Delhi in all seasons for a long weekend

Trip description

3 days, time may seem short to see all the facets of the Indian capital. However, a long weekend stay can be an excellent way to discover Delhi for the first time and why not set the first milestones before coming back later.

Day 1: First overview of Delhi

Day 2: The great monuments of Delhi

Day 3: From Qutab Minar to Jor Bagh

Day 1 : First overview of Delhi

Day1 : First overview of Delhi ©Stéphan SZEREMETA

In the morning, you can visit Connaught Place and its surroundings. To dive directly into Hinduism, you can start with Laxmi Narayan Birla Mandir, on Mandir Marg, west of Connaught Place. This temple inaugurated in 1938 by Gandhi is an example of the classical architecture of the temples of northern India. You can continue to discover the religious communities present here by visiting Gurdwara Bangla Sahib on Ashoka Road. It is the largest Sikh temple in Delhi, built of white marble in the 18th century. Then, join Sansad Marg to visit Jantar Mantar, this astronomical observatory with strange trapezoidal constructions installed in the early 18th century by the Maharaja of Japur, Ja Singh II, himself passionate about astronomy and designer of an even more sophisticated observatory in his own city. By following Tolstoy Marg, a street perpendicular to Sansad Marg, on your left, you will reach the tree-lined avenue of Janpath, suitable for lunch. For good south Indian cuisine, go to the Saravana Bhavan, a canteen of the employees and local residents. You can also enjoy Thai specialities at the Spice Route, one of the Imperial Hotel's restaurants. The dish is as good as the setting is beautiful. As a digestion, go window-shopping at Central Cottage Industries Emporium where fixed prices for artisanal products will be a good reference for your future purchases! In the afternoon, you can either continue a cultural visit or dive into the popular atmosphere of the Pahar Ganj district for a shopping session. For the first option, start with the visit of the National Museum which, with nearly 200 000 art objects, traces 5 000 years of Indian history on three thematic levels. By leaving the museum, join the government district built by the English in 1931. If Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential residence, is closed to the public, you can stroll through the Mughal gardens at the back of the building. In this area, you can also see the North and South blocks and Sansad Bhavan, the Parliament. The shopping option takes you to Main Bazaar. This is the favourite district of low-budget tourists. You can make a plethora of purchases at low price. Shops offer crafts, clothing, incense, etc. Bargaining is the golden rule! After shopping, go to New Delhi railway station, located at the beginning of Main Bazar and witness the depature of a train: guaranteed show. Whatever the option for your afternoon, do the same as the local residents and join India Gate at dusk to settle on Raj Path lawns and watch this Indian triumphal arch light up. Then, take a rickshaw for dinner in one of Khan Market's restaurants. If you are not too tired, enjoy an Indian dance or classical music show at the Mandi House or the Purana Qila, in sound and light.

Day 2 : The great monuments of Delhi

Day2 : The great monuments of Delhi ©Alamer - Iconotec

To start your morning in the frenetic Old Delhi, first take some fresh air at the Shanti Vana Park, also called the Yamuna park. Located in the south-east of the red Fort, it is a magnificent park with a landscaped decor, and above all, the most recent pilgrimage site in Delhi. It houses the funeral monuments (samadhis) of the most important people in the Indian Republic starting with that of the Father of Independence, Mahatma Gandhi. Then, take a rickshaw to go to Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi's main Avenue, and ask the driver to stop at the entrance to Khari Baoli, the largest spice market in Asia. Then, visit the Fatehpuri mosque built in 1650 by one of the wives of the emperor Shah Jahan. If you feel hungry, you can, right next to the mosque, enjoy a parantha in a Dhaba of Paranthewali Gali, also known as the "parantha street" by the inhabitants! If you want something sweet, don't miss Ghantewala, the oldest pastry in Delhi, located on Chandni Chowk. Then, continue the visit of Old Delhi bazaars with Kinari Bazar, specialized in wedding accessories, and Dariba Khalan, the silver jewelry street. Don't forget to stop at Gulabsingh Johrimal, this boutique selling good quality essential oils and perfumes. Then, join Matya Mahal Road, near the south entrance to the Jama Masjid and enjoy a kburra kebab at Karim. In the afternoon, cover your shoulders and head to visit the Jama Masjid Mosque, India's largest mosque, built in 1644. With a capacity of 25 000 people, this mosque would still be the third largest mosque in the world after those in Mecca and Lahore. Don't forget that its entry is free even if you are told the opposite, badge (false) in support! To end the day, visit the red Fort (open from 9am to 6pm), another emblematic building in Delhi, which has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage since 2007. We recommend that you stay there at nightfall to see it lighting up: here too, it's magical! After this busy day, you will have a well deserved dinner at Chor Bizarre, the city's best Kashmiri restaurant, located south of the red Fort, in the Darya Ganj district (10 min by rickshaw). In its setting worthy of an Ali Baba cave, specialty buffet or tarami, a typical Kashmir dish, served in a conical-shaped container.

Day 3 : From Qutab Minar to Jor Bagh

Day3 : From Qutab Minar to Jor Bagh ©Stéphan SZEREMETA

You can spend your morning visiting the Qutab Minar complex. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the minaret of Qutab Minar is in Delhi what the Eiffel Tower is in Paris! Go to the metro station of the same name and take a rickshaw to arrive at the site entrance. The complex of Qutab Minar, which reflects the foundations of the Sultanate of Delhi, is a very pleasant walk among local tourists and art students coming to design the buildings. For lunch, you can then reach the metro to Hauz Khas Village, the bobo district of Delhi. The Gunpowder restaurant will offer you tasty cuisine, a well-chosen music and a direct view of Deer Park. In the afternoon, continue the visit by returning to the subway station Jor Bagh. You can first discover the tomb of Safdarjung, the last notable example of a garden tomb erected in the capital. Then, join Lodi Road and stroll through Lodi Garden, which is sort of the Central park in Delhi. By leaving this haven of peace, take a rickshaw to join Mathura Road and visit the tomb of Humayun, the most beautiful monument in the capital. Prototype of the Mughal tombs-gardens, this huge mausoleum in red sandstone and white marble inspired, among others, the Taj Mahal. It has been on the UNESCO World heritage list since 1993. Then, there are two options: either visit the popular and Sufi district of Nizamuddin (especially on Thursday to listen to Sufi songs in the dargah of the saint) and dine in the district close to Sunder Nagar, or take a rickshaw to combine shopping and dinner at M Block Market, in Greater Kailash I, in the south of the city. Don't miss the butter chicken, speciality of the Indian restaurant Mothi Mahal Deluxe. If you are having an overdose of Indian cuisine, you can dine at the Mocha Café. Located in a in a very cosy setting, the hotel will receive you to enjoy a more cosmopolitan dish as well as a succulent and high calorie dessert! For your last night in Delhi, you can extend the evening in a trendy bar or in a nightclub of N Market or Chanakyapuri district.

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