10 Things To Do in Delhi

Delhi, India, is a giant city that contains an overwhelming amount of history, culture, life, food, temples, and everything else you could possibly imagine.



1.The Lotus Temple (Bahá’í House of Worship)

Among the numerous recognizable landmarks which are scattered all around Delhi is the remarkable Lotus Temple. Designed in the shape of a sacred lotus flower, there are 27 flower petals which are constructed of marble and make up the structure.

Though it’s dedicated to the Bahá’í faith, it’s a religious worshipping grounds for people of all religions (as such is the philosophy of the Bahá’í faith). As you approach the temple, you’ll walk through some nicely manicured gardens and then have an opportunity to place your shoes in the free and secure shoe deposit room. You’ll then be given a 2 minute briefing by a volunteer, mainly about turning off your cell phone and keeping silent, and then you’ll be free to enter the sanctuary and sit in pure silence for as long as you’d like.


2. ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple

Located just a 15 minute walk from the Lotus Temple (though you have to walk around due to the fence), is one of the largest and most interesting temples dedicated to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The religious movement was actually founded in the United States and is now represented throughout India. Visiting the temple, you’ll be able to freely walk around and sit in the sanctuary where you can listen to the ever present drum and chant of “Har-e-Krishna.” I think they also have a theater where you can watch a film, but I didn’t see it.



3. Kalkaji Mandir Hindu Temple

The final temple making a trio of temples surrounding the Lotus Temple, is the Hindu Kalkaji Mandir. It’s not a big tourist attraction, and mostly (at least when I was there) it’s a temple where locals go. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali and is the site of many rituals that include singing and chanting.

When I was there, it looked like a number of babies were being dedicated. Not wanting to leave my shoes somewhere unattended, I stuck them in a plastic bag and carried them around with me, and nobody bothered me like at some other temples such as the Kalighat temple in Kolkata.


4. Lodi Gardens

Along with Qutub Minar and Akshardham, the Lodi Gardens was one of my favorite things to do in Delhi. It’s similar to Hauz Khas Complex, but on a much grander and more impressive scale.

The Lodi Gardens is a public park that’s scattered with ancient Mughal tombs and structures. Kids run around, people enjoy picnics, and artists become inspired by walking and sitting in these gardens. The park is large, and it’s easy to walk around for a few hours indulging in a breath of fresh air and exploring the 500 year old tombs.


5. India Gate

The well respected India Gate is a 42 meter tall monument that was built in 1931 to honor Indian soldiers as a war memorial. Under the gate you can see a flame that’s continually lit and honors soldiers that have given their lives for their country.

Since the India Gate attracts quite a number of tourists, both locals and foreigners, there are also quite a few beggars and overly pushy sellers that hang around.


6. National Museum of New Delhi

This, I’ll tell you straight up, is the only attraction on this list that I personally didn’t visit. But then again, the entire city of Delhi is like a hands-on entertaining museum, but if you’re really interested in art and history, you should definitely visit the National Museum. You’ll find an impressive quantity of over 200,000 individual pieces of art!


7. Raj Ghat – Gandhi Memorial

Mahatma Gandhi is likely the most famous person associated with India, he’s on the front of all Rupee notes; He was the founding father of modern independent India and he’s known throughout the world for his philosophy of nonviolence and his attitude of helping and caring for others. Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Gandhi, and it’s located in the place where he was cremated.

The entire area is a park, and there happened to be a lot of students running around the day I went. When you enter the memorial, you leave your shoes at the counter (for a small tip), and then walk into the central courtyard where you can walk around the black marble memorial of Gandhi.


8. Dilli Haat – Handicraft Village

Dilli Haat is the exact opposite shopping experience from Chandni Chowk and the Spice Market; It’s calm, clean, organized, convenient, and really nicely set up. It’s a bit like Asiatique in Bangkok, but less glamourous. Dilli Haat is kind of an outdoor shopping plaza where vendors sell high quality Indian handicrafts in a friendly, safe environment.

Along with being a great place to shop for souvenirs and handicrafts, Dilli Haat is known (even for local Indians), as a nice place to sample Indian food from around the entire nation. I think there’s a restaurant representing each of the states of India. While I wanted to eat at every stall, I chose a North Indian restaurant called Mahak and enjoyed a vegetarian thali. I then ate a Rajasthani kulfi ice cream for dessert.


9. Connaught Place – Rajiv Chowk (& Palika Bazar)

While Delhi doesn’t exactly have a single downtown business district, if you did choose one area to label as that, it would probably be Connaught Place. Within the series of roundabouts which makes up the central framework of “CP,” are countless stores, delicious restaurants, and a dark underground shopping plaza known as Palika Bazar.


10. Paharganj (Main Bazar)

Located next to the New Delhi Railroad Station, Paharganj is a district in Delhi that is known for its crowded streets, shopping, and now its the budget backpacker center of Delhi. If you’re looking for where to stay in Delhi where you’ll have easy access to transportation and lots of action, head to Paharganj.

The area is yet another interesting area of Delhi to explore and includes a host of businesses and restaurants. I had the best chole bhature (fried bread served with a luscious chickpea curry) of my entire time in Delhi at a small restaurant known as Sita Ram Diwan Chand.

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