Delhi – the capital of India and the second largest city in the country (after Mumbai) , is popular with tourists due to the abundance of attractions and the interweaving of different cultures. Delhi has not always been the capital of India, but as a city through which all roads pass, it has always played a major role. It was built on the plains near the ford across the Yamuna (Jamna) River , on the way between Western, Central and Southeast Asia.
It is believed to have been part of the legendary city of Indraprashta, which was located in the Mahabharata over 3,000 years ago, but there is evidence that the area was inhabited only 2,500 years ago.
Delhi has repeatedly become the target of conquerors from the northwest. Each of them very often destroyed the work of their predecessors, but the city remains a remarkable collection of monuments to the imperial history of India.
Based on recent archaeological finds, it can be assumed that the Jumna site may have been the home of the hero of the Mahabharata, Yudhishtir, who lived in 1000 BC. e. Rock inscriptions from the time of Emperor Ashoka indicate that Delhi was the main point on the trade route between the northwestern border and Bengal in the 3rd century BC.
The Rajputs of the Tomar clan made it their capital in 736 CE. e. and was named Dhillika (Dhillika) , and it was the center of the wars of the clan until the Muslims conquered it, and Qutb ud-Din Aibak established his sultanate here in 1206. Delhi was torn down to make way for new monuments, which then suffered from the devastating Timur’s raid in 1398. He loaded building materials on 90 elephants and took them out, and also took with him thousands of skilled masons and sculptors of Delhi to build his capital in Samarkand.
With the advent of the Mughals in 1526, the capital was alternately in Delhi and Agra, and each ruler asserted his tastes in architecture.
Under the rule of the British, Delhi was not of paramount importance. At that time, the ports of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras dominated, and only in 1911 Delhi once again became the proud capital of the empire. As vain as the Mughals, the new conquerors built New Delhi according to their own preferences in architecture, paying tribute to the past of India, but the general concept of the city was purely English.
Since independence, the capital has flourished. The flip side of the coin is chronic overcrowding, housing shortages, pollution, traffic congestion and a growing contrast between rich and poor.
Start at the southern end of the city, where the Qutb Minar is located , a symbol of Islam’s influence on India. The first Sultan of Delhi, Qutb ud-Din, began to build it, but construction was completed only in 1368. The 73-meter tower was erected in honor of the conquest of Delhi by the Sultans.
The tower consists of five tiers, each of which is a cylinder tapering upwards with sharp and rounded ribs. The tiers are separated from each other by balconies. The top of the tower is inaccessible, because a narrow staircase leads to it, which is dangerous to climb, so the best point for a panoramic view of the city is the top floor of one of the tallest modern hotels.
Next to the minaret Qutub Minar is the ruined mosque Quwwat al-Islam (Quwwat-ul-Islam-Masjid, which means “The Power of Islam”) . It was built by local Hindu artisans because Qutb did not have skilled Muslim workers. The material was taken from 27 Hindu and Jain temples destroyed by the artisans’ own elephants.
The mosque that you will see as a result is temple pillars stacked on top of each other. The sculptures were plastered over, but the Indian carvings remained. The Islamic architectural style is evident in the five arches with characteristic pointed peaks in the prayer hall, but even here the decorations are naturalistic and Indian in style.
The ruins of the mosque near the minaret
The ruins and the iron column in the distance
In the courtyard of the mosque there is a seven-meter Iron Pillar (Iron Pillar) , preserved from the 4th century BC. and brought here by the Rajput founders of Dillika, but no one knows from where. Even after 1600 years of standing under the monsoon rains, it did not rust. It is believed that this monument to Garuda, the bird that served the god Vishnu as a vehicle (vahana) , has special properties.
To the east of India Gate in New Delhi, a dilapidated 16th-century fort sits on an ancient embankment. Purana Qila (Old Fort) . It is now believed that on the spot where Purana Qila stands, there was the first ancient “city” of Delhi, called “Indraprastha” and founded by the Pandava dynasty from the “Mahabharata”.
The most ancient building of the Mughal period in Delhi is the mosque Qila-Kuhna Masjid (Qila-i-Kuhna-Masjid) with a carefully carved cornice of graceful pointed arches. This building illustrates an important transition from the Turkic-Afghan style to the refined Mughal style, which was influenced by Persian art. The mosque was built in 1541 by Sher Shah. Sher-Mandal , an octagonal tower south of the mosque, served as Sher Shah’s pleasure palace, but was destined to be the death site of his rival and successor, Humayun.
After Humayun’s death, his widow Haji Begum built a magnificent monument in Nizamuddin, Humayun’s tomb. Later, he inspired the architects in the construction of the Taj Mahal. The monument sits on a raised terrace at the center of walled lawns shaded by trees but without the water that once ran through the canals (“rivers of life”)., or rectangular ponds that adorned the Taj Mahal. Made of finely combined materials – red sandstone and beautiful white marble finished in gray, Humayun’s tomb has its own charm – a place of rest and serenity.
The majestic dome combines four octagonal chambers above the latticed arches of the terrace. This is the first typical masterpiece of Mughal architecture. The numerous six-pointed stars in the main arches are not Jewish Stars of David, but esoteric emblems that can be seen throughout the country.
Inside the red fort. Sofa-i-Am
Towering over old Delhi, the Red Fort (Lal Qila) was built by Shah Jahan when he moved the capital from Agra back to Delhi. Its construction was completed in 1648. Behind the ramparts of the fort is the citadel of Delhi, which is more of a palace, most of which is finished in white marble, and only a small part is in local red sandstone. It is believed that the same architect who built the Taj Mahal worked on his project.
South of the fort, look out for the monumental elephants at the Delhi Gate. As part of the original design, they were destroyed by Emperor Aurangzeb, who considered such images to be idolatry. Viceroy Lord Curzon in 1903 installed exact copies of these statues. Enter the fort from the west side through the Lahore Gate and you will find yourself in a vaulted market street, an idea borrowed by Shah Jahan from Baghdad. Imagine Rajput princes riding on elephants through the gallery to Naubat Khana (Drum House) , where the imperial band played and visitors were required to dismount.
Pass, accompanied by the ghosts of this nobility and commoners, through the Drum House to the Diwan-i-Am (Diwan-i-Am, Hall of Public Audience) . Here, under a canopy with 40 columns, the emperor, cross-legged, sat on his throne – “The Place of the Shadow of God.”
At noon, he, surrounded by the nobility, held a reception, and ordinary visitors were escorted to the courtyard on the floor below. Looking around the hall, you will surely admire the mosaic images of birds and flowers in the back of the hall.
Red Fort in Delhi
Only privileged persons could enter the Diwan-i-Khas (Diwan-i-Khas, the Hall of Private Audiences) , by tickets. It is located on the left, among the apartments of the palace on the Jumna River. The hall is still very beautiful, with carved ornaments on marble columns and pointed arches, and one can imagine how magnificent it was before the sack by Nadir Shah in 1739. His Persian troops cut gold from the columns and inlays from the ceiling, and then took fabulously beautiful Peacock Throne. Above the arches you will see the inscription:
Diwan-i-Khas Private Audience Hall
“If there is heaven on earth,
then it is here, it is here, it is here!”
The British inflicted even greater damage on the fort, recapturing it from the poorly organized defenders of Bahadur Shah at the end of the uprising in 1857. Whole wings of palaces with elegant carved walls were razed to the ground, and ugly brick barracks were built in their place. Only a few survived from the apartments, for example, the main harem, Rang Mahal (Rang Mahal, Beautiful Palace) .
The paintings on the walls have disappeared and the water of the Nahr-i-Bihisht (River of Paradise) no longer flows in the courtyard, but mirror mosaics continue to decorate the ceiling and walls of the six boudoirs, giving the impression of a starry sky when the candles are lit. The building, located at the southern end of the palace complex, Mumtaz Mahal , was part of the imperial harem, and now houses a small museum of Mughal art.
White marble mosque Moti Masjid
To the northwest of the Hall of Private Audience is the white marble Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) , another contribution to the fort made by Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan’s successor. Every evening, a sound and light show at the Red Fort tells her story. Details can be obtained from the Indian Tourism Office at 88 Janpath.
Chandni Chowk , the road from Lahore Gate, used to be a processional street. Today it is the main thoroughfare linking the bazaars of old Delhi, where they sell jewelry, clothes and traditional sweets.
Memorial Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat , a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, overlooks the Jumna River. In its spirit, it is far from the buildings of the Mughals, but is an integral part of old Delhi. On lawns lined with trees planted by state officials during their visit to the memorial, a square marble slab marks the site of Gandhi’s cremation.
There is an inscription on it – his last words: “Oh God.” Nearby is a sign on which his most famous saying is inscribed: “Remember the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have ever seen, and ask yourself if the step you intend to take will be the step of at least some help to him.” . There is also a museum displaying highlights from Gandhi’s life. To the north is Shanti Vana , where members of the Nehru clan were cremated.
Jama Masjid Mosque
On an exposed rock southwest of the Red Fort is another majestic building built during the reign of Shah Jahan, Jama Masjid (Jama Masjid, Great Friday, or Cathedral Mosque) . On hot days in the morning or late in the evening it is almost invisible, but at other times you will see three stairs leading to the arched entrances to the mosque.
The 100 m² courtyard is surrounded by long colonnades with a pavilion at each corner. The prayer hall is decorated in the imperial style, with two lotus-shaped lanterns on two pillars at the gate, with gracefully projecting balconies on the minarets and bands that emphasize the shape of the bulging marble domes.
For those nostalgic for the British Empire, please note: Clive Road was named Thiagaraja, Queen Victoria Road became Rajendra Prasad, and Curzon Road became Kasturba Gandhi Marg. Although the statues of English leaders have also disappeared, the British spirit is preserved in the layout of the city.
Previously, the quarters where the British lived were separated from the Indian quarters by the railway. Likewise, the new city built for the British government of India is separated from old Delhi by a railway line running from Amritsar to Agra. British neoclassical architecture is mixed with elements of the past – Buddhism, Hinduism and Mughal times, and the layout is imbued with imperial self-confidence. As a statesman who once visited India once said: “What magnificent ruins will come of this!”
The commercial hub of New Delhi is the circular gallery and bustling roundabout at Connaught Place . With its cinemas, banks, transport agencies, restaurants and craft shops, it seems to be the only place whose new name, Indira chowk (Indira’s market) , is not popular.
Jantar Mantar is located south of Connaught Square and is possibly the strangest monument in New Delhi. It is hard to believe that these bizarre shapes, stairs leading to nowhere, and windows in the walls without rooms were built in 1724 by a serious scientist, and not in the last century by some crazy architect. In fact, this is an astrological, or rather, astronomical, observatory of the Rajput king Jai Singh II of Jaipur.
Its central part is a right-angled triangle, the Samrat Yantra (main instrument) , with a dome that acts like a sundial with an accuracy of half a second. In addition to this structure, he built four more – in Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and in his native Jaipur.
Near Jantar Mantar, you can observe the joyful atmosphere that accompanies the popular Hindu rituals in Hanuman Mandir (Hanuman Mandir, the temple of the monkey god Hanuman) . Hanuman is a benevolent deity who was believed in before the reign of classical Hinduism. This explains why no one even thinks of offending the little langurs (thin-bodied monkeys) and macaques running around here.
Connaught Square is located on the northeast-southwest axis linking the Jama Masjid in old Delhi with the Parliament of India, Sansad Bhavan . Designed by the famous Herbert Baker, the oversized colonnaded rotunda that adorns the Houses of Parliament looks best at night.
The building of the Viceroy’s residence, now the President’s House, Rashtrapati Bhavan , has wings extending from the large gray-blue dome of the central building. The tranquil ponds and gardens with lawns on its territory emphasize the splendor of the heyday of England. The building is located on an artificial hill on the avenue where solemn processions take place, Rajpath , which is planted with park plants. On this avenue on Republic Day, January 26, parades take place. At the other end of the Raj Path is the India Gate , a triumphal arch-style war memorial designed by Edwin Lewtens that pays tribute to the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died in the First World War.
Presidential House in New Delhi
Next to the arch is a dome. Now it is empty, but it used to house a giant white marble statue of the English King George V, which was moved to the site of ceremonial receptions for the coronation in the northern part of the city.
Museums in Delhi
The National Museum on Janpath , south of Raj Path, houses an incomparable collection of antiques spanning 5,000 years of Indian history. The exhibits are collected from all over the subcontinent. Set aside at least three hours to pay homage to his treasures.
Fans of vintage railroads will enjoy the exhibition of vintage steam engines at the National Rail Museum , located in the open air next door to Chanakyapuri , southwest of Raj Path.
The Nehru Memorial Museum is dedicated to the independence and life of the first Prime Minister of India. It is located on Teen Murti Road in the house where the Commander-in-Chief of the British Indian Army lived before Nehru. (The planetarium is located there.)
Make sure you get a taxi or rickshaw driver to take you to the right hotel/shop as they often try to drop customers off at places where they are paid a commission.
Cycle rickshaws on the streets of Delhi
Refuse taxi drivers’ offers to take you to a hotel/shop of their choice.
Avoid chatty young people who hang out in crowded places and call themselves students who want to practice their English.
Don’t trust the helpful guys who direct you to the “travel agency” in Connaught Place . In India, there is only one government agency, and it is located at the address: st. Janpath , 88.
Carry loose change (about Rs 50) with you as drivers in Delhi often don’t have change.
Ignore barkers who intentionally stain your shoes and then offer to clean them for money.
Shopping in Delhi
Delhi is a fantastic place to shop, with everything from the souks filled with rip-offs to high-end jewelery boutiques. It has an excellent selection of handicrafts, fabrics, clothing, carpets, jewelry and a kaleidoscope of saris.
In Delhi, you can bargain everywhere, except for malls and other shops with fixed prices. Many taxi and rickshaw drivers deliberately lure you into shops where they are paid a commission and may refuse to take you to the best shops; so don’t listen to their arguments.
If you’re going to buy something from an art gallery (many of the exhibits are for sale) , check out First City and Time Out recommendations.
The bazaars of old Delhi are an attack on all the senses: a mixture of smells of flowers, urine, incense, tea, exhaust and roast. Markets are crowded on Mondays and Fridays and other afternoons. We advise you to come here at 11.30, when the shops are already open and there are not so many people yet.
For silver items (there is also gold) , go to Dariba Kalan near Sisganj Gurdwara . Nearby is Kinari Bazaar (literally “finishing bazaar”) , famous for its zari (gold-woven fabric) and zardozi (gold embroidery) ; this is the main place where dowries are bought. The Fabric Market offers fabric and linen in rolls, while electronic gadgets are a specialty of the Lajpat Rai/ Chrowri Bazaar market – a wholesale market for paper and postcards. Nearby is Nai Sarak, a wholesaler of stationery, books and saris.
Not far from the Fatehpuri Mosque is a crazy-smelling spice market with mountains of ground scarlet chili, fiery yellow turmeric, pickles, tea and nuts. This is a wholesale market and rarely sells packaged spices; after them go to Roopak in Karoi Bagh.
The Daryaganj Book Market north of Delhi Gateway is a bookworm paradise (on Sundays from noon) .
Dangers and irritants
Taxi drivers at Delhi International Airport often act as barkers. These rogues will try to convince you that your hotel is overcrowded, bad, dangerous, burned down or closed. Their task is to take you to that hotel where they will receive a commission. Some may kindly take him to a “travel agency”, where his colleague will allegedly call the hotel and confirm the taxi driver’s story, but in fact he will talk to his accomplice through the wall. Alternatively, the driver may say that he is lost and stop at a travel agency to get directions. And the agent, in turn, will kindly call the hotel and find out that your room has been booked twice and is already occupied, and with a great desire to “help” will direct you to another hotel, where he will receive a commission, and you will overpay for the room.
Tell annoying taxi drivers that you have already paid for the room and recently confirmed your arrival, or that relatives or friends are waiting for you. If this does not affect the taxi driver and he is too intrusive, ask to stop the car and write down its number. For peace of mind, it is advisable to contact your hotel a day in advance and confirm the reservation.
Be vigilant when choosing agencies, as tourists often complain that they were charged too much or poorly served. To avoid trouble, ask those who have already been to Delhi to recommend something to you, or take a list of agencies from the India Tourist office (Janpath, 88) . Before you pay for something, think twice. Choose agencies that are members of the Travel Agents Association of India or the Indian Association of Tour Operators.
Be especially careful when booking tours outside of Delhi. Judging by the reviews of tourists, very often they take money, and then it turns out that an additional fee is required. Given the number of dissatisfied, one can definitely come to the conclusion that it is better not to book tours from Kashmir to Delhi.
Barkers at train stations
Delhi train station
The most obnoxious – at the station in New Delhi. They may try to keep you from the second floor of the International Tourist Bureau and redirect you to a local (expensive and often dubious) agency. Remember that the office of the International Tourist Bureau has never been closed or moved. It is in its permanent place on the 1st floor, from the side of Paharganj.
Other scammers in Delhi say that your ticket needs to be checked (for a fee) or stamped before being used. Still others convince passengers waiting in line for additional tickets that it costs money to check the status of their reservation. Don’t believe.
Internet cafes in Delhi are springing up like mushrooms after the rain, and most of them are in the Khan market, in Paharganj and Connaught Place, and in most cases cost about 35 rupees an hour, 5 rupees for printing one page and 25 rupees for scanning/burning to CD. Places where there is wi-fi are marked with an icon.
Phone and mail
Mobile phone booth
In Delhi, there are telephone booths everywhere from where you can call city, long distance and international numbers. DHL (23737587; Mercantile Bldg, ground floor, Tolstoy Marg; 8.00-20.00 Mon-Sat) International air delivery available. Post Office Connaught Place (Sector A; 8.00-20.00 Mon-Sat) ; New Delhi General Post Office (23364111; Baba Kharak Singh Marg; 10.00-13.00 and 13.30-16.00 Mon-Sat) Poste restante mail can be collected at the General Post Office; check that mail is directed to GPO General Post Office, New Delhi – 110001.
Beware of unknown travel agencies and information centers. Don’t be fooled – there is only one official agency in Delhi, India Tourism Delhi. Barkers may say (incorrectly) that they are his employees – do not believe it.
To find out where local travel agencies are located, contact India Tourism Delhi or call the help desk on 197.
India Tourism Delhi (Government of India; 23320008/5; www.incredibleindia.org; Janpath, 88; 9.00-18.00 Mon-Fri, Sat to 14.00) Here you will be given travel advice and a free map of Delhi and its environs. Here is a list of recommended agencies and bed & breakfasts. A special department deals with complaints from tourists.
Delhi is a major international transport hub and the center of domestic bus, rail and air services. The work of the Delhi airport can be disrupted by fog in December and January (the flight schedule is often off); we do not recommend booking tickets “back to back” during this period.
International and domestic flights operate from Terminal 3. Call International Airport (124-3376000; www.newdelhiairport.in) for details . The new terminal 3 has 14 waiting rooms with wi-fi, TV, table and bed (315 rupees / hour) .
For basic information on domestic flights, look at the Air Services Schedule in India (Excels Timetable of Air Services Within India, 55 rupees) , available at any newsstand. Ask for the most direct route (fastest) when booking . Please note that prices fluctuate and some carriers may be noticeably cheaper when ordering online.
At Indira Gandhi Airport
Arrivals and departures of domestic flights Check-in for domestic flights starts one hour before.
Domestic airlines The Air India office (3 Safdarjung Airport; 9.30-17.30) is located in South Delhi. Call 1407 to confirm your departure time.
Other local airlines: Jagson Airlines (23721593; Vandana Bldg, 11 Tolstoy Marg) Kingfisher Airlines (23730238; 42 Sector N, Connaught Place) international arrivals The arrivals hall has a 24-hour currency exchange, ATM, taxi order and car rental, a desk with a tourist information, cafes and bookstores. departure of international flights At the check-in desk, do not forget to take a ticket to attach it to your luggage (required for security control).
Bikaner House (23383469; Pandara Rd) Near India Gate; good public bus system. These are the best buses going to Jaipur (Super Deluxe/Volvo 325/625, six hours, every hour), to Udaipur (750.15 hours, once a day) ; to Ajmer (400, nine hours, three times a day) and to Jodhpur (500, 11 hours, once a day) .
Delhi’s main bus station, Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT; 23860290; Kashmiri Gate; 24 hours) , is located north of the railway station in Old Delhi. There is a 24-hour luggage storage (14 rupees per bag) . This station is rather haphazard, so you need to arrive at least half an hour before departure.
In addition to public buses, there are comfortable private buses (including express buses) departing from major cities, but on a different schedule (ask the schedule at travel agencies or hotels) . Examples are the route from Delhi to Jammu (500 rupees, 15 hours) or to McLeod Ganj (650 rupees, 14 hours) . Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) also runs a bus to Dharamsala from Connaught Place. There are buses to Agra, but the train is much easier and faster.
It is easier for foreigners to order tickets at the International Tourist Bureau (23405156; 1st floor, New Delhi railway station; 8.00-20.00 Mon-Sat, until 14.00 Sun) . Don’t believe anyone, including porters, that any flight has been rescheduled or canceled and go straight to the second floor of the main building to order tickets.
At the time of booking, if you are paying in Rs, you may be asked to present a receipt confirming the currency exchange (or ATM receipt)so keep them with you just in case. You can pay for your ticket with travelers checks: in US dollars, euros or pounds sterling, Amex US dollars or euros or Barclays checks. Change is given in rupees. Don’t forget your passport. Arriving here, enter your passport details in the booking form, then wait to be informed about the availability of the necessary tickets. Then get in line at any other counter to pay for the ticket.
There are two main stations in Delhi: in Old and New Delhi, in Paharganj; check which station serves your destination (New Delhi Station is closer to Connaught Place) . If you are leaving Delhi Station, please allow more time as Old Delhi is often congested and traffic is very slow. There is also Nizamuddin Station, south of Sander Nagar, where various trains come and go (more often in southern directions) .
Porter service will cost 30 rupees per bag.
Moving around the city
The metro system has recently expanded greatly, stations have appeared outside the city, which greatly facilitates the road to places that were previously difficult to access due to traffic jams. Most attractions in Delhi are located near the metro. There are terrible crowds in local buses, so the metro, taxis and rickshaws are preferable. Carry change with you to pay.
To/from the airport
Many international flights arrive at terribly inconvenient times, so it’s worth booking your hotel in advance and letting you know your arrival time. Booking an airport transfer in advance will be more expensive (through a travel agency or hotel) than using a taxi due to parking fees at the airport parking lot (from Rs 140) and an entrance fee per person who enters the arrivals hall to meet you (80 rupees) . Sometimes the greeters are not allowed into the building for security reasons, and they all stand near gates 4-6.
Metro in Delhi
Delhi’s new high-speed metro is the best way to get to/from the airport; then, there is a metro line between New Delhi Railway Station and Dwarka Sector 21 via Shivali Stadium, Dhaula Kuan NH8 (Mahipalpur Station) and Indira Gandhi International Station (Terminal 3) . Trains run every 10 minutes from 5 am to 1 am.
Comfortable air-conditioned buses run to the airport every 40 minutes from the ISBT stop, Kashmir Gate, through the Red Fort, LNJP Hospital, New Delhi Station (Exit 2) , Connaught Place, Parliament Street and Ashoka Road (50 rupees) . There are several more routes – one of them through Saket and Vasant Kunj, the other through Hauz Khas and Vasant Vihar.
There is a Delhi Traffic Police Prepaid Taxi counter inside the arrivals terminal ; hotline 23010101; www.delhitrafficpolice.nic.in) . The service costs about 310 rupees to Connaught Place, plus 25% from 23.00 to 5.00.
You will be given a voucher with the specified point of arrival. The driver must know it. Do not lose the voucher until you reach the place – without this voucher he will not receive the money.
You can order a taxi in advance at the Megacabs counter in the arrivals terminal at international and local airports. A taxi to the center of Delhi costs 600 rupees, but you will arrive in a clean air-conditioned car, and here you can pay with a credit card.
Many operators offer cars with a driver. The companies listed below receive positive feedback from customers. There is a general distance and time limit per day – 80 km and 8 hours. All offer tours outside of Delhi (including Rajasthan) , but you will have to pay more. The prices shown here are for trips within Delhi. Beware of scammers who pretend to be employees of the company or claim that its office is no longer working.
Kumar Tourist Taxi Service (23415930; firstname.lastname@example.org; 14/1 Sector K, Connaught Place; A/C Rs 800/900 per day; 9am-9pm) Near York Hotel. A tiny office run by two brothers, Bittu and Titu. Their prices are among the lowest in Delhi.
Metropole Tourist Service (24310313; www.metrovista.co.in; 224 Defense Colony Flyover Market; car without air conditioning per day from 850 rupees; 7.00-19.00) .
Trishaw and bike
Parts of Old Delhi still operate wheel rickshaws, although Nandi Chowk has banned them to ease traffic congestion. Let’s hope that they are not banned in other areas, as this is a very convenient mode of transport, drivers deftly maneuver in the traffic jams of Old Delhi. Tips for such exhausting work are only welcome.
In Connaught Place and New Delhi, wheeled rickshaws are prohibited, but they can be driven from Connaught to Paharganj (about 30 rupees) .
The largest selection of new and used bikes can be found at Jhandewalan Cycle.
Delhi has a wonderful metro, the arrival / departure of trains is announced in two languages - Hindi and English. The two carriages are for women only – look for the pink badge on the platform. Trains can be crowded during peak hours (approximately 9.00-10.00 and 17.00-18.00) .
Tokens (8-30 rupees) are sold at metro stations; you can buy a one-day or three-day tourist pass (70/200 rupees) for unlimited trips over short distances; or a smart card (50 rupees, upon return you will be refunded its cost) , which can be replenished in the amount of 50 to 800 rupees – saving 10% compared to buying tokens.
For the latest updates (and diagrams) see www.delhimetrorail.com or call 23417910.
If you have a local phone, you can call a radio taxi: clean cars with air conditioning and an honest meter. The cost is 20 rupees per km. After calling the operator, you will receive a CMC with the number of the car, and in the next message – the time of the taxi (order 20-30 minutes in advance) . Can be ordered online.
- Easycabs (43434343; www.easycabs.com)
- Megacabs (41414141; www.megacabs.com)
- Quickcabs (45333333; www.quickcabs.in)
Taxis and auto rickshaws
All taxis and auto rickshaws in Delhi have a meter, but often it “does not work” or the driver refuses to turn it on in order to rip off more later. It is better to agree in advance with the taxi driver about the cost of the trip; if he refuses, find someone more accommodating. From 11 pm to 5 am, taxis and auto rickshaws charge 25% extra.
To avoid hassle, take a prepaid auto rickshaw here: Janpath (88 Janpath; 11.00-20.30) Near India Tourism Delhi office.