Top 5 Things To Do In Delhi

Delhi has been the seat of the ruling party in India for almost a thousand years, ever since the beginning of the Delhi Sultanate. Although it is still the hub of political and financial power in India, Delhi has now expanded into to a vast cosmopolitan city with history and culture in its every nook and corner.

1. Lights And Sound Shows

Light And Sound Show at Redfort

Light And Sound Show at Redfort – Photo by Abhinavmnnit, CC BY-SA 3.0

Some of the city’s oldest and most revered monuments such as the Red Fort, the Purana Quila and Akshardham Temple have found ways to showcase the history and significance behind them. These light and sound are not only an unforgettable treat to the senses but also informative, and thus leave one feeling vastly enriched.

The Purana Quila show is famous for its high tech features since it is relatively new. It is featured every evening and showcases the entire history of Delhi, right from its establishment by Prithviraj Chauhan and also the connection of Delhi with Indraprastha, the kingdom of the Pandavas. The Red Fort show, the oldest light and sound show in India, is hosted every evening and showcases the extensive history of the Fort, of Delhi and of the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire. The Akshardham temple show is unique in that it has incorporated a water show with lights and sounds. This show tells us of stories and lessons from the Kena Upanishad.

2. Early Morning Tours

For those who like to rise with the sun and enjoy the peaceful hours of dawn, Delhi is the perfect city. Long stretches of smooth roads, especially in Central Delhi, makes for an excellent drive through the calm, dew laden air. While various historical structures are best visited at this time, when tourists are fewer, the weather is cooler and the natural lighting is such that it brings out the beauty in everything. Many locals have especially discovered the pleasure of going to Humayun’s Tomb at this time. The sprawling red structure, which houses the tombs of many generations of Mughal rulers, takes on a surreal glow during the hours of dawn and can be explored thoroughly at one’s own pace.

3. Shopping At Paharganj Market

Paharganj Market

Paharganj Market Photo by Em_G, CC BY 2.0

Located in the centre of Delhi, beside the New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj is one of the five original markets in Delhi, which grew as the Mughal Sultanate grew in population and established a flourishing city. It contains various historical sites like the Qadam sharif Dargah, built in the 14th century. Today, this area has expanded into a city in itself with shops, hotels and other facilities.

Strolling through Paharganj is like a walk back in the 60s. Clothes, jewellery, posters and other artefacts from the rock and roll and hippie culture are available at reasonable prices. A true melting pot of cultures, one gets a chance to meet people from different nationalities, who have flocked to Delhi.

4. Nightlife

Connaught Place At Night

Connaught Place At Night – Photo by Budhesh, CC BY-SA 3.0

The most wonderful about Delhi, many claim, is that one can actually delve in history, art and nature and still have plenty of options everywhere to party and celebrate in the evenings. South Delhi, the urban, cosmopolitan part of Delhi is famous for this. Certain marketplaces have become hubs of nightlife, where college students and young working professionals throng by the hundreds, even on weekdays, to relax, have a few drinks and enjoy the music and each other’s company. Of these places, the most prominent ones are Hauz Khas Village, Khan Market, Connaught Place, Defence Colony Market and Greater Kailash Market.

5. Expeditions On Foot

Lodi Garden

Lodi Garden – Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel, CC BY 2.0

During the Commonwealth Games, Delhi was turned into a clean, green city, with emphasis laid on the number of parks etc. to be built. As such, it today stands as a city with a large number of well-maintained parks, where every park is a vast expanse of peace. Of these the most famous one is the Lodi Garden. Walk, jog or cycle through this 90-acre wide park, and enjoy the beauty of the sprawling gardens, ponds and occasional historic monument, as well as the company of fellow walkers and joggers.

Delhi is a cosmopolitan city that has not only preserved, but enhanced its natural as well as historic and cultural beauty. It is city to be lived in, explored and experienced over at least a few days’ time.