Delhi comprising both Old Delhi and New Delhi has a population of over 16 million. A visit to Delhi would not be complete without a tour of Old Delhi with its small streets, lined with craft and speciality shops and the more modern city of New Delhi with its palaces and government buildings. Travel between Old and New Delhi is easy by Metro.
Old Delhi Streets
Take a wander about the streets of Old Delhi. Simply hop on the metro from New Delhi to Chawri Bazaar Metro. Chawri means “meeting place” which was probably acquired by the place because people used to gather there every time a well-known dancer would perform
. In the 19th century Chawri was popular for the alluring girls that are dancing there. Some people also gather there to settle disputes with the help of noble man before it reaches the emperor.
However, in the early 1900s, things changed after the houses of the nobles were destroyed by the Brits. Now, Chawri Bazar serves as the hub for shoppers interested in brass, copper, and paper products.
It is bustling area full of merchants, workers, rickshaws, shoppers, and passers-by. The bazar is reachable via metro rail, buses, auto-rickshaws, and taxis. A trip to Chawri Bazaar could be very exhausting due to the size of the crowd but is still worth experiencing.
Old Delhi Streets
The roads leading to and from Sadar Bazaar are filled with vechiles propelled by every means imaginable. It is a hive of activity in the morning time.
Sadar Bazaar resides in the western part of Khari Baoli. It is a very popular wholesale market of typical household items and is actually the largest one if Delhi. Same as the other markets, Sadar bazaar is also has the usual busy and overwhelming character of Indian markets. Tons of people go here to buy different kinds of stuff in retail or wholesale.
The bazaar is actually divided into sub markets namely the local pratap industry, local swadeshi industry, local teliwara wood industry and many more. Toys, games, replical of local jewellery, and invitations could also be availed here. Of course, native Indian food is surely present as well as candies and some treats. Clothes, shoes, and even electronic products are also availble.
For short, almost everything that you could think of buying could be found in Sadar Bazaar. Like the other markets in Delhi, Sadar Bazaar could be very exhausting but a trip here would complete your Delhi experience. You could visit here every day except Sundays.
Old Delhi Streets
The thirteen million citizens of Delhi are living with about 40,000 cows which are already causing some grumbles.
Hinduism as well all know is one of the major belief systems that people in India subscribe to. Hindus see cows as a sacred animal which is why Delhi is a very cow-friendly place.
Its sacredness could be traced back to cows’ connection to Lord Krishna, one of the revered figures in Hinduism. Cows are also referred to in scriptures as the mother of all civilizations.
So in Delhi, it is not unusual to spot a cow along the streets, something you would not see in other cities in the world. It is one of the things that make Delhi unique.
Old Delhi Streets
Visit the markets of Chandni Chowk, the main street was formerally a canal, now it is a busy and noisey throughfare.
A visit in Delhi would never be complete without visiting India’s well-known spice markets. Experience the overwhelming variety of smell and flavor as well as the fascinating sight of assorted colours.
The largest spice market not only in Delhi but also in Asia at large is dubbed as Khari Baoli. It resides near Lal Quila or Red Fort at the western part of Chandni Chowk. It is said to be built back in the time of Shah Jahan.
Maybe you could also try buying and bargaining over some spices to savor completely this amazing experience. Taking picture of the impressive sight would be a nice idea as well. Just remember to ask for permission with the local sellers.
Old Delhi Architecture
The Red Fort in Old Delhi was the capital of the Mughals until 1857 when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government. Since 2007 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This magnificent structure is also called Lal Qila which means Red Fort. It rises up to 33 meters high and stands impressively with its striking red color and distinctive architecture. The red sandstone that was used to construct it is the one giving the red color.
It is said to have been built in 1638 to serve as a defense against invaders, the fort of Shah Jahan. Today, it serves as a reminder of the power the Mughal Emperors possessed back then. Some of its most prominent features are Lahore Gate, the Drum House, the Hall of Public Audiences, the Hall of Private Audiences, the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths, and the Palace of Color. The Lahore Gate is probably the most popular as it serves as the grandiose entrance and represents an important symbol for the modern Indian nation.
Aside, from these, because of its features, the Red Fort became an inspiration to many structures across Delhi. Red Fort is a combination of Islamic, Persian, Timurid, and Hindu culture. Today, Red Fort is included among the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Old Delhi Architecture
This is the principla mosque of Old Delhi. Built the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1644 -1658 . Its huge central courtyard can hold upto 25,000 people.
This is the largest mosque in India located in Old Delhi. Its complete name is Masjid-i-jahan-Numa which means “a world reflecting mosque”. It is so enormous that it can hold 25,000 devotees.
It was alos made during the time of Shah Jahan, the same person who built Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. In fact, it was the last remembrance of his lavish architectural dreams. Jama Masjid has three impressive gates, four grandiose towers, and two minarets rising for about 40 meters in height which were built using red sandstones and white marble. Visitors can even borrow robes while exploring the premises.
It might be an extraordinary experience to feel like true blooded Indian for a few moments. Visitors are welcome every day. Just take note that tourists are not allowed during prayer hours as a sign of respect.
Old Delhi Architecture
The city of Old Delhi with its hustle and bustle is in sharp contrast to the tranquil areas of New Delhi around the Secretariat.
Old Delhi is also called Shahjahanabad. This served as the capital of Shah Jahan’s empire back then as well as with the other emperors that followed him.
The area is characterized by numerous narrow streets with rickshaws passing from time to time and 17th century Indian mansions lined up along the streets. Aside from these, what remain today are the Kashmiri Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Turkman Gate, Delhi Gate, Feroz Shah Kotla, and the Ashokan Pillar. There are also many spectacular spots to enjoy in the area
like the bazaars, Red Fort, Digambara Jain Temple, Gauri Shankar Temple, Jalebiwala, Svetambara Jain Temple, Paratha Wali Gali where you can have an Indian food trip, Sunheri Masjid, and Sisganj Gurdwara. There is definitely so much to explore in Old Delhi.
The Secretariat on Raisina Hill are two symetrical buildings lining Rajapth. They were built in 1910. The buildings house government ministries.
As we have mentioned Delhi is usually perceived as divided into two parts, the old and new. While Old Delhi served as the capital back in the period of Mughal Empire, New Delhi was built by the British when they established their own empire in India. New Delhi is characterized by the voluminous boulevards whereas Old Delhi has its narrow streets. One of the most impressive roads is Rajpath which extends from India Gate to the Presidential Palace. Here you will find many interesting museums, one of which is the National Gandhi Museum. There is also the Connaught Place, as well as a nice shopping area. New Delhi is one of the busiest cities in India.
The Secretariat Building is also a famous attraction. It is also usually called Central Secretariat, the Kendriya terminal, Csectt, or Parliament Station. It is located in Raisina Hills in New Delhi. The building has two blocks, the North and South. These blocks stand in the opposite sides of Rajpath. Other popular buildings nearby are the India Gate and the president’s house popularly called Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Secretariat building is the home of many ministry offices. The building’s architectural design is simply striking. It is built with four levels sheltering 1000 rooms each. It has an inner courtyards, wide corridors, vast domes, and characterized by red sandstone.
This kind of architectural design was inspired by the Rajasthan and Mughal style. The building also houses the oldest government library in India which contains over 500,000 books which makes it the second largest as well. The library resides in Shastri Bhawan.
Vijay Chowk is a llarge open space and parkland below Raisina Hill. The open parks stretch along Raijpath down to India Gate.
The name means Victory Square. It is a vast plaza located at Rajpath near the Secretariat Building. It is where Beating the Retreat ceremony happens every 29th of January. It signals the end of Republic Day celebrations.
Numerous bands parade here during these celebrations which mark the date when the plaza is most alive.
During normal days, the plaza could be a nice place to take a stroll and just enjoy the view. At night, the water fountains of the plaza are illuminated with various colors. The famous plaza was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan or Presidential House is the offical residence of the President of India since 1959. Prior to that it was the residence of the Viceroy and Governor General of India,
Literally means Viceroy’s House or President’s House, Rashtrapathi Bhavan is a product of the dream city of Lutyens and Baker. It is considered as one of the important landmarks of New Delhi. The building is entirely stunning.
The grandiose architectural design, the massive space, the impressive gate, and the beautiful landscape altogether make Rashtrapathi Bhavan unforgettable. The monumental mansion was built to fully establish the lastingness of the British rule in India which is why it was dubbed by many critiques as an “empire in stone” or as “the abode of a disinterested elite whose rule was imposed from above”. With all its stunning features, the most striking would be its dome. Even if the Rashtrapathi Bhavan differ from the usual Indian architectural style, at closer look you would find various details which show the Indian influence in the construction.
Indian architectural patterns like Buddhist railings, chhajjas, chhatris, and jaalis are noticeable. Moreover, Indian temple bells are also installed in its pillars. Today, Rashtrapati Bhavan serves as the center of the democratic government of India.
Inspired by the Arch de Triomphe in Paris, India Gate was built in 1931 and commemorates those killed in World War 1, The Battle of the North West Frontier and the 3th Afghan War.
This is located at the center of New Delhi also known as the India War Memorial. India Gate rises for about 42 meters in height and has structure comparable to Arc-de-Triomphe.
It was bulit in 1931 to commemorate 70,000 Indian soldiers who died during World War I as soldiers of the British Army. This gate is a national monument of India. India Gate was also designed by Edwin Lutyens. The names of the soldiers are written in the wall of the great gate.
India Gate makes a charming view at night as it is illuminated together with the fountains nearby. A stroll along the area could be a nice thing to do while appreciating the structure and its sense of history.
Connaught Place, named after the Duke of Connaught was opened in 1931. It consists of two circular arcades surrounding an open park. The area divides Old Delhi from New Delhi.
Connaught Place is another shopping district in New Delhi. It is not usual markets in India. This one sell signature clothing, offers tailoring services, and a lot of boutiques. It is the British who designed the place and they patterned it after a horse-shoe to bring good luck to both shoppers and shopkeepers.
In the Inner Circle of the market you can choose from a wide variety of brands like Adidas Originals, Allen Solly, Bentley, Lee, Kalpana, Louis Philippe,Nike, Roopchand Jewellers, Snowhite Square and so much more. Mohanlal Sons, a famous tailor shop could also be found here. They offer custom made clothes for all occasion. This place is known for the quality of the products it offers. On the other hand, the Outer Circle offers the more expensive ones like Lacoste, Omega, Tag Heuer, and the likes.
This shopping center are perfect for those who are not on a tight budget and are ready to splurge but it could also be good for people who just want to enjoy a nice stroll at one of the most famous market in New Delhi.