Planning Your Delhi Trip: A Travel Guide

It is possible to spend a month sightseeing in Delhi and still come away with the impression that a great deal remains to be seen. Any sensible itinerary must therefore prioritize unashamedly. In essence touristy sites of Delhi can be grouped into three main clusters: North, Central and South

North Delhi/ Old City

Delhi Gate: An important landmark in the city, only because it serves as the boundary between the old and new city.

Red Fort: Built by Emperor Shah Jahan, in 1638, this fortified citadel overlooking River Yamuna (on the far side of the fort) is protected by massive red stone battlements.

Inside you will find the Diwan-i-am, or hall of public audiences; Diwan-i-Khas, the place where the emperor granted private audiences; Rang Mahal, the water cooled apartment of the royal ladies and the white marble Pearl Mosque.

A dramatic one hour son et lumiere show of sound and light that makes 5,000 years of history came alive across the lawns of the Red Fort. There are two shows in Hindi and English held every evening after sundown.

Timings of Sound & Light Show

Hindi: Sept – Oct/ Feb- Apr 7 pm to 8 pm

Nov – Jan 6 pm to 7 pm

May – Aug 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm

English: Sept-Oct/ Feb-Apr 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm

Nov – Jan 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm

May – Aug 9 pm to 10 pm

Jama Masjid: This is the largest mosque in India and across the road from the Red Fort. Enshrined in one little corner of the mosque is what is believed to be a hair of the prophet. The narrow streets outside the mosque is lined with roadside food stalls. Though the food here is delicious, it’s recommended only for seasoned stomachs.

Chandni Chowk: Undoubtedly the city’s most celebrated market, Chandni Chowk lies opposite the main entrance of the Red Fort. Of special interest in the market are Fatehpuri Mosque and Dariba Kalan, the silversmith street. The best way to explore the narrow, crowded streets bursting brilliant colors and activity is in the backseat of a cycle rickshaw. Nail down a price (bargain is essential) before engaging the rickshaw. The market is closed on Sundays

Raj Nostalgia: The legacies of the Raj are further inside: St. James Church (Col. James Skinners gift to Delhi), Civil Lines, the scene of fierce fighting during the 1857 wars (or mutiny as the British called it) and thereafter the British Residential Quarters. Musical Fountain At Ajmal Khan Park: The Ajmal Khan Park, north west of Connaught Place, near the famous Karol Bagh market is the setting of a relaxing 2 hour performance of water fountains dancing to the rhythm of music.

The show starts immediately after sunset each day except Tuesdays.

Central Delhi

South west of Delhi Gate is Connaught Place, India Gate/ Parliament /Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Lodi and Safdarjang Tombs in that order. South east of Delhi Gate are the following sites (in the order listed): Ferozshah Kotla, Pragrati Maidan & Appu Ghar Theme Park, Purana Qila (Old Fort) & Zoo and Emperor Humayun Tomb just next Nizzamuddin Station (an important railhead on the mainline in South Delhi). West of Humayun Tomb are the Lodi Tombs and Safdarjang Tomb in that order.

Connaught Place: The circular complex is where you will find an underground market, plush shops, arcades and restaurants and the offices of corporate India.

India Gate/ Parliament/ Rashtrapati Bhavan: The political nerve centre of modern India, sprawled across spacious and ample lawns, has the best examples of Imperial architecture in the country. The central avenue, Rajpath leads down from the presidential estate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, past Parliament and the Secretariat (all three are not accessible to tourists and may be viewed from a distance) to India Gate, a memorial archway to the fallen soldiers of WW I under which the eternal flame burns. This is the route the Republic Day Parade (26 January) follows.

Jantar Mantar: An excellent example of a medieval observatory, the Jantar Mantar with its fascinating sundial is within striking distance of Connaught Place.

Ferozshah Kotla: The sprawling gardens that contain the ruins of this 14th century city lies just southeast of Delhi Gate which demarks Old Deli from New Delhi. At the center of the complex is the famous 14-meter highly polished sandstone Ashoka Pillar carrying the emperor’s message of peace to the world. The fact that the gardens serve as a semi-red-light area accounts for the fact that it is not a popular stop on the tourist circuit.

Pragrati Maidan: This sprawling complex, where each state has its own ethnic building, is a venue for a number of trade fairs.

Purana Qila (Old Fort) & Zoo: The ruins of the 16th century fort on the banks of the Yanuma river is the setting of the spectacular One can also cruise in a paddle boat on the Yamuna River as flows under these towering rampant walls. At the southern end of the fort is the Delhi Zoo which is one of the finest in the country. Take the zoo train if you don’t want to walk or are in a hurry.

Emperor Humayun Tomb: The final resting place of the second of the great Mughal emperors, was the architectural forerunner of the Taj Mahal

Lodi Tombs: The ancient domes of these silent monuments look down on the residents of the posh south Delhi colonies who come to walk and relax in the surrounding manicured gardens.

Safdarjang Tomb: The mid-18th century marbled domed tomb is the last of the famous Mughal monuments built in Delhi.

South Delhi

Qutub Minar: The 72.5 m (240 ft) tall monument in red sandstone is an architectural marvel of the 13th century. Visitors are no longer allowed up the tower Close by is the 5th century Ashoka Pillar. There is an interesting little myth attached to this iron pillar: if you can touch your hands while standing with your back to the pillar, then any wish you make will come true!

Baha’i Lotus Temple: This spectacular modern temple designed as a flowering lotus stands in the middle of beautiful gardens which are fiercely protected by security guards who delight in telling visitors to stay off the grass.


The of the city’s many museum the following are recommended

National Museum at Janpath, near India Gate,

Museum of Modern Art at Jaipur House, near Indian Gate,

Dolls Museum at Nehru House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg (south of Delhi Gate)

Railway Museum at Chanakyapuri (where most foreign embassies are located),

Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan.

Local Transport:

Delhi’s city buses look like packed Sardine cans during rush hours and are best avoided during these hours. Metered taxis and auto rickshaws are convenient options of moving around the city. Ola and Uber taxis have now become extremely popular in the city

Cycle Rickshaws are a convenient way of taking in the sight of the city (the old city in particular) if you have time on hand.

And then there are Metro Line which is more than just a means of getting round the sprawling city; it is an attraction in itself. It also boasts of the second underground Metro line in the country. It is cheap and convenient way to get around the city

Inter-State Transport:


The Delhi airport is an important international and domestic hub. Mostly all airline operators such as Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and kingfisher Airlines have flights carrying passengers in and out of New Delhi airport.


Delhi Railway Station (7 km north of the City’s Center) in Old Delhi is well connected with the northern and western parts of the country.

New Delhi Railway Station (1 km northwest of the City’s Center) is the hub for most Express and Long Distance Passenger Trains across the entire country.

Nizzamuddin Station  (8 km southeast of the City’s Center) is the hub for several Long Haul Express and Mail trains that cannot be accommodated at New Delhi Station.

Delhi Cantonment Station serves mainly west bound trains including the Palace on Wheels.


Interstate Bus Terminus is at Kashmiri Gate (2 km from the Delhi Railway Station) in Old Delhi. All major cities are connected with this Terminus. Buses operated by Delhi Transport Corporation, U.P Roadways, Rajasthan Roadways, Haryana Roadways and Punjab Roadways call in here. The Reservation Counters are located on the first floor of the Terminus.

Long Distance Taxis A/C and ordinary These are operated by Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), Delhi Tourism Development Corporation and approved Tour and Taxi Operators. Many travl operators as well as txi aggregator like Uber and Ola also offer one way taxi travel for outstation travel.

Janpath Road is a good place to check for deals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *