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Country : India State : Delhi (state)         Delhi               
     
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Wikipedia Guide
Delhi, known locally as Dilli (Hindi: दिल्ली dillī, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ, Urdu: دِہلی dihlī), and by the official name National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest metropolis by population in India. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with more than 12.25 million inhabitants in the territory and with over 15.9 million residents in the National Capital Region area (which also includes Noida, Gurgaon, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad). The name Delhi is often also used to include some urban areas near the NCT, as well as to refer to New Delhi, the capital of India, which lies within the metropolis. The NCT is a federally administered union territory. Located on the banks of the River Yamuna, Delhi has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BCE. After the rise of the Delhi Sultanate, Delhi emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial city along the trade routes between northwest...      Read more at wikipedia...
 
Title
A travel to Delhi will cast an irresistible spell of charm to the tourist. Both 'Old' and New Delhi exert a beguiling charm on visitors. Explore Old City and get immersed in the Mughal past. Stroll down the labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi before coming out in the lush boulevards of imperial New Delhi, with its planned governmental offices and tree-lined avenues.
 
Facts At A Glance
Built In Delhi was made a Union Territory on November 1, 1956. With the 69th Constitutional amendment, Delhi got a Legislative Assembly when the National Capital Territory Act was enacted in 1991.
Main Languages Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, English
Area 1,483 sq. km
Population 89.81 crores
STD Code 011
Airport Code DEL
Description
Delhi is the capital city of India. Delhi is India in miniature. Delhi is 32,87,263 sq km of India's fantastic variety compressed into 1483 sq km. Over the millennia, it has wooed rulers, attracted plunderers, and tried historians with so many details. Today, even as it preserves an enviable heritage, Delhi is a true cosmopolitan city always on the move. Delhi, the capital of India houses some of the magnificent monuments built from 12th century monuments built from 12th century onward - The Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid, India Gate (War Memorial), Parliament House, Presidents's House, Bahai Temple (The Lotus Temple) are worth a visit. Besides, there are number of interesting museums. The most important ones are National Museum - the premier museum of India, National Gallery of Modern Art, Rail Museum and Gandhi Museum.


Shopping in Delhi is an unforgettable experience. It's Journey into history, tradition, art and culture, a trip to treasure house which mirrors the very best of India's Craftsmen. What makes shopping in Delhi even more unique, is that the visitor has the options of walking into modern air conditioned stores through narrow alleys to traditional shops where often, the artesian himself is present to explain the intricacies of his craft. The main shopping areas are Cannaught Place where you have major emporiums from all the states. To buy cheap and fancy products, you have choices like Janpath, Sarojini Nagar, Palika Bazaar. South Ex is one of the famous but quite expensive as it houses all the branded products.


Delhi has seen many invaders through the ages. Tamerlane plundered it in the 14th century; the Afghan Babur occupied it in the 16th century and in 1739 the Persian Emperor, Nadir Shah, sacked the city and carted the Kohinoor Diamond and the famous Peacock throne off to Iran. The British captured Delhi in 1803 but during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 it was a centre of resistance against the British. Prior to partition, Delhi had a very large Muslim population and Urdu was the main language. Now Hindu Punjabis have replaced many of the Muslims, and Hindu predominates.
 
Location
Bounded by the state of Uttar Pradesh and on three sides by the state of Haryana, Delhi is located at the western end of the Gangetic Plain.
 
Best time to visit
The best time to visit any place is when the climate and temperature is moderate. As for Delhi, the temperature is at extreme for about half of the year. So the ideal time to visit Delhi is during the seasons of February to April and August to November. During this time the nights are slightly cool and days are filled with mellow sunshine.

The months of May, June and July are very hot with the temperature over 45 ?C. The monsoon season is from July to September. The bloom season of February and March makes Delhi colourful and bright. This is the time when Delhi is in full blossom. Everywhere there is greenery and blooming flowers. This pleasant climate makes this time ideal for the tourists to come and enjoy the galore beauty of the city.
 
How To Get There
Air: Delhi is a major International Gateway to India. It has an extensive network of International as well as domestic flights. All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi, and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Domestic air links cover Delhi from all the major cities in the country.

Train: Delhi is an important rail center connected to all places in India. It is an excellent place for booking too. There are two main stations in Delhi, Delhi Station and new Delhi station at Old Delhi and Paharganj respectively. There is also the Nizamuddin station in South Delhi. Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.

Bus: Buses from all major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi. During the summer months, air-conditioned coaches are recommended.
 
Attractions
India Gate, Delhi: The 42 metre high, free standing arch, popularly known as India Gate, was designed by Luytens and built in 1911. It was originally called All India War Memorial in memory of the 90,000 Soldiers of the Indian Army who died in World War I. The names of the soldiers are inscribed all along the walls of the arch. In1971, an eternal flame was lit here to honour the Amar Jawan (immortal soldiers).

Purana Qila (Old Fort), Delhi : The ruins of the fort are located on a small hill which once stood on the banks of the river Yamuna. Legend has it that the fort marked the site of Indraprastha,, the magnificent capital of the Pandavas, though the construction was carried out by Sher Shah Suri sometime between 1538 to 1545 AD. The structure houses a mosque which has a double storeyed octagonal tower. It is said that the Mughal king Humayun fell from the tower and died. At the foot of the hill is a lake where the Delhi Tourism has arrangements for boating.

Jantar Mantar, Delhi : Within Connaught Place is the Jantar Mantar Observatory built by the Rajput King of Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh in 1724. It was believed to have been built with masonry instruments for observing the movements of the stars and planets.




Humayun's Tomb, Delhi : Taj Mahal is known to have been inspired by Humayun's Tomb, and in many ways this magnificent red and white building is as spectacular as the famous Taj Mahal in Agra. Tomb is memorial by a grieving wife and was built by his widow Haji Begum in 1565-66, nine years after his death.

The splendor of this grand monument becomes overpowering on entering through the lofty double storeyed gateway. It is set in the centre of a large square garden enclosed by high walls on three sides, while the river would have been the forth boundary. The Chahar Bagh is divided into smaller squares by pathways as in a typical Mughal garden. The fountains were worked with simple yet highly developed engineering skills quite common in India during that period.

Chandni Chowk, Delhi : It was the eyes and ears of the Mughal's commercial instincts and is today one of the country's best known wholesale markets for textiles, electronic goods and many other items. The entire area was designed by Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan'' favorite daughter and was then inhabited by the well-to-do families of the time. In today's time, this area is highly congested.



Safdarjang's Tomb : It is the last enclosed garden tomb in Delhi in the tradition of Humayun's Tomb though it is far less grand in scale. It was built in 1753-54 as the mausoleum of Safdarjang, the viceroy of the Awadh under the Mughal Emperor, Mohammed Shah. It has several smaller pavilions.


Parliament House, New Delhi : A marvelous piece of architecture which can be admired only from outside on account of security restrictions. Close to President's House, it is circular structure almost a kilometer in circumference, and was designed by the famed architect Luytens. It is the seat of Indian Parliament.

Rashtrapati Bhawan (President's House) : The official residence of the President of the country, the building was also designed by Luytens. It was the official residence of the Viceroy when the British ruled India. With 340 rooms and an area of about 330 acres. The Mughal Gardens within the complex are a treat for the eyes and are open to public during certain periods of the year.


Birla Mandir (Laxmi Narayan Temple), New Delhi : It was built by the industrialist Raja Baldev Birla in 1938. The temple is an important prayer centre and contains idols of several deities. Interestingly, Mahatma Gandhi, who inaugurated the temple, was also a regular visitor to it.

Akshardham Temple : Representing the Hindu mythology and the Indian culture, the Akshardham Temple stands on the banks of river Yamuna, covering an area of 100 acres. This modern-day wonder boasts 234 embellished pillars, 20,000 statues and a number of arches. The temple complex houses an IMAX theatre, exhibition halls and musical fountains. Surrounded by beautifully laid out garden, the temple attracts lakhs of tourists from far and wide. The temple is built in marble and red sandstone, symbolising devotion and eternal peace.


Red Fort : Built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648, the masterpiece of Red Fort has the distinction of being chosen as a site from where the prime minister of India addresses the nation on the Independence Day. Popular as Lal Quila, the grand and imposing fort is today a regular haunt of tourists from all parts of the world. The unparalleled architecture is testimony to the grandness of supremacy of Mughal empire in India. The complex houses Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, the Moti Masjid, the Shahi Burj etc. The fort stands as dignified and grandiose as it did centuries ago.

JAMA MASJID, DELHI : The country's largest mosque where thousands of Muslims offer prayers every day. It took over 14 to complete and was built in 1656. It lies opposed the Red Fort. The flight of stairs and its large courtyard are marvels of architecture. It has three gateways, four angle towers and two minarets standing 40 metres high and constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. Broad flights of steps lead up to the imposing gateways. The eastern gateway was originally only opened for the emperor, and is now only open on Fridays and Muslim festival days.

CREMATION SITES OF NATIONAL LEADERS : On the banks of the river Yamuna are the national shrines : Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi); Shanti van (Jawaharlal Nehru) Vijay Ghat(Lal Bahadur Shastri), Shakti Sthal(Indira Gandhi) and Vir Bhumi (Rajiv Gandhi)

QUTUB MINAR, DELHI : This magnificent structure in the southern part of the capital was built by the Muslim King, Qutab-ud-din Aibak in 1199 AD. A part of it which could not be finished was completed by another Muslim King, Iltutmish. In 1368, Feroz Shah Tughlaq rebuilt the top storeys and added a cupola. An earthquake brought the cupola down in 1803 and an Englishman replaced it with another in 1829 but was removed some years later. Minar(tower)is 72.5 metres high and tapers from 15 meter-diameter base to just 2.5 meter at the top. The tower has given distinct stories, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three stories are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone.

At the foot of the Qutab Minar stands the first mosque to be built in India, the Might of Islam Mosque. Qutab-ud-din began construction of the mosque in 1193, but it has number of additions and extensions during the years.

Iron Pillar : This seven meter high pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque and has been there since long before the mosque. A six line Sanskrit inscription indicates that it was initially erected outside a Vishnu temple, possibly in Bihar and was raised in memory of the Gupta King Chandragupta Vikramaditya, who ruled from 375 to 413. The pillar is made of a very exceptional pure iron. Scientists have never discovered how this iron has not rusted even after 2000 years.

TUGHLAQUABAD FORT, DELHI : The massively strong walls of Tughlaqabad, the third city of ancient Delhi, is situated in east of Qutab Minar. The walled city and fort with 13 gateways was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. The storey behind the construction of this massive fort is that the king took away workers who were engaged in constructing a shrine of Sufi Saint Nizam-ud-din. As a result the Sufi Saint cursed the King that his city will not be inhabited for long and only Gujars (shepherds) will shelter here. Truly, today is the situation.

NIZAMUDDIN, DELHI : Across the road from Humayun's Tomb is the shrine of the Muslim Sufi saint, Nizamud-din Chishti, who died in 1325 at 92. His shrine, with its large tank, is one of the several interesting tombs here. Other tomb in this area include the later grate of Jahanara, the daughter of Shah Jahan, who stayed with her father during his imprisonment by Aurangzeb in Agra's Red Fort, Amir Kusru, a renowned Urdu poet.

On Thursday around sunset time, the qawwali singers start performing after the evening prayers.

LODI GARDENS, DELHI : About three km to the west of Humayun's Tomb are the well kept gardens and in the gardens are the tombs of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers. Mohammed Shah's Tomb(1450) was a prototype for the later Mughal style tomb of Humayun's, a design which would eventually develop into the Taj Mahal. The other tomb include those of Mubarak Shah(1433), Ibrahim Lodi(1526) and Sikander Lodi (1517).

HAUS KHAS : Situated midway between Safdarjang and the Qutab Minar, this area was once the reservoir for the second city of Delhi. Siri, which lies slightly to the east. Interesting sights here include Feroz Shah's Tomb (1398) and the remains of an ancient college.

BAHAI TEMPLE : Lying to the east of Siri is this building shaped like a lotus flower. Built between 1980 and 1986, it is set amongst pools and gardens, and adherents of any faith are free to visit the temple and pray or meditate, according to own religion and faith.
 
Travel Tips
Delhi travel tips consist of all the advice that you should follow while on a trip to the capital city. Just like every coin, the city also has two sides, one positive and one negative. To tide over the minor negative side, you will need some dos and don'ts for Delhi travel. In the following lines, we have provided you with safety guidelines for Delhi, India?


You should get all your bookings like hotel, travel, etc done in advance, before coming to Delhi. Also, make sure to check that the bookings are confirmed and in order.
Try to visit Delhi during the period of Feb-March and Sept-Nov. At this time, the weather of Delhi is at its best. If you come in any other month, you will be facing either extremely hot or extremely cold weather.
Beware of touts and agents when you go out for shopping and exercise discretion. Except for the up-market areas and big showrooms, bargaining is prevalent everywhere. So, don't forget to bargain a little.
Keep your purses and wallets safely, especially while moving around in crowded places or inpublic transport.
The best person to consult in case you have got lost is the traffic policeman standing at the road intersections. You can also take advice from the PCR vans parked nearby.
It is advisable to be a little conversant in Hindi. Try to carry a phrase book or phrase list with you all the time.
The female travellers should dress according to the area they are visiting in Delhi. For Example, you can easily wear jeans and all in the South Delhi area. But, these things are a strict no-no in case of Old Delhi.
 
History
Delhi's history goes much further back in time than the 13th century. In 1955, excavations at the Purana Qila revealed that the site was inhabited 3000 years ago. Ware pottery known as Painted Gray Ware and dated to 1000 BC confirmed this as being yet another site associated with the epic Mahabharata. The excavations also cut through houses and streets of the Sultanate, Rajput, post-Gupta, Gupta, Saka-Kushan and Sunga periods, reaching down to the Mauryan era (300 BC), thus revealing almost continuous habitaion. The association of Emperor Ashoka (273-36 BC) with Delhi has come to light with the discovery of a Minor Rock Edict in the locality known as Srinivaspuri.

A clearer picture of the city emerges from the end of the 10th century, when the Tomar Rajputs established themselves in the in the Aravalli hills south of Delhi. The isolated, rocky outcrop facilitated the defence of the royal resort which the Rajputs called Dhilli or Dhillika. The core of the first of the seven cities was created by Anangpal Tomar who is said to have built Lal Kot, which is the first known regular defence work in Delhi. The Chauhan Rajputs later captured Delhi from the Tomars . Prithviraj III, also known as Rai Pithora, extended Lal Kot, adding massive ramparts and gates, and made Qila Rai Pithora the first city of Delhi.

Today, only the ramparts are visible near the Qutub Minar , though the city is known to have had several Hindu and Jain temples. Prithviraj was ruling Delhi when Muhammad of Ghur invaded India, and died fighting the invader at the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192. Ghur returned, but left as his viceroy, his slave Qutbuddin Aibak.
In 1206, Qutbuddin crowned himself as the Sultan of the Slave or Mamluk dynasty, and became the first Muslim ruler of Delhi. Qutbuddin, had however, commenced his architectural career even before he chose to become the sultan. The mosque was essential to the Islamic emphasis on congregational prayer, while the burial of the dead, as opposed to cremation, introduced the tomb to India.

The earliest of these Islamic structures are to be seen in the Qutub complex and the incorporation of many Hindu elements is due to the ready availability of building material and the use of local craftsmen. Qutbuddin raised the Quwwat-ul-Islam (might of Islam) mosque, which is the earliest extant mosque in India. Within its spacious courtyard he retained the 4th century Iron Pillar, probably the standard of an ancient Vishnu temple. The pillar has puzzled scientists, as its iron has not rusted in all these centuries.

In 1199, Qutbuddin raised the Qutub Minar either as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. From a base of 14.32 mtrs it tapers to 2.75 mtrs at a height of 72.5 mtrs. It is still the highest stone tower in India, one of the finest tower Islamic structures ever raised and Delhi's recognized landmark. It was completed by the Sultan's successor and son-in-low, Iltutmish. The tomb of Iltutmish, which he himself built in 1235, is nearby. Its interiors are profusely decorated with calligraphy, thought the dome has collapsed.

The Khalji rulers displaced the Slave dynasty in 1290, and when Alauddin Khali ordered renovations of the mosque in 1311, he also raised the impressive Alai Darwaza, the southern entrance to the mosque. It is the first example of a building employing wholly Islamic principles of construction, including the true arch. In 1303, Alauddin, established the second city of Delhi, called Siri, of which nothing remains but the embattlements. He also had dug a vast reservoir, Hauz Khas, to sypply water to his city.

Contemporary historians describe the Delhi of that time as being the "envy of Baghdad, the rival of Cairo and the equal of Constantinople". (for the sake of convenience, tourists visiting the Qutb complex could also see the Tomb of AdhamKhan and Zafar Mahal in Mehrauli, and the Tomb of Jamai-Kamali behind the Qutb Minar. These, however, belong to a later date.) The Khalhjis were replaced by the Tughlaq dynasty in 1321. of its eleven rulers, only the first three were interested in architecture and each of them established a new city.
 
Getting Around
Talking about the local transport in Delhi, Delhi has a wide range of options to choose from. If you want to cover a long distance in fewer prices then DTC bus is the first pick from the list. DTC offers a very good bus service. Then there are some private members also offering the bus service. There is blue line, white line buses that are run by private companies. The buses are available not only to commute inside the city but also connect to the neighbouring regions like Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad .
If you can chuck out a large amount of money from your pocket, then you can take auto or taxi for traveling. For very small distance you can easily get a rickshaw. The rickshaw pullers are in plenty in the city.

A recent addition to Delhi's public transport system is ?The Metro'. The waiting time for metro is hardly five minutes. The routes that the metro covers are CP to Dwarka and from Shahdara to Rithala. The timings of Metro train are from 6 A.M in the morning to 10 P.M in the night. Traveling by Metro train is cheap and best at one hand and quick and safe at the other.
 
Food & Resturants
Savour specialties of different states. The Makki Ki Roti and Sarson Ka Sag of Punjab; Momos from Sikkim; Chowmein from Mizoram; Dal - Bati Choorma from Rajasthan; Shrikhand, Pao-Bhaji and Puram Poli of Maharashtra; Macher Jhol from Bengal; Wazwan, the ceremonial Kashmiri feast; Idli, Dosa and Uttapam of South Indian and Sadya, the traditional feast of Kerala, all are available under one proof.

Visitors can eat in throwaway crockery made of leaves (dona) which obviate the necessity of a large washing area. Nutritious and hygienically prepared, the food is very popular with visitors and is reasonably priced too.

The best of continental food can be eaten at five - star hotels, for instance La Rochelle (The Oberoi), The Orient Express (Taj Palace) and Captains Cabin (Taj Man Singh), though numerous multi - cuisine restaurants also offers continental food. Keeping pace with the changing face of the city are the growing number of fast food outlets which serve all manner of cuisines.

A delightful outlet offering a range of Indian food are the food stalls ar Dilli Haat, here, the food of different states is made available at very moderate rates. Set in the mindset of a spacious crafts bazaar these cafes are a very pleasant place to enjoy food.

For the more intrepid, eateries such as those at Paranthe wali gali, or chaat at Bengali Market and Sunder Nagar, bhelpuri at Greater Kailash and sweetmeats from Annapoorna and Ghantewala can be part of the gastronomical tour of Delhi.

Delhi is also synonymous with the omnipresent tandoori chicken and tandoori roti, which, when freshly had from the tandoor, makes a delicious meal. This is often available at roadside dhabas at a moderate cost.
 
Tourist Information Centers
The staff at the Delhi tourist office are very helpful and have lots of free information: The Government of India Tourist Office 88 Janpath , Connaught Place. Tel:2332 0005, 23320008, 23320109, 23320266. Please note that there are various private 'tourist information' offices around Connaught Place openly claiming to be the official government tourist office. These offices are selling their own travel packages and have nothing to do with The Government of India. The local police can always be reached at 100 (much like the 911 in US) and in case of foreign tourists they do act swiftly!
 
Festivals
Delhi's festival calendar begins with the Republic Day parade on 26th January. It is the most colorful of the city's festivals events and also the biggest crowd-puller. Hundreds of thousands people line the route from Rajpath to the Red Fort to watch the pageant of solders, camel crops, armored regiments, brass bands, folk dancers, school children, war veterans and elaborate floats representing the cultural diversity of India. The two hour long parade is usually rounded off with a much-awaited spectacular fly - passed presented by Air Force squadrons. A special display of folk dances also takes place at the Talkatora Stadium. Three days later the Beating of the Retreat takes place at Vijay Chowk. Various bands of the armed forces set the pace for marching troops against the grand backdrop of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

In a much lighter vein, winter also witnesses the Vintage Car Rally when the 'grand old ladies', sprucedup for the occasion, make the long haul from Delhi to Sohna. Winter is also the time for the popular Balloon Mela, the Surajkund Crafts Mela on the outskirts of Delhi, and Delhi Tourism's Gardens Festivals. The latter is a visual feast, for Delhi a blaze with flowers in the month of February Delhi Tourism also organizes cultural performances during the Garden Festivals.



Holi, the festivals of colors, marks the onset of spring. In August, the festival Janamashtami, celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Ballets in the Kathak dance style depict the life of Lord Krishna.

In early October, a festival specific to Mehrauli, in Delhi, takes place. This the Phulwalon - Ki - Sair or the Flower sellers Procession, which originated in the 16th century. The highlight is a prossional of people carrying decorated floral fans, which are blessed at the shrine of the 13th -century Sufi saint, Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtyar Kaki and at the hindu temple of Jogmaya, both in Mehrauli. The procession ends with a formal ceremony at the Jahaz Mahal, a 16th - century pleasure resort by the side of a lake.

Also in October is Dussehra, commemorating the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king, Ravana. A month - long Ram Lila dance festival is organized by the Bhartiya Kala Kendra, depicting seens from the epic Ramayana, while on Dussehara evening itself, gigantic effigies of Ravana are set a fire. The biggest venue for this event is the Ram Lila ground, of Asaf Ali Road. Delhi Tourism organizes the popular Qutab Festival in October. Musicians and dancers performs at night by the city's 12th -century land mark, the Qutab Minar.

Diwali, the festivals of lights is preceded by several Diwali Melas, where food, handicrafts and a variety of earthern lamps and candles are sold. Large communities of Indians from different states reside in Delhi. As a result, regional festivals are also celebrated in the capital.
 
Shopping
Delhi is unique in that it has representative outlets for the handicrafts of each Indian state. This in it self presents a staggering array of goods, and at very affordable prices. In the last decade there has been a dramatic change in Delhi's markets. Upwardly mobile lifestyle has led to greater sophistication in display and upgrading of various markets in terms of availability of items.

Delhi has long been the most important trading centre in Northern India. Many of its localities, like Sheikh Sarai and Yusuf Sarai, derive their names from medieval market towns which serviced the bygone, shifted capital cities of Delhi. Today, all of these have become a part of the rapidly expanding metropolis. Instead of market towns, there are specific whole sale markets or"mandi's" scattered throughout the vast city, and their's is another story.

For visitors to Delhi, shopping is high on the list of "things to do". Tourists find a wide choice of items- such as carpets, silks, jewellery, leather and silver ware, handicrafts and handprinted cotton - that are synonymus with India. Each item is available in a range of prices, depending on the quality and the outlet.



Another interesting is that each market has its own, distinctive ambience and adds its own flavour to the experience of shopping. Haus Khas Village, Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk are worlds apart from one another, yet each of them reflects an aspect of this many - faceted city. In fact one of the fascinating ways of understanding a city is by wandering through its market places for it is here that contemporary culture is most visible to the outsider.

The exploration of Delhi's markets could be begin at Chandni Chowk. Despite the pressures of traffic and population, its historic land marks servive to tell the story of the last three centuries. Many of the shops here are more than 100 years, old and the mesh of lanes and bylanes is full of superises. Leading off Chandni Chowk are Dariba, the silver market, Khari Baoli, the spice market and Kinari Bazar for trimmings and tinsel. In some of these bazaars the item for sale are manufactured at site, which lands a special charm to the shopping experience well integrated into the culture of the old city, these bazaars offer the visitor a glimpse of life in Old Delhi.

There are some antique stores behind Jama Masjid, and more lining the entrance to the Red Fort, where the Meena Bazar once was. These offer items arranging from jewellery to painting and furniture, and cater almost entirely to tourists. Connaught Place, New Delhi's original shopping arcade was planned as part of the Imperial capital in 1911. On Baba Kharak Singh Marg, are the numerous government State Emporia. Which afford a glimpse of the handicrafts of each state. So does the recently- inaugurated new Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath. Across the road from "Cottage" as it is popularly known, are the inviting stalls along Janpath.

The Tibetans sell jewellery and ritual objects, while closer to Connaught Place are available embroideries from Gujarat and Rajasthan, readymade garments and bric- a - brac. When the wheather is good it is pleasant to amble down Janpath, where bargaining is the order of the day. Sundernagar Market is a fine place to shop for antiques and silver jewellery. The well - appointed stores keep a choice selection, especially of silver jewellery from Ladakh, semi- precious stones, some textiles and brass, copper and silver object d'art.

Not far from Sundernagar is the Crafts Museum Shop, attached to the museum in Pragati Maidan. Moving further south are the up market shopping centers of South Delhi- South Extension, Greater Kailash I and II, Green Park and Hauz Khas Village.

The haunt of the nouveau riche, these markets offer a combination of ethnic chic and designer lebels, Indian and international. Hauz Khas Village has set a very interesting trend as market. Over the countries, a village had developed around the medieval college and the tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq. A few years ago, an association called Dastakar - set up a showroom in the village. Now the village has a plethora of boutiques, galleries and restaurants which coexist with the buffalos, cow pats and men smokking hookahs on charpoys. Far from being a deterrant, the "rural" ambience is a positive attraction.

Other villages like Mehtauli, Khirkee and Lado Serai are fast following suit. Seeing the popularity of crafts bazaars held periodically in the capital, Delhi Tourism has set up a permanent outlet for craftspersons at Dilli Haat, where space and the availability of Indian cuisines make the visit a very pleasant experience. A more up market outlet for Indian handicrafts and antiques is the bazaar near the Qutub Minar.

The Santushi Shopping Arcade opposite the Ashoka Hotel has become another popular up market haunt. Developed by the Air Force Wives Association, it has a select number of boutiques where apparel, furnishings and accessories are available. A restaurant and patisserie add to the quiet charm of the place.
 
Excursions
Agra: Agra was once the capital of the Mughal empire and even today it seems to linger in the past . Not surprising , for the Mughal emperors with their passion for building, endowed the city with some of the finest structures in the world . It is very easy to slip away here through the centuries into the grandeur and intrigues of the Mughal court.


Jaipur: Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.


Bharatpur: The legends say that the place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur rulers, Laxman's name is engraved onthe state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Surajmal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city.


Mathura: widely known as birth place of lord Krishna is located on the western bank of river Yamuna at latitude 27degree 41 Minute N and 77Degree and 41 Minuet E. It is 145 Km south-east of Delhi and 58 Km north west of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh. For about 3000 Year it was the hub of culture and civilization.
 
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