5 reasons to say ‘Chalo Delhi!’
“I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life.”
~ Mirza Ghalib
They say Delhi is made up of seven different Delhis. To experience this, you have to let her slowly unveil each of those seven secrets for you. Experience Delhi in all her seasons, in all her colours, in all her flavours, to know her in every form. Art, History, Gastronomy, Fashion, Literature, all that makes up for good living, just explodes in every corner of the city.
1. Art for the Heart
India is a world in itself when it comes to art. To discover all that it has to offer is not possible in a lifetime, but then there are wonders like the National Gallery of Modern Art, which make this pleasant problem easy to solve. The Mecca for the contemporary and traditional art lover, NGMA boasts of sculptures, paintings and installations from leading artists of the country. Amrita Shergil, Rabindranath Tagore, Tanjore and Mysore paintings, Kalighat paintings, all the rare artworks by Indian masters can be seen here. For the historical art lover, there is the National Museum with the alluring art forms from the Mauryan to the Mughal times. Delhi has it all.
2. Grand Hospitality
Experience the famed Delhi hospitality at any of the hotels in Delhi. From super-luxurious to budget conscious options, the warmth exuded by Delhi remains the same. From massages, marriages to masala fileld treats, Delhi’s hotels have it all. Laze out at the spa or cool down at the swimming pools of a Delhi hotel. Try out the ITC Maurya’s celebrated restaurant Bukhara or the Awadh at The Ashok to get a taste of everything delicious, from the Khyber pass to Lucknow. If you are staying in Delhi, then you better get ready to get pampered!
Image: The Chaitya Hall ceiling by night at the ITC Maurya Hotel
If you thought street food only belonged to Bangkok and Saigon, welcome to the highway of street food. Delhi’s mouth-watering treats from the ubiquitous Chaat to Chola-Kulcha to more than 100 types of Parathas at the Parathe-waali Galli, are bound to leave you wanting more. For the connoisseur in you, there is Karim’s which once served Lucknowi styled Biryanis and gravies in the Diwaan-e-Khaas of the Mughal Court and since 1911 has been catering to the Diwan-e-Aam or the more humble common man in Delhi. For the sweet-tooth, a honeyed treat awaits at Nathu’s Sweets, Ghantewala or Evergreen Sweets.
Have you heard of the Big Fat Indian Wedding? This is the hub of Indian weddings, and quite naturally the shopping capital too! Weavers, tailors, jewellers, dyers all flock to the city that buys it all. From upmarket shops in Khan Market to street shopping at the Delhi Haat, Delhi gives a bang for the buck. If you are lucky, you might chance upon a royal heirloom at the art and antiques shops in Sunder Nagar, or if you want to pass on an heirloom of your own, Delhi has the choicest Pashminas and Jewellery to offer. To take a break from your retail therapy session, you can always lounge at the Taj Vivanta’s Yellow Brick Road in Khan Market or walk over for a coffee and some gorgeous art books browsing at the CMYK Book Store on Lodhi Road.
5. Past Perfect
From Iran to England, everyone flew on the wings of desire to Delhi, to make it their own. A thousand wars waged in and around here, from the famed Mahabharat to the Revolt of 1857, but the city has withstood, absorbed and shaped into something new every time. The towering Qutub Minar, the Golden Pillar of Ashok, the awe-inspiring Red Fort or the tombs of Humayun and Babur do not stop following you as you travel through the wide roads or winding alleys of Delhi. At every crossroad is the story of none less than an emperor. Delhi’s past follows its present like a shadow, merged silently into its many Bazaars, streets and Gardens.
If there’s one place to indulge yourself in all the nine Rasas or nine moods in the Indian philosophy, then Delhi is the place to do it. You are welcomed here whether it’s a bag packing trip or a holiday with your family. Make Delhi your own!
Must-do things in Delhi:
Fill your soul with Qawwalis at the Nizamuddin Durgah
Take an early morning walk in Lutyen’s Delhi around the India Gate
Discover the artist in you at the CMYK store
Take a guided tour of the Red Fort
Find a friend with a membership of the India International Centre to hobnob with Delhi’s who’s who
Visit the Chor Bazaar near the Red Fort.
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