Delhi is a city that is alive for 24 hours a day. You can see well-dressed groups eating early morning noodles after the nightclubs close their doors, while market traders are just setting up for the day and orange-robed monks make their daily alms rounds. From Thailand’s most revered temples and shrines to fantastic shopping and party hot spots, Delhi is what you want it to be. Take some time to indulge every face of Delhi to try and make sense of this gnarly yet charming city.
Nightlife is one of Delhi's specialties and the city really comes alive after dark. The options span a wide range of tastes, styles and budgets. Dance parties, rooftop bars, chilled-out lounges with live music, cultural shows, street shopping and an electrifying gay scene all sum up the gist of what’s available. Explore Delhi by night and get a taste of what it’s all about.
Shopping in Delhi is an experience everyone should try. The sheer variety of shopping options is enough to make your head spin. The city is rightfully famed for its collection of markets, but there’s a growing number of air-conditioned megamalls and ancient retail enclaves, so whatever you’re looking for you have a good chance of finding it in Delhi.
Hop on the BTS Skytrain to Siam for the city’s best collection of shopping malls or find antiques and handicrafts shops in Delhi Old Town. For great bargains, try Chinatown, around Sampeng Lane, as well as Pahurat Textile Market. Pratunam Market is also great for ready-to-wear clothing.
Thai food is bold and flavoursome, but the best restaurants and food stalls also understand the importance of balance and subtly. From the first-timers favourite of pad Thai to more complex flavours of curries and salads found in Delhi, we encourage everyone to trust your eyes and nose and jump into Thai cuisine whenever the opportunity presents itself. Savour seafood at a local restaurant perched over the river, enjoy exquisite food from a swish hotel restaurant overlooking the city, or grab a quick snack in a shopping mall food court.
Delhi, is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.
The city's importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures. No wonder chroniclers of Delhi culture - from Chand Bardai and Amir Khusro to present days writers - have never been at a loss for topics. In Delhi, you will discover that the city is sprinkled with dazzling gems: captivating ancient monuments, fascinating museums and art galleries, architectural wonders, a vivacious performing-arts scene, fabulous eating places and bustling markets.
Delhi features a dry-winter humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) bordering a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh). The warm season lasts from 21 March to 15 June with an average daily high temperature above 39 °C (102 °F). The hottest day of the year is 22 May, with an average high of 40 °C (104 °F) and low of 28 °C (82 °F). The cold season lasts from 26 November to 9 February with an average daily high temperature below 20 °C (68 °F). The coldest day of the year is 4 January, with an average low of 2 °C (36 °F) and high of 14 °C (57 °F). In early March, the wind direction changes from north-westerly to south-westerly. From April to October the weather is hot. The monsoon arrives at the end of June, along with an increase in humidity. The brief, mild winter starts in late November, peaks in January and heavy fog often occurs.
Temperatures in Delhi usually range from 2 to 47 °C (35.6 to 116.6 °F), with the lowest and highest temperatures ever recorded being −2.2 and 48.4 °C (28.0 and 119.1 °F), respectively. The annual mean temperature is 25 °C (77 °F); monthly mean temperatures range from 13 to 32 °C (55 to 90 °F). The highest temperature recorded in July was 45 °C (113 °F) in 1931. The average annual rainfall is approximately 886 mm (34.9 in), most of which falls during the monsoon in July and August The average date of the advent of monsoon winds in Delhi is 29 June.
According to Euromonitor International, Delhi ranked as 28th-most visited city in the world and first in India by foreign visitors in 2015. There are numerous tourist attractions in Delhi, both historic and modern. The three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Delhi, Qutb Complex, Red Fort and Humayun's Tomb are among the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. Another prominent landmark of Delhi is India Gate, a 1931 built war memorial to soldiers of British Indian Army who died during First World War. Delhi has several famous places of worship of various religions. One of the largest Hindu temple complexes in the world, Akshardham is a major tourist attraction in the city. Other famous religious sites include Lal Mandir, Laxminarayan Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Lotus Temple, Jama Masjid and ISKCON Temple.
Delhi is also a hub for shopping of all kinds. Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Nagar, Khan Market and Dilli Haat are some of the major retail markets in Delhi. Major shopping malls include Select Citywalk, Pacific Mall, DLF Promenade, DLF Emporio, Metro Walk and Ansal Plaza.
Delhi's culture has been influenced by its lengthy history and historic association as the capital of India, Although a strong Punjabi Influence can be seen in language, Dress and Cuisine brought by the large number of refugees who came following the partition in 1947 the recent migration from other parts of India has made it a melting pot. This is exemplified by many significant monuments in the city. Delhi is also identified as the location of Indraprastha, the ancient capital of the Pandavas. The Archaeological Survey of India recognises 1,200 heritage buildings and 175 monuments as national heritage sites.
In the Old City, the Mughals and the Turkic rulers constructed several architecturally significant buildings, such as the Jama Masjid—India's largest mosque built in 1656 and the Red Fort. Three World Heritage Sites—the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb—are located in Delhi. Other monuments include the India Gate, the Jantar Mantar—an 18th-century astronomical observatory—and the Purana Qila—a 16th-century fortress. The Laxminarayan Temple, Akshardham temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the Bahá'í Lotus Temple and the ISKCON temple are examples of modern architecture. Raj Ghat and associated memorials houses memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and other notable personalities. New Delhi houses several government buildings and official residences reminiscent of British colonial architecture, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Secretariat, Rajpath, the Parliament of India and Vijay Chowk. Safdarjung's Tomb is an example of the Mughal gardens style. Some regal havelis (palatial residences) are in the Old City.
Lotus Temple is a Bahá'í House of Worship completed in 1986. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and has become a prominent attraction in the city. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. Like all other Bahá'í Houses of Worship, is open to all regardless of religion, or any other distinction, as emphasised in Bahá'í texts. The Bahá'í laws emphasise that the spirit of the House of Worship be that it is a gathering place where people of all religions may worship God without denominational restrictions. The Bahá'í laws also stipulate that only the holy scriptures of the Bahá'í Faith and other religions can be read or chanted inside in any language; while readings and prayers can be set to music by choirs, no musical instruments can be played inside. Furthermore, no sermons can be delivered, and there can be no ritualistic ceremonies practised.
The National Museum and National Gallery of Modern Art are some of the largest museums in the country. Other museums in Delhi include the National Museum of Natural History, National Rail Museum and National Philatelic Museum.
Chandni Chowk, a 17th-century market, is one of the most popular shopping areas in Delhi for jewellery and Zari saris. Delhi's arts and crafts include, Zardozi an embroidery done with gold thread and Meenakari the art of enamelling.
Delhi's association and geographic proximity to the capital, New Delhi, has amplified the importance of national events and holidays like Republic Day, Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti. On Independence Day, the Prime Minister 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 strength. Over the centuries, Delhi has become known for its composite culture, and a festival that symbolises this is the Phool Walon Ki Sair, which takes place in September. Flowers and pankhe—fans embroidered with flowers—are offered to the shrine of the 13th-century Sufi saint Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki and the Yogmaya Temple, both situated in Mehrauli.
Religious festivals include Diwali (the festival of lights), Mahavir Jayanti, Guru Nanak's Birthday, Raksha Bandhan, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Chauth, Krishna Janmastami, Maha Shivratri, Eid ul-Fitr, Moharram and Buddha Jayanti. 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 a backdrop. Other events such as Kite Flying Festival, International Mango Festival and Vasant Panchami (the Spring Festival) are held every year in Delhi. The Auto Expo, Asia's largest auto show, is held in Delhi biennially. The New Delhi World Book Fair, held biennially at the Pragati Maidan, is the second-largest exhibition of books in the world. Delhi is often regarded as the "Book Capital" of India because of high readership. India International Trade Fair (IITF), organised by ITPO is the biggest cultural and shopping fair of Delhi which takes place in November each year and is visited by more than 1.5 million people.
Delhi has the highest road density of 2103 km/100 km2 in India. It is connected to other parts of India by five National Highways: NH 1, NH 2, NH 8, NH 10 and NH 24. The city's road network is maintained by MCD, NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board, Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Development Authority.
Buses are the most popular means of road transport catering to about 60% of Delhi's total demand. Delhi has one of India's largest bus transport systems. In 1998, the Supreme Court of India ruled that all public transport vehicles in Delhi must be fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG) to tackle increasing vehicular pollution. The state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is a major bus service provider which operates the world's largest fleet of CNG-fuelled buses. In addition, cluster scheme buses are operated by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) with the participation of private concessionaires and DTC. In December 2017, the DTC and cluster buses carried over 4.19 million passengers per day. Kashmiri Gate ISBT, Anand Vihar ISBT and Sarai Kale Khan ISBT are the main bus terminals for outstation buses plying to neighbouring states. Delhi's rapid rate of economic development and population growth has resulted in an increasing demand for transport, creating excessive pressure on the city's transport infrastructure. To meet the transport demand, the State and Union government constructed a mass rapid transit system, including the Delhi Metro. Delhi Bus Rapid Transit System runs between Ambedkar Nagar and Delhi Gate.
Personal vehicles especially cars also form a major chunk of vehicles plying on Delhi roads. As of 2007, private vehicles account for 30% of the total demand for transport. Delhi has the highest number of registered cars compared to any other metropolitan city in India. Taxis, auto rickshaws, and cycle rickshaws also ply on Delhi roads in large numbers. As of 2008, the number of vehicles in the metropolitan region, Delhi NCR, was 11.2 million (11.2 million). In 2008, there were 85 cars in Delhi for every 1,000 of its residents. In 2017, the number of vehicles in Delhi city alone crossed the ten million mark with the transport department of Delhi Government putting the total number of registered vehicles at 10,567,712 until 25 May of the year.
Delhi is a major junction in the Indian railway network and is the headquarters of the Northern Railway. The main railway stations are New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar, Delhi Sarai Rohilla and Delhi Cant. 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 Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida. As of August 2018, the metro consists of eight operational lines with a total length of 296 km (184 mi) and 214 stations, and several other lines are under construction. The Phase-I was built at a cost of US$2.3 billion and the Phase-II was expected to cost an additional ₹216 billion (US$3.0 billion). Phase-II has a total length of 128 km and was completed by 2010. Delhi Metro completed 10 years of operation on 25 December 2012. It carries millions of passengers every day. In addition to the Delhi Metro, a suburban railway, the Delhi Suburban Railway exists.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, situated to the south-west of Delhi, is the main gateway for the city's domestic and international civilian air traffic. In 2015–16, the airport handled more than 48 million passengers, making it the busiest airport in India and 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. In 2010, IGIA was conferred the 4th best airport award in the world in the 15–25 million category, 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 was awarded The Best Airport in Central Asia and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2015.
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.
Hindon Domestic Airport in Ghaziabad was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the second airport for the Delhi-NCR Region on 8 March 2019.
A second international airport open for commercial flights has been suggested either by expansion of Meerut Airport or construction of a new airport in Greater Noida. The Taj International Airport project in Jewar has been approved by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Located in the western corner of Delhi, Indira Gandhi International Airport connects various national as well as international destinations like flights from Bangalore to Delhi flight, Pune to Delhi, Chennai to Delhi, New York to Delhi, Dubai to Delhi and more.. It is also regarded as one of the biggest airport of the country that provides world class facilities like shopping centers, duty free shops, eating, cafeteria, coffee shops as well as cyber cafes.
Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), the state-owned bus service providers operates the world’s largest fleet of eco-friendly CNG buses. Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus are the three major bus stands in Delhi from where people can find buses for several routes. Government as well as private transport service providers have almost frequent bus service from and too the different part of the city. One can also hire private taxi for further travel.
Delhi is the headquarter of Northern Railway and is regarded as one of the major railway junction in the rail map of India. Nizamuddin Railway Station, Anand Vihar Railway Terminal, New Delhi railway station and Sarai Rohilla are some of the major station from where people can find for several routes. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) provides metro services that connect several parts of the Delhi to the neighboring destinations like Gurgaon, Noida, and Ghaziabad.
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