar Markets in New Delhi. This huge and quirky market is filled with second-hand phones, phone repairs, computers and any other electrical product you might need. Mixed in with clothing and food as well. I came here for a phone repair, and ended up buying some camera equipment, clothes and lollies! Just jump off the metro at Karol Bagh station and the markets are very close.
The previous two markets are HUGE, so if you don’t feel like dealing with a hectic busy market, head to one of the smaller ones like Rajiv Chowk. These markets mostly cater to tourists with trinkets and clothing spilling out onto the streets. Just get off the metro at Rajiv Chowk station and you’ll see them right away.
READ: Should you go to India?
Language: The main language is Hindi. English and Marwari are spoken as well, plus hundreds of others.
Currency: Indian rupee (INR, ₹)
$1 USD = ₹64.09
I was here: November 2014
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