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New Delhi is the capital and seat of the Government of India. It is also a municipality and district in Delhi and serves as the seat of Government of Delhi.

The foundation stone of the city was laid by George V, Emperor of India during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by Viceroy and Governor-General of India Lord Irwin.

Although colloquially Delhi and New Delhi as names are used interchangeably to refer to the jurisdiction of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, these are two distinct entities, and the latter is a small part of the former.

New Delhi has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission.

Establishment

Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital of India during the British Raj until December 1911.

Delhi had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient India and the Delhi Sultanate, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire (as it was officially called) from Calcutta to Delhi. Unlike Calcutta, which was located on the eastern coast of India, Delhi was at the centre of northern India and the Government of British India felt that it would be logistically easier to administer India from the latter rather than the former.

The land for building the new city of Delhi was acquired under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

On 12 December 1911, during the Delhi Durbar, George V, then Emperor of India, along with Queen Mary, his Consort, made the announcement that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, while laying the foundation stone for the Viceroy's residence in the Coronation Park, Kingsway Camp. The foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911 at Kingsway Camp on 15 December 1911, during their imperial visit. Large parts of New Delhi were planned by Edwin Lutyens (Sir Edwin from 1918), who first visited Delhi in 1912, and Herbert Baker (Sir Herbert from 1926), both leading 20th-century British architects. The contract was given to Sobha Singh (later Sir Sobha Singh). Construction really began after World War I and was completed by 1931. The city that was later dubbed "Lutyens' Delhi" was inaugurated in ceremonies beginning on 10 February 1931 by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy. Lutyens designed the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial aspirations.

The 1931 series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows George V with the "Secretariat Building" and Dominion Columns.

Soon Lutyens started considering other places. Indeed, the Delhi Town Planning Committee, set up to plan the new imperial capital, with George Swinton as chairman and John A. Brodie and Lutyens as members, submitted reports for both North and South sites. However, it was rejected by the Viceroy when the cost of acquiring the necessary properties was found to be too high. The central axis of New Delhi, which today faces east at India Gate, was previously meant to be a north-south axis linking the Viceroy's House at one end with Paharganj at the other. During the project's early years, many tourists believed it was a gate from Earth to Heaven itself. Eventually, owing to space constraints and the presence of a large number of heritage sites in the North side, the committee settled on the South site. A site atop the Raisina Hill, formerly Raisina Village, a Meo village, was chosen for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, then known as the Viceroy's House. The reason for this choice was that the hill lay directly opposite the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha, the ancient region of Delhi. Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911–1912, where the Coronation Pillar stood, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Rajpath, also known as King's Way, stretched from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Secretariat building, the two blocks of which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan and houses ministries of the Government of India, and the Parliament House, both designed by Herbert Baker, are located at the Sansad Marg and run parallel to the Rajpath.

In the south, land up to Safdarjung's Tomb was acquired to create what is today known as Lutyens' Bungalow Zone. Before construction could begin on the rocky ridge of Raisina Hill, a circular railway line around the Council House (now Parliament House), called the Imperial Delhi Railway, was built to transport construction material and workers for the next twenty years. The last stumbling block was the Agra-Delhi railway line that cut right through the site earmarked for the hexagonal All-India War Memorial (India Gate) and Kingsway (Rajpath), which was a problem because the Old Delhi Railway Station served the entire city at that time. The line was shifted to run along the Yamuna river, and it began operating in 1924. The New Delhi Railway Station opened in 1926 with a single platform at Ajmeri Gate near Paharganj and was completed in time for the city's inauguration in 1931. As construction of the Viceroy's House (the present Rashtrapati Bhavan), Central Secretariat, Parliament House, and All-India War Memorial (India Gate) was winding down, the building of a shopping district and a new plaza, Connaught Place, began in 1929, and was completed by 1933. Named after Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught (1850–1942), it was designed by Robert Tor Russell, chief architect to the Public Works Department (PWD).

After the capital of India moved to Delhi, a temporary secretariat building was constructed in a few months in 1912 in North Delhi. Most of the government offices of the new capital moved here from the 'Old secretariat' in Old Delhi (the building now houses the Delhi Legislative Assembly), a decade before the new capital was inaugurated in 1931. Many employees were brought into the new capital from distant parts of India, including the Bengal Presidency and Madras Presidency. Subsequently housing for them was developed around Gole Market area in the 1920s. Built in the 1940s, to house government employees, with bungalows for senior officials in the nearby Lodhi Estate area, Lodhi colony near historic Lodhi Gardens, was the last residential areas built by the British Raj.

Post-independence

After India gained independence in 1947, a limited autonomy was conferred to New Delhi and was administered by a Chief Commissioner appointed by the Government of India. In 1956, Delhi was converted into a union territory and eventually the Chief Commissioner was replaced by a Lieutenant Governor. The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi. A system was introduced under which the elected Government was given wide powers, excluding law and order which remained with the Central Government. The actual enforcement of the legislation came in 1993.

The first major extension of New Delhi outside of Lutyens' Delhi came in the 1950s when the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) developed a large area of land southwest of Lutyens' Delhi to create the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, where land was allotted for embassies, chanceries, high commissions and residences of ambassadors, around wide central vista, Shanti Path.

Geography

With a total area of 42.7 km2 (16.5 sq mi), New Delhi forms a small part of the Delhi metropolitan area. Since the city is located on the Indo-Gangetic Plain, there is little difference in elevation across the city. New Delhi and surrounding areas were once a part of the Aravalli Range; all that is left of those mountains is the Delhi Ridge, which is also called the Lungs of Delhi. While New Delhi lies on the floodplains of the Yamuna River, it is essentially a landlocked city. East of the river is the urban area of Shahdara. New Delhi falls under the seismic zone-IV, making it vulnerable to earthquakes.

Seismology

New Delhi lies on several fault lines and thus experiences frequent earthquakes, most of them of mild intensity. There has, however, been a spike in the number of earthquakes in the last six years, most notable being a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in 2015 with its epicentre in Nepal, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake on 25 November 2007, a 4.2-magnitude earthquake on 7 September 2011, a 5.2-magnitude earthquake on 5 March 2012, and a swarm of twelve earthquakes, including four of magnitudes 2.5, 2.8, 3.1, and 3.3, on 12 November 2013.

Climate

The climate of New Delhi is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) with high variation between summer and winter in terms of both temperature and rainfall. The temperature varies from 46 °C (115 °F) in summers to around 0 °C (32 °F) in winters. The area's version of a humid subtropical climate is noticeably different from many other cities with this climate classification in that it features long and very hot summers, relatively dry and mild winters, a monsoonal period, and dust storms. Summers are long, extending from early April to October, with the monsoon season occurring in the middle of the summer. Winter starts in November and peaks in January. The annual mean temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F); monthly daily mean temperatures range from approximately 14 to 34 °C (57 to 93 °F). New Delhi's highest temperature ever recorded is 48.4 °C (119.1 °F) on June 28, 1883 while the lowest temperature ever recorded is -2.2 °C (28.0 °F) on January 11, 1967, both of which are recorded at Palam Airport. The average annual rainfall is 784 millimetres (30.9 in), most of which is during the monsoons in July and August.

Air quality

In recent Mercer's 2015 annual quality-of-living survey, New Delhi ranks at number 154 out of 230 cities due to bad air quality and pollution. The World Health Organization ranked New Delhi as the world's worst polluted city in 2014 among about 1,600 cities the organisation tracked around the world.

Dense smog at Connaught Place, New Delhi.

In an attempt to curb air pollution in New Delhi, which gets worst during the winter, a temporary alternate-day travel scheme for cars using the odd- and even-numbered license plates system was announced by Delhi government in December 2015. In addition, trucks will be allowed to enter India's capital only after 11 pm, two hours later than the existing restriction. The driving restriction scheme is planned to be implemented as a trial from 1 January 2016 for an initial period of 15 days. The restriction will be in force between 8 a.m. and 8 pm, and traffic will not be restricted on Sundays. Public transportation service will be increased during the restriction period.

On 16 December 2015, the Supreme Court of India mandated several restrictions on Delhi's transportation system to curb pollution. Among the measures, the court ordered to stop registrations of diesel cars and sport utility vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc and over until 31 March 2016. The court also ordered all taxis in the Delhi region to switch to compressed natural gas by 1 March 2016. Transportation vehicles that are more than 10 years old were banned from entering the capital.

Analysing real-time vehicle speed data from Uber Delhi revealed that during the odd-even programme, average speeds went up by a statistically significant 5.4 per cent (2.8 standard deviation from normal). This means vehicles have lesser idling time in traffic and vehicle engines would run closer to minimum fuel consumption."In bordering areas, PM 2.5 levels were recorded more than 400 (ug/m3) while in inner areas in Delhi, they were recorded between 150 and 210 on an average,"

Government

The Secretariat Building houses Ministries of Defence, Finance, Home Affairs and External Affairs. It also houses the Prime Minister's office.

The national capital of India, New Delhi is jointly administered by both the Central Government of India and the local Government of Delhi, it is also the capital of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

As of 2015, the government structure of the New Delhi Municipal Council includes a chairperson, three members of New Delhi's Legislative Assembly, two members nominated by the Chief Minister of the NCT of Delhi and five members nominated by the central government.

The head of state of Delhi is the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Delhi, appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Central government and the post is largely ceremonial, as the Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Delhi is the head of government and is vested with most of the executive powers. According to the Indian constitution, if a law passed by Delhi's legislative assembly is repugnant to any law passed by the Parliament of India, then the law enacted by the parliament will prevail over the law enacted by the assembly.

New Delhi is governed through a municipal government, known as the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Other urban areas of the metropolis of Delhi are administered by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). However, the entire metropolis of Delhi is commonly known as New Delhi in contrast to Old Delhi.

Urban structure

Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India and is the largest residence of any head of state in the world.

Much of New Delhi, planned by the leading 20th-century British architect Edwin Lutyens, was laid out to be the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial pretensions. New Delhi is structured around two central promenades called the Rajpath and the Janpath. The Rajpath, or King's Way, stretches from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate. The Janpath (Hindi: "Path of the People"), formerly Queen's Way, begins at Connaught Circus and cuts the Rajpath at right angles. 19 foreign embassies are located on the nearby Shantipath (Hindi: "Path of Peace"), making it the largest diplomatic enclave in India.

At the heart of the city is the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly known as Viceroy's House) which sits atop Raisina Hill. The Secretariat, which houses ministries of the Government of India, flanks out of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Parliament House, designed by Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the Rajpath. Connaught Place is a large, circular commercial area in New Delhi, modelled after the Royal Crescent in England. Twelve separate roads lead out of the outer ring of Connaught Place, one of them being the Janpath.

Transport

Indira Gandhi International Airport's new terminal. It is the busiest airport in South Asia. Shown here is the check-in counter at Terminal 3 of the airport.

Air

Indira Gandhi International Airport, situated to the southwest of Delhi, is the main gateway for the city's domestic and international civilian air traffic. In 2012–13, the airport was used by more than 35 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. Terminal 3, which cost ?96.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) to construct between 2007 and 2010, handles an additional 37 million passengers annually.

The Delhi Flying Club, established in 1928 with two de Havilland Moth aircraft named Delhi and Roshanara, was based at Safdarjung Airport which started operations in 1929, when it was the Delhi's only airport and the second in India. The airport functioned until 2001, however in January 2002 the government closed the airport for flying activities because of security concerns following the New York attacks in September 2001. Since then, the club only carries out aircraft maintenance courses, and is used for helicopter rides to Indira Gandhi International Airport for VIP including the president and the prime minister.

In 2010, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) was conferred the fourth best airport award in the world in the 15–25 million category, and Best Improved Airport in the Asia-Pacific Region by Airports Council International. The airport was rated as the Best airport in the world in the 25–40 million passengers category in 2015, by Airports Council International. Delhi Airport also bags two awards for The Best Airport in Central Asia/India and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia/India at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2015.

Road

New Delhi has one of India's largest bus transport systems. Buses are operated by the state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), which owns largest fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled buses in the world. Personal vehicles especially cars also form a major chunk of vehicles plying on New Delhi roads. New Delhi has the highest number of registered cars compared to any other metropolitan city in India. Taxis and Auto Rickshaws also ply on New Delhi roads in large numbers. New Delhi has one of the highest road density in India.

Important Roads in New Delhi

Some roads and expressways serve as important pillars of New Delhi's road infrastructure:

Inner Ring Road is one of the most important "state highways" in New Delhi. It is a 51 km long circular road, which connects important areas in New Delhi. Owing to more than 2 dozen grade-separators/flyovers, the road is almost signal-free.

Outer Ring Road is another major artery in New Delhi that links far-flung areas of Delhi.
The Delhi Noida Direct Flyway (DND Flyway) is an eight-laned access controlled tolled expressway which connects New Delhi and Delhi to Noida (an important satellite city of Uttar Pradesh). The acronym DND stands for "Delhi-Noida Direct".

'The Delhi Gurgaon Expressway is a 28 km (17 mi) expressway connecting New Delhi to Gurgaon, an important satellite city of Haryana.

The Delhi Faridabad Skyway is controlled tolled expressway which connects New Delhi to Faridabad, an important satellite city of Haryana.

National Highways passing through New Delhi

New Delhi is connected by road to the rest of India through National highways:

National Highway 2 (India) (NH 2), commonly referred as Delhi-Kolkata Road is a busy Indian National Highway that runs through the states of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
National Highway 8 (India) (NH 8), is a National Highway in India that connects the Indian capital city of New Delhi with the Indian Financial capital city of Mumbai.

National Highway 1 (India) or (NH 1) is a National Highway in Northern India that links the National capital New Delhi to the town of Attari in Punjab, India near the Indo-Pakistani border. NH ! follows a section of the historic two millennia old Grand Trunk Road that runs from Afghanistan, through Pakistan and India, to Bangladesh.

National Highway 10 (India) (NH 10) is a National Highway in northern India that originates at Delhi and ends at the town of Fazilka in Punjab, India near the Indo-Pakistani border.

National Highway 24 (India) (NH 24) is a National Highway in India that connects the National capital New Delhi to Uttar Pradesh state capital Lucknow running 438 kilometres in length.

Railway

New Delhi is a major junction in the Indian railway network and is the headquarters of the Northern Railway. The five main railway stations are New Delhi railway station, Old Delhi, Nizamuddin Railway Station, Anand Vihar Railway Terminal and Sarai Rohilla. The Delhi Metro, a mass rapid transit system built and operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), serves many parts of Delhi and the neighbouring cities Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad. As of August 2011, the metro consists of six operational lines with a total length of 189 km (117 mi) and 146 stations, and several other lines are under construction.[58] It carries millions of passengers every day. In addition to the Delhi Metro, a suburban railway, the Delhi Suburban Railway exists.

Metro

The Delhi Metro is a rapid transit system serving New Delhi, Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, and Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region of India. Delhi Metro is the world's 12th largest metro system in terms of length. Delhi Metro was India's first modern public transportation system, which had revolutionised travel by providing a fast, reliable, safe, and comfortable means of transport. Presently, the Delhi Metro network consists of 213 kilometres (132 miles) of track, with 160 stations along with six more stations of the Airport Express Link. The network has now crossed the boundaries of Delhi to reach NOIDA and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh,Gurgaon and faridabad in Haryana. All stations have escalators, elevators, and tactile tiles to guide the visually impaired from station entrances to trains. It has a combination of elevated, at-grade, and underground lines, and uses both broad gauge and standard gauge rolling stock. Four types of rolling stock are used: Mitsubishi-ROTEM Broad gauge, Bombardier MOVIA, Mitsubishi-ROTEM Standard gauge, and CAF Beasain Standard gauge.According to a study, Delhi Metro has helped in removing about 390,000 vehicles from the streets of Delhi.

Delhi Metro is being built and operated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), a state-owned company with equal equity participation from Government of India and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi. However, the organisation is under administrative control of Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. Besides construction and operation of Delhi metro, DMRC is also involved in the planning and implementation of metro rail, monorail and high-speed rail projects in India and providing consultancy services to other metro projects in the country as well as abroad. The Delhi Metro project was spearheaded by Padma Vibhushan E. Sreedharan, the managing director of DMRC and popularly known as the "Metro Man" of India. He famously resigned from DMRC, taking moral responsibility for a metro bridge collapse which took five lives. Sreedharan was awarded with the prestigious Legion of Honour by the French Government for his contribution to Delhi Metro.

Demographics

New Delhi has a population of 249,998. Hindi is the most widely spoken languages in New Delhi and the lingua franca of the city. English is primarily used as the formal language by business and government institutes. New Delhi has a literacy rate of 89.38% according to 2011 census, which is highest in Delhi.

Religion

The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and designed by British architect Henry Medd based on Italian architecture.

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib a Sikh gurdwara in New Delhi.

Hinduism is the religion of 79.8% of New Delhi's population. There are also communities of Muslims (12.9%), Sikhs (5.4%), Jains (1.1%) and Christians (0.9%) in Delhi.[62] Other religious groups (2.5%) include Parsis, Buddhists and Jews.

Others include Christians (0.9%) & Baha'is (0.1%)

Culture

New Delhi is a cosmopolitan city due to the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural presence of the vast Indian bureaucracy and political system. The city's capital status has amplified the importance of national events and holidays. National events such as Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi's birthday) are celebrated with great enthusiasm in New Delhi and the rest of India. On India's Independence Day (15 August) the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort. Most Delhiites celebrate the day by flying kites, which are considered a symbol of freedom. The Republic Day Parade is a large cultural and military parade showcasing India's cultural diversity and military might.

Religious festivals include Diwali (the festival of light), Maha Shivaratri, Teej, Durga Puja, Mahavir Jayanti, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Holi, Lohri, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Raksha Bandhan, Christmas and Chhath Puja . The Qutub Festival is a cultural event during which performances of musicians and dancers from all over India are showcased at night, with the Qutub Minar as the chosen backdrop of the event. Other events such as Kite Flying Festival, International Mango Festival and Vasant Panchami (the Spring Festival) are held every year in Delhi.

There are also a number of Iglesia ni Cristo members, most of them Filipinos and some Indians who are married to the members.

In 2007, the Japanese Buddhist organisation Nipponzan Myohoji decided to build a Peace Pagoda in the city containing Buddha relics. It was inaugurated by the current Dalai Lama.

Cityscape

Architecture

The New Delhi town plan, like its architecture, was chosen with one single chief consideration: to be a symbol of British power and supremacy. All other decisions were subordinate to this, and it was this framework that dictated the choice and application of symbology and influences from both Hindu and Islamic architecture.

It took about 20 years to build the city from 1911. Many elements of New Delhi architecture borrow from indigenous sources; however, they fit into a British Classical/Palladian tradition. The fact that there were any indigenous features in the design were due to the persistence and urging of both the Viceroy Lord Hardinge and historians like E.B. Havell.

Historic sites, museums and gardens

The National Museum in New Delhi is one of the largest museums in India.

New Delhi is home to several historic sites and museums. The National Museum which began with an exhibition of Indian art and artefacts at the Royal Academy in London in the winter of 1947–48 was later at the end was shown at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in 1949. Later it was to form a permanent National Museum. On 15 August 1949, the National Museum was formally inaugurated and currently has 200,000 works of art, both of Indian and foreign origin, covering over 5,000 years.

The India Gate built in 1931 was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It is the national monument of India commemorating the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Raj in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

The Rajpath which was built similar to the Champs-Élysées in Paris is the ceremonial boulevard for the Republic of India located in New Delhi. The annual Republic Day parade takes place here on 26 January.

The Rajghat, the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on 30 January 1948. Rajghat is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated on 31 January 1948 after his assassination and his ashes were buried and make it a final resting place beside the sanctity of the Yamuna River. The Raj Ghat in the shape of large square platform with black marble was designed by architect Vanu Bhuta.

Jantar Mantar located in Connaught Place was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. It consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. The primary purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets.

New Delhi is home to Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, National Museum of Natural History, National Rail Museum, National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, National Philatelic Museum, Nehru Planetarium, Shankar's International Dolls Museum. and Supreme Court of India Museum.

In the coming years, a new National War Memorial and Museum will be constructed in New Delhi for ?4,000 million (US$59 million).

New Delhi is particularly renowned for its beautifully landscaped gardens that can look quite stunning in spring. The largest of these include Buddha Jayanti Park and the historic Lodi Gardens. In addition, there are the gardens in the Presidential Estate, the gardens along the Rajpath and India Gate, the gardens along Shanti Path, the Rose Garden, Nehru Park and the Railway Garden in Chanakya Puri. Also of note is the garden adjacent to the Jangpura Metro Station near the Defence Colony Flyover, as are the roundabout and neighbourhood gardens throughout the city.

Places to Visit in Delhi

Delhi is a lot more than just a city of love. It is the absolute combination of tradition and modernity. A city with innumerable monuments on one hand and a world class airport and metro on the other. Street food, shopping malls, thrifty shopping places, religious places, theatre; you name it and Delhi has it! Here are the 25 must-see places in Delhi. Take down your notes and visit them all when you drop by!

1. LOTUS TEMPLE

The Lotus Temple or the Bahá’í House of Worship is an architectural masterpiece which will make you want to go ‘wow’ but wait, you can’t say that aloud! Well, when inside the temple, you have to maintain silence! There are no sermons or ritualistic activities practised, one can just sit in peace and pray to their respective gods.

Closest metro station- Nehru Place (Violet Line)

2. AKSHARDHAM

This is a must-see site and should be high on your priority list. Akshardham attracts 70% of all tourists who visit Delhi (not surprising at all!). Once you enter, I bet you wouldn’t want to leave. It has jaw-dropping architecture, a fascinating fountain show, an informative boat ride, a huge garden, a food court that offers scrumptious dishes and much more.

Closest metro station- Akshardham (Blue Line)

3. NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART (NGMA)

If you are an art enthusiast or just like to go ‘aww’ over fantastic brush strokes, you must pay a visit to this place. NGMA is one of the most serene public buildings in Delhi. Take a walk around this beautiful piece of architecture and you will not want to get back to the hustling roads of Delhi.

Closest metro station- Khan Market (Violet Line)

4. TUGHLAQABAD FORT

Tughlaqabad Fort was built by the founder of the Tughlaq Dynasty in 1321. It is spread across an area of 6.5 km and is near the well established residential-commercial area of Tughlaqabad.

Closest metro station- Tughlaqabad (Violet Line)

5. TOMB OF SAFDARJANG

This monument was described as the ‘last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture’. It was built in 1754 for statesman Safdarjung. The huge structure is surrounded by beautiful gardens of the Mughal charbagh style. You’ll be certainly surprised with the silent environment here even though it is right next to the busy Lodi Road.

Closest metro station- Jor bagh (Yellow line)

6. PURANA QILA AND NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK

When you visit Purana Qila, don’t forget to walk upto the National Zoological Park or Delhi Zoo.  It is spread over an area of 176-acre and is very (read veryyyy) crowded on weekends. If you like long walks this place is perfect for it. Walk around enjoying the funny activities of hippos and the hysterical laughs of the hyaenas. You can also rent a battery-operated vehicle at the zoo to take a tour.

Closest metro station- Pragati Maidan (Blue Line)

7. AGRASEN KI BAOLI

Baoli which means stepwell was constructed in order to preserve water in ancient times. What is special about this baoli is that it is situated right in the heart of the city, surrounded by tall buildings of Connaught Place. In the crowd you might spot poets and artists working their magic on paper thanks to the awesomeness of the location.

Closest metro station- Rajiv Chowk (Yellow Line)

8. GARDEN OF FIVE SENSES

This garden is a treat to the eyes. It has 25 sculptures and murals on display and walkways surrounded by flowering and fragrant shrubs and trees. There is also a food and shopping court in the garden where you can enjoy a good meal while a light breeze awakens your senses. The garden is spotted as one of the most romantic places in Delhi.

Closest metro station- Saket (Yellow Line)

9. HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE AND DEER PARK

Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri shout out some drunken dialogues in the Hauz Khas Fort in their movie Rockstar! The Fort overlooks a beautiful lake where you can feed adorable ducks and swans. To reach the lake, take a walk through the deer park and admire the spotted animals. While you are on the go you will come across boards which will guide you to perform fitness exercises, if you are the playful type I suggest you to follow them on the way, it makes the walk absolutely fun-tastic.

The ‘Village’ offers great restaurants, dive bars, clubs, and shopping boutiques. After you enjoy your calm moments at the fort you can head out to one of the popular bars and enjoy a good drink. Hauz Khas Village is for sure a mix of everything nice huh?

Closest metro station- Green Park (Yellow Line)

10. ISKCON TEMPLE

Your faith in God will reach new heights after you attend the ‘Arti’ at the ISKCON Temple.

Devotional songs play while you walk around the temple adorned with splendid portraits and idols of Lord Krishna. You will witness a calm environment with an inexplicable energy around you.

Closest metro station- Nehru Place (Violet Line)

11. NIZAMMUDIN DARGAH AND NIZAMMUDIN KI BAOLI

The Dargah is one of the most sacred mausoleums in India. If you are wondering what it exactly looks like, just picture the song ‘Kun Faya Kun’ from the movie Rockstar.

A secret tunnel was discovered by The Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which linked Nizammudin Dargah to Nizammudin Ki Baoli. The Baoli has a wooden base and a well which intact even after 800 years. The water of the Baoli is considered holy by pilgrims.

Closest metro station- JLN stadium (Violet Line)

12. LODHI GARDEN

Here’s a great place for morning walks and family picnics! Lodhi Garden is spread over an area of about 90 acres, it has 5 beautiful architectural works of 15th century- Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, Sikander Lodi’s Tomb, Sheesh Gumbad and Bara Gumbad. You can soak up some sun with your family over a game of charades and some yummy sandwiches.

Closest metro station(s) – Jor Bagh (Yellow Line)/ JLN Stadium (Violet Line)

13. PAHARGANJ

Paharganj is the hub for cheap shopping, cheap lodging and cheap hogging. If you love leather bags and footwear, this is the place for you. You can get an amazing leather satchel for as low as Rs 200! The market is well known for silver jewellery and thrift shops. The culture of this market is quite like that of hill stations like Kasaul and the fact that you’ll see quite a few foreigners at any time of the day, you might just forget that you’re in Delhi.

Closest metro station – New Delhi (Yellow Line)

14. SAROJINI MARKET

Delhi offers many places for inexpensive but quality shopping. Sarojini Nagar Market might just top that list. It is one of the most popular markets especially for clothes, footwear and accessories. One might simply describe it as a teengirl’s shopping paradise.

Closest metro station- INA

15. LAJPAT NAGAR MARKET

Set your budget and go crazy shopping for ethnic wear. You get great salvar kameez, sarees, kurtas and kolhapuri chappals in this market. Lajpat market momos are extremely popular so if you’re fond of street food, don’t miss them.

Closest metro station- Lajpat Nagar (Violet Line)

16. DILLI HAAT

This place is a walking tour of Indian culture. Shop for all the ethnic wear you wish, overload your bags with beautiful pieces of handicraft or just enjoy the weather while having a badam kulfi. There are food stalls dishing out scrumptious delicacies of different states of India. If you make an unplanned trip to Dilli Haat you might bump into a fancy exhibition or a dance/music performance.

Closest metro station – INA (Yellow line)

17. INDIA HABITAT CENTRE

This place gives you a little bit of everything. An open air complex with huge solar panels on the roof, art exhibits in the galleries, yummy foods from the street of India and a good old American breakfast of bacon and eggs. Ever since 2011, the Delhi Photo Festival is held here.

Closest metro station(s) – Jor Bagh (Yellow line)/ JLN stadium (Violet Line)

18. INDIA GATE

Everyone knows of the glorious India Gate! Round the year one can see people picnicking or just enjoying a nice walk around the area. There are beautiful fountains around to make the area nice and cozy. If you happen to come around the October-November period do sign up for the Airtel Half Marathon; an early morning run at Raj Path  is bound to stay etched in your memory.

Closest metro station- Central Secretariat (Yellow line)

19. QUTUB MINAR

Qutub Minar is the 2nd tallest minar in India. It has been declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site. At the foot of the tower stands a mosque which is the first mosque built in India. It has a 7 m iron pillar in the courtyard with a fascinating saying attached to it. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

Closest metro station- Qutub Minar (Yellow line)

20. RED FORT AND CHANDNI CHOWK

Adding to the list of majestic monuments in Delhi, there is Red Fort. It is also a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. It served as the residence for Mughal Emperors for nearly 200 years. The surviving structures of the fort are its walls and ramparts, the main gates, the audience halls and the imperial apartments.

Chandni Chowk, which leads up to the Red Fort is one of the oldest markets in Delhi. It houses many religious buildings like the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Jama Masjid, historical mansions, shops and eateries. Paranthe Wali Gali is one of the most famous eating areas in the market. The market is an amazing place to shop for fabrics, stationary (at Nai Sadak), hardware and silver and gold jewellery.

Closest metro station – Chandni Chowk (Yellow Line)

21. HUMAYUN’S TOMB

This is the third UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE on our list. It was built after the death of Humayun by his senior widow Bega Begum. It is the first garden tomb in the Indian Subcontinent. The tomb stands in the centre of a square garden called ‘Charbagh’ which has shallow water channels running through it. Several rulers of the Mughal Dynasty lie buried here.

Closest metro station- JLN stadium (Violet line)

22. RASHTRAPATI BHAWAN

The President’s residence is one place you better not miss. The mansion is open to tourists for visit on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Mughal Gardens with two channels and energetic fountains add to the beauty of the place. They are open to the public from February- March every year.

Closest metro station- Central Secretariat (Yellow Line)

23. CONNAUGHT PLACE, JANPATH AND MANDI HOUSE

Shop, eat, watch a movie or just laze in the Central Park; Connaught Place is the perfect location for all that. Have a milkshake in a glass bottle at Keventers or a coffee at Starbucks, pick up a sweet treat from Wengers or a burger from KFC; you have too many restaurants to choose from! Walk through the corridors of the market to find some low priced trinkets and novels. Shop for branded clothes, footwear and accessories all that in one big circular market. Get out of the inner circle to walk towards Janpath market to shop for trendy clothes, jewellery and showpieces at throwaway prices.

Just a stone’s throw away from CP is the cultural hub of Delhi. Mandi House has many auditoriums which host stage plays and other performances regularly. Catch a stage act at Kamani Auditorium or Sri Ram Centre of Performing Arts to get an idea of how much talent this city has to offer!

Closest metro station- Rajiv Chowk (Blue Line)

24. BANGLA SAHIB GURUDWARA

So you have shopped at Connaught Place and are headed home? Not just yet! Make a stop at the beautiful white marble Sikh Gurudwara. The melodious chanting of hymns will transport you to a different world all together. The ‘Sarovar’ which is a holy water body in the Gurudwara premises keeps it cool all year long. The ‘Kada Prasad’ is too yummy, just melts in your mouth.

Closest metro station(s) – Rajiv Chowk/Shivaji Stadium

25. RAJGHAT

This mausoleum is one without a tomb. It is the site of burial of our Father of the Nation. The location is beautifully kept with manicured lawns and red stone paths. Raj Ghat area also has memorials of other famous leaders like Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri etc.

Raj Ghat makes a good place for a refreshing walk with a dose of some history trivia.

Closest metro station- Indraprastha (Blue Line)