24 Hours in Delhi

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Dennis Van Peel
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When visiting India, most tourists will land in (New) Delhi. It’s the capital of India and super crowded for this reason. Well, actually like the whole country. It’s not necessary to spend many days in Delhi. 1 or 2 should be fine to see al its highlights. Next to its crazy traffic and horrible pollution, Delhi (or India in general) has a rich culture of great food and beautiful monuments.

Connaught place is a great location to stay when you’re spending a few nights in the Capital. It’s constructed during the reign of the British and for this reason, more clean and structured compared to other parts of the city. It’s a place where many tourists stay, and which is close to all main attractions of Delhi and the New Delhi Train Station (If you’re planning to go to Agra later).

Almost all must-sees can be done by foot or taking the metro. If you decide to take a tuktuk (or hickshaw which is the proper Indian word), don’t let them fool you by paying to much. Download Uber first, check how much they would charge you for the same distance and don’t go over this price when bargaining about it.

First stop: The Red Fort. Delhi’s main attraction is located in Old Delhi. It’s definitely worth a visit but try to go during the week. Guess when we went? Yup, on a Sunday. Horrible. Good Instagram-worthy pictures won’t work when visiting the Red Fort during the weekend. Also, use the foreigners queue. This one will take you only a few minutes, while the Indian one will take hours. The reason is the price. Indian domestic tourists pay 10 times less compared to foreign tourists… However, it didn’t stop us to use the foreigners queue.

Afterwards you’re able to walk to the Jama Masjid. You can’t enter this huge mosque without taking your shoes of, so be prepared to do this. It’s definitely worth a visit. Take the metro to Connaught Place afterwards and have a lunch somewhere in a traditional Indian restaurant or at a Western chain cafe. As it was our first day in India, we opted for the latter.

Connaught Place is at walking distance from the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. This Sikh temple is made form white marble and is a stunning piece of art. Enter the temple without shoes and wearing a scarf (also for men). Make a walk around the pond next to it and enjoy the ‘silence’. Later on, take the metro to Lodi Gardens. This park is the Central Park of Delhi. People come here with their dog, running or enjoying a sunset walk, just like we did.

Probably it will be evening after visiting all these sites. Go for dinner somewhere at Connaugh place or make a stop first at the India Gate. This miraculous building reminds of the Arc de Triomph in Paris. It’s not that special as the one from Paris tho, but it’s worth a visit.

Humayun’s tomb is the final monument you should visit in Delhi. This building is the smaller version of the Taj Mahal. We decided to do this in the morning before taking the train to Agra. If you use Uber in stead of taking public transport, you can easily fit this activity into the previous day as well!

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